Tag: Extraordinary you

Unnie Recap: Best Kdrama Heroines of 2019

2019 has been a great year for kdramas! From romcoms to mystery thrillers, a robot futuristic genre, to period/Joseon dynasty shows, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy😊 Not every show is fully relatable but there are aspects in each that make me excited to tune in for more.

This list is solely my opinion and subject to only the kdramas that I have selected to watch. Looking forward to meeting the new faces and villains who will conquer the 2020 kdrama landscape!

Top 5 Kdrama Heroines

1. Eun Dan Oh (Extraordinary You/Ha Roo found by Chance)

What if you found out that you were merely a comic book character and that you were just an extra whose life’s purpose was to serve the main character’s progression? Never the one to back down from a fight with destiny, Eun Dan Oh (Played by Kim Hye Yoon) is the #1 heroine in my list this year. Extraordinary You was such a relatable and fun korean drama to watch as the story mirrors our struggles with daily life as well. The story setting takes place in a high school where Dan Oh is fated with a terminally ill set-up and a fiancé who hates her guts. She didn’t want to steal the spotlight of the main character but rather, she just wanted to make her own decisions not planned by the writer.

Full of energy, persistent, and loyal, Kim Hye Yoon was outstanding in her role as Eun Dan Oh. Her character is living proof that you can carve your own path to happiness as long as you don’t give up. The fact that she was helped by her soulmate and friends further solidifies how influential and loved Dan Oh is. Extraordinary You also featured a great supporting cast (Baek Kyung, Do Hwa, Dried Squid) that made me root for them as well. Although there are set-ups in our lives that we cannot alter, we can still live out our best days by accepting this fact, learning to adjust, and appreciating the blessings we already have✨

Get hooked with Extraordinary You or if you’re done watching, check out my life lessons post for this wonderful show.

2. Goo Hae Ryung (Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung)

A confident and smart woman ahead of her time, Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung breathed new life into period kdramas. Putting the spotlight on the influence and power of women, this show tackled the fruition of women becoming historians for the 1st time in Joseon history. It emphasized the importance of being brave enough to tell the truth but at the same time being able to handle the consequences of one’s actions.

Hae Ryung wasn’t a role model by design but she slowly grew into one by learning from her mistakes. Of course, falling in love with the Crown Prince’s younger brother isn’t such a bad predicament to be in as well! This is Shin Se Kyung’s best korean drama for me because she was able to convey a range of emotions and a comedic side to her. With 40 episodes to spare, this kdrama is a treat for all romcom and drama addicts out there!

Read about my Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung first impressions and if you want a detailed read of each episode, I also wrote a complete recap for your pleasure.

3. Jang Man Weol (Hotel Del Luna)

Feisty, beautiful, and hella badass, the only reason why Jang Man Weol is not higher in the list is because her character was made to thrive in a more supernatural setting. Hotel del Luna is a kdrama that focused on her being the owner of a hotel for the dead where they could do their unfinished business before proceeding to the afterlife. Man Weol had a lot of baggage against those who had scorned her and didn’t hesitate to get revenge. She also had money problems because she was always attracted to anything that would bring her money and fortune. Not all heroines are perfect of course but it’s these traits that made me rank her a little lower than Dan Oh and Hae Ryung.

With regard to the storytelling and character development aspect, Hotel del Luna gets a 5 star rating. There are misconceptions about the kdrama being “scary” (with the dead spirits and all) but don’t buy into that. It’s a visually entertaining and funny show with lots of emotional maturity and romance. Her perfect complement came in the form of Ku Chan Seong, the hotel’s only human manager and all around moral compass. Despite falling in love, Man Weol remained true to herself and didn’t change to be a friendlier or thriftier woman for him. She did learn to forgive and move forward with her life, and most importantly, love herself in the process🌙

Do check out my recommendation post for this korean drama and peruse my Hotel del Luna ending explained post after watching all 16 episodes!

4. Lee Yeon Seo (Angel’s Last Mission: Love)

Another tough and badass heroine, Angel’s Last Mission: Love was a beloved mid-year show for me. I remember being blown away by the 1st episode’s intensity and immediately wanted more! The male lead was an angel who was given a mission to help the female lead, Lee Yeon Seo, in finding love. Sounds easy enough right? Right off the 1st episode, Yeon Seo is a shell of her former prima ballerina life — blinded by a freak accident, alone in a big mansion without her parents, and cranky as hell, love is the last thing she could ever want in her life.

As much as this post is about heroines only, I do have to give credit to the leading man, Kim Dan (Played by actor L), as he brought out the fun and softer side of the show. He was the perfect complement to Yeon Seo for her to open up to other people and face her fears in becoming a ballerina again. Make it your mission to listen to Angel’s Last Mission: Love OST as the music elevated the show’s appeal even more🎵

Probably one of the hardest life lessons post I wrote, this is a must-read for everyone who needs some encouragement to not give up and keep fighting💪🏻

5. Yoon Se Ri (Crash Landing on You)

Taking the kdrama world by storm, Crash Landing on You is an ongoing show that collided with my romcom heart just a few weeks ago! The only reason why I couldn’t rank Se Ri higher is because there has only been a handful of episodes released and we don’t know her that well yet. Nevertheless, she made such a strong impression that it’s only fitting this kdrama made my top 5 list.

Getting stranded in North Korea due to a paragliding accident, Se Ri must figure out a way to go back to South Korea. As a successful CEO of her own company, Se Ri is a cheerful, confident, yet picky woman who has expensive tastes. She meets her love interest in North Korea, Captain Jeong Hyeok, as he aids her in getting back home. I was surprised that Se Ri had a dark period in her life as shown in a flashback (She contemplated suicide) so watching her character exude a lighter and happier aura is endearing. I’m ecstatic to see how she’ll eventually take over her dad’s business and how the aftermath of leaving Jeong Hyeok will impact both of them.

Read about my Crash Landing on You summary and find out why this kdrama will be your next TV addiction!


There are plenty of other great korean dramas that aired this year too so I hope you discover your own favorites❤️ We have a different kind of life compared to a kdrama heroine but surely the feelings and thoughts that we have coincide with theirs at one episode or another. As much as watching these shows makes me want to do better and live more fruitful days, I hope these same emotions influence your lives too.

Cheers to what has been and may you all have a blessed 2020 ahead🥂

Unnie Life Lessons: Being your own Character by Extraordinary You

Life is what we make of it: You can choose to be a supporting character of someone else’s story or you can live a life as your own main character. I thought this was what Extraordinary You kdrama wanted to convey, and to a certain extent it did, but that’s not how we ought to just look at the big picture. So what if we’re an extra or helping someone else shine? It’s not bad to help others with their problems or cheer them on when they are going through something rewarding. It’s not always about us (me)… we all have our own moments in the sun and rain🌟

The main character, Eun Dan, Oh struggled in coming to terms with her role as an extra but along with the other characters of this show, everyone was able to learn what was truly important to them and achieved a happy ending for themselves.

Read my recommendation post for Extraordinary You korean drama to know more about the show’s plot and head over to my recaps page in case you missed anything!

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Being resilient and not giving up to make changes to your life despite your situation/environment.

  • Dan Oh’s fate was stacked against her pretty early when she realized that she was just an extra in a comic book. The fact that she had a heart condition and was engaged to a guy who didn’t care about her was the cherry on top of a grim set-up. I loved how she was so determined to change her life (which she did) and actively did something, even the smallest actions, to try and make a difference🦋
  • We tend to make excuses about our circumstances and whine that we cannot do everything that we desire. If we are being realistic, yes, there is a limitation to our capabilities BUT there’s also so much that we can do if we just stop complaining and just do something!💪🏻 The hard work and frustration that stem from such is daunting but just like Dan Oh, we have to buckle up and face our fears to enact change.

2. Finding purpose and learning to be content and appreciate one’s situation because our lives are unique and invaluable as it is.

*This seems to counter the 1st life lesson but I did say that realistically, we do have limitations outside of our control that we can’t change.

  • Dan Oh learned to accept that she was just a comic book character and her set-up of being terminally ill because she found happiness spending time with Ha Roo. There was nothing she could do about the comic book ending and together with Ha Roo, they made the most out of their precious time together.
  • Struggling to accept the reality that she was merely an extra, Dan Oh realized that she didn’t need to make herself a main character by making changes in the grand blueprint of her life. She found purpose as a person — undefined by any role, and rallied to live her life day by day as Eun Dan Oh. Not the lovestruck girl who gets emotionally bullied by her fiancé but a cheerful, spritely, and persistent character who found love, has good friends, and lived a pretty comfortable life.

3. Choosing to prioritize yourself by allowing convenience over hardships to govern your daily life.

  • Ju Da ultimately chose to be with Nam Ju instead of Do Hwa because she didn’t want to fight her destiny of ending up with him given the tough times she went through in the comic book. Initally I thought this was a cowardly choice because staying by Nam Ju’s side is exactly where she’ll end up since they are the main characters. Yes, it’s a convenient choice — devoid of the complications of changing one’s fate if she chose to pursue her feelings for Do Hwa… but being with Nam Ju made her truly happy so there’s nothing wrong with her choice.
  • There’s nothing wrong in wanting something that makes your life easier or better: Technology, shortcuts, efficiency. If following the love story predetermined for Ju Da makes her happy (And it did), then by all means. Life is hard enough as it is so choosing or doing something that lessens the difficulties is a good and acceptable choice. Just like how Dan Oh wanted to actively alter her fate, it’s okay that Ju Da didn’t want to change hers.

4. Letting go of the things you cannot control but at the same time living your life to its fullest potential.

  • It was inevitable that the comic book world our characters existed in would end but instead of trying to find a way to extend or fight it, Ha Roo spent his last moments happy and fulfilled to be at Dan Oh’s side. He did his best to change what he could (Help Dan Oh live) but still accepted that he would disappear first and not be able to be with Dan Oh until the last page.
  • Balance is the key to a good life and although we don’t get a manual for how to do this perfectly, it’s the mistakes and unexpected turn of events that help us do better next time. We cannot escape death or go thru our days without hardships, these are inevitable occurrences. But instead of lamenting these certainties, we can live out our best lives by spending time with loved ones, work hard, travel the world, and so on.

Just like how we are forging our own path, other people are also filling their life’s pages with their own details. Extraordinary You‘s greatest message is that we shouldn’t fixate on whether or not we are the center of attention to others or complain that we don’t have a glamorous and well-endowed main protagonist lifestyle. It’s challenging, yes, but it’s not impossible.

It’s our own actions and outlook towards what we have that makes us special. We have to allow and reshape our mindsets to truly see the blessings, love, and experiences that are gifted to us in the form of everyday life💕

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You – Episodes 31 and 32 (Final Episode)

How will our beloved characters spend their last few chapters? At least for our self-aware classmates, time is of the essence to right any wrongs or simply to just enjoy their last few scenes left. Their time in the comics has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we can only hope that their next life will be as fruitful as this one!

Episode 31

Making the most of their precious time together, Ha Roo is able to check Dan Oh’s new bucket list involving writing each other a letter and kissing 100 times (haha!). He is worried about the comic book coming to a close but tries his best to be enthusiastic for Dan Oh. More and more students are missing from the class record book already and even Ha Roo’s name in the locker has been erased.

Ha Roo tries to fulfill Dan Oh’s bucket list and he makes both Dan Oh and him a necklace made out of colored paper. It’s a sweet gesture although not very fashionable, hehe, but Dan Oh appreciates his effort and they kiss happily on the lips💋 Do Hwa happens to see them wearing the necklaces and thinks that it’s one of Ha Roo’s attempts in making her remember her self-awareness. He finds out that she’s recovered and hugs her with Ha Roo getting jealous and steering him away from her, haha! Their friendship was formed out of a mutual connection of being self-aware so it’s nice to see them grow into good friends until the end.

It’s fun seeing Ju Da teach Nam Ju to become thriftier since he keeps giving her expensive gifts. She’s become a whole different character in the shadow and teaches Sae Mi and the other girls not to mess with her anymore. She makes an offhand comment that she should look for someone close to her and find someone that likes her more instead of the other way around. Su Chul is nearby and she hugs him for comfort, pretty subtle huh? Ju Da talks with Do Hwa one last time in the library and still wears the rubber shoes with the butterfly drawing that he bought for her. Although she wasn’t able to change her stage and create a butterfly effect, she thinks that someone else might find the symbol meaningful. With that, our potential couple closes their chapter.

Even Dried Squid makes an effort to patch things with Baek Kyung and Ha Roo. He cooks for them sweet treats that they loved eating in Trumpet Creeper and holds out his hand to Baek Kyung to instigate in forgetting their ill-fated past. Baek Kyung says nothing more but he does shake Dried Squid’s hand. Calling Ha Roo by his name, Dried Squid also bids him farewell while mentioning that it must have been hard for him all this time. Ha Roo smiles and takes one of the candies that Dried Squid cooked and leaves.

While Baek Kyung couldn’t get the girl in Secret, he still has someone by his side — his younger brother. His set-up had always been lonely and brooding but his brother tells him that he was affectionate and friendly before. He lets go of the charred pieces of the Trumpet Creeper comics and with that, he releases himself from the burden of his past life.

Episode 32 (Last Episode/Ending)

It’s as if the writer penned a note to Ha Roo of his impending departure, he knows that his time in Secret is coming to an end. Dan Oh becomes worried when she finds Ha Roo gone after she ties her shoelace in the shadow. She is relieved when she sees him in the stage immediately after, but senses something amiss when Ha Roo disappears in the shadow. She finds him in the library and grows tense as she and Ha Roo run away from the room as the lights all begin to turn off. Stopping at the school’s stairway, Ha Roo apologizes that he can’t be with her until her last scene. They both cry and hug each other as darkness consumes them. As Dan Oh calls out to Ha Roo, the lights turn back on and he is gone.

Time has fast forwarded in the comics and it’s 1 year after already. It’s graduation day at Seuli High and every character that’s still around are celebrating. Baek Kyung finds Dan Oh at the nurse’s office and encourages her to smile. Although she misses Ha Roo, getting to graduate is a good thing. Our ever crybaby Do Hwa writes a letter to his A3 brothers and cries about their friendship. This is also where Su Hyang lets Dried Squid know that she’s been self-aware all this time and he hugs her dearly. I am not crying!!😭

Having their final moment together, Baek Kyung thanks Dan Oh and she says the same to him. They didn’t need any big words as their thankfulness for each other bears significance to where they are now as friends. Baek Kyung takes his tennis ball from his locker and goes outside. As he puts his graduation diploma and ball on a ledge, he looks around the school one last time and gives a slight smile. With that, Baek Kyung’s story is complete.

Dan Oh finds a notebook that Ha Roo hid before on the ground at the old tree and discovered that this was his parting gift for her. Filled with drawings of their various moments together, she cries as she flips through the pages and remembers their precious memories. She thanks him for being her 1st love and destiny. As she reminisces about him, Dan Oh suddenly feels something and looks to the unknown.

Darkness engulfs the screen and for awhile, this must be the deep sleep that Dried Squid talked about once the comic ends.


In what seems to be a new comic book world, the class have moved on to college (with all new set-ups!). Dan Oh is seen running to class and now has long wavy hair and she looks just as pretty! Nam Ju is not liked by his legions of fangirls anymore as he has a different style of dressing (He still loves em’ strawberries). Su Chul is now dressed to impress and acts more refined with Sae Mi crushing on him hard, haha! The Y3 boys are now nerds and the nerds now have a bad boy set-up😎 Although not everyone is back in this new comic, it’s nice to see some familiar faces.

As the new Dan Oh studies in the library, she just misses a mysterious figure who happens to be in close proximity to her. When she goes outside to read a book, a butterfly rests on the page she is reading and she grows curious of it. She follows where it flies and it happened to land on a drawing that Ha Roo made in Secret of him and Dan Oh sitting on the bench of the old tree. She takes the portrait and overhears Sae Mi and the other girls talking about the same old tree being existent in the campus.

The power of love is as strong as ever as Dan Oh remembers the words she and Ha Roo exchanged in the previous comic about meeting at the tree on October 10. She meets the new Ha Roo there too and hands him the picture. Although he doesn’t respond immediately, he calls Dan Oh’s name just as she walks away. He hugs her from behind and with tears in their eyes, they express missing each other as they have finally reunited.

Thoughts

These last 2 episodes were about goodbyes and wrapping up loose ends on certain relationships. There was no stopping the comic book from ending and in everyone’s hearts, they knew that the last page was coming. Dan Oh and Ha Roo changed their fate as much as they could and they just had to trust that they’ll meet each other again one day. I wished other characters (Do Hwa, Baek Kyung) were also part of the new college comic book but we can always imagine them joining the pages at some point😊

Extraordinary You to me is a bittersweet ending because our main couple have reunited with each other, but the fact remains that the writer would have to draw them both for it to be possible. To know that the bond they made with other characters (Sae Mi, Do Hwa, Dried Squid) in the previous world are now just a memory and that they fell into a deep sleep after Secret ended is a scary loop to be stuck in. It reminds me of Goblin since a person can get reincarnated 4 times in their lifetime so everytime Ji Eun Tak dies of old age, she gets reincarnated every so years and then Kim Shin waits for her to grow up and meet again? Another new comic book signals an end too so Dan Oh and Ha Roo will have to get separated again and hope that in their next life, they’ll find each other again? Don’t get me wrong, I love that the ending makes sense from a story standpoint but it’s just not entirely a happily ever after scenario.

Still, I’m glad that Dan Oh and Ha Roo’s love was so strong that their memories carried over to their new world. They couldn’t change the world they lived in and although were defined as being mere extras, this fact did not stop them to spend their time with the people they loved and enjoy each moment in the shadow.

Extraordinary You is definitely one of my favorite kdramas of all time as it is a parallel to real life. Death is like a comic book character getting erased while meeting again someday in a new comic is the promise of an afterlife. Though there are some things we cannot change, our free will to make decisions can impact our lives significantly. I will miss Dan Oh and the gang and hope that even if they reside in a comic book world, they will live their best lives in their reality💖