“Valid Love” is throwing us up and down with its plot and characters. Each person in this story has his or her own problems, thoughts, and place in the story (unlike many other dramas where the two main characters are the only ones that matter). In this story, every person matters.
Hee Tae’s mother
Hee Tae’s mother becomes central to the story line as she is diagnosed with the onset of dementia. She begins to have periods of time where she doesn’t remember what she did, and she realizes very quickly that something is wrong with her. Naturally, she becomes scared about forgetting the people she loves and losing herself.
During those times Hee Tae’s mother doesn’t remember anything, she has been returning to the time when she first started dating Hee Tae’s father. Except, as fate would have it, she doesn’t recognize her actual husband and has registered Kim Joon (Lee Soo Hyuk) as Mr. Jang, her boyfriend of the past who is now her husband.
Kim Joon cares for Hee Tae’s mother every time she shows up because his grandfather also suffered from dementia.
He’s also trying extra hard to take care of Il Ri at the same time – taking her on spontaneous sledding trips, pre-planning an “accidental” night together, and trying to keep her out of Jang family problems.
Jang Hee Tae
First and foremost, he finally settles things with Sun Joo, telling her for the last time to find someone who’s really good for her.
He also settles things with Min Ki’s father, the real culprit behind the mysterious text messages. Apparently, his wife who left him died a year ago, and he just found out recently. He laments over how he committed such terrible acts in the memory of someone who wasn’t even alive at the time.
Meanwhile, Hee Tae takes time off of work to take care of his mother full-time, along with his sister Hee Soo (Choi Yeo Jin). He’s starting to experience what it felt like for Il Ri. It furthers his effort to keep Il Ri as far away as possible from all of his family’s troubles. His mother is ill and can’t remember her husband, which also hurts his father. At the end of it all, he lashes out to his father for the first time.
Not only that, but Kim Joon has taken the two most important women in Hee Tae’s life. He constantly asks what he has done wrong for one man to take both women away from him.
(Hee Tae also asks Joon to finish the chair as a “divorce present.” Excited to see how this gem will play into the future plot.)
Kim Il Ri
Despite the fact that Hee Tae tried to keep Il Ri out of everything going on in his family, Il Ri finds out eventually.
At first, she’s pushed away – and she’s initially reluctant to push back. However, when Hee Tae’s mother reaches out to her personally and asks her to move in, she does so immediately.
Despite her own mother’s disapproval.
And Kim Joon’s, although he might understand a little bit because of his own grandfather.
Jang Ki Tae and Kim Yi Ri
While the siblings also deal with the others’ broken relationships and ill family members, there is another drunken kiss and finally a hope for reciprocated feelings. Except, Jang Ki Tae (Park Jung Min) doesn’t know yet.
Despite their attempted comic relief, this drama is heavy. Every person in the plot comes with weight, which adds up. Some of us like this weight; we anticipate that moment of relief when all of it will be lifted.
Thoughts on these characters? If I had to be childish and ask, whose side are you on?
[tv]Watch Valid Love on SoompiTV![/tv]