Thank You | Review & Thoughts


The review I wish I had written 🙂 So good. I will rewatch this beautiful drama soon.

Bright Little World

This drama got under my skin. I started it and I didn’t realised when I finished it. I could have easily marathoned it given the time. It was such a great, heartwarming drama that made it to my favourite list.

After finishing this drama and while trying to read reviews and thoughts from other people I read that it has some typical aspects of a melodrama, birth secrets, serious illnesses,tragic deaths, and a wrenching love triangle (credit Outside Seoul) and it is true. But before I read these lines I never thought about those things. It felt very natural, like things that can happen in your life. So despite the fact that it seems like a typical melodrama it really is nothing like it.

The story revolves around Lee Young Shin a single mother who is living with her daughter and her grandfather, who has dementia, in a small…

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18 responses to “Thank You | Review & Thoughts

  1. I totally understand what Lady G. means when she said: Somehow I think the setting and grittiness of it all kept it from being like one of those overblown slick melodramas that manipulate emotions rather than evoke real ones. This story of a single mom and a child infected with HIV and what they go through to overcome the prejudice is not a fairy tale. We see and hear similar situations all the time. So what you feel watching this drama doesn’t seem contrived and manipulated.
    Thank You has got to be one of the best Korean dramas ever made. I wish all dramas could be as well-written and thoughtfully executed as Thank You. IMO, I think this is JH’s best drama, even better than Chuno. I have watched this drama several times and I get something new out of it every time.
    I agree that Suh Shin-Ae was amazing as Spring. She is called an “angel” in this drama by Yong-shin and Ki-Seo and she indeed is an angel.
    Young-shin has a tough life. She lost both of her parents at young age, she has to put her little brother through college, she has a grandfather with Alzheimer’s to take care of, and has a child right out from high school and the father of the child leaves the island and doesn’t even know that she gave birth to a daughter. On top of that, her daughter gets infected with HIV. When confronted with so many adversaries in life, most of us would become bitter and angry, just like Ki-Seo did. However, she doesn’t let any of these circumstances undermine her. She transcends all these adversaries and handles whatever life throws at her. She does this so by believing that she is a “non-living object, like chair or a desk. ” She said to Ki-Seo something like I’m not a human being, I’m just Spring’s mom.”
    I see what you mean by Ki-Seo not having energy like Dae-Gil or Ddolbok. Ki-seo probably grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. He says in one episode that he grew up spoiled. His world doesn’t fall apart until well into his late years when his father, who was a well-respected physician, loses his license to practice medicine, his parents get divorced, his sister dies, then his girlfriend dies. He later realizes how arrogant he was thinking that he could save his girlfriend. He starts hating himself. Serendipitously, his life crosses path with Young-Shin and Spring. He sees how Yong-shin, whose life is as tough as his if not more, doesn’t lose positive outlook on life, is thankful for the things she has and thankful for people around her. He says that Young-shin is “wealthier than me, smarter than me, and is a better person than me.” He learns from Young-Shin and Spring that indeed the “world is beautiful”. Young-Shin and Spring heal him. They become “miracle” for Ki-Seo.
    Gosh, there is so much in this drama, there is so much to talk about.
    I love how it ends too. It doesn’t translate very well but at the ending cut it says “If I have become miracle for you, it’s because you have caused a miracle in me.” I love it.

    • Foreverhuyk! thank you so much for reminding us of some of those wonderful quotes. Yeah I understood what Lady G said and I agree with both of you. What I meant to add was that, for example, just by reading the sinopsis I thought this drama would much more melo and depressing. That kind of premise scares people away or at least it makes you think twice whether you want to go for something that seems so sad and harsh and yes real. But the friend who recommended it to me told me precisely “Don’t be afraid because of the synopsis. It is much more uplifting than it seems” I mean, we know how melo some korean dramas can get even with milder situations that are totally exaggerated and contrived right? So it is almost miracoulous that they didn’t go that route with a topic that is tragic itself without having to add any artifice. And yes, this drama is wonderful.

  2. My impression of Min Kiseo was at first, that he didn’t have the same energy as the previous Jang Hyuk roles I had seen (Ddolbock and Daegil) Min Kiseo, was intense, but more restrained I feel? so I kind of missed that exacerbated “energy” I had encountered before. I think I’ve appreciated Min Kiseo more, as time has gone by, and well, his transformation was smooth, and it felt so natural. I will try to re watch it soon. I have the feeling I will like him more now.

    • I know what you mean. I also loved seeing JH in ‘dad’ mode. It was a treat to see it in Robbers and a bit in The Flu, even though he wasn’t really their dad. I think it’s time for a JH role where he plays a real father. I love watching the Korean children act. They sometimes just act circles around the adults. Now pairing JH and a dynamite child actor (I love the little girls and father-daughter themes) would rock. I was just saying on another blog how I ‘Hyukify’ almost every drama I see with my personal “What would Jang Hyuk do?” lol. I commented on the review of “I hear your Voice.”

      And K-FanGurl said: “Jang Hyuk playing a mind-reader? Naise.. Can we make him badass and Dae-Gil-esque too? Coz that’s my favorite version of JH.. hot, sweaty, smirky and totally cool. A mind-reading kickass hero who smirks and shrugs off the credit? And swoops in to save the lady? ”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. 😛

      • I will read that review soon. Im currently watching I hear your voice and loving it. Gumi and I were writing a kind of fan fiction where Jang Hyuk plays a dad. I definitely want to see that.

        • Fanfic? How awesome! If I decide to write another fanfic, I will use Jang Hyuk as a time-traveling Voyager. 😀

          • OMG! I love that idea! I hope you get inspired soon!

            • LOL. Thanks! My mind has been an empty shell since I started watching K-drama. I decided for once to let others tell ME stories. I wrote so many stories that I needed to break. Of course they will need Voyagers Phineas Bogg and kid sidekick Jeffrey. Those 2 Westerners will be a funny sight in the Emperor’s Palace of old Joseon. lol. Maybe I can do something revolving around King Sejong and the invention of Hangul. Kinda rewrite that tragic ending of deep rooted tree so my gorgeous Korean Voyager can save his family line which started from Ddolbok?? 😉 I don’t know. Just throwing that idea out there. 😀

              • I pick up your idea, I kiss it a million times and throw it back at you. Yessss do it!!! love it!!!! I can already imagine those two falling on King Sejong’s time. What will they think of the “bunny hats”? and what will Ddolbock reaction be when he sees these strange foreigners? I love this already!!!

                • haha! That’s so cute. Bunny hats! Bogg doing what he does best and flirting with the gisaengs, Jeffrey rolling his eyes telling him they have a job to do. The funny part will be they have a Korean Voyager with them whose TWIN ancestor is in that time period. haha. 2 Jang Hyuks. Ddolbok might try and beat them up at first, for trespassing of course, but then he’d have to face off with his own great-gra-great-gra great grandson and get his butt kicked by modern day Jeet Kune do. And grandson knows the secret ‘jump’ as well. haha.

                • Ooh, I have another mind blowing idea! What if the modern day Voyager IS Ddolbok? See, In my fandom I already created my own ‘world’ through a bunch of stories- in that there’s a process to becoming a Voyager and you lose your past memories so you can better focus on your future and assignment as a time traveler. It was said in the show that if Jeffrey went back to his parents theVoyagers would somehow make him forget ever being one. (Bogg’s trial episode.) So what if Modern K-Voyager is actually seeing his younger self and trying to fix history…and of course in the process he starts to remember and meets his adorable DAMMMAAAA!!! and realizes how much he loves her and wants her back. (I can give a squee happy ending with her joining him as a Voyager, since she was ‘meant’ to die in the past anyway.)
                  Wow the story blood is finally pumping back to my brain here. I can’t say when I would write this, but i would definitely like to outline it.

                  • Her photographic memory will certainly help the Voyagers but she was so loyal to King Sejong. You would have to make her more into Ddolbock than the original (which I wouln’t mind, I always felt Ddolbock deserved more love) or maybe she’ll find this “fixing history as Voyager business” a new purpose in life

                    • That’s so true! And She was loyal to the king, very loyal. Hmm. I wish she was more into Ddolbok too. The romance factor was very minimal in the drama. But the whole thing was entertaining nonetheless.

                      I will have to think this through. Because Ddolbok may have moved on already-not to mention he didn’t remember all that time. I think I’d like to give him a fresh new romance. (Hey it’s K-Drama, there’s always 2 male or female leads. haha.) I think I have an idea for that.

                      But can you imagine the emotions of watching his past self in that cave mourning over her death? reliving the memory right before his eyes? Bogg and Jeff would have to hold him up.

                      Not everyone is meant to be a Voyager-they are ‘Voyagers in their own time.’ Like Bogg once told Jeffrey about Charles Lindbergh. Some people make history, and the Voyagers are there to protect it. Everyone plays a part.

                      Oh the drama!! The feels! I may have to write this story with various scenes, not start from beginning to end. Because ‘scenes’ are popping out at me. I write that way sometimes, and then the story builds up around it.

                      Thanks so much for your imput. It’s been so long since I watched the drama I will have to go back and rewatch certain parts, including the bitter end. I barely made it through that the first time. I think you still have my email so if anymore ideas pop into mind feel free to send them my way. 😀

                    • I seriously have tears in my eyes thinking of time traveler Ddolbock having to relive that tragic moment, unable to change anything. I have your email so Ill send you ideas if they come to mind. Also, feel free to send me anything if you need feedback. I’ll be happy to help if you need a sounding board. Ddolbock will make such an interesting time traveler. He was a smart guy, and despite his dark past he did show a capacity to adapt and embrace new ideas. He needs to evolve even more in your story. I can imagine him in all kinds of adventures. And please insert some tap dancing, thumb push ups and bad singing somewhere there (Jang Hyuk needs to show off all his talents lol)

                    • Ahahaha!! Absolutely! I don’t know if you’ve ever read any of my stories, but I tend to flesh out my characters. And there’s certainly enough on Ddolbok-he’s already a well formed character with many awesome quirks and a strong personality. I can just see Bogg getting jealous of Ddolbok and his thumb pushups at the Voyager Training school. Training the newbies. hahaha!! We know Bogg is no softie himself. 😉 That beautiful and sculpted Jon-Erik Hexum. And Jeffrey making fun of DB’s bad singing with his little quips. Meanwhile they can help DB with his English too. Though in my stories as I assumed in the show, the omni has the capacity to let you ‘hear’ your own language. Scientific stuff dealing with brain waves. Similar to Quantum Leap, how everyone saw the person and not Sam.
                      It’s the only way to explain away how the Voyagers could land in China and the Emperor speaks perfect English! haha.

                      I’m keeping a copy of everything we wrote here too. For reference. 😀 Thanks for the offer. I will certainly need to go back over the drama in parts. Because the readers most likely have no clue who King Sejong is nor have they seen a K-Drama. Here’s hoping to make new Jang Hyuk fans too. 😀

  3. Lady G, you write so well! What you said here is something I completely agree with: “Somehow I think the setting and grittiness of it all kept it from being like one of those overblown slick melodramas that manipulate emotions rather than evoke real ones”.

    It is hard to “sell” Thank You and it constantly surprises people who watch it, because the setting does give the impression that it will be less hopeful, more gloomy, less subtle, right?

    • Thank you for the compliment. 🙂 I put off watching this because all the descriptions sounded so melo, despite the happy pictures they used on Dramafever. lol. But I’m really glad I watched it. Despite the weariness and drudgery, there was hope and even some laughs in every episode. I think this is definitely one of JH’s best roles. He was much more subdued than his later roles. But now that I think about it, Lee Daegil came years after this, so it’s like he ramped up and polished his ‘act’ so to speak.

  4. I eagerly got into this drama after watching Chuno. I even found myself comparing Min Ki Seo to Lee Dae Gil! And there were similarities. I sometimes felt he was a little like a modern day DG. Especially in the early episodes where he’s overcome with grief and just barges into her home and sleeps on her floor. Jang Hyuk was fantastic. Could he be anything but?? It was awesome to see him as a doctor. I would like him to take on another Doctor role. I’m almost finished with Good Doctor, I can definitely see him running around in the scrubs all day.

    I was swept in an emotional rollercoaster with this one. Every feeling you have gets manipulated in this melodrama. Anytime there are gorgeous children involved it breaks my heart. Seo Shin Ae was just amazing. If you liked her in this, then you have to see the movie, “Meet Mr. Daddy.” They had it on Netflix. Hopefully didn’t take it down. Lee Bom made me cry almost every scene. And that soundtrack was beautiful and melancholy.

    I’m not a big fan of Gong Pyo Jin, but she was made for a role like this as her mom. And Mr. Lee the grandpa and his Choco pies will steal your heart. I finally found choco pies when I went shopping at the Asian Market last month! I’m going back for them next visit. This post reminded me! haha.

    The father was a coward to the end. I really didn’t like how his storyline fared. What did you think? But I liked the actor and he gave a great performance too. I also loved how the relationship between Bom and her ‘twin’ grandmother evolved into real love. It was so touching. Especially the bath scene. And that backwards neighborhood drove me bananas! It was the cause of so much later suffering for Bom and Young Shin and Ki Seo. But they came through for her in a big way.

    Somehow I think the setting and grittiness of it all kept it from being like one of those overblown slick melodramas that manipulate emotions rather than evoke real ones. If that makes sense. One thing I thought was silly to tack on was the very end with the photograph. It just felt completely out of place for me. But then it was saved by the beautiful beach scene with Ki Seo watching mom and daughter playing so free and alive on the beach and he joins them and finds happiness again.

    Thanks for posting the review link!!

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