My Golden Life Episodes 1-38: Review and Thoughts

So far, 38 episodes of My Golden Life have aired. Why is this drama so popular? I’ve been pondering this for a while, and I think I finally have a more solid answer to that question.

My Golden Life is a long weekend drama that consists of multiple intertwined stories of primarily two families. It depicts in a realistic manner how different families live day to day, and puts them against each other as contrasts: contrasts of a seemingly loving family, to a family that seemingly has it all.

The first family that is introduced is the Seo family. The main character of this entire show is Seo Ji-an, a hardworking girl in her late 20s that goes through many tribulations that test her perseverance, loyalty, and heart. Her family at home consists of six people: her parents, a twin sister, a younger brother, and an older brother. The beginning of the show depicts her as a girl who can do anything, a girl with a lot of pride and confidence in what she does. However, we can see that her efforts are hindered by those who utilize wealth to manipulate others.

Because she works so hard, she doesn’t have many friends; the only person she earnestly confesses her troubles to is not often seen throughout the show. Out of all the people around her, it is obvious that Ji-an cherishes the girl that she believed to be her twin for 23 years, Seo Ji-soo. But because of Ji-an’s mother, Yang Mi-jung’s decision to switch the twins and ultimately send Ji-an instead of Ji-soo to the Haesung Group family, the relationship between Ji-an and Ji-soo is forever severed, as seen when Ji-soo leaves the Seo household and goes to live with her biological parents (Haesung family). You can honestly say that Yang Mi-jung started everything. I did, and I hated her for a long time because of that. Why does everyone else have to suffer because of what she did? is what I thought. But I think this is where the family aspect of the drama really shines through and shows how much a single decision impacts a closely knitted group of people, like families. We want to hate our families for certain things that they do, but ultimately we can’t because of all the past we shared with them in our lives. Ji-an also cannot stand the futility of her hard work and decides for herself that she wants to move into the Haesung Group family. Although Ji-an’s mother started the problem involving the Haesung Group family, Ji-an also wanted to believe she was the daughter of Haesung Group, because she was so tired of her life, so tired of being poor.

Because of the coincidence that one of the Seo twins is the daughter of Haesung Group, the two families get intertwined and we get a deeper look into the Haesung Group family. On the surface, in which Ji-an looked into the family, the family has everything anyone could ever wish for. But they have rules that prevent anyone in the family from doing things any normal person would do. We find out that they have strict lessons, have to constantly be under the watch of people, and watch out for their image, as it will harm the Group. When Ji-an first moves in with the family, although she was amazed at everything that the family possessed, she soon realizes that she can’t be herself; she had to play the role of a “perfect daughter” and follow the rules of the family, rules that no one would dare to disobey. At least, not until Ji-an and Choi Do-kyeong find out the truth about Ji-an not being the actual daughter of Haesung Group. Because of this, I feel like the turning point of the show is not when Yang Mi-jung lies, or even when Ji-an moves into the Haesung Group household, but when Ji-an tells Choi Do-kyeong, the oldest brother in the family, the truth, and implicitly asks him to break a rule.

After Choi Do-kyeong realizes that his family has been tricked by Ji-an’s family, he naturally gets furious, but because he has observed Ji-an for a while and knows how earnest of a person she is and how cruel his family could be to hers, he unknowingly begins to become more protective of her, while fully knowing the consequences. However, the protective feeling he had for Seo Ji-an wasn’t just due to his noblesse oblige practice, which he seems to be very fond of; he was moved by her perseverance and drive to do her best, a characteristic that made her a relatable and likable character. Unlike anyone in the Haesung Group family, she wasn’t handed anything, but worked her way up by herself. As Korea’s society becomes more and more result-oriented, this kind of mindset seems to be more common, leading people to feel stressed and hopeless when they can’t achieve their intended results. But especially in that kind of society, there are people who don’t have to work as hard as everyone else, and that’s what makes life frustrating. Because of all the realistic portrayal of these occurrences, viewers that are going through difficult situations will be able to relate to Seo Ji-an’s situation.

Episode 38 ended with Ji-an’s father, Seo Tae-soo, leaving the house and the entire family gathering to hear that he tested negative for cancer, but instead has an “imaginary cancer”. At this point, the Seo family had gone through many tribulations, but the announcement of Seo Tae-soo’s cancer-like symptoms brought the family once again, closer, and I think this would allow the whole family to rethink their actions and accept each other into their hearts again.

Even though I think the main family storyline in the drama is the Seo family, I find the Choi family quite interesting. Maybe it’s because it’s more mysterious to me? In the past, we find out that Do-kyeong’s mother, Noh Myung-hee, disobeyed her father in marrying Choi Jae-sung, Do-kyeong’s father, so I wonder what the story behind that is. I think Noh Myung-hee also had a time where she disobeyed her father, and I feel like because of that she will probably grow to understand Do-kyeong’s thoughts much better than her father. Although she seems daunting and unapproachable on the outside, I can see glimpses of the human inside of her when she cared for Ji-an, and I think that side of her will come back, hopefully sooner than later.

My Golden Life‘s main point of the family is why it’s appealing to a wide audience. Instead of putting its focus on the development of the love line, we see the development of two very different families, going through very similar struggles in life. Because we are able to see the families situations, even though the story seems to be outrageous, when considering it from that perspective, it becomes reasonable and even relatable.

Anyway, I can’t wait for next Saturday (the last Saturday of my winter break ㅠㅠ), when we’ll see some development in Seo Ji-an’s family. I’m also curious on what Do-kyeong will do now that his grandfather blocked all of his investments. We finally see him “giving up” on Ji-an (basically just ignoring her for a day), and his past secretary, Yoobi (Yoo secretary), from when he worked at Haesung as vice president appears again, telling him that he’s been waiting for him to go back to Haesung. In this case, Do-kyeong doesn’t have any other option but to go back to Haesung, but I feel like he’ll still try to create a smaller project and make money that way, in a way that his grandfather can’t intercept. Also, I know it’s still too early for Do-kyeong and Ji-an’s complicated relationship to be completely resolved, but I hope they can still figure something out and just hang out like normal people who like each other. When is Ji-an going to stop suffering?

 

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

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Soapbox

I decided to start something new last month and I wanted to introduce it here: fb.com/soapbox1004.

It’s a Korean radio music and talk show I’ve always wanted to start, and I’m finally getting the opportunity to do it. But for some reason, I still feel a hole in my heart. Is it because my dad won’t let me study abroad? I never really wanted to admit it, but now I’m almost 100% sure of it. This entire break consisting of me staying at home and wasting away days, weeks, and now an entire month, has made me realize, how deeply I want this dream to come true. Even though I try to imagine my life without it, it’s like my brain refuses to. I still can’t make sense of it though.

In the midst of feeling burnt out from school and just life in general, I decided to write this post on my Facebook page. It’s just so ironic how life is. We are grown up with society telling us to find something that we like, but once we try to pursue the one that we decided to like a lot, it’s somehow no longer accepted by society. When I was little I thought I knew why people continue to enjoy their lives, but now I realize that people just continue with their lives because they can’t die. We’re born already tied down to too much.

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

 

2018 Welcoming Post on Facebook:

𝐒𝐨𝐚𝐩𝐛𝐨𝐱 #𝟐
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I never thought it to be possible for the year to end, but here it is, the end. It’s kind of a weird feeling because I’m still laying on the floor of my room, just like how I was the past two weeks, but somehow everything is supposed to change in about five hours from now. I still haven’t done anything or accomplished anything worth noting besides maybe finishing 32 episodes of ‘My Golden Life’ in two days, and subbing the final scene of episode 34 as a result. Next year I’m somehow supposed to be better. Wiser, smarter, faster, but if I’ve learned anything in my past 19 years of life, is that it doesn’t. Life doesn’t get better because you make a tiny wish to yourself for it to be better. At least it didn’t for me. Even so, every year I still carry a tiny bit a hope. Hope that maybe, maybe this year I’ll be able to do something I’ll remember for years and years and be proud of. Cheers to a somehow “better” year. Welcome, 2018. ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
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저는 올해가 끝날 수는 있다고 생각하지 않았지만 여기 있다: 끝이. 느낌이 참 이상하다. 왜냐하면 전 아직도 방 바닥에서 눕고 있다, 지난 이 주동안 처럼. 근데 다섯 시간 뒤에 어쩐지 다 바꿀 건다. 저는 이 방학에 이상적인 게 없구요, 그냥 ‘황금밫 내인생’ 이틀에 32회 다 봤고 34회 마지막 장면 편집했다. 내년에 전 더 좋아하게 돼야 된댄다. 근데 제 인생동안 이건 아닌다는 결정한다. 그래도 매년에 저는 작은 희망을 가지기 있다. 아마, 아마 이년에 저는 드디어 제가 자랑스러운 건 할 건다. 환영한다, 2018.

My Golden Life 황금빛 내인생

I can’t believe it’s already 2018 because 2017 seemed to drag on to no end (even though I didn’t get to post in here enough because I felt like I was constantly busy).

I feel like I haven’t updated in here much so I’ll do a mini recap. Over the summer, I watched Produce 101 Season 2, went through a phase with the idol group Wanna One, and BTS performed at the AMAs. I covered Red Velvet’s song “Peek A Boo” with four other friends in two days (and came out alive somehow), and I got back into I.O.I, even though they’re long gone now. Last semester was probably the hardest semester of my life, but I managed to survive (again, somehow) and retain my gpa. My parents won’t let me study abroad, even though it’s the only thing I want to do right now. This winter break I was really burnt out, so I watched up to the most recent episode of My Golden Life (episode 32 at the time) and decided to start subbing episode 34, and thus my Soap’s Box facebook page came to be (since it was blocked on YouTube). Similar to My Golden Life, my life is quite boring and limited by the depressing society.

But I think that’s the exact reason why I’m attracted to My Golden Life, because of its relatability. Although it’s not the exact life I’m living, multiple aspects can pertain to almost everyone. In the beginning of the drama when Seo Ji-an was working hard for her place in the world, it really struck a chord with me. I saw myself and how much I suffered to get through last semester. Although I think most people will be able to empathize with Seo Ji-an and her perseverance and sense of justice, there’s a character for everyone to relate to and that’s why so many people watch it.

Also, over the break, I’ve started I’m Not A Robot, a drama about a guy with a human contact allergy and a girl that pretends to be the robot, once the real robot with her face is broken. The pacing of the drama is a bit weird; it’s fast at times, and dull in others, but it’s still a good story overall.

I’m currently rewatching I Can Hear Your Voice, and I remembered why I liked Lee Jong-suk so much in the past. I think I’ve seen almost every popular Lee Jong-suk drama because since I Can Hear Your Voice, I really liked his acting. After watching it for the second time, I realized that I didn’t even notice the second guy, Lawyer Cha, and how much good of a pair Lawyer Cha and Jang Hye-sung (the female lead) would have been because I only noticed the things Lee Jong-suk’s character, Park Soo-ha, did for Jang Hye-sun. I just finished this show at 6am last night (1/3/18), and realized how bittersweet the ending really was. I guess the first time I was watching, I was just happy that the story ended with the two leads living happily ever after, but I was blind to all they had lost in the process: their innocence and countless people in their lives.

 

What’s in my pencil case? Writing utensil favorites

I’m always on the hunt for new and better writing utensils because writing makes up 80% of my life. I write pretty lightly on paper so I like thinner pens that come out well with little pressure.

Here is a list of the items in my pencil case:

  1. Muji Capped Gel-Ink Ballpoint Pens 0.38mm: These make up the bulk of my pen collection. I started off with a set of 9 colors (red, hot pink, pink, light green, turquoise, orange, blue, light blue, black), but I found myself reaching for the blue pen the most when taking notes, so I bought a set of blue Muji pens from Amazon. I like how they glide on the paper easily and its simplistic design is aesthetic and easy to carry around. I have also accidentally left one of my pens uncapped for a night and it was working perfectly fine afterward. I want to try out other Muji products in the future and I’m currently interested in the 3 color ballpoint pen.
  2. Other pens: BIC 4-color pen 0.7mm: I got this pen from a program I taught at over the summer and it was easy for me to grade in different colors. I actually put this pen in a compartment in my backpack, for assessability. Random university black ink pen 0.7mm: I like using this one for random writing and taking quick notes.
  3. Highlighters: For highlighters, I don’t really have a preference. I currently have a yellow Papermate intro and a blue Staples highlighter in my pencil case. I tend to like thinner highlighters as they don’t take up much space. I also like highlighters that make an assuring sound when they close because I’m so afraid that they’ll dry out. My favorite highlighter colors are yellow and blue, but I always make sure to have at least a yellow highlighter in my pencil case because it really makes a section of your notes stand out.
  4. Pencils: I have three types of pencils in my pencil case. My favorite are the BIC #2 0.5mm pencils. I like the gray color and the small size of the pencil, and how thin it writes. I also have a Pentel Wow! 0.5mm pencil that I won from a birthday party many years ago. Even though it is a bit bulky, I like the grip on this one. The last type of pencil I have in my case is a plain-old Papermate Sharpwriter #2 0.7mm pencil. I like to use it when I’m jotting something down quickly, because it feels nice in your hand and the eraser works great. I also like the design of this pencil, it looks like a wooden pencil.
  5. Eraser: I used to enjoy using the Pentel Hi-Polymer erasers because they erased so nicely. But for some reason, I keep losing erasers and I decided to go with a bright orange Whataburger eraser. It does its job and catches the eyes easily.
  6. Miscellaneous: Purple Surgical Marker: I recieved this from my sister, who volunteered at a hospital, and I just loved the color, so I kept it. Burt’s Bees mango lip balm: for when my lips feel dry, which is all the time. Micro SD adapter: to transfer phone photos to my computer quickly.

 

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

Produce 101 Season 2, Wanna One

Because I am currently obsessed with this show and slightly sad that Wanna One won’t be releasing music until August, here is my super personal Wanna One bias list! I wasn’t intending on posting this here (as I did these things often with EXO) until one of my friends asked if I had written this for a blog post and I had realized that I hadn’t posted here in a while. I was currently watching episode 7 of the show, where they are continuing the position evaluation songs. I had followed one person on this show, but recently decided to rewatch the whole show so that I could get all the inside jokes and learn how the Wanna One members got to where they are. I did not forgot about my monthly music favorites post either, currently compiling one for the entire summer.

As background, Produce 101 is a show on Mnet where 101 K-pop idol trainees go on the show and are voted on by the general public (known on the show as “national producers”) to create the top 11, who form a temporary group after the end of the show.

6.27.17
Bias list rearrangement after watching produce 101 episode 3
1. Jaehwan – must I even say something? Perf vocals, visuals, funny, cute, and hardworking!! Jaehwan please debut with Sewoon or something.
2. Daniel – I didn’t really get the Daniel hype at first (when I wasn’t interested in produce 101), but after I started watching I totally understand. Daniel is so thoughtful and caring, even though he is skilled.
3. Sungwoo – he just caught my attention with his good looks and bright personality! He seems fun to be around and close to Jaehwan. And also Daniel seems close to Jaehwan too, although Daniel is basically friends with everyone.
4. Woojin – I like that he’s talented and works hard. He can’t get along with the others as well so I feel bad for him too. It was cute to see his ugly past lol. But the reason why he is so high is because when he said “are you kidding me” in his accent it was so cute loll.
5. Sungwoon – THIS GUY IS GOLD. He knows his stuff. He knows what has to be done in a situation (aka bringing Daehwi down a notch). He also sang with Jaehwan in Sonagi and he was really good. He also looks good in glasses.
6. Jihoon – his face is so cute.
7. Jinyoung – I felt bad for him because he was in F after reevaluation, but his face is so small omg! I hope he does well in the future.
8. Guanlin – I can sort of relate to this kid. He doesn’t know Korean as well and he’s not as talented, but his Korean is not bad for someone who’s only been in Korea for 6 months!
9. Jisung – expression king omg. The last minute decision to make him center in Boy in Luv along with his weird facial expressions during the first evaluations gave him a lasting impression. Also he is the same age as Woohyun from Infinite, which makes me a little sad, but he can do it!!
10. Minhyun – I actually don’t dislike him as much as before. He chose Jaehwan to be on his Sorry Sorry team, which was a good choice, obviously. He seems earnest and nice and is pretty okay well around, but nothing in particular stands out.
—–WALL——
11. Daehwi – he is so selfish and keeps wanting for the center!!! So annoyed…at least Sungwoon spoke up about it (during Boy in Luv stage). And happy that Daehwi made Wanna One instead of Samuel I guess. 🙂

 

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

Produce 101 Season 2

Who knew that I would be watching this show? I first watched the “Pick Me” of this season and was immediately turned off by it. All the guys in the video seemed similar to me and I couldn’t really see the difference in personality for each person. It just seemed a bit contrived to me. It was not until I had started watching the cover “Downpour” by IOI did I discover the world of Produce Season 2. I was immediately drawn towards Kim Jae-hwan, the main vocalist. However, as soon as I saw that he was safely in the top 11, I stopped worrying about his position.

Yesterday, I saw that Jin-hwan was rank 13 and got worried. I started watching all the Jae-hwan videos on the history of the web. I don’t know why, but I just started getting more attached and wanted him to win more badly. I feel like I haven’t been able to gauge the personality and backstory of a lot of the people on the show this season; it might be because I watched the show less closely this time around. His voice is so great that it would be such a waste to let him. I really want Jae-hwan to make it because not only does he have an amazing voice and amazing talent, he has been training for five years and is currently an independent trainee.

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

Currently Watching: My Father is Strange 아버지가 이상해

I wanted to start a “currently watching” series, one, because I almost never finish dramas these days, and two, because I feel like there isn’t enough drama content on here these days. So I’m currently on episode 27 of the weekend My Father is Strange. I think it’s supposed to be 50 episodes, so there is still a long way to go, but it’s surprisingly really good still. I started it during finals week and episodes are still airing. Not going to lie, it does get dull and around episodes 15-20, there are one or two subplots that watchers may gravitate too, so it’s difficult to try to sit through it all. However, watching the episodes as they come out makes it much easier to be on top of it, and you grow attached to all the characters and their conflicts. It’s very much a family-based story, so I feel like certain types of people would gravitate to different characters more than others. In my case, I liked the oldest sister’s subplot compared to the middle sister, parents, and older brother plots because I could relate to her attitude and problems more. But at this point, everyone’s problems are my problems now, and I feel like I’m a part of this super big, dysfunctional family. Currently, I’m only watching this one and Suspicious Partner, but the latter is getting really cheesy and slow, so I’m procrastinating on that one. I guess I should look for another one to watch soon.

I really want to watch Lookout, but it’s a really long drama, so that’s deterring me at the moment, maybe I’ll start it if I get really bored. Also excited for Age of Youth 2 because I really liked the original, and from what I’ve read so far, the story revolves around the same girls. The only thing I’m not too excited about is that Onew is set to be Han Seung-yeon’s boyfriend. A new Nam Joo-hyuk drama (Bride of the Water God 2017) is also coming out next month, which I’m super excited about. I really liked Nam Joo-hyuk ever since I saw him in School 2015, and I’m glad he’s being well-received because I really enjoy his acting.

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

Grateful

You don’t realize what you have until you lose it, people always told me. But in a way, I never quite believed that. Every happy moment as a sad story to it. But I realized that even the most mundane thing–like being healthy–is so important to be grateful for.

Yesterday, I was walking outside to a building I was to work at. It was about a 15-minute walk, but I wasn’t feeling well, not to mention it was sweltering hot outside. I started to sweat a lot and feel dizzy, but I kept going. After a while though, I felt weak and thought I couldn’t breathe anymore. I was so scared I was going to pass out on the street, but I gathered the strength and perseverance I had learned from swimming and kept going on. When I miraculously arrived at the building on the seventh floor, I rushed to the bathroom, but I was too weak to support myself and kept bobbing up and down. At that moment I realized something as I was reading an ad on the bathroom door for a marathon training. I realized that some people must feel like this all the time, but unlike me, they probably never knew what it felt like to run around like everyone else. I finally went to my desk and put my drenched head down on my arm. I don’t ever want to forget this moment because it makes me grateful for what I have, and for all the pains I will never even begin to understand.

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

Sleeping

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but ever since I was little, I was afraid of sleeping. Most people look to nighttime as a time of respite, but I fear it. I don’t even know what I fear, and because I’m afraid, I grow sad as the day goes along. Of course, I’m not a morning person either. I know this sounds ironic. But even I don’t know what the cause of this fear stems from. I always tell people that I saw a video of a child not waking up the next day, but I don’t think that’s quite it. I don’t think I’m going to not wake up the next day, even though I used to. I just get sad.

Even when I think of it, it seems ridiculous, but it truly makes me grateful for my college days. In college, I’m too tired to think, nevermind be afraid. I guess that’s one thing that I gain, despite the lack of sleep.

Currently watching the Chinese drama Surgeons; the plot is really well written and the actors really suit the characters.

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph

Laughing

Never posted this, but I thought that know that school has come to an end, it’s better now than never:

I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve grown to laugh less in college, but when I laugh in college, I tend to remember it more. I guess I can be described as someone who looks for the fun aspect of life, even when it might not seem acceptable.

But I wanted to tell a story of what has been making me laugh recently. I’ve always, and still am, been intimidated by the people in my classes. Somehow everyone seems so be grasping material much faster than I, so I dread having to go to the discussion class where we have to work with others to finish a problem set. In this class, however, I got paired with a partner that, I discovered after the first problem set, was exponentially smarter than I could ever be. I dreaded every class, where I would be completely roasted by my one partner (the other person in the group stopped coming after the first time) by my not understanding of the subject. My lone partner, whom I’ve dubbed “tree”, figures problems out by looking at the question long enough. “How?” is the only question that goes through my head.

Today, tree dropped his graded homework paper on the floor and said “oh noo”, and for some reason, I laughed. It wasn’t the usual, annoying and loud laugh I conjure, but a quiet and calm laugh. I laughed because I was so shocked that someone so calm and so smart could have done something so simply wrong. And I, a person who always talked in a low voice in discussion groups, finally could relate, even if it was a little, to a person who was, seemingly, so different.

xoxo,

dramaqueensoph