Tag: tvn

Unnie Recap: Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (Episodes 1 and 2)

Read about my recommendation post for this kdrama if you’re interested in watching this😊

Episode 1

It’s nighttime at Hanyang and women all over, whether those shopping in the market or those staying at home, eagerly listen to a romance novel being read entitled Moonlight Love Affair. As each sentence is narrated, the women’s faces are filled with excitement as they squeal with delight and eagerly wait in anticipation for the next lines.

Our titular leading lady, Hae Ryung, is revealed to be reading another book (“The Sorrows of Young Werther”) inside a house to several noble women. They become appalled when they learn that the story ends with the main character’s death and they kick her out without payment for reading such a ludicrous tale. We get a glimpse of her bold character as she sneaks inside the same house to leave a couple of erotic novels for the noblewoman’s husband to discover instead as revenge.

Somewhere else in Hanyang, the scene shifts to the King’s palace. An eunuch and a court lady are caught together in a shed by a senior eunuch (Sam Bo).  While being berated, a man (Prince Lee Rim) suddenly appears before them and starts asking prying questions about their relationship. The 2 don’t recognize him but answer him anyway. It is revealed that the Prince will use their answers as research for a novel that he is writing. He seems truly intrigued with such details since he himself has no experience yet when it comes to falling in love.

When morning comes, it is revealed that Hae Ryung is actually of noble status and even when she haves a hard time conducting her book readings, she truly enjoys doing it as she learns new things. She attends a marriage preparation class, distracted and uninterested, where she is scolded for “showing off” her intelligence. Women should not speak out what they know and remain a modest being. Later that night, Hae Ryung has a drink with her brother (Jae Kyung) and expresses her frustrations about not wanting to take bridal classes anymore. Her brother explains that being an old maid could get him into trouble and that he is trying his best to find her a suitable husband. 

They are interrupted over their meal as her brother, who turns out to be a ranked official, attends an urgent meeting lead by one of the King’s advisers. He called them together to seize a particular book, The Story of Ho Dam, before it spreads all over Joseon. Jae Kyung looks worried and looks as if he does know what the book is about despite confessing that he had no knowledge about it. Ooohh, the 1st sign of conflict😏

Hae Ryung gets a clock fixed but has it stolen by a little boy in the market. She catches him redhanded and follows him back to where he lives not knowing that he is actually a slave of a rich noble. Her attempt to save him from the men who has him captive is futile but I have a feeling they’ll meet again soon.

Episode 2 

Prince Lee Rim wants to leave the palace to see for his own eyes the raw and actual reactions people have towards his book. It turns out that he is Maehwa, the famous romance novelist whose book (Moonlight Love Affair) is beloved by women. He and Sam Bo are able to leave the palace (with the permission of his older brother, Crown Prince Lee Jin) and go to a bookstore in Hanyang to fulfill his wish. He is pleased and bursting with glee as he observes different women smile and relish his book with much gusto.

As he walks inside the bookstore, he catches a look at Hae Ryung reading and is immediately smitten by her. He slowly walks up to her but is shocked when she suddenly stifles a yawn. She brutally shares her opinion that the book is boring and a waste of paper, much to the prince’s chagrin. He chases her down the street and they engage in an argument about true beauty with Hae Ryung having the last word as she tells him that the more he defends Maehwa, the more she’ll assume that he is the writer.

We are then introduced to Officer Min, who without a word goes to see the King when 2 other historians purposely made their voices louder that they were kicked out by someone who wanted to have a solo audience with the King. This is not allowed because by law, a historian ought to be present when the King converses with someone to record/transcribe their conversations.

It’s actually the adviser who called the secret meeting in the earlier episode who is talking with the King. He urges him to approve a decree to establish an Office of Banned Books and shows him the same book that he wanted to seize. The adviser is finally declared to be Officer Min’s father, second state councilor Min Ik Pyeong, as he dismisses his son.

The same thugs and noble who Hae Ryung had an encounter with are threatening the bookstore owner about being able to meet Maehwa to get more money. To avoid getting killed by them, he comes up with a plan to do a book reading by a fake Maehwa since the writer doesn’t reveal his/her face anyway. He enlists the help of Hae Ryung to pretend to be Maehwa just for 1 night; she initially refuses but when he offers to tear up the contract of the boy who is tied down as a slave, she relents.

The Office of Banned Books has been approved but the Crown Prince is furious that this passed without his consent when is already acting regent. Along with The Story of Ho Dam, unfortunately, romance novels and fiction stories are banned as well.

Hae Ryung reads Moonlight Love Affair to several female attendees in the planned book reading event. As she is signing autographs, she is surprised when a fan asks her how she came up with a specific scene in the book. She stammers for an answer and gives back the book to the fan but she was surprised when the person grabbed her hand and took a look at her. She recoils in shock probably from having someone see her actual face and recognizing that it was the man who she met at the bookstore. Prince Lee Rim is also bewildered as he remembers her to be the same woman he met at the bookstore.

Thoughts

Even in today’s society, women who are not married past a certain age are viewed as pitiful or are constantly set up with blind dates. There’s nothing wrong in wanting your loved one to find love but a woman’s worth shouldn’t be determined by their civil status. I know it was a different time back then so it’ll be exciting to see how Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung will address a woman’s independence and intelligence as an asset rather than a flaw. I’m already loving Hae Ryung’s spunkiness and how she applies the knowledge she learns in books in real life situations.

I’m not sure what the big deal is about the book that needs to be banned, but I’m guessing it’s to cover up something scandalous that happened in the past. There’s a parallel to the King and Crown Prince Lee Jin being at odds with each other as there’s also tension between the Second State Councilor and Officer Min. There’s an obvious strain in the father-son relationship and it does make me curious if Crown Prince Lee Jin really doesn’t know anything about his father’s past schemes. As for Officer Min, I feel like he is a good guy who is just doing his job but if he discovers an ugly truth, I’m on the fence on whether he will side with his father or if he’ll report the truth.

Prince Lee Rim is such an innocent, happy-go-lucky character that I want to give the actor (Cha Eun Woo) playing him the benefit of the doubt in certain scenes. His expression just switches between a surprised, doe eyed stare to a wistful smiling person. Writing is an important aspect of his character and for Hae Ryung to burst his bubble that he can have at least one critic should be a reality check for him that you can’t please everyone… and it’s okay! I can’t wait for more interactions between them as I’m certain that Hae Ryung will be influential for him to grow up.

Unnie Recommends: Hotel Del Luna

Dear guest,

A haven for the dead, Hotel Del Luna or Guest House of the Moon is an upscale purgatory for souls that have unfinished business in the realm of the living. With amenities such as a sky lounge overlooking the city, a beach where you can get a tan or swim to your heart’s content, our staff will ensure that your unfulfilled desires in your human form are achieved while you stay with us🌙

You’ll know where to find us once you’re dead. If you’re a lost soul wandering around on your own, we wish you the best in your own journey to the afterlife. We hope you have a pleasant stay with us.

-CEO Jang Man Weol

Current Impression

I’m liking what I see based on the first 2 episodes that premiered this week. Hotel Del Luna is sprinkled with various elements: From a period setting (Where the guest house was first discovered), to fantasy aspects with the hotel catering to the dead, with a dash of romcom (I’m assuming the 2 leads will form a romance), and a whole lot of horror mystery.

Our titular female is Jang Man Weol (Played by Kpop star IU), tasked to manage the supernatural home as a form of repentance for killing a number of people (Some I presume were innocent) in her past life. Not many details have been provided about her past life as the episode fastforwards into modern day Korea. She is a stylish, feisty, and full of angst kind of boss but does her job of managing the hotel well. Not dead but not fully alive, Man Weol is not your average female protagonist and I am loving it😈 Due to a deal she made with our leading man’s (Yeo Jin Goo stars as Ku Chan Seong) father where in exchange for saving his life, she gets to have Chan Seong as an adult.

Chan Seong is a smart and handsome man who works at luxury hotels as a manager. He comes back to Korea after the 20 year deadline hoping that the deal his father made has been void. Mang Weol is eager to collect what is hers and gifts him with the ability to see ghosts to give him a hard time to work properly at his other job. Yeo Jin Goo expresses more emotions here than his last kdrama (I’m talking to you My Absolute Boyfriend😠) and his kindhearted & rational character is a nice contrast to IU’s narcissistic ways.

For a human to be seeing ghosts constantly, Chan Seong is handling it pretty well. He is very reluctant in working at the hotel but due to his kind disposition and Man Weol’s coaxing, he gets entangled with Hotel Del Lunas affairs. I’m certain that he’ll play a big part in Man Weol’s journey back to her humanity but I’m not sure what’s in it for him. I have a hunch he’ll eventually replace her as the owner as she finds peace herself but let’s see what the future holds for our unlikely, bickering duo.

Hotel Del Luna is like a rest stop for lost souls who need time to do something on Earth before leaving for the afterlife. We don’t know when we’ll perish and to be given a chance to fulfill such wishes and prepare ourselves for what’s to come is comforting. Let’s look forward to a visual treat and a pleasurable stay as we check in indefinitely at Hotel Del Luna.🏰

Unnie Life Lessons: 3 Ways to Live a Colorful Life by Her Private Life

I’ll forever be a fan girl of this korean drama🙋🏻‍♀️ Once again, true love has prevailed over pettiness and past mistakes proving that we can get a picture perfect happy ending if we work for it. As Her Private Life showcased its last episode with flying colors, we’ll forever have an etch of this kdrama’s best and heartwarming moments.

Our titular fan girl (Played by Park Min Young) was a delight to watch here. And for Kim Jae Wook to play his first leading role in a romcom, he was very charismatic and of course, unbelievably handsome😂 I liked the flow of the story and how natural the love between Deok Mi and Ryan developed, although they could be in a “honeymoon” phase, how they supported and gave ample space and time for one another to deal with their respective problems is a trait that any couple can aspire to. I especially adored Ryan when he smiled and slyly observed Deok Mi with her fangirling ways, this is a man who is truly intrigued and interested with his potential partner’s interests.

I honestly didn’t want a childhood connection between Ryan and Deok Mi because this story didn’t need that kind of plot device to work. Them falling in love as 2 random adults who got to know each other is more epic for me because in today’s world, dating can be messy. The predicament that Deok Mi’s mom was actually the one who left Ryan for adoption did add more drama and depth to the show which lead to further character growth for the characters involved. But even if this wasn’t the case, the show would still be a masterpiece.

For a brief recap of Her Private Life, please check out my previous post to catch up.

Unnie Life Lessons

1. No matter how hard your day can get, you are still a living, breathing, dynamic human being. Your work, although to some extent describes you, it does not define who you are.

  • Deok Mi had a hard day at work and although she loves being a curator at an art gallery, the presence of bad days and unfair judgement never escapes work life. It’s easy to say these words but actually doing something about it is a very different and difficult matter but try.
  • This life lesson is not meant to mock art or any other profession but it’s no secret that we value our jobs as a standard of our worth. We can be a loyal and loving person who enjoys listening to music and exercise. We enjoy the company of our friends over coffee or hanging out at a party and still be diligent enough to budget and make the monthly rent — such aspects and characteristics are what make you a worthy person, regardless of work or life problems.
  • Let go of the worries and blames (if there are) and know that there is a next time for you to further improve and do better! You can’t beat yourself up on making a mistake at work or plunge into a “victim mentality” state of mind as both are unhealthy. Just like Deok Mi, believe in your worth and live a good life💫

2. Let your loved ones know you care about them whenever you can. Declare it in words, show it thru your actions, or a simple conversation is enough to show someone that they matter to you.

  • Deok Mi and Ryan were upset about a painting that was damaged and ended up in a storage center. She urged him that they shouldn’t end up like that and encouraged them to adore and take interest in each other.
  • We can show our loved ones that we care for them in many ways. One doesn’t need to be overly affectionate or use social media to declare their care (not that there’s anything wrong with this), but small everyday acts such as informing your parents about your plans or a question about your friend’s life eventually leading to a conversation is enough to show that their presence matters to you.
  • We can get caught up in our own turmoil & misery that sometimes we forget to think of others. Although there’s nothing wrong in taking care of ourselves first, remember that your family and friends are people you can lean on to for help or just have a random chat with. Take a breather and show someone their importance in your life; time is fleeting, don’t let the days take away your opportunity to be there for others.

3. Everyone has a unique perspective on things. A setback for someone can be seen as an opportunity for someone else, as a problem can be approached by anger/fear or compassion/calmness, there’s always a choice to look and act on things differently.

  • Just because we interpret events or circumstances in a distinct manner doesn’t mean that another person’s thoughts are wrong. Ryan viewed the paintings of bubbles above as sad and ready to burst at any moment but Deok Mi saw these as a symbol of hope that can fly up at the sky instead. We ought to respect how other people view things even if it is a grim or sadder approach, we don’t know the root of such thoughts but there must be a valid reason for their way of thinking. But personally, I think it’s okay to encourage people like them (If you are one yourself) to try and look at events in their lives with a more positive outlook. 
  • Positive doesn’t mean ignoring the emotions of hardships to focus on happier thoughts but rather trying our best to not stay in a place of fear and worry. Being sad is okay, it means that we are aware of the unpredictability of life and that not everything goes the way we want it to happen. Give them (or yourself) time to process their own emotions and even if you still don’t see things eye to eye, you are still unique individuals who respect each other’s thoughts and enjoy one another’s company. 

  • The life lesson above also applies to Ryan respecting Deok Mi’s fangirl devotion. He may not fully understand her passion for Cha Shi An (A kpop star who happens to be his stepbrother), but he never once let her feel humiliated or belittled because of this. We may not comprehend another person’s interests but we can learn to appreciate & respect these because our loved one’s admiration for it. 

*Bonus:

Deviating from our main couple, Her Private Life also highlighted the importance of forgiveness. I think Ryan tops the ranks for apologizing in this kdrama as he was never prideful to not say sorry when it was needed. I was surprised given how his character was set up to be high and mighty especially when it came to critiquing different artworks.

Saying sorry is a hard thing to do because you’re admitting to your mistakes but Ryan didn’t hesitate to say it. If he can forgive his real mom for years of abandonment and Deok Mi’s mom for giving him up for adoption, we certainly can learn a thing or two from him.

**

Her Private Life has all the makings of a romantic comedy with great leads, an equally talented supporting cast, humorous scenes, heartfelt moments, and that hint of drama to spice up the story. Our lives are filled with different and contrasting colors: Some shine bright while others have little light, but when painted together, it emanates a beautiful and unique entity that makes you, YOU👩🏻‍🎨