K-Drama Review, Who Are You? (2008 version)

Who Are You? (누구세요), 2008 (this is not the 2013 Who Are You ghost story starring Taecyeon, which has this transliterated English title in Hangul:후아유)

Starring Yoon Kye Sang and Go Ah Ra

who are you go araYoon Kye Sang is the second male lead in Greatest Love (which I loved), and the younger brother in My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law, which I thought was really cute, and I loved his character. He’s also been in The Moonlight of Seoul, Triple, the film The Executioner, and a film called Poongsan, for which he received a lot of best actor nominations. I’ve not seen any of these. I like him in what I have seen.

Go Ah Ra (also Go Ara, or sometimes just Ara)- mostly seems to have done modeling work, and a few other shows I’ve not seen, and she’s currently in Reply, 1994.

I did not watch this one for the longest, longest time, because I thought the storyline sounded incredibly squicky. I don’t remember how I happened to watch it at last- but the actual implementation is not at all squicky. This is sweet and adorable.

Son Il Gun (played by veteran actor Kang Nam Gil) appears to be something of a ne-er do well, a widowed father in trouble with loan sharks. He’s not terribly bright, and generally acts first and thinks later, if he ever gets to the thinking part. He dies in an accident, and then argues with the Angel of Death for a chance to return to earth somehow just long enough to show his daughter how much he loves her.

His daughter is Son Young In (played by Go Ara), a feisty but somewhat self centered girl, IMO, who hates the turmoil of her life, but is regretting the last fight she had with her father before he died.

The Angel of Death (humorously played by veteran actor Yoon Joo Sang, who has been in everything, including the role of the older defense lawyer in I Hear Your Voice, the sweet older male teacher and mentor in School 2013)- allows the father to come back, but only part-time, and only for 49 days, during which time he must settle his affairs. He can do this, however, only by sharing the body of another man, part-time, and he has to promise not to tell his daughter or anybody else who he is.   He gets to use this other body because:

Cha Seung Ho (played by Yoon Kye Sang), is in a coma at the same hospital where Son Il Gun died and his funeral is being held. Cha Seung Ho is very handsome, of course, and very rich, naturally. He’s also very coldhearted and not interested in personal relationships (this is a K-drama, so you know what this means). He’s got a birth secret- he was adopted out to the States as a child. He’s very smart, and a very sharp business man, and Son Il Gun and his daughter are going to turn his tidy, organized, sterile, barren, perfect, life upside down.

Hijinks and confusion about, as Cha Seung Ho has no idea that while in a coma he agreed to rent out his body for a few hours a day. So he finds himself in strange clothes, doing strange things he would never do, often with people he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know. He finds weird purchases and bizarre personnel hirings that he’s apparently made, and he misses important appointments and freaks his staff out, most of whom hated him before and now are terrified when he offers them a friendly word. He worries that it’s brain damage from the coma, but the doctors can’t find anything wrong with him.

As her father, he goes to her graduation, forgetting that he’s in the body of a hospital patient still in hospital clothes.  He takes Young In to the mall and buys her thousands of dollars of clothes, shoes, and handbags, but since the father timed things badly, Seung Ho returns to his body while Young In is still in the car on their way back from the mall, and he believes she’s somehow (though he can’t figure out how) seduced and tricked him into buying all those things, and kicks her out of the car without giving her any of the stuff. She just thinks he’s a crazy man who just showed up and needs to be humoured.

jin yi hanThere are, of course, side plots, an evil chaebol type, a birth secret, a death secret, a second male lead (Jin Yi Han), etc, etc.

I liked the cuteness, which was very cute. I liked the love story, which doesn’t begin with her falling in love with her father occupying the other guys’ body which is what I was afraid of- it’s just that the father is how they spend so much time together in the first place, and it’s why she treats Seung Ho reasonably politely and spends more time with him than almost anybody else is willing to do- she thinks he’s lost his mind and needs her help. Seung Ho thinks that since he keeps seeking her out when he believes himself to be unconscious, there must be something about her he should know more about- it’s all very confusing to all of them, but very well played on the part of the screen writer, and fun for the viewer.

I also liked the things all of them learn about what’s really important, including the father, about materialism vs relationships. I loved the death angel.  There’s a bit of Buddhist belief (the whole 49 days thing, for one thing), but as I recall, I mainly just thought the whole thing was surprisingly well done and delightful, with a little more meat to its cuteness than my usual cotton candy fare, and much better than I expected.


Watch it at DramaFever

You may also enjoy:

Shows I am currently watching but haven’t finished yet are described here.

Dramas I’ve completed, recommend, and reviewed: see here.

K-Dramas I almost liked– most of these are just darker than I usually prefer. Some are just flawed.

Things to know when watching a K-drama

More Things To Know

Addiction, and why I like K-dramas

You might be watching a K-Drama if….

Where to get your fix: Sites where you can find subtitled K-dramas (and dramas from other countries, as well. I’ve watched a handful of J-dramas (Japanese) and TW (Taiwanese) dramas.

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  1. SEM
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve looked on Viki, Hulu, and DramaFever, and I think the cop one is what I’m finding. Could it have a different name? I liked the second lead in Greatest Love/Best Love, would like to see him get the girl.

  2. teachergirl
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I avoided this one for a while, too, for the same reason, and also because to that point I purposely hadn’t watched a drama that was sad/melo. I can’t remember what finally made me watch this, but I ended up really liking it. I think both Go Ara and Yoon Kye Sang did a decent job. There were also enough cute/funny moments to make up for the sad parts.

    I’m loving Go Ara in 1994. She was a guest on Running Man a while back, and I really loved her there – feisty and whole-heartedly participating in the games, unlike some of the female guest they have.

    I wish Yoon Kye Sang would do another project.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      According to Wikipedia, Kye Sang has two movies coming out this coming year. Ugh, and I hadn’t realized until I read the Wikipedia article, he’s one of the idols who had a ‘fan’ attempt to poison him. When he was with the group g.o.d. he was given poisoned milk by a ‘fan,’ only his mother drank it instead, and had to have her stomach pumped.
      That would put you off stardom and fame for a while, and it was not too long after that that he quit the band.

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