Saturday, August 29, 2015

Twenty Again Episode 1 - Newly Single And Ready to Mingle........Or Not.

Characters were introduced and I instantly loved some and hated others.  There is obviously not going to be any in between for me with this drama and I feel that there will be a ton of ranting on my part on behalf of our slightly sweet doormat Ahjumma, Ha No Ra.  The heroine that is finding herself after going through a divorce and receiving some startling information (more on that later).  But no worries, The Crazy Ahjummas are here to work through the subtext and tell you what really needs to be said (in meme form of course).  So come join us as we jump into all things Ahjumma (AHJUMMAS UNITE!  WOOT!) and recap episode 1.

For those of you just discovering our awesome blog, I am Kmuse, one of the two main bloggers in The Crazy Ahjummas.  I will be bringing you my opinions on all of the odd episodes, while my blogner Dongsaeng will be chatting with you on the even episodes.  I am a mother of three and an avid kdrama watcher, in that I love to watch literally everything.  There are very few currently airing dramas that I am not watching so if you have any questions about them (or really any drama since I have seen an insane amount) feel free to ask me in the comments.  For those of you who have not read my past recaps, I am one of those bloggers that really likes to just discuss my opinions on certain scenes or concepts of the drama.  We don't go step by step through the whole thing.  So if you are looking for a more complete recap you might have to look elsewhere (and then come back and read ours of course).

I hate her (ex) husband with a passion.  What a jerk.  Sure I know that the drama is focusing on our awesome heroine Ha No Ra (Choi Ji Woo "Temptation"), but I just had to get that off my chest.  Phew.  Now that that is out of the way, lets get to recapping episode 1 and all the wonderful things that made this show entertaining right off the bat.

Let us start with a little character introduction and go from there.  I will start with the characters that annoyed me the most and work my way to the bestAnd of course #1 on my Ahjumma hit list is the jerk that is her ex-husband, Kim Woo Cheol (Choi Won Young - "I Remember You").

We meet him in the first scene as Woo Cheol gleefully gets granted a divorce from (according to him) his ignorant and bothersome wife Ha No Ra.  

****Plot Point***** 
 After researching this more, I learned that they signed the divorce papers but did not actual plan to have them officially registered until AFTER their son goes to college.  But in all references to Woo Cheol, I will be calling him the ex because I don't like him.  Really they could have made that less confusing.

He of course was "forced" to marry her after getting her knocked up at 19 and has regretted it since.  Mostly because he is an extremely educated man who deserves better than a wife that uses country slang and can't chat physics at the dinner table.  

But it is not enough that he is divorcing her.  Oh no.  Woo Cheol demands that No Ra pretend to be married to him for the full extra year for their son's sake.  Since their son can't possibly handle the stress of knowing his parents are no longer together, it might disrupt his education.  So a fake marriage (complete with twin beds) will be lived until the day their son starts college.

Enter son Kim Min Soo (Kim Min Jae "Persevere Goo Ha Ra") who is following in his dad's footsteps of being a self-centered brat who looks down on his mother.  He goes beyond teen angst, and answers No Ra's mothering with single syllable answers and disdainful looks.  Min Soo is constantly trying to please his father and unfortunately does not get into his college of choice.  Instead he is going to the college his father is employed at and which his mother eventually decides to attend as well.  This whole, "mom having a life" situation offends Min Soo to no end since of course the world revolves around him.  Not that I totally blame Min Soo, since of course that is how his parents raised him to act.  I still am hoping that there is some kind of sweet son underneath all that entitlement. 

Min Soo also finds a girlfriend as soon as he starts college.  Personally I find her a little pushy so far and don't really care about her story.  So lets just skip to someone better.

Like Ha No Ra's bestie, Ra Yoon Young.  I love the flashback we get of the two girls initial introduction.  Yoon Young was a wanna-be ballerina with a love of spicy rice cakes sold by No Ra's grandma (carbs are a big no-no for ballerinas).  She tried to force No Ra to limit her grandmother's rice cake portions, but No Ra refused (not wanting to upset her grandma.)  This resulted in a long fight where No Ra continued to get beat up, but stuck to her decision.  She outlasted the bully and they became besties.  
I mention this scene because we see this stubborn attitude (albeit, a more subdued version) in the adult No Ra.  Obviously no one pushes this Ahjumma around (except her family to an extent).  Yoon Young is also the person No Ra goes to when she starts her education "get my husband" back scheme.  So glad No Ra has at least one person in her corner, cheering her on.

We are almost at the point where we will chat about our leading lady, but first let's discuss our leading man.  I call him the leading man because I might just die if she ends up remarried to that jerk of an ex of hers.  And what a leading man he is (as in he is hot with a capital HAWT).  Introducing Cha Hyeon Seok ( Lee Sang Yoon "Liar's Game"), old classmate of No Ra, and theater teacher at the college. 

Turns out that No Ra was his first love (somehow I don't think she was even aware of his feelings) and is extremely bitter about their past.  Every time they meet he turns into awkward crankypants and goes passive aggressive, much to No Ra's confusion.  He loses just a few points when he goes all jerk on poor No Ra, ignoring their past connection (he still hasn't admitted to remembering her) and pointing out her age at his first class.  What exactly did she do to him?  I am dying of curiosity

And last, but not least, lets chat about Ha No Ra.  Our plucky heroine who despite ageism galore, is going back to school.  I am guessing that furthering your education at a later age is not as common in Korea as it is in the US. 

Originally she makes the decision to go back to college as a way to win back her husband (UGH..... Just let him go, for all we viewers' sake). No Ra works endlessly at studying for the college entrance exams and is accepted into her husband's college.  No Ra tells Woo Cheol and her son, which of course does nothing but horrify the two men.  Since of course it is all about them (the stupidheads).  
No Ra decides to un-enroll, but fate, and a very bad doctor, change her course of action.  On a standard doctor's visit, the physician mixes up No Ra's chart with another patient's, and informs our Ahjumma that she has cancer and only 6 months to live. This of course changes everything.  Screw her unsupportive family, No Ra is going to spend the last days of her life doing what she wants.  Which of course is college.

So far I have been totally on Team Ahjumma.  However I do have to question No Ra's wisdom on what classes she chooses.  She knows nothing and mostly just points and clicks.  One of those classes is the theater class taught by Hyeon Suk.  And we all see how that turns out.  Why do the men in her life have to be such class A jerks?  It will be interesting to see where this all takes us story wise, but as of now I am totally on board the Ahjumma Train.  We Ahjummas have to stick together after all.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this episode.  I was a little concerned that they were going to take the premise and just make it beyond angsty and sad.  Sure, there were sad moments in the show where I practically seethed at how No Ra's family treats her.  But behind all that jerkiness lies a woman who sees a goal and sets out to achieve it.  Sure it might be through letting life beat her up, but No Ra gets what she wants in the end.  Lets just hope that what No Ra wants shifts from her ex and towards her hunky theater teacher.

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  1. OMG let the ajumma go w/hunky theatre teacher for my sake, your sake, EVERY viewers' sake.... What a jerk for an ex! At least that flash back where she & her BFF have the fight which bonds them shows us Ha No Ra's fighting style (take all the garbage & keep doing what she wants) or I'd be more upset.
    Now, a note on being 38 & in college. Our heroine ajumma, who obviously does NOT look her age, is going to school at the SAME age I attended a community college (ok, I went to college & university for like 12 years straight cause I liked college & living off grants ~ahem~ so that community college was just to get some computer courses under my belt) Point is that it was NOT a jr college that many 'mature' students went to - I was in a sea of kids under 25. Now, I probably didn't look much older than that, but you know, neither does our heroine. I realize she DRESSES like an old lady... Still, the worst problem I'm having w/this drama is that disconnect w/my own actual experience of NOT standing out in the crowd of kids when I was 38 & taking freshman classes at Pacific Tech Community College.... I wish they'd focus on her son's total embarassment (that's so real LOL), her evil ex's disdain, her old beau's resentment (for her not ever realizing he had the hots for her? Bet THAT's it LOL), & her awkwardness about being back in school (another totally real thing). Because she does not look 28, let alone 38.....

  2. “… if that’s what Nora wants…”
    Hyeon Suk convincing himself sacrifice is indeed worth-it, “so it wasn’t in vain… HaNora must be so happy.” indeed, his chief aim being: “Ha No Ra must be so happy.” When she should get what she wants. The guy literality lived for this. Of all virtues in a person, the most great character is not just a willingness to make sacrifice, but to value what the person needs. it’s not the idiocy-noble-grandeur sense of “I make sacrifice” that must echo thru the mountains… but that small still voice within that only desire one thing: “she must be happy.” Its ultimately “SHE” that matters, not “I” matters. The ideal of I am the one making sacrifice, and she must know, so that she will feel bad for not returning my sacrifice or feels… is not true love after all.
    Suddenly he grew up from his childish petty bickering, “It’s not that I can’t (burn the tape), I’m just choosing not to, the fact that I’m shaken up like this will pass, but these are my precious memories, so I don’t want to get rid of them.” The guy knows exactly his situation, is in control, not rash, all these memories are what maketh him what he is today, happy or sad memories, when the “shakening” will be gone like waves washing up shore, bit by bit, as the tides lower, it goes back to the sea, whatever sea-shells washes up the shore are remnants of the sea, broken but is still a part of that precious perfect Big picture. He will live another 20 years, loving her still, but this time, he has a closure, he will still watch from beside. This is how he prepared to pull all stops. How beautiful is such a unrequited love.


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