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 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.
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”
ABOUT GONG HYO JIN
“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.