Thank You – Waxing poetic about Young Shin with the help of Jang Hyuk

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Yup! I love her and Jang Hyuk, the actor, also loves her, according to these quotes that I found in old interviews. Jang Hyuk himself will help me tell you why I love Young Shin so much! And pardon our rambling (both Jang Hyuk and I are ramblers, so please bear with us :D)

I like the character of Min Ki Seo, but my favorite role in the drama is Young Shin, acted by Gong Hyo-Jin. Though Min Kiseo gave me a feeling of starting anew, I think the feeling of starting anew is more matched with Young Shin’s personality. Young Shin is a person who believes in hope. She shows her toughness when facing life. She cherished all of her possessions without any unrealistic aspirations. She lived genuinely. As for Min Ki Seo, I saw it just as an actor. This drama let you feel hopeful and Young Shin’s personality brought people hope. Thus, Young Shin’s role was more impressive to me. If I were a woman, I would certainly choose to act Young Sin”. – Jang Hyuk

I agree that Young Shin is tough. She is vulnerable but no damsel in distress. This is a woman who knows that life is hard. Her cheerfulness is a choice! not a product of delusion. She chooses to present this face to the world, as a way to confront its hardships, rather than be bitter, she chooses to remain as positive as possible. This requires strength and a great spirit.


Young Shin’s reactions when she learned about Bom’s illness


Young Shin is strong but she has her fears, she sees herself and acts as a pariah. She has this constant need to apologize for everything. I know why she feels this way, especially given Bom’s illness and the town’s and her own ignorance regarding said illness. And I totally understand Min Kiseo trying to shake her out of this.

” Living together with a child infected by AIDS and an elderly grandfather suffering from dementia, she maintained her straightforwardness. Her emotions and thoughts became the root of the village. I’m much impressed by this character”. – Jang Hyuk

I agree with him. People call her a fool, but  the way she copes with “the world’s cruelty” with a smile on her face, is difficult and admirable, in my opinion. Especially because she knows hardship! More admirable is how she struggles to prepare Bom for such world, arming her with the same positive disposition she has. At some point she will doubt herself, did she do the right thing? I guess, just like in real life, there is no easy answer.

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She is a fighter, but she is no saint. I found her rationalization for accepting Min Kiseo’s money, adorable and human.

I also understand why it is hard for Young Shin to accept Min Kiseo’s helping hand (and his kisses and his love! *sigh*).


Besides her feeling of unworthiness, I think there is a “fear of abandonment” issue. This woman has being carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. In a way she has created a shell, around her world, where only Bom, Grandpa and her brother exist. And all of those people depend on her. Young Shin has not had anyone taking care of her in a long time, and that is why she doesn’t know how to react to it. I get the feeling in those scenes, where Min Kiseo is taking care of her health, that she likes it, but doesn’t want to let her guard down. She doesn’t want to allow herself to be the pampered one, because, what will happen when this man decides to leave? She has been abandoned before! She knows she can’t depend on others!


Behind the cheerful woman I see a scared woman unable to trust, with good reason. And I find myself surprisingly agreeing with her! Oh my, do I have trust issues? probably. I like that in the end she found a way to still be the captain of her world, dependent only on her own strength, but found a way to let Min Kiseo in. I mean, the man earned it!

In conclusion, I love Young Shin. Young Shin, the underdog and the fighter. Young Shin, the mother, the granddaughter and the great friend. Wouldn’t she make a great friend? she is nice, funny and can cook! And because I love Young Shin and believe she deserved a break in life, because I ached for her and wanted to travel to Blue Island and give her my hand, I love Min Kiseo for lending her his hand and for loving her. It is not often that I feel this way about a female lead in a korean drama. Rarely does a couple “deserve” each other like this. Usually the pairing is a jerk and a silly woman. But this “jerk” and this “pabo” are not what they seem to be. “They are better”


“Many actresses got the script from the production company. When they saw the unwed mother character, they did not want to take the role. Now I can reveal that, in fact, I heard people say the fact that the actress would need to act with Jang Hyuk, who just ended his military life and a long absence from the entertainment business, also seemed to have affected their interest in this drama. Actually that is a right choice. (laugh) But I believe the role played by Hyo Jin is very charming. And she had very good experience working with script writer Lee Kyeong Hee in the drama “Sangdu, Let’s Go to School.” This is a favorable factor. I felt many times that this person knows how to act this role with the right feeling.”

I could not agree with him more! The more I watch Gong Hyo-Jin in this, the more I love her and Young Shin and I can’t even differentiate them. I recently admired Gong Hyo Jin’s performance in Master’s Sun, where she played a complicated character and showed off her versatility, every time a ghost possessed her character’s body. She is pretty and fun to watch. I kind of love her voice (am I fangirling her too much here?) but above all her biggest quality is that she becomes the character.


5 responses to “Thank You – Waxing poetic about Young Shin with the help of Jang Hyuk

  1. Well. The latest years my criteria for watching something kind of boiled down to ”if the men have short hair and nobody is wielding a sword, I’m not interested”. A pity, if you think about it.
    But I was lucky. Our Drama Fan put some effort into convincing me to abandoning my narrow-mindedness for a while to watch Thank you, for which I am trully grateful.

    I want to join the choir that sings Young Shin’s praise. That is an amazing character. Her strength is like a steel rod throughout the entire series, from the beginning, when we learn that she can make tough decisions and stick to them.
    A human, real, calm and deep strength. I’m thinking of how she picked up the phone, after the villagers trashed her home, and just said ”keep Bom busy for an hour” and started putting everything in ordered. That was magnificent.
    And the way she changed the whole community, like a small piece of yeast in a dough.
    Oh and I loved the ending.

    I also loved Choi’s mom. I did. Her struggle and the huge progress she made, even if it was too late.

    Thank you, Drama Fan *throwing rose petals*

  2. Pingback: Review of Thank you: A simply beautiful drama | Stuck on Hyuk

  3. Superb post! Agree and appreciate every single word

  4. Hi foreverhyuk! Thank you for your comment and I had not thought about those examples. That is a very good point. She remained strong and he admired and respected her, even when he didn’t agree with her, but this didn’t stop him from complaining :p I can’t get enough of them. Im preparing post 3 of favorite scenes. I hope you like it.

  5. Thank You was a little bit different than other Kdramas I’ve seen in terms of how it dealt with a strong female lead. It wasn’t one of those cinderella story where a poor, hard working but upbeat girl gets swept away by a jerk chebol and loses her strong identity somewhere along the way (like Secret Garden). This female lead stayed strong throughout the whole series. And the male lead, instead of carrying all her worries and problems away, helped her to get stronger and stand on her own. Like when Bom runs away and Young Shin was too sick to go look for her, I thought Kiseo was going to insist on having her stay home and take care of herself. That would have been the usual norm in Kdrama land. Instead, he goes with Young Shin to look for Bom but is there to support her and help her. He isn’t there to take over her job. Also, when Young Shin’s neighbors come over to drive her out of town, I thought Kiseo would fight them for her. But he leaves her so that she can face them herself. what tough love.

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