CAST: Namgoong Min,Jung Myung-soo, Ahn Eun-jin ,Bang Du-ne, Yong Gol-dae, Lee Da-In

DIRECTOR : Kim Sung Yong

Prepare yourself for an exquisitely directed, deeply moving historical drama that will evoke emotions, from laughter to tears. My Dearest introduces us to an irresistibly charming duo who constantly find themselves entangled in mischievous shenanigans. However, their lighthearted escapades are abruptly interrupted by the invasion of the Qing dynasty.

The story takes us back to a somber day in 1659, when Inspector Shin Yi-Rib, played by Ha Kyung, is compelled to investigate a particular entry in the court records. The information is limited, mentioning an officer who led the crown prince astray and a man, Lee Jang-Hyun, who the king banished due to his descent into madness.

My Dearest" Namkoong Min and Ahn Eun Jin's Heartbreaking Teaser Released - MyDramaList


Inspector Shin’s curiosity leads him to a facility where nobles unfit for society are confined. This “asylum,” more accurately described as a cold and lightless prison, houses a forgotten inmate with white hair. This inmate fervently believes that someone will eventually come for him. Inspector Shin questions the inmate, wondering if he is indeed Lee Jang-Hyun.

The narrative then transports us back in time. We witness Lee Jang-Hyun, portrayed by Namgoong Min, battered and despondent near the sea. As an army approaches with weapons raised, he whispers, “Do you hear the sound of a flower?” With a profound sense of defeat, he gazes at the setting sun and bravely confronts his attackers, stepping forward.

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In the spring of 1637, we are transported back to the peaceful village of Neunggun-ri. Our main character, Yoo Gil-chae (Ahn Eun-jin ), is introduced to us as a captivating and self-absorbed individual who either evokes love or hate but never fails to leave a lasting impression. Her teachers label her as audacious, while her classmates find her a bit overwhelming if they are being polite. However, for shy scholars yearning for romance, Gil-chae is seen as a goddess of love, with men hanging on her every word. Making friends with other girls is challenging, but stealing their boyfriends comes effortlessly.

Beneath Gil-chae’s seemingly flighty persona lies the heart of a true romantic. Every night, she vividly dreams of finding true love, chasing a scarlet thread of destiny through forests, hills, and snow until she reaches a beach. At this point, a faceless man, who resembles our hero, gently touches her cheek and confesses that he has been waiting for her. However, just as their lips are about to meet, Gil-chae is abruptly awakened by her loyal maid, Jong Jong, played by Park Jeong-yeon.

Gil-chae has developed romantic feelings for a man named Nam Yeon-joon, who embodies the ideal characteristics of a second lead in a romantic story. However, Yeon-joon, portrayed by Lee Hak-joo, is only partially interested in Gil-chae and is fully committed to her friend, Kyung Eun-ae, played by Lee Da-in. Despite this, Gil-chae becomes hopeful when Yeon-joon unexpectedly interrupts a flower-picking festival.

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Unfortunately, Yeon-joon’s concerns are primarily focused on sociopolitical matters. In a neighboring region, the Ming dynasty is engaged in a war against the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty, which is considered barbaric in the Joseon era. The Jin leader, Hong Taiji, portrayed by Kim Joon-won, has declared himself the head of a newly established Qing dynasty. To Yeon-joon’s dismay, the king refuses to retaliate against the Jin dynasty.

At this moment, a character named Jang-hyun, who represents chaos, appears and challenges Yeon-joon’s certainty about the Ming dynasty’s victory. Jang-hyun points out that the Jin dynasty also claimed the mandate of heaven in the past, just like the Ming dynasty does now. With great delight and without any remorse, Jang-hyun proceeds to dismantle Yeon-joon’s arguments using accurate historical knowledge. His well-aimed query and gleeful historical accuracy leave Yeon-joon’s puffed-up indignation in tatters.

Jang-hyun, a gentleman, merchant, and scoundrel, arrives in Neunggun-ri and attempts to enroll at the village school. Despite being informed about the entrance exam, Jang-hyun remains undeterred and joins a group of toddlers to take the exam. However, he finds the essay topic on chastity and loyalty offensive to his libertine sensibilities and decides to bribe the elders instead. Subsequently, he establishes a routine of flirting and shocking the villagers as he interacts with Jurchen traders.

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As Jang-hyun prepares to enjoy casual romantic encounters in the upcoming spring, the village learns he strongly opposes marriage. He believes people are superficial, love is temporary, and he plans to remain a bachelor until his death. Gil-chae, a cunning character, suggests that Jang-hyun’s stance on marriage might indicate performance issues.

However, Gil-chae has her agenda: being bold, seizing the day, and wearing appropriate footwear. She aims to capture the attention of Yeon-Joon, and she is willing to go to great lengths to achieve her goal.

In pursuit of her scheme, Gil-chae rolls down her socks and gets on a swing, urging Jong Jong to push her. The scholars in the vicinity are left speechless as they try to avoid thinking about Gil-chae’s bare legs. Suddenly, panic ensues as Gil-chae slips and gets injured. In need of assistance, Gil-chae realizes that Yeon-joon is nowhere to be found. Frustrated with the crowd of admirers who try to help her, Gil-chae decides to try again. She steps back onto the swing, and just as another man appears, the rope “accidentally” comes undone. Gil-chae goes flying through the air and lands in the arms of the newcomer. However, to her surprise, the rescuer is cooler, more smirky, and sardonic than Yeon-joon.

Before this incident, Jang-hyun, who turns out to be the mystery rescuer, arrives at the scene and witnesses Gil-chae swinging gracefully, looking incredibly beautiful amidst the trees. He becomes captivated by her and murmurs, “Do you hear? The sound of a flower.” The scene sets the stage for a complex and intriguing relationship between the characters, hinting at deeper connections and future developments in the story.

My Dearest' Episode 1: Namgoong Min, Ahn Eun Jin's Drama Kick Off With Impressive Rating | KDramaStars


Jang-hyun had anticipated a grateful and bashful young woman, but he is confronted with his perfect match. Gil-chae, with a half-hearted attempt at a charming smile that comes across as condescending, acknowledges how fortunate Jang-hyun is to have the opportunity to converse with her. She then dismisses him, causing Jang-hyun to appear unsettled.

However, Gil-chae soon realizes that Jang-hyun can be useful to her. Since Yeon-joon has spent time in Hanyang, Gil-chae believes that if she can coerce Jang-hyun into revealing the allure of city life, she will be able to understand Yeon-joon better. To incentivize him, she offers Jang-hyun the topic of the next exam as a bribe.

Instead of explaining the situation to the toddlers, Jang-hyun suppresses his laughter and agrees solemnly. He takes Gil-chae across the river, pretending it is not a date but a practical outing, to discuss Hanyang fashion. And what could be more practical than having Gil-chae disguise herself as a boy and sneak into the local gisaeng house, a quintessential city experience? Perhaps both of them take a moment to appreciate the intimacy when Jang-hyun ties back Gil-chae’s hair. However, Gil-chae quickly becomes distracted. After all, how can she resist marveling at her reflection in the mirror?

The scene vividly depicts the characters’ personalities and dynamics, setting the stage for a complex and intriguing relationship. It also hints at underlying tensions and attractions that may play a significant role in the unfolding story.

It’s the delightful, reassuring sensation of immersing oneself in a story and having the assurance that you’re in capable hands: the characters will shine, the historical backdrop will be deeply resonant, and your heart will ache so profoundly by the conclusion that you’re already preemptively grieving. We must commend Namgoong Min’s countenance: every subtle shift in expression is flawless. He’s performing wonders with Jang-Hyun, a character who simultaneously manages to be enigmatic yet relatable. We find ourselves alongside him whenever he’s stirred, in distress, or secretly grinning at Gil-chae’s endearing actions. Speaking of Ahn Eun-jin, it brings me immense joy to see her finally securing leading roles! Gil-chae is effervescent, unpredictable, and incredibly charming. Those self-satisfied, manipulative little smirks! Their unapologetic embrace of chaos solidifies their pairing for me — it’s a perfect match.

Photos] New Stills and Behind the Scenes Images Added for the Upcoming Korean Drama 'My Dearest' @ HanCinema

Another splendid aspect of this drama is how skillfully it melds the past and present while interweaving the political and personal. The juxtaposition of the wedding dance and soldiers riding into battle was iconic. It was a powerful reflection of the drama’s intent: that fleeting instant of our hero reaching out to our heroine set against the weightiness of an invasion, and both holding equal significance. Simultaneously, there’s a celebration of enduring, everyday love spanning sixty years: a reminder of the joy our protagonists stand to gain and a glimpse of what war could obliterate. The execution is exquisitely crafted, and my anticipation for more is palpable!


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