K-dramaThank You

Thank You ~ Review

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“I am a mother,
That’s why i am so strong and so healthy and so lively.
No matter how hard life is, i won’t complain.
No matter how sad life is, i won’t cry.
Maybe you won’t believe this, but it’s true.
Isn’t it all too beautiful that it’s a little sickening?”

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The time has arrived to break my silence and unveil my thoughts on the heartfelt miracle named Thank You. I have to admit that the cast was the reason why i started the drama in the first place, but the storyline itself was tempting enough if you want to set sail on an emotionally fortified journey without fear, but with passion. Thank You (2007) belongs in the post-2005 dramas and the changes in the cinematography factor are omnipresent since the dramas’ visual world had already started progressing at that point while still keeping the nostalgic and beauteous aura old school dramas used to possess.

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Thank You unveils its wings in Blue Island where it depicts the struggles of a hardworking single mother, Lee Young Shin (Gong Hyo Jin). She takes care of her grandfather, Mr. Lee (Shin Goo), who suffers from senile dementia while at the same time she tries to hide the fact that her daughter, Lee Bom (Seo Shin Ae), got infected by HIV. Lee Bom has to learn how to live with it whereas doctor Cha Ji Min (Choi Gang Hee) tries to find her and her mother in order to apologize for Lee Bom’s unfortunate health condition. Under circumstances, doctor Min Gi Seo (Jang Hyuk) who is Ji Min’s boyfriend and his peculiar temperament travel to Blue Island in order to work on his mother’s project with Choi Seok Hyeon (Shin Sung Rok). However, the main reason for Gi Seo’s presence there is to apologize on Ji Min’s behalf and the journey begins.

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Thank You embraces the essential nature of familial love, but also the way families affect one’s life as a peripheral aspect of the drama’s main core and the way it’s being reflected through our main figures. It emphasizes on unconditional love and caring, but also on the never-ceasing acceptance of hardships no matter how grandiose the obstacles may appear.

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Setting insuperable love aside, the art of motherhood is being presented through maintaining an absent father’s amiable image for the child’s sake, but also by creating a partial and innocent unawareness of the child’s condition through a protective and articulate approach for the child and everyone else. It’s responsibility’s heartwarming approach which turns the drama’s fragile nature into an emotionally eloquent world.

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Thank You depicts the struggles of a single mother in a soulful splendor of ever-expanding emotion. Even nowadays, many societies haven’t fully accepted the fact that a woman can raise a child on her own and it’s still being considered a societal taboo. Thank You takes it to a wider extent and multiplies the impact it leaves upon society’s ignorance and hypocrisy through the drama’s fragile characteristics.

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It’s a world where a kindhearted and hardworking mother will never be enough and every time she turns her back some mouths are always ready to start talking. People are people and they prefer to talk about others instead of taking the time to stare in their own mirror and find out where it gets blurry and the reasons why. Instead of sincerely approaching one’s problems in order to offer a devoid of pity helping hand, people will always prefer to create outcasts in order to preserve the deceptive peace of mind of a stagnant, ignorant and eventually pathetic and ludicrous normality.

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Being a single mother in charge of a family consisting of a demented grandfather and a child infected by HIV while living in the countryside takes courage, tons of courage, heart and soul and Thank You presents everything which derives from it in a masterful and multifaceted way. The real problem surfaces the moment the child’s condition gets revealed and a modern form of ostracism traumatizes an already wounded family to a wider and immoral extent.

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Thank You also presents people’s cruelty through the eyes of an innocent child who was forced to conceive what isolation, ignorance and discrimination mean and the way they affected her life when it comes to socializing, schooling and even existing. It vividly presents how the world of adults can poison childhood’s dreamlike essence, but it also reflects how knowledge and information can awaken through a sincere and moving approach under difficult circumstances.

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Plato said that ignorance is the root and stem of all evil and Thank You preserves it to the fullest. However, under circumstances ignorance may be bliss and it was presented through the eyes of the grandfather who was yet another child embracing reality through his own prism. It was proven to be a great defense mechanism keeping him safe from emotional harm, but it was sporadically surrendering to the heavy rain of dreadful events.

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Thank You shows how affection and humane experiences can change one’s life, but it also depicts how the harsh face of reality can forge a sacrificial state of mind and heart where one takes everyone else into consideration except for herself. It also presents the sense of loss through one’s mourning while being unable to bid farewell the deceased, but there’s also the ongoing healing process as the circumstances and human relations soothe the heart and make it pound anew with meaning and emotion. Thank You ardently nurtures the redefinition of one’s self, step by step and with emotional intelligence.

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One would probably expect Thank You to be a desolate journey, a blight in motion, but this isn’t true. As much as heartrending it was, it was equally heartfelt, but there were tremendous amounts of laughter when you least expected it simply because Thank You flows naturally through shades of reality without feeling tedious or forced. Becoming pretentious would be one of the drama’s most severe pitfalls, but it never happened as it masterfully weaved its web in order to collect and exhibit emotions and not entrap them.

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Director Lee Jae Dong (I Miss You, The Spring Day of My Life) honored his lenses by maintaining a natural ambiance through angles and perspectives throughout the drama when it comes to the surrounding environment and indoors shooting. There was a certain warmth in the use of lighting during nighttime. Minimal but spreading out at the same time, it always managed to adorn the characters’ feelings along with the closeups which were making their internal world more vibrant.

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Writer Lee Kyung Hee (I’m Sorry, I Love You, Will It Snow for Christmas?, The Innocent Man, Wonderful Days) gave life to a concrete scenario where everything and everyone possessed their own dynamics. Thank You appeared thoughtful, sincere, realistic, moving, emotional and humorous as a natural counterweight to the sentimental burden. The soundtrack and especially the instrumental acoustic compositions were enriching to a wider extent a scene’s emotional foreground and eventually completing it.

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Thank You was a soulful testimony on Gong Hyo Jin‘s behalf who was breathing endlessly as Lee Young Shin and everything the character preserved. Her smile was brighter than a thousand suns and it could conceal reality’s gloom, but it was also a means to strengthen and encourage her loved ones. Her shattered internal world was being reflected through her ductile facial expressions which were often being held back by the sense of responsibility. Every time her emotional devastation was inevitable the lakes within her eyes were always paving the way in an upright torrent of emotion.

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Jang Hyuk poured heart and soul in Min Gi Seo’s darkened horizon while in search for the light at the end of the tunnel. After all, Jang Hyuk is an actor who can break apart in a noble way since he can handle perfectly well his facial expressions. He can overly exaggerate any time he wants to and in an exceptional way, but he knows when he has to and when he must present a minimal yet meaningful approach and that’s what he mainly does in Thank You. He’s not only renowned for the moments when he’s being overran by emotion, he can dance on both edges even at the same time and his humorous lines and the way he interpreted them were one of the drama’s main laughter explosions and i will never forget his love-hate relationship with the dog!

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Shin Sung Rok shone through his character’s twofold nature and Choi Seok Hyeon’s ongoing internal conflict was always present even when it was trying to remain hidden. It was an expanding collision between one’s restrained emotions and actual decisions accompanied by the impact they left upon himself and others. There was chemistry floating all over the place and the acting was exceptional in Thank You‘s world, after all it’s Gong Hyo Jin, Jang Hyuk and Shin Sung Rok we’re talking about, but maybe, just maybe, Seo Shin Ae and Shin Goo as Lee Bom and Mr. Lee were stealing the impressions with their purity and emotionally penetrating presentations. Humorous and heartfelt and with an excessive sense of chemistry both between themselves and everyone else they were the salt and pepper of the drama.

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The secondary figures were distinctive as well! Who can forget the emotionally indigestible but humane deep within love to hate but eventually hate to love figure presented by Kang Boo Ja as Seo Hyeon’s mother and who would ever set aside Mrs Song’s one-sided love the way it was filtered through Jeon Won Ju‘s interpretation? There were also the naive, exaggerating and kind of grotesque Park Taek Dong (Kim Ha Kyun), the hilarious, humble and emotional Park So Ran presented by Jo Mi Ryung whom we’ve witnessed in different roles lately in Secret and Mr. Back and the considerate and quirky doctor figure of Oh Jong Soo (Ryu Seung Soo). And i shouldn’t forget to mention Mrs. Song’s quirky son, Song Doo Sup (Kim Ki Bang), the limited but spot on presence of child actors and actresses, the distinctive parental approach of both Kil Yong Woo and Hong Yeo Jin in the roles of Min Gi Seo’s father and mother and the impact they left upon him and Choi Gang Hee and Kim Sung Eun as Gi Seo’s girlfriend, Cha Ji Min, and Seok Hyeon’s fiancee, Seo Eun Hee, respectively.

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Thank You is a miniature of society, broken but valuable, sincere but also deceiving, raw but also dreamlike and hopeful. After the drama is over, you can only say Thank You.

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elles viennent
autres et pareilles
avec chacune c'est autre et c'est pareille
avec chacune l'absence d'amour est autre
avec chacune l'absence d'amour est pareille
-Samuel Beckett-

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  1. My2Girls
    October 11, 2015 at 1:48 am — Reply

    Lovely. One of my all time favorites.

    • October 11, 2015 at 1:52 am — Reply

      “One of my all time favorites.” It lives up to such expectations for sure! 🙂

  2. October 11, 2015 at 10:35 am — Reply

    One of the first dramas I ever watched and still one of my faves. ♥️

    • October 11, 2015 at 7:54 pm — Reply

      First dramas (especially if they are like Thank You) possess different dynamics in our hearts!! ^-^

      • October 13, 2015 at 12:22 pm — Reply

        A confession here: a certain prince wannabe misses his pre-blogging days, when he need not accidentally witness how his first dramas were being hacked mercilessly by netizens. It’s like the shapeless figures of Edvard Munch pouring acid on your first love, albeit not always with evil intentions.

        Speaking of which, here’s a message to She Was Pretty: Prove your detractors wrong, drama!

        • October 13, 2015 at 5:22 pm — Reply

          The good part of the story is that netizens usually care about present thingies, so good old dramas are there mainly for those who treasure them! Passing the test of time and avoiding the acid is a blessing! 😀
          Something tells me you’re highly enjoying She Was Pretty! Haven’t started it yet in order to have an opinion, but something tells me i will eventually marathon it!

          • October 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm

            Yep, the drama is quite my cup of tea! It’s a quirky mix of hilarious shenanigans (but some people may find them over-the-top) and soulful contemplation about memories and bonds. You can always turn to hanakimi91’s recaps. 😀

          • October 13, 2015 at 5:47 pm

            I don’t read recaps if i haven’t watched the drama, i always try to remain as spoiler-less as possible! 😀 This middle-line you forged feels really intriguing!! I’ll probably start once it reaches the 14th ep!

  3. October 11, 2015 at 11:55 am — Reply

    I have wanted to watch this for a while, due to the cast as well. Seems like it’s gonna be a worthwhile watch!

    • October 11, 2015 at 7:55 pm — Reply

      It is, so many feels, but so much laughter as well!! It just wins you over and over again ep by ep! 😀

  4. Mrmz
    October 11, 2015 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the review! I watched it so long ago now I feel like rewatching it!

    What you said here is so true:
    “Instead of sincerely approaching one’s problems in order to offer a devoid of pity helping hand, people will always prefer to create outcasts in order to preserve the deceptive peace of mind of a stagnant, ignorant and eventually pathetic and ludicrous normality.”

    And also that point:
    “It vividly presents how the world of adults can poison childhood’s dreamlike essence, but it also reflects how knowledge and information can awaken through a sincere and moving approach under difficult circumstances.”

    It applies to Lee Bom here as a child, but it can apply to any child going through difficulties because of adult decisions and actions. Being one who was given the chance of happy childhood where I could maintain my innocence, I find it tragic that some children are faced with the poison of adult world.

    Bah maybe I’m too idealistic!!

    • October 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm — Reply

      You are very welcome Smurf! And thanks a lot as well for sharing your thoughts!! 🙂
      Yup, with Lee Bom being the compass of my thoughts due to the drama itself, it could apply to other children going through hardships when it wasn’t their fault in the first place. Happy childhood is a blessing for some children while it should be a given for every child. It is tragic that children’s world is being poisoned by adults’ poison, it’s not idealistic at all, it should be the only way, but oh well, it’s a cruel world. Let’s remain kurazy! 😀

  5. October 11, 2015 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    Reblogged this on Stuck on Hyuk and commented:
    A wonderful review of Thank You by Kwon at Dramajjang blog 😊 Enjoy!

    • October 11, 2015 at 7:55 pm — Reply

      Thank you so much for the reblog and your words, dramafafafan! 🙂 It’s truly appreciated! 😀

  6. October 13, 2015 at 2:58 am — Reply

    I need to move this show up on my watch list. Thanks!

    • October 13, 2015 at 4:07 am — Reply

      You’re very welcome, moving it up on your watch list is very positive, the real reward will come once you watching it! 🙂

  7. October 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm — Reply

    A really good drama that will warm your heart! Makes you cry & laugh at the same time.
    Fall in love with Lee Bom (the child actor), she really light up the whole show.
    Thank you, this review makes me wanna watch it again 🙂

    • October 13, 2015 at 5:17 pm — Reply

      I can only agree, so many feels and so much laughter, sometimes at the same time indeed! Lee Bom was a great character, her jokes, her concerns, her questions, her realizations, all of them were powerful along with the child actress’ performance!
      Thank you so much for your words and for sharing your thoughts! 🙂 A re-wathing process will make you love a bit more i presume! 😀

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