“My Spring Day” – First Impressions
“My Spring Day” premiered on MBC last week and I was very surprised by its setting. Initially, I found the couple’s pairing a bit odd due to the considerable age gap. However, thinking about it, a rookie actress could find more experience if she plays and learns alongside an experienced actor.
The story uses an interesting concept of cellular memory which is a medical hypothesis implying the recipients’ personalities are inherited from their donors. Will this show be able to make its way into the top ranking charts? Let’s find out.
About the cast
Lee Bom Yi (Sooyoung) is a clinical dietitian working in Hae Gil hospital and is dedicated to living her life to the fullest. She is very down-to-earth and her morals are well-placed. However, Bom Yi tends to speak up impulsively and is quick judging people. She’s also the daughter of the hospital’s chairwoman and is getting herself in trouble regularly. I’m glad she isn’t perfect, which leaves her some room for character development.
Kang Dong Ha (Kam Woo Sung) is a lonesome countryside widower struggling to raise his two kids. He’s emotionally scarred because of his wife’s passing, and right off the bat, viewers can see his heart wavering at the presence of Bom Yi, who reminds him so much of his long lost love. I really like that his character stays outside of typical heroic standards. The writer displays him as a working class ahjussi who is openly defiant towards people he doesn’t like.
Kang Dong Wook (Lee Jun Hyuk), is a famed thoracic surgeon exuding raw talent and perfectionism. He is also Dong Ha’s younger brother, and expresses interest in Bom Yi. Before meeting her, he had an unrequited love for Dong Ha’s wife, who ultimately passed away. Her heart was transplanted into Bom Yi, giving her a new life. Now, Dong Wook’s outlook is that he cannot lose another woman in his life.
Bae Ji Won (Jang Shin Young) is one of the most prominent managers of Hae Gil hospital. Combined with stylish looks and expertise, she is described to be a cold and calculative woman. After being acquainted with Dong Ha, she is set on a track to fall in love with him.
As for my impressions, I thought the drama would start off with heavy melodramatic elements. On the contrary, the sadness that emerged from the premiere was covered with subtle humor, charm, and tenderness. In fact, I kept smiling during the whole run because I was moved by the classical formula the show is undertaking – a relatable, personal drama, with characters building relations based on moral values. This reminded me somewhat of the 2004 drama “I’m Sorry, I Love You” and the 2011 “Scent of a Woman,” dramas that got me into the melodrama genre for the first time. However, “My Spring Day” is brighter and lighter in comparison.
Per example, “My Spring Day” started off with people receiving different life blessings, such as a young son helping his blind mother cross the street, another mother pleading to a doctor to save her son, and finally, our heroine receiving a heart transplant. A quick note: please brace yourselves as initially, the drama may be a bit alarming with the excessive flesh and blood during the medical operation. Of course, the series will surely deliver scenes revealing darker secrets and painful memories later on.
I admit this is a very cute moment for our pairing couple.
I find it interesting when the main couple cross paths with each other, constantly bickering with each other. Bom Yi has a misunderstanding with Dong Ha at a store, and afterwards, the dietitian keeps meeting the man almost everywhere, resulting in hilarious antagonistic interactions. Dong Ha meets Bom Yi during the anniversary of his wife’s death, when he was pouring alcohol at the sea for her traditional memorial. Bom Yi stops him, not recognizing him and thinking he is a supervillain destroying the sacred way. Aside, the drama has its occasional heartbreaking moments, revealing glimpses of the painful past.
The humor in this show brings a very nice transition out of some of the more serious scenes. I think this aspect balances out the setting very well and the melodrama as described is not as heavy as I was expecting. The gags and playfulness from this drama are few, subtle, and certainly unpredictable. The funny dialogue is not forcefully put into the script, and actually contributes to the character development and narrative. Per example, Bom Yi was forced to renew a contract by her hospital manager with Dong Ha after she rejected his deal about an earlier settlement they end up having a hilariously confusing conversation.
“Reje-ception”…? Bom Yi got lost in her own conversation. So did I.
A big question remains for acting performance. An idol has taken on the leading role for this drama. Does Sooyoung improve in this show? Does she share chemistry with her co-lead Kam Woo Sung? Certainly. She has chosen a role in which her character is quite similar to her real personality and this really enhances her acting abilities. Sooyoung also makes me forget that she is a Girls’ Generation member, an important thing for idols who venture into acting.
Additionally, she actually shares a good aura with Kam Woo Sung. Eye contact, for one, is a major factor in the chemistry between actors, and the longing evident in the eye contact between the two main leads is what really convinces me about the pairing. The only problem I found in this show is Lee Bom Yi’s relationship with Kang Dong Wook. The premiere showed them discussing their relationship and wedding at some point. The fact they are dating left me daunted and awkward because I barely see them together and their interactions reminded me more of a brother-sister relationship instead of a romantic one. Followers could tell me they aren’t the endgame pairing, but I wish their connection was at least believable.
It’s really nice starting a drama that brings something new on set, and I think “My Spring Day” is a refreshing addition to the list for melodrama followers here. However, it is hard to tell if the series is worth watching yet. So far, the show seems promising and it is filled with solid character development, an attractive setting, and a balanced narrative. The humor carries a good tone and brings balance to the story after some serious dialogue exchanges. The background concept of cellular memory, which is intriguing and unique, brings something new to the table with its unproved medical hypothesis. I’m not entirely convinced the drama will keep my attention for the whole run. However, I have a very good feeling “My Spring Day” will leave me entertained for some time.
Are you watching this show? Please let me know about your thoughts below!
For drama fans in the United States & Canada , don’t miss “My Spring Day” on Soompi’s sister site, KDrama.