Tag: destress

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 1 and 2)

*Read about my recommendation post for Extraordinary You and I guarantee you’ll want to start watching this kdrama!

Once upon a time, in the fictional and exclusive Seuli High school, a popular and warmhearted heroine named Eun Dan Oh studied. She is kind, pretty, and an only daughter of a rich family; despite having a weak heart condition, all is well and dandy with her life💃🏻

As all romance stories go, all that’s left for her to do is to find her Prince Charming and live happily ever after… but as with every fairytale, a plot twist exists. And this plot twist will change our heroine’s life forever.

Episode 1

A white car pulls up and a student named Dan Oh struts confidently at the school’s front lawn. Her fellow students admire her presence and fawn all over her, with her narrating a heroine’s plight as to have hot guys vying for her attention. She talks with her friend inside the school hall just as the school’s 3 most popular guys, the so-called “A3”, walk in the hallway as well. Girls scream and gawk at the guys but a female student carrying a heavy box trips and falls onto their leader, Oh Nam Ju, even kissing his right cheek by accident. Dan Oh steps up and comforts the poor girl who Nam Ju berates.

As Dan Oh walks away, she abruptly feels a shift of change and hears a weird sound in her head. She looks back and sees that her fellow students have been frozen in place. Before she can react any further, she is suddenly sitting inside a classroom. She looks around her surroundings and is surprised when her friends say that that there’s an exam. She doesn’t remember studying when she checks her textbook to be full of notes and highlights. Once she receives the test paper and looks at the chalkboard, a page turning sound is made again and the exam is over. She checks to see her test and wonders again why there are answers already.

A father and son talk inside a car and it is revealed that Kyung is 1/3 of the A3. His dad scolds him for not accompanying Dan Oh to the hospital because it might affect his business deal with her father. Meanwhile, Dan Oh hears another page turning sound and like a robot, she automatically becomes all demure as she approaches Kyung. He is not friendly towards her and mentions their engagement, yikes! Wouldn’t want to be tied down to a guy who clearly hates me and a scheming father-in-law to boot. Another sound resonates, something like magic disappearing, and Dan Oh starts getting angry at him.

All throughout the day, Dan Oh experiences more shifts of events in her day and is starting to freak out on what is happening to her. As time passes, she acknowledges that time can skip 2 hours or even several days in the blink of an eye for her.

A male student is shown admiring his hand, with his back towards the camera, as he sees Dan Oh enter the library. She reads several books to check what is wrong with her when suddenly, she sees another book that catches her interest. Entitled “Secret”, she flips the pages over and unexpectedly has an epiphany. In a foreshadowing of events, she sees Baek Kyung grab hold of her hand and getting spilled by food all over her in the cafeteria. Dan Oh is shocked at what she just witnesses and trips over some books, only to have Baek Kyung catch her. True enough, her vision of Kyung grabbing her happened just now and she runs away from him, stunned. The mysterious man featured earlier bumps into Kyung but the latter doesn’t confront him in the end.

Dan Oh washes her face in the restroom and frees the bullied female student, Nam Ju Da, out of one of the bathroom stalls. She is again astonished as she hands out some wet wipes to Ju Da, only to recognize that she didn’t even have that item to begin with. With the numerous times she’s been skipping memories and the recent incident in the library, she thinks that she has gone insane.

We are introduced to another character as a chef known as “Dried Squid Fairy” serves food to the students. Dan Oh nonchalantly mentions that she’s losing her memories and the man looks at her as if he knows what she’s talking about. Dan Oh thinks that she can see the future and tries to prevent her vision from coming true by switching her not eaten lunch to her friend’s empty curry bowl. She puts her plan into action by preventing Ju Da from tripping but she is powerless to stop the event from unfolding. Nam Ju interrupts the crowd laughing at them and offers a helping hand.

Dan Oh experiences another page turning event and gets called out by Kyung in the hallway saying that he doesn’t like her. She begins to wonder why she can’t speak up to him in such moments and only acts nice. As Dan Oh is talking to herself again on the school bridge, she is startled to see a mysterious black hole in front of her. She notices Dried Squid looking at it too from afar as well.

Episode 2

Catching him inside the school kitchen, Dan Oh confronts him about the blackhole. She sees the book called Secret on the table as Dried Squid quickly sits on it and doesn’t directly answer her questions. She goes back to the library where she first found the book and sees another black hole in place of where the book was located in the shelf. Feeling certain that all of these things are connected, she sneaks back inside the kitchen and reads the book. With her mouth wide open, she discovers that the images and scenes portrayed inside the pages are about her.

Dried Squid comes clean and confesses the truth to Dan Oh. The memory losses that she feels are the gaps between scenes in the comic book, she feels the shifts because she’s become self aware of her being. He says that they’re not humans but rather characters in the book. Dan Oh thinks that he is a lunatic and outright rejects his explanation. Dried Squid follows her around to try and explain things further but proves his point when the cellphone he drops from the school bridge flies in midair, much to her bewilderment. She calls out to her friends below and they don’t believe her because she was holding her phone the entire time that she’d been talking. Poor Dan Oh, haha!!😅

Dan Oh goes through another out of body experience when Nam Ju tells her that he’s giving her a chance to thank him but try as she might, words are not coming out of her mouth. She sneaks up behind Dried Squid and reads the exact same scene that just happened in the comic book. When she tells her friend, Sae Mi, the reality of their situation, the class teases her about it. After numerous time jumps, Dan Oh relives the exact same reactions and lines that her classmates said the first time she confessed — which means that she’s the only one who is self aware among everyone.

The next morning, Dan Oh holds her chest and feels her heart beat. She reminds herself that nothing will change and goes to school with a new positive attitude. Given her awesome background of being a heart surgery survivor, studious, and well-loved by her classmates, she embraces the role of being the main character of the comics. She proudly helps out Ju Da from getting bullied again and begins to wonder who her leading man is. She muses who between the 3 guys of A3 will capture her heart but her good mood gets disrupted when all 3 of them just walk past her, hahaha!

After fainting again due to her weak heart, she wakes up at the hospital and irritably sees Baek Kyung sitting inside the room. Dan Oh complains to Dried Squid how it’s possible that she has such a hard time when she’s the main character and he stammers to give her an answer. She goes on a monologue again about how unfair it is to be a weak heroine and when she turns to talk to him, Dried Squid has disappeared.

At the school grounds the next day, Dan Oh helps Ju Da carry a plastic bag and she hears another page turning sound. As the other students gang up on Ju Da, Nam Ju comes to save the day. Thinking that he is approaching her, Nam Ju actually puts his arm around Ju Da and warns everyone to stay away from her. Dan Oh sees a burst of light shining on the 2 of them, Nam Ju and Ju Da, and finally gets the picture that they are the book’s main characters! In a flashback of relevant scenes, Dan Oh realizes that Nam Ju has been referring/talking to Ju Da all this time, and not her!😜

Thoughts

I already said that I have high expectations for this kdrama and boy did it NOT disappoint!😁 I know that Extraordinary You is based on a webtoon but the way the story was executed is impressive. I am rooting so hard for Dan Oh as she deals with the fact that she’s only a comic book character that follows the writer’s will, plus she’s just a supporting character! I think anyone would be shocked to find out that they aren’t the hero/heroine of a story, especially when we see the world in our own eyes. I am in love with her character already, especially when she rambles and goes on a monologue rant as she tries to figure out what is going on with her🤣

I’m curious about the mystery guy that obviously takes notice of Dan Oh. Is he a supporting character too who is self aware or could he be someone more important? I’m not sure if Dried Squid Fairy is a good guy as well since we we’re given no explanation of why he knew so much about the comic book world already. Is the black hole a portal to the real world? Gimme more episodes, stat!!

Unnie Recommends: 3 Reasons Extraordinary You is a kdrama to tune into!

It’s comforting to know that we are the heroes/heroines of our own story, but what if you find out that you’re merely the supporting character of someone else’s fairytale? Would you resign yourself to the grand scheme of fate or will you try and change the path laid out for you? Our protagonist, or rather, supporting heroine, Eun Dan Oh, gets the shock of her life when she discovers that not only is she a character of a comic book, but that she’s only an extra!🤯

Extraordinary You offers a fresh perspective on leading roles as a supporting character realizes that she isn’t human and her life’s purpose is to serve as a bridge between the real leading lady and man of the book . Funny, entertaining, and has stunning cinematography and comic book style graphics, this kdrama is certainly a page turner in its own league.

Current Impression

*As of this writing, I’ve only watched until episode 4 of this kdrama.

It’s an age old question of destiny vs. freewill as Dan Oh goes to great lengths to change her predetermined fate as a student with a heart condition and is engaged to one of her classmates.

1. Ever wondered if a minor character told the main story in their perspective? In this comic book universe, this is how extras live and feel their existence.

Dan Oh first realizes that something is not right when she experiences memory loss such as when she was about to take a test in class; in the blink of an eye, she is done with her exam, with answers and all. With the help of another extra character, she learns that she has become self aware and that’s why she recognizes these gaps between scenes.

She also finds out that despite her nice background of being rich, kindhearted, and well loved by her classmates, she is not the heroine of the story. Entitled “Secret”, the comic book is set in Seuli high school where a love story between two of her other classmates, Oh Nam Ju and Yeo Ju Da, takes place. Along with this revelation, she comprehends the rules governing the comic book realm and realizes that despite wanting to say or feel something else, she speaks and acts how she ought to according to how her character is supposed to act.

Although she can act freely at times and upset the course of the comic book’s story, things always go back to how the writer intended events to occur. Actions such as not paying attention in class, wanting to buy strawberry milk, and avoiding accidents are attempted by Dan Oh but she hears the sound of a page turning a few seconds later and she goes back to her original planned scene and story. Frustrating right? That is, until one fateful day…

2. You’ll surely root and hate the characters of the comic book as each person has a distinct role to fill.

Like any book, each tale has a set of characters to pique our interests. It follows the bullied heroine and the bad boy with a heart of gold type of romance, complete with a 2nd male lead who falls in love with the leading lady. From left to right, meet the cast of “Secret”:

  1. Eun Dan Oh – The main, supporting character
  2. Yeo Ju Da – A transfer student who frequently gets bullied and is the actual heroine of the book
  3. Oh Nam Ju – Leader of his gang, “A3”, and develops a romantic interest on Ju Da
  4. Baek Kyung – Dan Oh’s fiance who doesn’t like her and is part of A3
  5. Lee Do Hwa – The other member of A3 and is the 2nd male lead who falls for Ju Da as well
  6. Ha Roo – The mysterious classmate who helps Dan Oh change her fate in the comic book
  7. Sae Min, Il Jin, Sam Jin, Ae Il – Dan Oh’s classmates in school

It is because of Ha Roo that Dan Oh doesn’t get her leg broken when she was supposed to and she goes on a manhunt to find him. She believes that he is the key to changing her fate. I think that he’s also a self aware character at this point and it will open up a whole new story with her, Ha Roo, and Baek Kyung as the love triangle. Oohhh, I am so excited for this show’s potential!

3. Just because we are supporting someone else’s story doesn’t mean we can’t become a main character in our own story. We are our own person no matter what!

Dan Oh’s character is someone who talks to herself a lot and has an animated persona due to her saying her thoughts aloud and doing hand gestures to express her being dumbfounded or determination in lots of scenes. It’s not that she wants to be the main character in the book itself, like replacing Ju Da or ruining the main leads’ romance, but she just wants to live a life that is decidedly hers.

Will Eun Dan Oh defy the odds of her supporting role and become her own lead character of her own story? Or is she meant to be a bystander in someone else’s story? I have such high expectations for Extraordinary You and hope that like how Dan Oh is forging her own fate, we pen the chapters of our life with choices and memories that we willingly make✨

Unnie Life Lessons: 4 Woman Empowerment Tips by Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, empowerment is defined as “the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties.” I believe though that empowerment is not about just taking action, but it’s also being able to listen and realize when your deeds are wrong and doing something to correct it💪🏻

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung gave women a voice — an influence and power that one can only dream of in a dynasty such as Joseon. Not only Hae Ryung, but supporting characters such as the Queen Dowager, Mo Hwa, Sa Hui, and even the Crown Princess, who stood up for themselves at one point in time and didn’t let other people deter them from speaking their mind when it was necessary. The men here (Prince Lee Rim, Crown Prince, Officer Min, etc) were also nothing short of gracious and respectful to our heroines — without their help, a woman’s revolution at the time would have been impossible.

I cannot emphasize enough my high regards for this because of the unique angle given to women, the romance, and the overall fresh storyline💞 Read about my recommendation post for this kdrama if you’re interested in watching this. My recaps for this show is also available for your reading pleasure!

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Just because you know and speak the truth doesn’t mean other interpretations or opinions are necessarily wrong. Sometimes, understanding the reason for such actions can open our eyes to an issue/perspective.
  • Hae Ryung is a smart and knowledgable female lead who rarely hesitated to voice out worldly facts. I appreciated the fact that she loved to read books but it also isn’t wrong if someone has a different opinion about a particular topic.

  • In the historian exam, Hae Ryung wrote that a solar eclipse was a natural phenomenon and that it’s not something that a King can control simply by performing a ritual. But when the Crown Prince explained that not everyone in Joseon can have a good education like her (Since Hae Ryung is a noble), they wouldn’t know that fact. There are poor people all over and the ritual is meant to calm the villagers nerves and assure them that everything will be okay.
  • Yes, what Hae Ryung answered was true but it also makes sense that not everyone can have access to that information. I know that back then was a different time because now, information is readily available for anyone to peruse. But we can’t expect everyone to perceive an issue the same way — there could be different solutions to a problem and both could either be right or could be improved upon.
  • Even when it doesn’t make sense to us, putting ourselves in another person’s shoes can give us more insight on their situation giving us clarity about their actions.
2. Doing the right thing is not always met with everyone’s approval. Be prepared to take responsibility for your actions and be mindful if your decisions can affect other people too.

  • Hae Ryung submitted a petition that got her into trouble because it involved palace politics. She was made to do all of the tasks left by the assistant clerks and was frowned upon by her male historian peers.
  • Like Officer Min pointed out, one must be ready for the responsibility of such deeds. Don’t complain or lament that you only did the right thing because every action, no matter how good the intention, can elicit a consequence that you must be ready to handle.

  • Doing the right thing is not a crime, but we must consider the effect our actions can have on other people and try exploring other ways to deal with a problem. Hae Ryung could have approached the stipend corruption in a different manner and pondered some more about how the petition can affect her coworkers as well.
  • All throughout the kdrama, Hae Ryung insisted to help and divulge the truth and true enough, she humbly accepted any praise or backlash (if there was) that came along with it. Like her, Sa Hui was bold enough to make her feelings for the Crown Prince known even if it meant people would gossip about her. I know this example is not a “right thing” per say but the fact that she was ready for any punishment is owning up to her actions😁
3. Accepting the fact that there are things in life we cannot change and that this shouldn’t stop us from continuing to live our best days.

  • Mo Hwa comforted Hae Ryung when the latter found out that her decision led to a child’s death. She felt responsible because she could have taken the child with her back to Haeju, but because of Hae Ryung’s concern that the kid might already have smallpox and infect others, she decided against bringing her there.

  • Death is a permanent part of life. Hae Ryung thought of what was best for everyone but it doesn’t mean that if she had decided to take the child with her, that the child would have survived either. If someone we love passes away, we mourn and feel sad about it. But we don’t let such an event weigh us down forever, we have to make good use of our time and do what we can to live well.
  • It would be unfair for us (the living) to deprive ourselves of what life can offer, both joyful days and hardships, by blaming ourselves for things that are out of our control. Let’s use the time we have to continue to work hard and pursue the things that make us happy🦋
4. Be true to yourself and don’t compromise your values just because there are people/situations who/that put you down. Your sincerity and honesty will attract good karma & people into your life.
  • Hae Ryung’s character was never shy in speaking the truth and fighting for what she believed in. She fought tooth and nail to be heard and ruffled up a few government feathers along the way but eventually won over the good graces of people. In the scene below, she was bold enough to persuade the King to stop hating the historians because their role is not to criticize the Royal family, but rather, to write their good traits as an example for the next generation.
  • Even when the King had given her a hard time, she was still perceptive enough to impart such a realization without compromising any values as a historian.✍🏻

  • In relation to tip #2, when Hae Ryung submitted the petition to request for a special investigation regarding the past, she was supported by her fellow historians. It was a risky move but because it was the right thing to do and she did it properly, everyone backed her up and they were eventually rewarded with a happy ending.

Like I mentioned in my last episode recap for the kdrama, Hae Ryung was an imperfect character that also learned a lot from her experience as a historian. In the end, I do think that she and the other women have come a long way since the 1st episode. They are now respected and treated as equals who possess thoughts that matter as well✨

Just like the traditions of the past, it’s not always easy to speak one’s mind and have the courage to be ourselves now in a world where social media triggers comparison and hateful comments. But I believe that as long as we’re mindful of our words, don’t treat mistakes or odd comments as a negative but rather a learning experience, we’ll live an empowered and loved life😊💕