“My Ahjussi” also known as “My Mister” is led by IU, Lee Sun Kyun, Park Ho San, Song Sae Byeok and Chang Ki Yong among many others.
The drama is about three brothers who struggle in life, each carrying burdens and suffering problems. The middle brother (played by Lee Sun Kyun) meets a girl named Lee Ji An, she changes his life.
The drama doesn’t have a particular universal plot that leads one way, its about three brothers and a girl in her 20s, they all struggle with problems.
The drama wasn’t the biggest tvN success and had even attracted negative attention for portraying a real fight scene (I thought people were needlessly complaining) but it was one of my favorite kdramas EVER.
This is not only one of my favorite kdramas EVER but one of my favorite dramas in general. I watch English, German, Spanish, Arabic and Turkish dramas and this drama has one of the best casting choice, the best plots and the best performances.
So far, 2018 has been a disappointing year in kdrama for me. The kdrama community was shaken to its core with many scandals, sexual harassment allegations and confirmations, cast leaving dramas and such.
So it’s obvious that 2018 isn’t the best kdrama year. “My Ahjussi” was actually one of the dramas that suffered from the fall back of sexual harassment allegations, Oh Dal Su was supposed to play the eldest brother character but he was replaced because of sexual harassment scandal.
The drama had actually begun shooting and even released a teaser featuring the three brothers along with Oh Dal Su.
With all honesty, I wasn’t really excited about this drama because I didn’t like that IU was paired with Lee Sun Kyun. I thought that if the drama went in a romantic direction, it would be awful but thank god, I decided to check it out and I was blown away.
So today, I decided to discuss the drama in a spoiler-free review to all those kdrama fans who are wondering whether they should watch it or not.
1The Plot and Characters
As I had previously said, the plot isn’t about one person its about 4 people and that is something that can present problems if handled the wrong way.
Not every writer can perfect plots with many sub-plots and give each character its justice, it also means that the main actors have to ‘accept’ not being in 90% of each shot.
Kdramas usually pick 4 main characters and focuses on two for about 80% of each episode and gives that 20% to the rest of the characters. Sometimes, I hated that and sometimes I liked that.
“My Ahjussi” is unlike that but was able to pull it off perfectly.
There were episodes that concentrated on certain characters and shed light on them, this gave every actor the chance to shine and show how good they were, they were all amazing.
It never felt as if it was forced, all these characters were connected one way or another and every one of them had a story and the writer told their stories.
“My Ahjussi” is probably the only kdrama in 2018 that doesn’t have any kdrama clichés that are pure repetitive and cheesy. You don’t know how happy I was with that.
Its been so long since I have seen a drama that is this raw and real. Its gritty, its miserable, its heartbreaking and its exhausting. Its all of these emotions.
The characters and their backstories are written so damn well I wanna give the writer a hug.
In kdramas, you usually have main characters that do things that don’t make little to no sense, there is no such thing here in “My Ahjussi” which was also refreshing and nice to see.
One of the best things about this script is that each action each character makes is totally understandable and justifiable. No character does anything out of its character and that was such a nice thing to see.
The plot is written so well and each episode has juicy details to share with the audience. It also respects the audience and doesn’t always use dialogue to get a point across.
A friend of mine who watches kdramas once told me that kdramas are for dummies, the comment hurt me but she then explained that kdramas usually don’t try to challenge the audience, they always feed the plot to the viewers with a spoon.
This means that there will be characters that explain everything and says random things about a character backdrop just to make sure we got it. I haven’t noticed it much before after she said that I started paying attention and its true.
Almost all kdramas can be understood by a 10-year-old. It isn’t particularly a bad thing but you appreciate when a writer comes along and writes a kdrama that doesn’t like explaining everything to you with words.
This means that during this drama course, you will see many silent moments that focus on the characters facial expressions to get the point across. There are also times when the drama doesn’t necessarily explain something but we draw to that conclusion, I liked that.
The drama is written so well and has the perfect amount of information presented in the first episodes, it didn’t feel forced and the writer didn’t feel that she needed to give us as much information about each character backdrop as soon as possible.
There are certain plot points and characters that aren’t explained in the first half of the drama, it takes a while before you understand them and their actions but its worth the wait.
I also liked that each time a character made a very shocking or annoying decision I understood why they did it. I have grown accustomed to the cast so much so that I knew what each main character would do and why.
This is something that very few kdramas were ever able to make me feel.
The feel of connecting with these characters and understanding their struggles some of them make some pretty horrible decision that aren’t justifiable by any means but still you understand why they came to those decisions.
I felt sorry for the bad and the good characters in this drama because of their backstories and because of the struggles they had to go through.
There were no loose ends with the drama ending. The drama was so real it didn’t have a ‘happy ending’ so to speak, it won’t have the ending you expect.
Also, the drama doesn’t have a particular love line and the drama writer didn’t force a romantic relationship between IU and Lee Sun Kyun’s characters.
The drama aimed to be healing, viewers related to the characters and their daily struggles and past-wounds that never healed. There are many beautiful conversations and quotes from this drama that I often recall.
The drama made me feel both happy and sad watching it, I was excited about each episode but also anxious to find what’s gonna happen and how it’ll affect the main characters.
I cried, I don’t often cry watching kdramas but there was a couple of moment where I just lost it, some of these moments personally touched me and reminded me of an incident I have been through, those moments I cried might have not been the moment a lot of kdrama fans cried at.
I found out that my other kdrama friends cried in almost every single episode.
Some episodes are heartbreaking and the little details and the struggles of those characters get to you and you feel all the feels you should. It was nice to see and also heartbreaking because this is real life and real people. It makes you hate the world we live in but also have hope knowing that despite the filth there are still good people in this world and its worth to fight.
The plot discusses infidelity, domestic abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts so its pretty heavy. And I love heavy kdramas when its done right.
Whats also great about the plot is that the main two characters aren’t your average kdrama characters.
IU plays the role of the broken desperate Lee Ji An. She is an unlikeable character who goes to far lengths to get what she wants because she is that desperate. She has done something extremely bad in her past and she is always afraid people would find out, yet she disguise herself as this careless young woman who doesn’t give a fuck.
She is a very unlikeable character, especially at first. And once you find out why she behaves like this you understand, you understand her struggles, her attitude and why she’s so broken.
IU is a good idol actress, I was impressed with her performance in “Scarlet Heart Ryeo” but I honestly didn’t know she was THAT good until I saw her in “My Ahjussi.” I won’t call her an idol actress anymore; she is a real actress now.
Lee Sun Kyun plays a character that is broken, struggling with his wife and life.
He is not THAT smart, not THAT hot, not a chaebol or someone who’s cocky. He is a simple man who loves his family. He is miserable on the inside and thinks his life is a waste.
Those two main characters alone are not similar to any character description I have seen in 2018. Almost always the main male character has power; Lee Sun Kyun’s character Dong Hoon has no power.
He is disrespected by his employers and people take advantage of him, he is a sad character and I loved how real he was.
The same goes to all other characters, the writer didn’t feel the need to construct characters that we would automatically care about but characters we’d respect and understand.
No 2D characters but 3D!
Who would have thought that IU and Lee Sun Kyun would be so good together? I like IU’s acting and I love Lee Sun Kyun’s acting, the guy is a pro and chooses good projects.
This is, in my opinion, the best project he chose in recent years.
I was blown away by how good the brothers suited each other and how it felt real. I liked how IU and Chang Ki Yong’s characters interacted and love their push-and-pull toxic relationship.
Everyone was a pro; this isn’t a drama that includes young cast. The youngest member of the main cast is IU, she is born in 1993, and this meant that there will be no immature idol actors ruining another kdrama and no bad actors as well. Almost all of the actors have been acting for such a long time.
This is why the drama didn’t get the attention it deserved. There is no young hot oppa to ship with IU and the plot of the drama isn’t easy to digest, this is why you didn’t hear a lot about it.
I didn’t hear about it as much as I had wished. The drama is wayyyy better than 80% of the kdramas that aired this year, plot-wise, casting wise, chemistry wise and also OST wise.
As I have said before, the majority of the cast is old, older than your usual kdrama. IU is the youngest among the cast members.
The casting choice was simply amazing. I admit I doubted the casting choice at first because it paired IU and Lee Sun Kyun and they had a large age gap.
However, the plot didn’t shy away from discussing that age gap and touching on it. The drama doesn’t have a love-line as I said before since Dong Hoon is already married and the writer wanted this drama to be about healing not about love in particular.
But oh my God, they suit each other so well and had this great odd chemistry.
I actually began shipping them together and moreover fell in love with Lee Sun Kyun’s character. I think almost all of kdrama fans who watched this drama fell in love with Dong Hoon.
He is flawed but such a genuine amazing pure human being. He’s not a character you dream about but a character you’d love to run into in real life. He was written so beautifully and Lee Sun Kyun gave the character its justice.
His deep voice and facial expressions just… just captured my heart; I fell in love with him and the character he played.
I didn’t like IU’s character because I hated that she caused Dong Hoon harm when he’s that cute and nice but I understood eventually why she had to do what she did. It was wrong but I understood and started to like her.
I also cared about the other characters in the drama, they all suited each other so well and it felt a documentary almost because it seemed so real not a fake drama set with ‘actors.’
A perfect drama isn’t complete without a perfect OST and oh my god I still have “My Ahjussi” OST on repeat.
Its soooooooooooo great you guys must google it, even if you decide not to watch the drama you must google the OST. Its hypnotizing.
The OST is sad ballad songs and I honestly like sad songs so it might not be for everyone but when you’re feeling down there is no better OST to listen to than My Ahjussi’s OST.
There is one particular song called ‘Dear Moon’ it was written by IU herself but sang by someone called Je Hwi, his voice is breathtaking you must listen to this song.
6Should I watch this drama?
Having praised this drama so much I still don’t think its for everyone.
The drama is about some very sensitive social topics and doesn’t have likable female lead characters. If you like bubbly kdramas where you can easily ship the leads this isn’t the drama for you.
Also, if you’re in a bad mood, this drama will probably put you in a worse mood sometimes. If you don’t want to cry a lot while watching a kdrama, don’t watch this especially if you’re sensitive.
Also this drama might be boring to some people. I am an older kdrama fan (in my twenties) but I doubt a 13 year old kdrama fan would be able to understand or appreciate this drama.
Young people who have had comfortable lives won’t really like or relate to this drama and will probably think its miserable and overly dramatic, boring at times even.
Not everyone will understand this beautiful gem, but everyone who watched it said it was one of the best kdramas they had EVER seen. I have never seen so many people say this about a kdrama there are usually things people nitpick about but this drama left no room for that.
I have been watching kdramas for 6 years so I have seen my fair share of kdramas. Along with “Mr. Sunshine” these two dramas are the best written kdramas of 2018; no other kdramas come nearly close to those beauties.
If you’re not of the above mentioned kdrama fans, you must watch this drama, thank me later!