Favorite K-drama Moments: You’re Beautiful and Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School

by: Raine

Here it is, the first installment of my “Favorite K-drama Moments” series. I’ve taken some video clips and I’m trying to figure out how to make them better quality, but these work for now. Please enjoy!

By nature, this post contains spoilers.

You’re Beautiful

This was my first K-drama. It holds a special place in my heart as does everyone’s first K-drama. So many things were new to me and really stuck out to me. I remember being puzzled at why he always called her by her whole name, “Go Mi-nam.” I was confused by the difference in speech cadences (which I later found out was because he was using banmal/informal speech and she was using jondae/formal speech.) What were these words “oppa” and “hyung” and “hyungnim”. What was up with the guyliner?

But all of that was memorable because of the novelty. There are two moments that stick with me because of the weighty emotional impact of the scenes.

Moment 1

Hwang Tae-kyung (JANG GEUN-SUK) has had a really crappy birthday. His mother tried to trick him into working with her and then drops the bomb: I wish you’d never been born. OUCH.

Go Mi-nam (PARK SHIN-HYE) has taken it upon herself to make his birthday a success although each attempt is a failure. He appreciates it anyway. At the end of the night, she puts her arms around him and tells him, “Thank you for being born.”

This scene really hit home the first time I watched it. Tae-kyung isn’t used to love outside of fan adulation. His mom just broke his heart into tiny pieces and when Go Mi-nam thanks him for being born, you can see the little pieces coming back together. He is barely able to comprehend what he’s feeling.

Then, in his emotionally stunted way, he thanks her by saying, “banmal hajima,” or, “don’t use banmal/informal language.” The banmal usage on Mi-nam’s part conveys a closeness and this, too, jars him.

What a powerful, amazing moment of friendship.

Moment 2

Tae-kyung has let Mi-nam go and everyone is telling him that he’s a blockhead and has made a huge mistake. One of these people is his mother, Mo Hwa-ran (KIM SUNG-RYUNG), the very same mother that has continually shred his poor little heart into ribbons.

What this very damaged (and crazy) woman has come to discover is that she has lost the one person she thought would always be there. This shocks her out of her selfish dreamworld that she’s been living in.

She has come to tell Tae-kyung that she is sorry, absolutely flooring him. She also tells him not to lose the one he loves, the first real motherly act she’s ever done.

I’m a total sucker for parent/child moments. This woman was so hateful during this drama I didn’t even think she could redeem herself. With this scene, I softened towards her (not THAT much, but enough.)

Tae-kyung has learned about forgiveness from Go Mi-nam and has grown because of his love for her. He finally calls Hwa-ran “mother,” which is a huge turning point for this boy with so many mommy issues.

Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School

Ah, Sang-doo. This was Rain’s acting debut and man was it an AMAZING debut. This is a melodrama about two lovers that were separated for a long time and come together again. Life has not been kind to them and keeps finding ways to wrench them apart. He was thrown in jail. Her mother moved her away. He has a child. She gets engaged. Either one or the other is unwilling to act on his or her love. It’s all about the “could-have-beens” of their relationship.

It’s also about life and how it never goes the way we want it to. Illness, lying, betrayal, money, weakness, family.

Moment 1

One of the most important aspects of Sang-doo is that the title character (RAIN) became a father. Because of a troubled childhood, he has sworn to be the best father he possibly can. He has even stooped as low as to become a jebi (gigolo) to make money. Why? His daughter, Bo-ri (SONG MIN-JOO) has leukemia and hospital bills are expensive.

When he discovers his daughter’s hair is falling out, the doctor suggests shaving it because the process is very traumatizing for the child and family. But shaving all of one’s hair off is also shocking and Sang-doo is troubled over how to go about it.

Since Bo-ri has a mad little crush on her doctor, Kang Min-suk (LEE DONG-GUN), the doc and Sang-doo come up with a plan. The doc pretends to fawn over a picture of a bald Demi Moore from G.I. Jane. Bo-ri naturally wants to be the kind of girl that the doc wants and asks Sang-doo to shave her head.

Shaving a cancer patients hair off is one of the “realest” signs for the patient and their family that the cancer is present, eating away at vital body parts and creating pain. In Sang-doo’s case, it finally hits him how ill his child is, the child that he struggled to care for during the past seven years.

He asks her to sing a song over and over again to give him the strength to get through the process of cutting, and then shaving, her hair.

This moment is so intense and real that my eyes are misting even just typing this. It’s a father’s love and pain.

Moment 2

The second moment from Sang-doo revolves around the OTP. Sang-doo and Eun-hwan (GONG HYO-JIN) have bad timing. They lost track of each other while he was in jail and after he was released. When he finally finds her again, she’s engaged to the doctor who’s caring for his child. She is resistant to accepting him again, having “come to terms” with her love for him, accepting its end and moving on. Or so she thought.

Sang-doo, in his attempts to reconcile with Eun-hwan, has gone back to high school. On a field trip, he’s feeling particularly emotionally weary and starts wandering. He finds that his feet knew where they were going: a cave by the ocean that was a special spot for him and Eun-hwan.

He has a vision of high-school aged Eun-hwan in pigtails, smiling and unaffected by worldly troubles. Seeing her happy again makes him feel safe and he confesses he is tired – and not just physically. She comforts him by sitting close.

Then the vision walks away and is replaced by an older Eun-hwan who sits beside him and offers him the comfort of her presence.

When he realizes she is no longer his vision, he rises, thinking she is still shunning him. Instead, she confesses her love and decides to stop denying her feelings for him.

This moment is so powerful because it crams so many different emotions into four minutes: despair, emotional fatigue, heartache, love and hope.

What are your favorite moments in these dramas? What did you think of the moments I shared?

Related Posts

Favorite K-drama Moments: Introduction

12 responses to “Favorite K-drama Moments: You’re Beautiful and Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School”

  1. You’re Beautiful is my fav # kdrama (2nd fav show of all time) – the bus scene is the scene I show people to say why I like kdramas. I don’t think they get why it resonates with me.
    haven’t watched Sang Doo – but watch part of that ep so I could get more info – having had family members with cancer (not children thankfully) I did hit me. looked like a good drama, but I won’t be watching Sang Doo because it apparently doesn’t have a happy ending. If it doesn’t have a happy ending, I’m not interested because in real life happy endings are rare and can change at any time to despair. I watch kdramas for escapism.
    and I feel sorry for 2nd leads (3rd in Jeremy’s case) (if they aren’t evil) cause they don’t get the happy ending most of the time.
    if you can’t tell my fav. part of stories was “and they all lived happily ever after.”

    • Kaekae- Thanks for stopping by!

      Before I met an unni on the Dramabeans OT I never watched anything sad. EVER. But having the people on OT to commiserate with really helped.

      That said, I will most definitely have happy moments for you in upcoming entries! Do you have a suggestion? I will actually be adding Jeremy’s scene to this one because so many people have mentioned it!

  2. One of my favorite KDramas from a character development point of view is “The Last Scandal of My Life”. The seemingly always-happy Jae Bin slowly turning into a mature and responsible adult was awesome, and the chemstry between Jung Joon Ho and the late Choi Jin Shil was wonderful to watch.

    The most lump-in-the-throat-edness scene was between episodes 12 and 13; Jae Bin realizes his nephew may be his son; his first love that he’s been falling in love with again is gravitating towards his brother; and he’s unsure of his current career path, his acting abilities, and well, everything.

    Sun Hee finds him sitting in the dark, overcome with all the emotional upheaval of the day, sits down next to him, and just gives him a hug while he has a meltdown. Just a brilliant scene of friendship / lovingkindness, and one that I never tire of rewatching.

    • Shukmeister!

      Thanks for stopping by. I will watch it and include this when I put it in! If you don’t mind that is! 😀 I heard you wrote a story on his royal highness! I need to go check it out!

      I have Last Scandal on my list, but it has just been moved up!

  3. Sorry, Raine, I bailed out of “You’r beautiful ” and didn’t watch “Sang Doo “.

    I love your definition of “moment” in Raine’s Gloassary.

    So based on that, my favourite moment has to be the soft, sensual kiss Kim Seung Yoo gave Se Ryeong on her bare back in The Princess Man. Particularly the part where his lips tenderly touched the scar of the arrow wound. There’s something magical about a kiss on skin when not facing your beloved. It was so touching, I immediately fell deeper in love with Seung Yoo more than Se Yeong did ( as if that is ever possible !! )

    • Ya, that kind of kiss is full of trust and utter adoration. I’m going to have a hard time choosing when I write my TPM fav moments….

      I’m glad you liked my definition. There are definitely more to come.

  4. I have never seen Sang-doo Let’s Go to School, but I think after seeing this video I will watch the drama but not now. It was so sad so I don`t think I will be ably to watch it now but I will added to my watch list…crying.

  5. One of my (many) favorite moments in a drama is in Thank You. Grandpa uses lipstik to paint on Bom’s favorite posters and the child gets upset with him but her mother patiently stops her from scolding grandpa and allows grandpa to paint her face. I have found the whole goodness, love and understanding in the whole scene was something that stayed with me for a long time.

  6. Bawled like a baby over my Sang Doo, of course. Even just hearing that Jung Chul song kills me – when it comes up on my play list I just kind of sit there and hold my breath.

    • I felt like I was recording for an hour when I recorded it. And I had to do it several times. I felt like half a day had passed ’cause I had to keep watching it. I was crying when I put it up on youtube!

  7. Forget sleep! I’m commenting. Heh

    One of the few moments that I liked in You’re Beautiful was one with Jeremy. In this particular scene, Jeremy sings about his heartbreak and love in the bus. I don’t remember for sure, but I think it was after confessing his feelings to Mi-nam. I liked the change in Jeremy’s character because scenes involving Jeremy were usually for comic relief and hence, the emotional weight he showed in that bus was a moment for me.

    I have never seen Sang-doo Let’s Go to School, but I think the father and ill child theme is quite similar to the one in Wonderful Life. There’s just something so heart-wrenching when you see fathers cry. It’s one of the few things about K-dramas that still takes my breathe away. The tears of a man are expensive, as my mom used to say.

    Brilliant post!

    p/s Gong Hyo-jin looks 12 in that picture! Haha 🙂

    • I was hard-pressed to put the Jeremy scene in there. But as I obviously have a parent/child love, that one won out. I like how you expressed it! Definitely “a moment”.

      The father crying scene was the pinnacle of the show for me, even over the OTP and their trials.

      And she does, doesn’t she? She’s so adorable!

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