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Unnie Recap: Extraordinary You (Episodes 5 and 6)

Finally finding her mystery guy/fate changer, can Dan Oh really change the course of her supporting character trajectory with his help? More things are happening around the comic book than Dan Oh thinks as she gets another unlikely source of help in this week’s episodes!

Episode 5

Because of course things don’t always go her way, Dan Oh is transported to the hospital before she can introduce herself to her mystery guy. She and Do Hwa talk on a bench outside and she immediately heads back inside once their stage conversation ended. He mentions that it isn’t cute what she did when she bumped her back against the boys in school and she she stops on her tracks. Dan Oh tells him all the same things that she experienced when she first became self aware and Do Hwa doesn’t deny it. She bumped her head against his and his nose started bleeding, but she confidently told him that everything will restart anyway once the story proceeds. He recognizes the truth in her words when he goes to talk to his brother (Dan Oh’s doctor) and his nose is fine.

The next day at school, Dan Oh runs into mystery guy and discovers that he is her classmate. He doesn’t have a name on his uniform nor in the yearbook and she wistfully thinks that he must be more insignificant than her to not even have a name. Do Hwa has his own moment with Ju Da too where he was crying while playing the violin and they were able to talk for a bit.

Later that night in the shadow, Dan Oh and Dried Squid are talking to each other in the school kitchen. Do Hwa finally finds them after going back and forth of transporting to different scenes. Dan Oh gives him the comic book to clarify his misunderstandings because like her, he also assumed that he’s the main character. When he reads the pages, he gets the picture that it’s Nam Ju and Ju Da’s romance. Before they can discuss further, Dan Oh is transported to her own stage scene and has to hear from her doctor that she doesn’t have long to live due to her heart condition getting worse. She doesn’t give up though and tells herself that she can still the stage no matter what.

Now known as No. 13 because of his jersey number, Dan Oh sees mystery guy sitting on a bench the following day. Do Hwa comes up to her and feels much better, seemingly accepting his 2nd lead role with ease. Dan Oh has another vision of a storyboard where she knocks over a box of dried ice in the laboratory and sees No. 13 in the scene. She goes to find him and keeps reintroducing herself because like an unaware character, he most likely won’t remembe her. She instructs him to hold the box so it doesn’t fall over. No. 13 is not much of a talker and he quietly just listens and gazes at Dan Oh all the while she’s talking.

As envisioned, the stage plays out the scene in the lab. She signals for him to come near her when Nam Ju goes closer to Ju Da and they both retreat backwards. No. 13 manages to stop the box behind Dan Oh from spilling, but instead accidentally pushed the box on his right side. Nam Ju is able to steer Ju Da away from the spilled dried ice as they both hit the floor. Dan Oh is uncertain if she did change the story but to me, that’s a win on her part💪🏻

Episode 6

A hot topic for Seuli high school lately is the much awaited class school trip. The venue will take place in Korea this year and Do Hwa declares that it’s because of him that Nam Ju decided to do this. He helped Ju Da with a mean customer in the place that she was working part-time the night prior at and even accompanied her home. Nam Ju saw this development and probably got jealous, so he decided to spend more time with Ju Da by making the school trip free.

Dan Oh and No. 13 have their own moment at the nurse’s office when she tends to a cut on his hand. He also sterilizes a wound on her knee and she repeats her name to him. In a series of events, Dan Oh keeps introducing herself to No. 13 so that he’ll remember her, an admirable effort but if she only knew that he’s self aware of himself, haha😼

As a page turning sound is made, Dan Oh finds herself waiting to go to their school trip’s destination. She is ecstatic that she is able to go this time, but is devastated when she discerns that her role there is to get humiliated (again) by Baek Kyung. He stomps on a keychain she bought for him and as the stage’s magic disappears, she laughs hysterically like a crazy person with smeared mascara all over her face due to crying a few seconds ago. I swear Kim Hye Yoon is so talented in this role!🤩 She also gets to interact with Ju Da on the train ride when Nam Ju gives the latter food and the former accepts it for the latter saying she’ll share it with her.

Dan Oh gets a peek at the storyboard again as she sees herself going to the water to get a relationship stone that Baek Kyung throws in the beach. Sae Mi tells her that if you break the stone with the one you like and build a tower with it, a person’s wish will come true. She also catches No. 13 in her vision witnessing the entire thing. This gives her an idea to speed things up and find him on a rock formation near the beach. She asks him to stop her from going in the water and is excited to change her fate again this time.

It’s showtime as the stage plays out for Dan Oh and Baek Kyung. He breaks half of the relationship stone she gives him and angrily throws it in the water. She can’t control her body from going into the water and is helpless when No. 13 only stares back at her. She manages to find half of the stone though, but her thoughts are going haywire from pushing thru with the experience. She cries in despair because she couldn’t change the storyboard after all😥

Nam Ju and Ju Da build their own rock tower as their love story develops. Dan Oh goes to the rock formation and tries to build a tower of rocks herself. She changes her wish written on the rock from Baek Kyung to liking her to wanting to live. No matter how many time she tries though, the rocks keep tumbling down. It’s such a heartbreaking moment for her to acknowledge that she was mistaken in thinking that she could change anything. When No. 13 goes to help her, she tells him to don’t bother. When she leaves him alone and he builds one for her, the rock tower does not collapse. He finally also speaks, calling out her name for the first time.

Thoughts

I didn’t expect the show to have another character, Lee Do Hwa, become self aware. He’s also taking the blow of being the 2nd lead well and I’m glad that he and Dan Oh have each other to confide to regarding their wacky truth. It did cross my mind to think that what if every supporting character became self aware, what would happen to the comic book then?🤯 I’m a bit wary of Dried Squid’s character and wonder if he’s merely an extra or perhaps a gate keeper of sorts to protect the comic book world as is. I don’t think he’s a villain in the conventional sense, he just wants things to remain the way they are and Dan Oh is interrupting the natural flow of things.

No. 13 holds more power than he thinks because he can alter Dan Oh’s stage if he wants to. Also, other extras have names so why doesn’t he?🤔 I think he’s figuring out his place in this world since he seems constantly lost in thought and drawn to Dan Oh. Can’t he and Dan Oh have a separate love story and star in another comic book instead?

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 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 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😁

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😊💕

Unnie Recommends: Melting Me Softly

It’s 1999 in South Korea — a world on the cusp of a booming digital age, flip cellphones were still a thing, and the possibilities for scientific progress are endless. Melting Me Softly tells the tale of 2 people who wake up 20 years after being frozen in a cryo chamber🥶 The plot reminds me of the Hollywood movie, Passengers, where the leads also went into hibernation only to be awakened with no one to tell them what really happened to them. The similarity ends there though as Melting Me Softly applies a different setting, time, and angle.

Going into the 1st episode, I wasn’t sure what to expect but thankfully, any hesitations went away as Ji Chang Wook’s charm as Ma Dong Chan is simply irresistible, hee. I first watched the actress Won Jin A in her previous kdrama, Rain or Shine, and I’m happy that she’s portraying a spunkier and more outspoken person here as Ko Mi Ran.

Current Impression

I liked how they depicted the 1st episode through flashbacks and not a linear story telling style. In the first few minutes alone, we see both Ma Dong Chan and Ko Mi Ran participate in a cryogenics project of a Doctor Hwang, freezing themselves in a chamber for only a period of 24 hours. How they got to this point unfolds piece by piece when we see glimpses of Dong Chan and Mi Ran’s life before getting frozen.

Dong Chan is as a talented and out-of-the-box thinking PD (Production director) directing a very popular variety show. He is passionate, hardworking, talented, and has an equally supportive girlfriend. He veers away from the ordinary and prides himself in doing things that no one in TV land has done before. He is very interested in cryogenics as it is a very new technology in 1999 and wants to be the first one to show the world its revolutionary effects. He volunteers to be a test subject himself to make it more believable for viewers and enlists the help of another person to go in with him.

Enter Mi Ran, a 24 year old woman who takes the dangerous jobs that no one dares to do in Dong Chan’s variety show because it pays a lot of money. She is enjoying her youth while struggling to find a permanent job in between participating in the show’s experiments, happily hangs out with friends, and takes care of her little brother who gets bullied from time to time. She is initially reluctant to volunteer but when Dong Chan mentions that an effect of cryogenics is curing diseases, she thinks of her brother and is all in with the project.

Something goes wrong as the Professor is chased by a car and supposedly killed on the same day that both go into the chamber. He is the only one who can unfreeze both Dong Chan and Mi Ran to administer a special shot to prevent their bodies from reacting negatively to being frozen for a day. With the Professor still alive 20 years later, he finally sets them free…with a consequence that their body temperatures must be maintained at 31.5 degrees Celsius🤒

Both Ji Chang Wook and Won Jin A portrayed their frenzied and pale 2019 selves very well when the former calls his assistant PD to continue shooting and the latter trying to find her family. They are in for the surprise of their lives when they both finally realize that so much time has passed since their awakening! They can’t exactly resume their lives as if nothing has happened and have to adjust to a more progressive Korea and an older generation of their loved ones.

Melting Me Softly is an intriguing korean drama that combines sci-fi elements with romance and comedy. There hasn’t been much interaction between our 2 leads yet so let’s anticipate the temperature of their love to heat up and see how they navigate their 2019 together!😊