Dear My Friends
Starring: Go Hyun Jung, Go Doo Shim, Kim Hye Ja, Park Won Sook, Na Moon Hee, Youn Yuk Jung, Jo In Sung
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Drama, Family, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Kim Namjoon
Park Wan is a translator who is constantly pulled by her mother, Jang Nan Hee, to hang out with her elder friends, Jo Hee Ja, Moon Jung Ah, Oh Choong Nam, and Lee Yeong Won. The plot revolves around the friends’ twilight years as they are rediscovering themselves through relationships and family, the struggles they face due to their old age, and their life journey that they share with Park Wan in the hope she would write a novel about them.
RM recommended this drama and though I normally wouldn’t have chosen to watch it for myself, I’m so glad that I gave it a try. This was one of those dramas that kicked you in the gut and made you sit up and take notice of yourself and your own life. There are life lessons in this one that spoke to me, as a person who has had to take care of aging parents. It’s never easy and your parents will have you wishing for peace at every turn. Watching this show made me remember the many times that I drove my Mom and her friends around while they laughed and had the best time. I never wanted to drive them but I always had the best time while I was with them.
This group of old ladies was no different from my crazy Samoan Mom and her friends. They were always getting themselves into some trouble or other and always calling me to come and pick them up. So I empathized with Park Wan. Wan was battling emotional baggage all fronts. From leaving her boyfriend back in Europe, to her running all over South Korea picking up and cleaning up her Mom’s group of friends messes, Wan lived a very busy and emotionally exhausting life. Add to that everything else that pops off during the course of this drama, my frustration with Wan’s character slowly turned into admiration as each episode passed.
The story follows an older group of friends as they live their lives. Each character is going through something different but equally relatable. They’re all growing older and some are dealing with neglectful children, declining health, being fed up with their spouses, and loneliness. Each character brings something different to the table and through it all, you grow close to each and every single one of them. From each of the different women in the friends group, to their kids, and mostly, to Wan. Wan was the kid that was there for all of the old ladies and she had a special relationship with each of them. They were family to her and she was there for them the same way that they were there for her. The story is woven pretty tight and before you know what’s what, you’ll be hooked.
A huge chunk of this cast was familiar to me but the ones that weren’t, are familiar now. I adored each and every single one of these characters from main to supporting and I thought that each of them really shined and did a fantastic job bringing their characters to life. I cried and I laughed, and I felt all of the feelings because these actors and actresses are really good at their jobs. Not too long after I finished this show, BTS came to Las Vegas and I swear I saw my favorite halmoni at the airport after the concert. I was struck mute after seeing her rush from the car on the street to the airport. She was there with two young kids that I assumed were her grandkids but I had the biggest smile on my face because I loved her character in this show so much.
Overall, this drama was a great one. It has everything that I love and adore in a show. A charming cast, stories that come to life with every episode, and some life lessons that I apply to my own life. This show made me want to be a better daughter to my Dad. It made me glad for the time that I spent with my Mom and her friends when she was alive. It also made me want to listen more and talk less. My Dad is full of stories from his life in Samoa, to the beginning of his life here in the States, and I’m determined more than ever, thanks to this show, to make sure that I record those stories so that I can keep the memories alive for our future generations.
Through Wan and all of her old lady friends, we are treated to a heartwarming drama that will leave you appreciating the people in your life and want to hug your older relatives closer and tighter before they’re gone. You will feel all of the feels in this drama and you’ll be glad that you watched it when all is said and done. I definitely recommend.
4 out of 5