Tag: korean drama

Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 3 and 4)

With the startling revelation of her true role, how will Dan Oh handle her life as an extra? There’s more than meets the eye with in this comic book world and if anyone can get to the bottom of things, it’s our lovely heroine supporting character Dan Oh!😅

Episode 3

Scurrying towards the school kitchen again, Dan Oh gets a hold of the comic book before Dried Squid can get to it. She finally reads the introductory page and confirms the fact that she is indeed just an extra character with her image belonging on that side of the category. With her being self-aware, she admits that her classmates’ names were kind of surreal. She argues with Dried Squid that she doesn’t want to be an extra and badmouths the writer incessantly for making her that way.

Before she can rant any further, Dan Oh is transported to an intended scene in a painting room. She is irritated at the fact that her existence is only to help Nam Ju and Ju Da get together. This is proven when she tripped going to the front of the room to be the model and she knocked over a pen to the floor, only to have Nam Ju and Ju Da simultaneously pick it up and touch hands. When the class focuses on Nam Ju’s beautiful drawing of Ju Da, Dan Oh starts doing wacky poses to get their attention. She accidentally breaks one of the plaster casts situated behind her and breaks another one as well, but a page turning sound erupts and the scene of her just sitting down to model is restarted.

Dan Oh is curious on what happened and has a bone to pick with Dried Squid about it. Probably tired of her rants, he takes out a diorama that looks like their high school and explains the rules of the comic book world:

  1. Stage – Characters say and does things according to what the writer wants. In essence, this is the the main flow of the story. This is why Dan Oh hears a page turning sound and suddenly becomes timid to Baek Kyung or is accommodating to Ju Da in certain scenes.
  2. Shadow – This is outside the stage where unwritten scenes are yet to be created. Characters can move and act freely in this space since the next scenes are undetermined at this point in time.

Dried Squid warns Dan Oh that despite being self aware, things always go back to the way the writer wants to happen in the stage. She basically declares war on the writer and decides that her fate lies in her own hands.

More unfortunate than being a character who does things to further the main couple’s love story is the fact that Dan Oh has to put up with Baek Kyung constantly taking his anger out on her. She knows that he’s a jerk but can’t do anything since it’s her character’s fate to be blindly in love with him. Dan Oh is appalled that she’s talking to him so nicely when he is clearly harassing her; despite her thoughts wanting to talk back at him, the stage scene ends with her heart aching and looking pitiful. Because of this, she vows not to give up on taking control of her life.

Feeling down, Dan Oh wonders if she would have been happier if she was just not self aware like her classmates. Ultimately though, she dismisses the thought because she knows she is happier now knowing about her current state. She gets another vision into the future of her breaking her leg because she cushioned herself to protect Ju Da from falling down the school stairs. A memory of Dried Squid telling her that the “future” she witnesses is called a storyboard: A rough sketch of what the writer is planning to write next. He also adamantly reminds her that even if she foresees such events and tries to change it, things will always go back to the stage’s intended scenes. What a bummer!😕

Episode 4

The next day at school, Dan Oh spots Ju Da dancing while cleaning their classroom. The other member of A3, Lee Do Hwa, walks by and also sees her saying that she’s cute and is different from other girls. Dan Oh teases him that he fell in love at first sight with Ju Da, but technically this is the 2nd time since he was admiring her in the library the other day too. She goes on one of her famous monologues again and tells Do Hwa that 2nd leads always fall short but there are readers who appreciate his role. He doesn’t understand her babbling, haha, and only gazes back at Ju Da.

Try as she might, Dan Oh fails to set the stage her way as the storyboard she saw plays out with her and Sae Mi conveniently positioned at the middle of the stairway. She tries to move away from her position but her body stays in place. Nam Ju walks by but retreats when his horde of fangirls, including Sae Mi, flock to him. Ju Da walks by as well and as Dan Oh pleads in her mind for the events to change, mysterious guy walks past her down the steps. Dan Oh’s watch begins to beep and she finds herself drawn to him. She is somehow able to move her body this time and follows him but Sae Mi pushes Ju Da, consequently pushing Dan Oh, down the stairs. This time though, her fall is cushioned by mystery guy!

Before she gets a glimpse of his face though, she faints from the accident and when she opens her eyes, she is inside the nurse’s room. Instead of wearing a cast like the storyboard, she has a gauze on her leg instead. Dan Oh looked incredulous when Nam Ju made a big deal of Sae Mi pushing Ju Da since the latter only has a small bandaid on her leg, haha! It was the perfect opportunity for Nam Ju to tell Ju Da to stay by his side as not to get hurt.

Dan Oh teases Do Hwa for standing outside the nurse’s room, obviously concerned about Ju Da’s well-being, just like a good 2nd lead is supposed to act. When she sees Do Hwa’s back, the flashback of her falling onto mystery guy gives her an idea. She bumps her own back against Do Hwa’s to test her theory, but since her heart isn’t reacting, she knows that he is not the mystery guy. She is hopeful again and thinks that her fate can change if she meets him.

Our determined extra hilariously bumps her back against every guy that she encounters, much to their unwarranted surprise, so that she can find her mystery guy. She teases Do Hwa that Ju Da is at the schoolyard and their connection develops a little bit. After several unsuccessful tries, Dan Oh becomes tired and decides that he can come find her instead and joins in on the class’s dodgeball session. On the sidelines, Nam Ju and Ju Da continue to flirt as their romance develops too.

Dan Oh tries her best to get hit with the ball, hoping mystery guy will save her from being hit. Right on cue, he blocks her from getting hit and her head lies on his left arm. Her watch starts to beep again but before she sees his face once again, a page turning sound is made and Dan Oh realizes she is back in the classroom. Ugh, so close! Another stage scene is set up and Dan Oh is stuck lying down on a bed inside the nurse’s room. Ju Da is locked inside by Sae Mi and the other girls but once the scene is over, Dan Oh gets up and unlocks the door. I suppose she can do this because she’s not meant to be locked in yet she stops Ju Da from getting out because she knows Nam Ju is the one meant to rescue her.

Another attempt is made by the mean girls to humiliate Ju Da (I guess this is the sole reason for their existence) and ever the persistent one, Dan Oh tries to prevent another accident from happening. Ju Da ends up being splashed by a bucket of water despite Dan Oh shielding her from it with an umbrella. Dried Squid’s words that nothing will change resonates within her and she is irritated at her situation in this world.

After walking around and remembering that mystery guy is the one who helped her out with the fallen books, Dan Oh heads for the library. She smiles spritely and goes outside again when she catches a glimpse of what looks to be her mystery guy at the garden. No one is around but she notices the umbrella that she used awhile ago stuck on a branch and she tries to get it. As fate would have it, mystery guy ends up helping her. She runs to catch up with him, opening the umbrella in the process. The mystery guy looks back at her, just as she raises the umbrella high enough to finally behold at the person who can change her destiny.

Thoughts

Have I already mentioned how much I adore Dan Oh as a lead character?❤️ Her determination to be more than an extra and her monologues of talking to herself is adorable for me. It must be frustrating to do something you don’t want but have no say in changing it. I know that this just means Baek Kyung’s father is not intentionally hurting him, and so is Baek Kyung to Dan Oh — it just so happens to be their character arc. But even if they don’t purposely mean to be harsh, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t painful when being told off nonetheless.

For someone who just found out that she’s an extra in a comic book world, I think she’s still handling it better than most people would, haha! Mystery guy must be another supporting character who gained consciousness and from the snippets of scenes we were given, it seems that he has taking a liking to Dan Oh. What if he is able to change her stage scenes because they are a potential separate love story? As much as I want Dan Oh to succeed in changing her status by herself, I suppose a little help won’t hurt.

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 Recommends: Gender Switch Shenanigans for The Tale of Nokdu

Pretending to be a member of the opposite sex usually falls as a woman’s responsibility in Joseon dynasty shows, but this kdrama has a male take center stage for a gender role reversal👨🏻👉🏻👩🏻 Based on the webcomic Nokdujeon, Jang Dong Yoon pretends to be a woman to infiltrate a widowers only village to find the people that are hunting him and his family.

Before I go any further, can I just say that Jang Dong Yoon is beautiful as a girl?😍 You’ll enjoy this korean drama, The Tale of Nokdu, as the first few episodes dives right into the story and features Jang Dong Yoon’s character, Jeon Nok Du, struggle to fit in as a woman, deal with his first romance, and at the same time find his enemies.

Current Impression

Living on a remote island, Nok Du and his family are attacked by masked assassins. He manages to fight them off and slashes the legs of one of them who he finds out is a woman. Against his father’s wishes, he chases after her all the way to Hanyang. He meets Dong Ju (Kim So Hyun’s character) at a bad timing but helps her get out of a sticky situation that involved almost killing the King. In his quest to find the person responsible, he ends up disguising himself as Ms. Kim when he discovers that a secret group is inside the village: Ordinary women by day, mercenaries at night.

Having watched his previous kdramas (School 2017 and A Poem, A Day), I’m so happy that Dong Yoon is finally the leading man this time. He is smart and determined to achieve his goals as he thinks of ways to become chummy with the girls who he suspects is involved with the secret group. Nok Du is the funniest when he gets awkward and stammers to avoid eye contact when the girls of the village are so casual in taking off their clothes. It’s a stark contrast for women who disguise themselves as men because while they need to come off smug and strong, Nok Du tries his best to be reserved and keep his physical distance from the women😅

Dong Ju is a reluctant gisaeng in training at the widowers village. It’s not yet explained whose side she is aligned with because although she tried to assassinate the King, it seems like she isn’t part of the secret women’s group. Her character is a bit of a troublemaker and does things her own way, even cutting off her long hair to save another girl from being taken away. She and Nok Du end up as roommates and fight like cats and dogs, but asks later on if she could treat him as an older sister — which makes me think that she’s lonely and doesn’t have a real friend in the village. I’m curious about her backstory and hope that she can shine as an individual in this kdrama!

We’ll have to see when or how the women will find out that Nok Du is a man, but even if he’s been kind or isn’t a pervert, I’m sure the consequences will be hilarious and bad for him🤣 I have a feeling that the mystery surrounding Nok Du’s true identity could be similar with another kdrama (I’m looking at you Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency) where Nok Du is of royalty but let’s wait and see if my hunch is correct.

The Tale of Nokdu narrated its first few chapters with fun, laughter, and a little danger. Let’s enjoy our hero’s journey and watch his eventual happy ending unfold weekly😁