If you follow me on twitter or Facebook you’ll know that last week I marathoned the 63 episode family drama Life Is Beautiful. (And if you don’t follow me–why? I promise I’m just as cool there. Okay, lie, I’m only mildly entertaining. But still–follow me.) This show guys, this show is so freaking awesome.
I love this family. It has one of the best Kdrama mothers I’ve ever seen. And the storyline with the gay son? It alternately broke my heart and built me back up. The Tae Sub/ Kyung Soo couple is about to go on one of my favorite couple lists. (I reawatched almost every single scene they were in, squeeing all the way.)
Honestly, it was because of this couple that I started watching the drama. Cherry Cordial showed me this gif set, my imagination was captured and by the end of the night? I knew I HAD to see it. So much so that I put everything aside and watched it the very next day. I stayed up late, I actually set my alarm in the morning so I’d get up in time to watch a couple of episodes before work. I was determined to finish in a week.
And I did.
And now I’m sad it’s over. Like really sad. Like, I was watching the minutes click down on the last episode going, only 35 more minutes, 22 minutes left, to “Oh no, only 7 minutes left?”.
This drama just made me so happy to watch. Yes, there are irritating parts, and it’s certainly not perfect, but a show that makes me ugly cry with happy tears? Multiple times? Now that is a special show.
For the longest time I thought I loved all family dramas, but sadly I’ve learned over time, that is not true. As I went along I ended realizing I loved 2, and hated at least 4. After this realization, I was ready to rethink my love for them, however, after Life Is Beautiful? My love is back, baby! And now I have back the will to go on, to continue to try others.
I just love family dramas as they are truly a slice of life. They usually feature middle to lower class characters, the members of large extended families. I learn so much more about actual daily life in Korea. Well, still a highly fictionalized version, but it’s cozy and warm.
Now there can be some makjang in family drama–big time. What I liked about Life Is Beautiful, is the fact that yes, bad things happened to this family, but they completely supported each other and we, as watchers, knew when the bad times came, it wasn’t going to be horrible. There were no terrible characters, you know, eb-il characters, chaebol parents, amnesia, secret babies, or other kdrama staples. There was a big-bad kdrama mama, but even as she’s being horrible, the actress allowed moments to shine through where you knew she did love her son, that she honestly thought she was doing what was best for him–and that part of her could wish that she accepted him as easily as the Yang family had accepted Tae Sub when he came out to them.
In Life is Beautiful it’s not so much other people that is the bad guy, but society itself. The family mourns Tae Sub, yes for what they have lost in the eldest son, but more so knowing what is going to happen to him in the future if it gets known outside the family that he and Kyung Soo are a couple.
Of course watching these dramas sometimes it’s hard to keep an open mind. To not to judge the characters through our own society’s mores. If you do that– the family dramas are hard to get through. Sometimes? I just want to yell at the men in the family–make your own damn food! Get your own damn beverages! Why are you expecting woman to do this for you?
But I get absorbed–and I’m able to look the other way. Kind of. Not really. But that’s how it is.
Now I’m getting off track and dangerously into ‘review’ territory. Lets move on.
The sad thing is is that I hadn’t actually heard about this drama until last weekend. Why? Why doesn’t this drama have more accolades? It’s well done and talks about a subject matter you don’t usually see in Kdrama. I’m guessing it’s the 63 episodes that deters most people. When you see ‘63’ it does have a bit of sticker shock. However, if you like the family dramas, please, take the time to check this drama out, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Rereading this post–I’m not sure if I got across the full on Squeee emotions I had while watching it. So just a so you can get a taste of it, here’s a conversation Kfangurl and I had over on Facebook:
And if you have seen it–let me know! We can squee together.