Review: Plus Nine Boys (2014)
Plus Nine Boys has to be one of the most underrated South Korean dramas this year, I personally consider it as one of the hidden gems of 2014 when it comes to romantic comedies and i hope it will cherish the status it deserves in the near or far future. The scenario was pretty refreshing from your ordinary romantic comedies around, so Plus Nine Boys was immediately above the average to my eyes even before the series started airing. The rest was up to the actors, the director and the rest of the crew to live up to my high expectations.
Concerning the story, it depicts one specific year of 3 brothers and their uncle that live all together in the same house with their mother and his sister respectively. But it’s not a common year, it’s the last year of their lives before they embrace the next decade in their lifeline. Kang Dong Goo is 9, Kang Min Goo 19, Kang Jin Goo 29 and Goo Kwang Soo 39 years old. It shows the end of a path you’ve been walking for the past 9 years and now you’re face to face with the choices you make while two or more roads unfold into a wider branching which leads to the same direction, with a different course, the next decade. Being a plus 9 hyung myself, I wanted to cherish this drama dearly; and so I did.
The mother of the three brothers and Kwang Soo’s sister is aware of the plus 9 curse and knowing that it will probably be a tough year for all of them since she is superstitious she visits a spiritualist to give her some advice and provide her with talismans to prevent the bad luck. Soon, some e-talismans appear at the mobile phones of the four plus 9 boys, but none of them pays attention considering all this superstitious belief to be a fraud. And that’s when all hell breaks loose for them.
All four have to deal with the daily problems of their work and love life and all of them seem to be standing at the edge of a cliff; either everything will be fine or a downfall is awaiting. Dong Goo is a child model that wants to get child roles in movies/dramas, Min Goo is a student and judo is his ticket to university, Jin Goo works at a travel agency and Kwang Soo is a well-known production director. Also, they all long to treasure a special relationship (which had a slight touch of Reply 1994 more as a feeling rather than in terms of storyline) and due to the spiritualist’s advice one of them will have the chance to experience it. The four male leads supported their role to the fullest and so did the the female leads alongside the supporting roles that complete the cast. Another strong factor is the affectionate sounds of the OST that surround in a like-minded manner the moments that crave for a musical background. If you’re willing to find out if everything will finally work out well for their work and love lives, give Plus Nine Boys a chance, it is most likely it will reward you.
Concluding, Plus 9 Boys was supposed to be a 16-episode drama, everything seemed to work fine and with every episode the interest was reaching a new climax, but it was cut down to 14 episodes. To be honest, it felt a bit rushed in the last two episodes and it would have been better if they’d stick to the original plan, 16 episodes so as for the drama to flow naturally without a rush and keep the depth of the storyline. Yet, Plus 9 Boys still remains one of my favorite dramas this year, its daily and realistic vibe was definitely captivating and without even realizing it you were just longing for the next episode to come to the surface.
Subjectively objective: 8/10
For Plus 9 reasons: 9/10
If life suddenly became difficult one day, suddenly, one day, hope will come to you.
Of course, no-one knows the result.
Life takes a difficult path for all four in their dreams/career and the struggle to cope with them and march forward will require lots of strength. And that’s when the love stories start to pop up one by one.
They say love is everywhere. But some people have a hard time even getting in the game.
Kwang Soo’s sister is pushing him on blind dates, whereas his friend tells him to search for his past loves. More or less, he tries both and he ends up finding out that his past loves are about to get married or have a relationship etc, but also his blind dates don’t seem to work out, except for one that lets a little bit of sunshine through the clouds. Eventually he will drop her for the following reason. In the meantime he has already found out that that the one and only woman from his past he didn’t search for lives one floor above him. She’s Da In, the woman he loved the most and abandoned him in the past at the moment of his proposal leaving him devastated. The fact is, he was a workaholic and he was always busy, tired and such things so she couldn’t imagine her life with him, even though it would hurt her. He also finds out that she’s a divorcee with a kid and he’s trying his best to get back into her life or at least get some answers from the tear-filled past, but he’s getting ignored. Gradually and by becoming quite pushy he earns the chance to live again moments with her and he also earns the approval of Da In’s daughter. He’s practically there when Da In needs him either for her or her child and when everything seems to flow well Kwang Soo’s sister appears and especially when she founds out who she really is plus the fact that she’s a divorcee with a child she tries her best to stop this relationship. I liked the background story between Kwang Soo and Da In and I also loved the step by step heartrending process of getting back together. I really like the fact that he sincerely considers Da In’s daughter as his own (even though there are times the storyline implies that she could be his own daughter as well, the 10 years they were apart though don’t sum up to Da In’s daughter who is younger). In the end we’re left with the impression that everything will flow well for them when Da In feels the moment is right to proceed side by side by all means with Kwang Soo and until then the can enjoy all the small daily things that seem grandiose to someone if you take into consideration the emotional factor.
Jin Goo used to be the player kind of guy and at the university he had hurt Se Young’s feelings by making her seem as one of the many women that would be attracted by him. Ever since years have passed and they work together alongside their friends Go Eun and Jae Bum. In the meantime Jin Goo wants to get rid of the player etiquette and he has come to realize his true and deep feelings for Se Young. At the same time Jae Bum confesses his true feelings for Se Young to her and his best friend Jin Goo so as to help him. It’s a difficult situation in which Jin Goo tried to drown his feelings, Se Young didn’t accept Jae Bum’s confession, Jae Bum wants to keep trying and Go Eun has already fallen for Jin Goo. During a business trip Jin Goo and Se Young find shelter from the rain and in an emotionally fortified scene he kisses her to receive back a slap in the face even though she had fallen for him since their first kiss during the university days. Everything becomes awkward between them; Go Eun gets closer to Jin Goo, Jae Bum gets closer to Se Young, but both Jin Goo and Se Young see them in a friendly manner respectively. After a few events happen, Se Young finds out from Jae Bum that Jin Goo had moved out of his neighborhood which was close to her house and that all this time he was accompanying her back home with the same bus even if he had to go back a long distance.
I was sincere with you all along, you just wouldn’t believe me.
Ever since a heartwarming relationship begins, something that should remain a secret for the time being because they’d hurt Jae Bum and Go Eun. After a mobile phone message that was sent by mistake at the work group conversation instead of Jin Goo by Se Young, the workers at the office want to find out who the “moron” is and after a fortified scene Jin Goo takes responsibility. Things become even more awkward and Jae Bum along with Go Eun get hurt. Hopefully enough, in the end, after Se Young signs her resignation letter and disappears, Jae Bum who now has a higher position at the company and Go Eun tell him to go find her while at the same time they try to accept it. Se Young and Jin Goo’s relationship, as he introduces her to his mother during launch time, seems to be the “blessed” relationship of one of the three older males in the family the fortuneteller had foreseen.
Min Goo one day notices a beautiful girl passing by. Ever since a new goal had appeared in his life, to find her and be with her. After searching around many times he finally found her on a bus, but during a fiery conversation he had with another judo athlete she had already left her bus without him noticing; but she had forgotten her diary. Min Goo found it and through the information he could read inside her diary tried all the possible places to find her. And he finally did find her, Soo Ah.
Love can happen when you least expect it. And you can lose love just like that too. That’s why you should seize love, not wait for it.
Just like his uncle, he becomes pushy and tries to be with her and persuade her to become his girlfriend. After an elevator experiment of fate, even though he can get out on the same floor as well due to his friends’ trick, something he did not expect due to his excitement actually happened. Someone else stopped the elevator as well and he lost some time whereas she had already left by the time he got on the same floor Soo Ah was. After lots of trying he gets to escort her at her favorite band’s concert, Standing Egg and there he has a chance of singing a confessing song to her. Everything seems to be blossoming,but he soon finds out that her real name is Bong Sook and that she used to be a gang girl back in her school days. Things get complicated and even though they try sincerely to surpass all barriers, Bong Sook leaves him on a beautiful scene with a promise, that when they achieve some of their dreams they could meet and try again in a more mature way.
What changes a man isn’t the world or time. What changes a man is the girl he loves.
Love comes unexpectedly. Once it approaches, there’s no turning back.
Dong Goo cherishes something pure with Baek Ji, but the stardom status in his mind won’t let him neither proceed forward as a child actor nor keep Baek Ji by his side. He starts losing movie auditions one after the other while a rival of Dong Goo has approached Baek Ji. Right before the end we see for the first time Dong Goo acting normally, which is no acting to be honest, he was being sincere at the audition in front of Baek Ji. During the end something very important happens, little Dong Goo gets to see his younger self in a video filled with memories of him and his father that he never had the chance of meeting properly due to the fact that he had passed away. It’s a beautiful and emotionally charged family scene; and by family i mean Se Young as well since slightly after we get a hint of the forthcoming marriage with Jin Goo.
Breakups hurt most for men, but that’s the moment when boys become men.