Two Korean dramas made their premiere on Viu earlier and, by the looks of it, they’re on their way to becoming modern classics and huge hits.
If you’re a murder-mystery fan, My Perfect Stranger is a fascinating whodunit with a twist: the main characters travel back in time to 1987. The male lead, news anchor Yoon Hae-Joon (played by the handsome Kim Dong-Wook), is trying to solve a series of murders to prevent his own death in the present. The female lead, literary editor Baek Yoon-Young (played by Jin Ki-Joo who at 34 can easily pass as a high school student), accidentally time travels and chooses to stay to get to know her mother more.
Meanwhile, All That We Loved is a story about two very close high school friends, Go Yoo (Sehun of EXO) and Ko Joon-Hee (Jo Jun-Young), and their object of affection, Han So-Yeon (Jang Yeo-Bin). Go Yoo is the school’s star basketball player while Go Joon-Hee is a shy, less athletic student. While the series also fast-forwards to when they are adults, the main story plays out when they are in high school.
The two K-dramas have very different plotlines, but My Perfect Stranger and All That We Loved are both set in high school — and here are a few lessons everyone can learn from their stories about teenage life in South Korea:
1. Have fun while you’re young
In My Perfect Stranger, Yoon Hae-Joon finds himself in 1987 by way of a car that can travel back and forward in time (it’s not a DeLorean). In the present time, his own car stalls one rainy night and he chances upon the time-traveling car in a tunnel, which takes him to a Korean countryside village in 1987. The series shows that while Korean kids wore colorful outfits in the ‘80s, it wasn’t nearly as “wild” as they were in the West. But, like everywhere else, teenagers just wanna have fun, even in a rural Korean village. The 80s vibe is so fun to watch!
2. Keep your friends close — they can literally save your life
All That We Loved opens with a big plot point. Go Yoo and Go Joon-Hee are wearing hospital gowns and fooling around — or at least the former is laughing while the latter is quite somber. In the next scene, they are being wheeled into an operating room where Joon-Hee is getting a kidney transplant from Yoo. The two boys have very different personalities, but their friendship keeps them close; Yoo defends Joon-Hee from school bullies while Joon-Hee and his grandmother provide him with a sense of family.
3. Don’t let complicated family relations break you
In My Perfect Stranger, Yoon-Young’s mom Lee Soon-Ae (Syeo Ji-Hye) commits suicide in the present, leaving her a note by the riverbank where she drowns herself. When she sees her mom in 1987, who is now younger than her, all her feelings of guilt make her stay. Yoon-Young tries to prevent her mom from marrying her dad who will not be a good husband. It’s amusing to watch the two women play out familiar family dynamics in reverse.
In All That We Loved, Yoo’s parents are both doctors and have no time for him. This leads him to become very resentful and so he appreciates his friendship all the more with Joon-Hee. It is Yoo’s parents who look after Joon-Hee when he is beaten up by the school bullies and brought to the hospital.
4. Knowing how to stand up for yourself is essential
It’s a lesson that high schoolers need to learn: stand up for yourself or you will be bullied all your life. Yoon-Young tries to teach her mom Lee Soon-Ae to stand up against her classmate Ko Mi-Sook who orders her to do her writing assignments.
Yoo also tries to teach Joon-Hee to stand up to bullies, telling him that he is taller than even their teachers, but it’s just not Joon-Hee’s personality to fight back — or at least not yet in the earlier episodes. Joon-Hee suffers from cellular memory syndrome (memories transferred through cells from an organ transplant) and when he is attacked by bullies, Yoo can also feel that his friend is experiencing physical pain.
5. Walk your own path
To the point of being stubborn, the main characters in My Perfect Stranger and All That We Loved are all headstrong and resolute in what they want. They are all charming and likable, but like with any good drama, we want to shake them by the shoulders and say, “Hey, communicate with each other!” or “Tell him about your past!” or “Tell her that you love her!”
Stream My Perfect Stranger, All That We Loved, and more Korean hit dramas for only P80/month on your PLDT Home Fiber account – the most affordable Viu Premium subscription in the Philippines.
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