Tag: hi bye mama kim tae hee

Unnie Recap: Best Kdrama Heroines of 2020

Can I start by saying that who would’ve thought we’d make it this far?😅 To say that 2020 is the toughest year in our lives is an understatement, but we’re finally here, a new year that hopefully is filled with better and brighter experiences for all of us. I’m so glad that despite this pandemic, kdramas continued to roll out keeping us entertained (and sane!) for the most part of last year. From an avid fan, thank you to all the hardworking actors/actresses and staff for making it possible.

Top 5 Heroines of 2020

1. Cha Yu-ri (Hi, Bye, Mama!)

Happily married with a baby on the way, Cha Yu-ri had a full life ahead of her. An accident takes her away from her family and friends but she lived on as a ghost for 5 years observing and staying by her daughter’s, Seo Woo, side. In a twist of fate, she suddenly becomes human again and has the chance to stay on Earth if she finds her place with her family. Easy enough right? Nope! Her husband, Gang-hwa, has remarried and Seo Woo of course doesn’t remember her at all. The plot may sound like a heavy tearjerker but the show has some comedic and lighter moments that balances the somber mood the story entails. Yu-ri doesn’t take for granted her second chance and spends her days bonding with Seo Woo and tending to the unhealed wounds of the loved ones she left behind with her untimely death.

A tale about forgiveness, moving on, and finding happiness once again, Hi, Bye, Mama! will teach us a lot about living our everyday to the fullest. Sharing with you the Hi, Bye, Mama! life lessons our lovely mama has imparted to me in her journey back to the realm of humans!

2. Woo Do Hee (Dinner Mate)

Who doesn’t love the B-rated comedy producer of 2N Box? Smart, fierce, and confident, Woo Do Hee was such a 21st century female lead that we can relate to and admire. Proving that third time’s the charm, she fell in love with her dinner mate turned boyfriend (Hae Kyung) at an unexpected but welcome moment in her life. She’s confident and can handle problems on her own, but she doesn’t always have it together and succumbs to the occasional breakdown due to life’s challenges. We lose our way sometimes but it’s important, like Do Hee, to get back up and deal with our personal problems head on. For a show that centers around having dinner together, I find that there are other kdramas that feature food more prominently as a theme. I did however, enjoy Dinnermate‘s own interpretation of how eating together can bring comfort to people.

Dinnermate kdrama was a fun one to watch to and I have to credit it to her and the leading man’s chemistry. It was a joy to fawn over Do Hee and Hae Kyung’s blossoming relationship as they started out as merely strangers turned dinner mates. There’s a special bonus in one of the episodes too where the actress briefly reprises her role as Seo Dan in Crash Landing on You, hehe!

3. Seo Dal Mi (Start-Up)

Considered to be one of the most popular kdramas in 2020, Start-up’s Seo Dal Mi takes a seat in my top heroines list as the self-taught and hardworking CEO of Cheongmyeong Company. Her journey towards success was riddled with challenges and setbacks, but she pushed through with the hopes of following in her dad’s footsteps and achieving her own goals. Even if she sometimes puts herself in a pickle by faking her confidence, she doesn’t give up and still find ways to rally back. This was a refreshing kdrama that focused on the beginnings of start-up businesses trying to catch a break in an arena of fierce competition and evolving technologies. A lot of technical terms were used in the show but were explained the best they can, the notable feature of a Google-like place called “Sandbox” serves to inspire us that anyone can fulfill their life dreams (with hard work of course) because chances to prove ourselves do exist.

The most talked about aspect of the show was the love triangle of Dal Mi, Nam Do San, and Mr. Han Ji Pyeong (#teamgoodboy) that divided fans on who to root for. Please do read my Start-Up kdrama introduction post on the show to know a bit more about the backstory. I read feedback that a lot of viewers didn’t like how the plot progressed in the latter half of the show and that a lot of people were rooting for Mr. Han (like me), but I honestly liked the korean drama until the end. Aside from her romantic choices, I really liked how they portrayed Dal Mi as a start-up newbie who read books, asked for a professional’s help, and really made the effort to learn the business that she was going into to become a legit boss💃🏻

4. Gu Ra Ra (Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol)

She is naive and innocent as they come, but Gu Ra Ra’s honest and happy-go-lucky personality wins over the hearts of strangers around her. I love how she isn’t afraid to apologize for a misunderstanding and sings you praises when she’s happy because you can feel the sincerity in her words. Even in tumultuous times, she still has a smile on her face and spreads a good energy around her that people naturally want to help her out. Despite the show starting with a tragedy prompting Ra Ra to start anew and move to Eunpo City, the good-natured people Ra Ra met there and finding true love with a cutesy love story made Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol kdrama an easygoing and fun show. The true tragedy this show had was its ending which I published a separate entry about because it peeved me that much, haha!

I know I criticized the show for this very thing that in reality, it’s too good to be true to helped out by a handsome guy (haha) regarding all your troubles but hey, this is a kdrama. Ra Ra has a pure heart and I can only hope to be as good as her in both the good and bad times of life🎶 I urge you to still try watching Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol kdrama though and get caught up with Ra Ra’s infectious melody of good vibes and no-worry way of life tunes.

5. Lim Ju Kyung (True Beauty)

This was tough for me to choose just because the last heroine, just like the previous year, starred in a kdrama that had only been airing a couple of weeks since it premiered in December. Simultaneous good shows premiered last month alone and I honestly liked each and every protagonist’s personality. This got me thinking to permanently reserve this last spot for December korean drama leading women to be fair because their shows only have a few weeks of exposure before the year ends.

Ultimately, I chose to go with Lim Ju Kyung from True Beauty kdrama as she sets out to find her self-confidence beyond the confines of her brush and mascara. It’s a classic tale of ugly ducking turns into a swan but in this case, the duck is only wearing a swan costume to disguise the fact that she’s still a duck, haha! High school student Ju Kyung was bullied in her previous school for being “ugly” and she turns to make-up for help. When she transfers to a new school, she ends up having to hide her real identity more as she gains the attention of new friends and 2 leading men vying for her affection. I honestly think the show downplays the mental health effects bullying can have on a person, but it still has a lot of episodes left to showcase how one can heal and move forward from such a traumatic experience.

True Beauty kdrama is a coming-of-age story where Ju Kyung will learn that her real beauty lies within and she shouldn’t be ashamed or have to cover up how she truly looks to anyone. I have no qualms of her using make-up to boost her confidence, but I hope she breaks free of the stigma that she needs to be dolled up to be accepted by her peers. My second lead syndrome heart is beating strong here too as I hope she ends up with Seo Jun, hihi!


I’d like to think that all kdramas exist in a multiverse not so far away, where every character from each show is living their lives, well and happy, beyond the final episode. As always, I’m excited for the new shows that’ll premiere this year and will look forward to meeting more characters that’ll leave a mark in my heart💕

Unnie Life Lessons: Mama Knows Best by Hi, Bye, Mama!

Is there a limit to what you can do for the ones you love? Putting them first, sacrificing your own needs and wants, letting them go to have the life they want to live? Cha Yu-ri, the main protagonist of Hi, Bye, Mama!, shows us that love is truly unconditional — not just as a parent, but also as a daughter, sibling, friend, and even as a ghostly spirit.

With the ongoing covid 19 pandemic paralyzing our daily lifestyle, it’s become common for us to slow down and have more time to reflect on what we’ve done so far in our x years of existence. Life is short, oh we know, but to someone like Yu-ri who died abruptly and was given a chance to start anew — she realized so much more than the living can adhere to.

Start watching or check out my Hi, Bye, Mama! recaps to get to know more about this kdrama!💃🏻

Mama’s Tips

1. Eating good food, going out or being able to hug your loved ones are actions that we can take for granted because we can do it anytime, easily. Learn to appreciate these simple acts of living and be thankful for every chance that you can do these.

  • No one in the world can predict their own death. Although we are told by quotes, reminded by a friend or older relative, and so on that we shouldn’t take things for granted, we can’t help but give little meaning to eating out, working, or being able to talk with friends because it’s easy. Let’s take a conscious effort to slow down and reflect on these beautiful acts of love and care.
  • I’ve read advice expressing that the everyday, mundane parts of life are all you need to live a good life. Let’s not wait until the certainty of these experiences become fractured — relish these moments now.

2. Even if it’s not in your presence anymore, letting your loved ones go and allowing them to find their own source of strength and hope is the best kind of love you can give.

  • Gang-hwa remarrying was never an issue for Yu-ri, either when she was a ghost or when she reincarnated, because she knew that she couldn’t console him any longer when she died. Seeing him get better and move on with Min Jeong was something that she will always be grateful for. Even if it meant the love of her life found somebody new, as long as he wasn’t in pain, she accepted it well.
  • It’s natural to think of ourselves first whenever we make decisions. But at the end of the day, it’s still easier for us to give way to someone we love because seeing them happy trumps the knowledge of them being miserable. Even to her own daughter (Seo Woo), Yu-ri never coveted the position of being her mom because she was thankful that Min Jeong took care of Seo Woo. Yu-ri was content in being able to spend time with her and know that Seo Woo liked her company as well.

3. Time can heal wounds. How long or how short can’t be determined but as long as you try, beautiful memories will replace the painful ones. Moving on with your life is something that you should strive to do when you need to.

  • Losing Yu-ri was a tragedy but five years gone, the people closest to Yu-ri were moving on with their lives without her. Although her mom did pray to see her once more, she still carried on with her everyday life without her eldest daughter. The unending pain that you feel will slowly dissipate with time, don’t give up. As long as you exert an effort to process the wounds, even as small as eating a meal or as big as trying to work or date again, better days will bless your presence.
  • As pointed out by Yu-ri, she didn’t want her loved ones to feel guilty in moving forward with their lives. We may forget about deceased family members, good friends we lost touch with through the years, or fun experiences, but we’ll never truly lose such memories because the impact they made in our lives are too significant.

Hi, Bye, Mama! kdrama was an emotional rollercoaster for me and though it had its depressing moments, the overall mood of the show aims to uplift our spirits with hope and healing. This post is long overdue, but it’s been a struggle for me to write about something positive when I myself have been feeling the ups and downs of being in quarantine.

There is no perfect formula on how to cope and move on but we can always try. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and never forget that:

Life is unpredictable. Live yours to the fullest — make sacrifices, learn from mistakes, cry, laugh to your heart’s content! It’s a wild but fulfilling journey, don’t worry, you’ll get through it😊

Unnie Recap: Hi, Bye, Mama! (Episodes 9 – 10)

Determined to get rid of any ghost lurking near Seo Woo, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Yu-ri and Min Jeong as their paths cross more often now. As her days dwindle down, Yu-ri is still determined to leave but will her family, or even Gang-hwa talk some sense into her once they know the truth? A mysterious figure also appears this week that’ll rattle our ghosts’ status quo in holding off from leaving their loved ones!

Episode 9

Another flashback takes us to a time where Yu-ri comforted Gang-hwa whenever he went through something disstressing. For a long time after Yu-ri’s death, she knows that she can’t console him like she used to anymore. One night as he was drinking alone at a tent bar (Pojangmacha), Min Jeong joins him on a table to eat. As Yu-ri watches Gang-hwa light up from Min Jeong’s company, she smiles at the fact that this could be start of his road to recovery.

Yu-ri’s mom (Mrs. Jeon) faints from the sight of her and is taken to a hospital. When she comes to, Gang-hwa is the 1st person she sees as she recalls having seen her eldest daughter again. She sees Yu-ri behind Gang-hwa and though words can’y fully comprehend their what they must be feeling, they both sob and hug each other dearly. Her dad and sister (Yeon Ji) also see Yu-ri for the 1st time after arriving at the hospital and are dumbfounded with her presence. Since Hyeon Jeong and Yu-ri never got to finish their conversation, the former is a mess trying to process the truth of what Yu-ri has said. I can’t imagine my best friend saying that she’s willing to give up her own life because she knows that her family has moved on without her😢

Finally back home, Yu-ri’s family squeeze themselves into a bed to hug her tight and never let her go. She checks her own room and finds that her things were left as they were, even seeing some baby stuff intended for Seo Woo on top of her dresser. Before leaving the house, she sees a prescription by Gang-hwa stuck on their front gate. It’s revealed that Gang-hwa took the path of a thoracic surgeon so that he can do check-ups on her mom intending to take care of her. Aww! Even after Yu-ri’s death, he still checks up on her records even after Mrs. Jeon has switched doctors.

In other ghostly news, a famous baseball player who resides in the crematorium named Kang Bin takes the spotlight this episode as his death was ruled to be suicide. He’s all over the news for a match fixing scandal but apparently showed no signs of suicide, even Keun Sang is interviewed on TV for this because he was the one who assessed him.

It’s the 1st day on the job as Yu-ri is excited to spend the day with Seo Woo as her pick-up helper and to get rid of the ghost in the apartment. She doesn’t realize Seo Woo’s schedule though as she has a full day of attending extracurricular classes. Yu-ri is pleasantly surprised when she is given a gift: an egg with Seo Woo’s drawing on it.

It seems that Mr. Kim’s story isn’t over yet as he waits to go up with his boss, Mr. Baek. He confesses to another ahjumma ghost, Mi-Ja, that Mr. Baek was the only one who lent him money when Hye Su was a kid and needed an operation to treat a 3rd degree burn on her leg. Wow, so that’s why Mr. Kim has been so patient and understanding to him because of this! That night, Mr. Baek finally talks with Mr. Kim admitting that he’s been a bully to him all this time because he was jealous of Mr. Kim. This is because Mr. Baek’s children don’t care about him and is only concerned with his inheritance. Mr. Kim comforts him and says that he has done something good and that is give his daughter, Hye Su, a good life to live🥺

Our mama is overjoyed with the gift Seo Woo gave her, but looks a little sad when she witnesses Seo Woo giving Min Jeong an egg as well but with more details compared to hers. She doesn’t feel too bad for long though as her goal to go to the apartment is her focus. Min Jeong feels bad when she declines Yu-ri’s offer to further babysit Seo Woo at the apartment so the former in the end decides to invite her to their home. This doesn’t look good for Gang-hwa, haha! When the husband arrives at home, he immediately rushes to go out again (Probably from seeing Yu-ri inside) but is caught by Min Jeong. He makes an excuse about having a lot of work and confines himself to his study for the remainder of the night.

Unsuccessful on her first day in catching the ghost, Yu-ri insists that she can play with Seo Woo at home the next day instead of at the playground. She almost forgets to take the egg home with her and goes back to the apartment to retrieve the precious gift. Little do they know that Gang-hwa is already in the kitchen and eating the eggs as we speak, oh no!😅 He is about to finish the remaining egg as he puts it into his mouth, but gets the shock of his life when the 3 girls all simultaneously react to him eating the egg, hahaha! Yu-ri reacts the most violently and Min Jeong looks at her with an astonished expression.

Episode 10

On voiceover, Min Jeong recalls the time where she assures Gang-hwa that she was quitting work so she could take care of Seo Woo. She didn’t realize how challenging it would be to do so at the time and gets bothered when the nosy moms gossip about her not being Seo Woo’s real mom.

Back at the scene of the crime, Gang-hwa is forced to hurl the egg out of his mouth because of the girls’ outbursts, hahaha! Min Jeong contemplates on Yu-ri’s over-the-top reaction to him eating the egg but Gang-hwa defends her saying that he would have shouted at himself too. On the other side of town, Keun Sang is also facing an eggy situation himself as his car was thrown with eggs by Kang Bin’s fangirls. They are upset with him because they feel like he misdiagnosed the baseball player and wasn’t able to detect that he was suicidal. Keun Sang wonders what truly happened since he is adamant that he didn’t exhibit any symptoms of suicide when he went for a consultation.

Finally alone at the apartment the next day, Yu-ri commences her quest to find the local ghost. Yu-ri is hesitant to go inside the married couple’s room, feeling awkward that she’s intruding on Min Jeong and Gang-hwa’s personal space. She goes inside anyway sensing the ghost and finally catches him with the help of Mi Dong’s staff (the one with bells) but is surprised to find another ghost inside! Omo, it’s a special cameo by Kim Seul Gi who reprises her role from a previous hit kdrama Oh My Ghost, hahaha!👻 For those who haven’t watched that show, she plays a virgin ghost who tries to possess women’s bodies to sleep with men. She admits about her failed attempt to take control of Min Jeong’s body because she’s so strong-willed, hehe💋

Yu-ri finally completes her mission by getting rid of the virgin ghost with Mi Dong’s help and sending the other ghost to Pil Seung’s place, hahaha! Poor guy as he gets beaten up by the Jang family seeing him there. Yu-ri is still worried on the off chance that Seo Woo might still see ghosts after her 49 days are up and Mi Dong tells her that her child might end up as a shaman if that happens.

Unable to avoid her best friend any longer, Yu-ri finally admits that she’s been a ghost all this time and that it’s her fault that Seo Woo sees ghosts. Hyeon Jeong has a hard time processing this but it does coincide with her suspicions on why Yu-ri doesn’t want to take her place back with her family as well as knowing Min Jeong so well. Watching Min Jeong be the light of her family, it’s like Yu-ri gained a new friend who she wanted to cheer on and root for.

Before the night ends, Min Jeong, Yu-ri, along with Hyeon Jeong, end up drinking at the latter’s restaurant. It’s a weird aura with the 3 of them together but they eventually open up about how they feel with each other. Min Jeong divulges that she is curious about Yu-ri as someone who looks like Seo Woo’s mom and that she’s envious of Hyeon Jeong and Yu-ri’s friendship because she pushed away her own friends. Such an unlikely bond forms between them that it makes me happy to see Min Jeong open herself up to other people😊 She ends up getting the most drunk though and Gang-hwa is called over to the restaurant to fetch her. With Yu-ri and Min Jeong drunk, Gang-hwa is seemingly torn on who to prioritize (Poor guy!) but of course tends to his wife first. Yu-ri sobers up when Min Jeong calls Gang-hwa “My husband” but pretends to still be drunk anyway. She sneaks a longing peek as husband and wife walk away and for a brief moment, I know she must have felt a little pain seeing them leave together.

Checking on his therapy progress, Dr. Jang questions why Gang-hwa hasn’t gotten treated for his hands yet. The truth is that Gang-hwa feels guilty getting himself treated because it’s the last thing that reminds him of Yu-ri’s death. Oh damn🥺 A phone call from Yu-ri interrupts Gang-hwa’s dazed state as he hears her panicked voice and overhears another person declaring an accident has occurred. Running out of his office as if his life depended on it, he rushes to go to the emergency room to find her.


A dark figure looms over Mi Dong’s front door as he tells her that he never heard back from her. Uh oh, is this the Grim Reaper?😈 (It’s another special cameo by Yang Kyung Won from Crash Landing on You)

Thoughts

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Yu-ri to let go of her right to be Seo Woo’s mom and just try to accept that Min Jeong is the mom her own child recognizes. It’s touching to see her gratefulness to the unlikeliest of people, Seo Woo’s stepmom, because it shows how mature and unselfish Yu-ri is when it comes to her family’s well-being. It’s nice to see Min Jeong being drawn to Yu-ri as well, despite having insecurities from time to time, that she welcomes her presence in her and Gang-hwa’s life. If our OG couple don’t end up together, I sincerely hope that Gang-hwa gets an affirmation from Yu-ri to truly move forward with his life and get himself treated.

Like with Seo Woo, Yu-ri is content with Gang-hwa in the arms of another woman because she knows what he had to go through without her. Again though, it must be weird to feel like an outsider in the place where you once called home and to have the love of your life avoid you like the plague when he sees you there. I just want Yu-ri to be happy, is that too much to ask?

With the introduction of the new character, I know he’ll stir up the crematorium’s ghosts and even meddle with Yu-ri’s existence. We’ll have to wait and see on whether or not he actually knocks some sense into Yu-ri to finding a way to stay alive or further solidify her belief to leave.