Lost and found

I must have a thing for punishment. In the last few days, egged on by a harebrained idea that refuses to die, I’ve been pulling out one drama after another (old and also recent ones) and revisiting selected scenes that make me bawl my eyes out. As I tweeted yesterday, I will go blind at this rate.

But oh, never has crying felt so good!

Because it is not sorrow that is triggering the characters’ flood of tears (and mine), it is joy, relief, and immense gratitude. It is “pinch me, I can’t believe this is happening” euphoria.

Years of separation. Years of searching and waiting. Oh, the waiting. (And the hair-pulling, as yet another episode ends and still the wait continues!) The one who was lost. Given up for dead even.

Now found. At last. AT LAST!! *cue confetti and cartwheels*

Winter Sonata (2002) was where I was introduced, with nary a protest on my part because I was too innocent and starry-eyed then, to the ubiquitous kdrama theme of separation and reunion.

Two high school sweethearts, who look too old to be in high school, arrange to meet on a wintry night in town. Their meeting never takes place because he is felled by a truck and then carted off to America by his pianist mom. Ten years pass. In that interim, she has lopped off her hair so that now she looks younger than she was as a student, dated (but never kissed because they be old school) another student who is now her fiancé, and generally behaved chirpy even though deep down, very deep down, she is still nursing the hurt and bewilderment of being stood up one wintry night in town ten years ago. One day, without the courtesy of a warning, a bespectacled guy with hair that’s either the color of fire or pumpkin (you decide) shows up and renders the girl numb with shock because he is the spitting image of the guy who stood her up, never mind that in all objectivity he looks nothing like Specimen A on account of many things, such as the hair, mufflers, glasses, and name. Ah, the guy has a different name! And amnesia, too!

I should have smelled a rat then but I didn’t because I was a kdrama virgin and didn’t understand the meaning of sucker. But now, dozens of dramas later and still gullible as ever, I will admit it to you.

The moment of epiphany, of realization that a cherished hope has become reality. The very first instant where eyes lock and the tears begin to threaten. The reunion scene.

It gets to me every single time.

When my patience is wearing thin because of insane plot twists, when I’m this close to bailing because that still small voice in my head is now shouting “You’re a sucker!” every time I plop myself down wearily to watch yet another brain-numbingly boring episode, I remember the tingle down my spine and the lump in the throat. I remember how cathartic the crying feels, perhaps because they are happy and not sad tears. I remember it all. And I can’t get enough.

Give me more reunions, kdramas!

Even when I’m (sheepishly) aware that the reunion scene (and all the scenes leading up to this pivotal moment) is milking my tears and I feel so manipulated, I still watch like one who has been hypnotized. Take New Gisaeng Story (2011) as a recent example. It is non-stop bawling from the moment the head gisaeng at Buyonggak learns that Sa-ran is actually the long-lost daughter of Buyonggak’s former cook. The news spread and soon everyone is privy to the bombshell; even deceased grandpa is not spared the momentous tidings. Without fail the reaction is the same: “Really? Sa-ran’s the one? Waaah!!”

By the time the episode ends and mother and daughter are happily (and weepily) reunited, I’m a mess. A soggy but satiated mess.

After so many reunion scenes, I can now predict the ones that are the most heartrending, in a so-good-it-hurts way. Without a doubt family reunions will deplete your stockpile of tissues in one fell swoop. I dare you to watch them dry-eyed.

Yesterday I took out Glass Slippers (2002). Despite watching it seven years ago, I still remember vividly the one scene that made this cliché-ridden story bearable and even addictive. Episode after episode (of wanting to poke my eyes out because of the evil stepmother-stepfather-stepsister trio and their outrageous schemes) I waited for this one scene. It seemed to take forever to arrive but when it finally did, oh oh oh.

Lee Sun-woo (who is really Yun-hee) says softly to Tae-hee who is standing in front of her: “Unni.” The two sisters then run into each other’s arms. Sixteen years they have been separated, after the death of their father.

“Unni, I have missed you so much.”

Even now, just describing the scene is enough to bring on the sniffles.

Why are family reunion scenes so moving?

Besides the obvious reasons, I think they bring out some of the best acting in the entire drama. In the hands of an experienced actor, the emotions on display are so palpable and powerful they suck us into the scene and make us feel as though the reunion is happening to us. For so many episodes we have felt the pain and anxiety of the separation. Now we are exulting in a joy so overflowing it lifts us off our feet. We are ready to float out of our skins.

But the reunion isn’t always pain-free. In fact, some of the best family reunion scenes I have watched are the bittersweet ones. More often than not the separation is the result of some tragedy, such as the death of one or more parents. When this also leads to more than two siblings being torn asunder, like in Giant (2010), then the circumstances thwarting the reunion of all the siblings become that much more daunting. We curse every new obstacle; we chew our nails to the bone.

In the end, though, it will all be worth it. Because we get scenes that are magical and unforgettable, forever seared into the recesses of our mind and giving us hope that the next drama will be just as amazing.

In the case of Giant, once the reunions start, they don’t seem to end. Each reunion is better than five crap dramas rolled together. Make a note of where these scenes are, so that you can watch them over and over (like I did a night ago). With boxes of tissues nearby, of course.

Not all family reunions make me sob like a cat getting skinned. Or maybe watching one right after revisiting the awesomeness that is Giant lessened the impact somehow?

Because I didn’t shed a single tear re-watching the father-daughter reunion in Brilliant Legacy last night. Han Hyo-joo’s acting is a possible reason (her crying feels forced and unnatural in this scene). Bae Soo-bin’s presence (heart be still!) cannot be discounted as well. It’s a tad challenging to cry and squee at the same time.

Also, not all family reunions are toasty-warm scenes of hugging and general clinging together because the persons concerned can’t bear the thought of being apart again. Sometimes the joy is tempered by a commingling of circumstances so that the overriding feeling is not joy but awkwardness and confusion. We see this happening in two of my favorite dramas.

In Jejoongwon (2010), Hwang Jung’s father thinks Hwang Jung is dead. Years later, the old man is ailing because of gangrene in one of his limbs. In one of the drama’s most heartbreaking scenes, he hobbles into the hospital one day and comes face to face with Hwang Jung as the latter is leading a group of visitors around the Jejoongwon premises. The father can’t believe his eyes; his son is alive and well! However, after learning from the nurse that his butcher son is training to be a doctor, the father tries to slip away. His only thought is to protect Hwang Jung so that his true identity will not be exposed.

Similarly, in Can You Hear My Heart (2011), a father suddenly sees his son who vanished without a word sixteen years ago. Every day since the son’s disappearance, the father has waited by the door for his return, so that he can serve the son a bowl of warm rice. Season after season, the father has never stopped hoping and waiting. Then one day he sees him, standing some feet away.

The father’s reaction is not to run out and embrace the son that he has missed so dearly. No, he instinctively cries out for someone to take the son away. Because he knows the son will be embarrassed by all the commotion. He knows the son is embarrassed that his father is a slow-witted man. His love for the son is so overpowering, his first and only thought at that moment of reunion – a reunion so longed for – is to protect his child.

In The Princess’s Man (2011), there is no father-son reunion but one between a teacher and his student. It is no less moving. The teacher thinks the student is dead, killed in a nefarious plot hatched by a power-crazed prince. But one day the student turns up.

Ah, the tears in the three scenes that I’ve just described. The stupendous acting, too.

Okay, time to move away from family reunions. Let’s look at lovers separated and then reunited years later. Examples abound, but I’ll just talk about the few that I can remember with some clarity. These ones do not make me cry like the family reunions are wont to do, but they are the scenes that come to mind when I think about these dramas.

In Only You (2005), the two leads meet as strangers in Italy, spend a night together, and then go their separate ways. About six years later, the woman is working as a cleaner in a nightclub. She also happens to have a son – the result of that one-night stand. Thinking to retrieve a tray of food, she enters one of the rooms and sees the guy sitting there. In her shock and haste to get away, she drops the tray. He turns around, sees her and gives chase. She doesn’t know it, but he has been thinking of her constantly in the six years. He doesn’t know it, but she’s the mother of his child.

I’ve watched this scene five times (the most recent just this week, ha!) and every time it feels like I’m getting zapped by an electric current. I just love the tension in the scene. Both of them are overwhelmed by the unexpected sight of the other. She is embarrassed because the last time he saw her she was vibrant and beautiful; now she’s wearing a dirty apron and doing manual work. On his part, he is remembering how physically close they were and how he has continued to miss her. Does she feel the same? Maybe not, seeing how she is trying to run away from him now.

Hmm, let’s see… What are some other memorable reunions of former lovers? A woman thinks her boyfriend is dead, but one day he walks in on a meeting (Green Rose, 2005). The shock on her face when she sees him is one of the drama’s most spine-tingling moments. How about All In (2003) when the two main characters meet again after having experienced much hardship? The last time they saw each other, they were only teenagers. Now he sees her, working in a casino.

A final example. The reunion in Comrades (2010) is brief and wordless but searing in its impact. Two sweethearts are separated by political ideology; two years later they face each other in a cave… as enemies. She is pointing a gun at his head.

All right! Time for you to talk about YOUR favorite “lost and found” moments in kdrama.

The ones you revisit and your reasons. Is it because they resonate with you in some way? Or because the acting makes you want to prostrate yourself? How about the reunions which never delivered the emotional bang that you were anticipating as you waited episode after episode?

65 thoughts on “Lost and found

  1. The Can You Hear My Heart one. When Young-gyu sees Maru, finally, his heart in his eyes… the way he cringes away and asks Dong-joo to take him inside so he won’t be embarrassed – just killed me. I cried so much. That man was responsible for most of my drama-induced tears this year. What an amazing actor.

    Another of my favourites is from Brilliant Legacy, although like you I didn’t find Eun-sung’s reunion with her dad that moving. I think because I was so exasperated by all the near-misses, as well as the dad’s wimpiness and his willingness to believe his evil ex-wife. But Eun-sung’s reunion with her little brother… that really got me. And strangely, so did the reunion-that-wasn’t-a-reunion: when Hwan realizes who “Piano” really is, that he’s been under his nose, eating his ramyun all this time. The way his eyes lit up and got teary when he realized what a huge gift he can give to the girl he loves. Oof. Those two moments were lovely.

    • Ooh Laica, I love that “light bulb” moment when Hwan realizes who Piano really is.

      And the brother-sister reunion, too.

      • The boy who played Eun-woo is amazing. I thought he was autistic in real life! I loved his relationship with both his Noona and Hwan. She’s pretty much the only one he lets touch or hug him. And I love how Hwan just pours his heart out to him, and recognizes instantly that he’s a wise and gentle soul despite how “odd” and “dumb” he seems.

        I have so much love for this show.

      • I just started watching this last night…am only through Episode 1, and only know the barest plot outline…but just in general I can see that the triangle is the girl, the guy with the restaurant, and the rich guy. Hoping for the restaurant guy but I figure there’s no way. I can pretty much guess that Pops will turn up again, and that girl is going go through hard times, but tell me…I picked it because I thought it would be touches of melodrama, not killer melodrama. Am I wrong? Do I need to put this one back on the shelf for a while? I’m still in recovery from Sang Doo, and before that A Love to Kill. I’m under strict doctor’s orders to watch FUN things, or SCARY things, or SWEET things. Only! Although I will accept sweet with occasional touches of sad.

        • Don’t worry, JoAnne, and keep watching! I’m under the same doctor’s order’s actually 🙂 and I found this a wonderful watch. I tend to stay away from the heavy melo too – can’t handle it. Though I’m getting braver.

          There’s definitely drama, but it’s not over the top and it has a purpose. And it’s so well done, and the story is ultimately an uplifting one about facing life’s trials with courage and perseverance, and valuing the ones who love you over material wealth. All without being preachy. Plus it has a cute love story and an AMAZING transformation from the male lead.

          I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  2. My favorite reunion scene I think would be in Autumn’s tale. I was really looking forward to seeing ex-brother/ex-sister see each other as grown ups.

    I think I’m a bit hard hearted though, coz I’ve never really cried at any reunion scene. Come to think of it, I havent even cried for any death scene either. I did cry for the last piggy back ride scene in autumn tale (was wondering how to phrase it without spoiling it for those who havent watched it yet. I think I did well 🙂 )

  3. I must be a little cold-hearted like aoiaheen cause I don’t remember crying even ONCE at CYHMH or even The Princess’ Man (damn spoilers!)…

    Let’s see though…reunion scenes that moved me…
    The Return of Iljimae has quite a few. First there is Iljimae’s reunion with his surrogate dad on the beach. That made me weep aloud! ‘My baby, my baby!’. Then there is Iljimae’s reunion with Wol-hee after she thought he had died. When he wakes up next to her sleeping, the look of disbelief was great as well as what followed of course. The scene where he FINALLY meets his mom [SPOILER] was beautiful but heartbreaking as well. For those who’ve seen the show they’ll know what I mean. I was a little bitter about that one after all those episodes though I know it fit the story blah blah. STILL! *grumble grumble* Lastly the reunion of Cha-dol and Bae after Cha-dol becomes a slave. I loved their relationship! Once again though it was a little bittersweet…

    The Giant reunion with Gangmoo and Mijoo is a favorite. It was just so moving that they met on those steps and then he had that flashback to little Mijoo calling out ‘oppa!’…excuse me…I need a moment.

    What about the reunion scene between Dae-gil/Jang Hyuk and Un Nyun/Lee Da-hae in Chuno? Even though admittedly they really didn’t have any chemistry(and how could they with being separated for however long it was and barely any scenes together…) but that scene where he finally confronts her and all that anger and the ensuing fight scene with Un Nyun in between her former love and husband was AWESOMELY done. Bravo show! Plus Jang Hyuk looked kinda sexy as angry Dae-gil, bun head and all.

    My most recently watched drama Time Between Dog and Wolf had some high octane reunions as well. Not between lovers or even family members but any scene where Lee Jun Ki’s character was being confronted with his true identity was great! Whether it was flailing around on the ground drunk in front of Sung Ji Roo’s Mr Byun or having some confrontation with the cold-hearted agent played by Kim Gab Soo, they were all great.

    I am a sucker for any drama that uses the faked/mistaken death idea! It just always make for such cracktastic tension and suspense, even if the final reunion/reveal doesn’t always live up to the hype you’ve created in your head. Green Rose, TBDAW, Resurrection, Cain and Abel etc, I watch them all!

    • Oh, I was planning to mention the brothers’ reunion in Rebirth/Resurrection. But that meant rewatching that scene in order to screencap it… which meant there’s a very strong possibility (200%) that I’ll get sucked into the drama and want to rewatch it from the start. And I just have no time for that now! Get away from me, ye old and so-awesomely-addictive dramas!

  4. Ah, Thundie, your penchant for interesting topics continues! Your description of Winter Sonata just cracks me up, but I will defend it to the end. Being “my first” I was an eager participant in the shameless manipulation of my emotions, as all the Kdrama cliches were new to me. I was bolted to my seat in incredulousness (that’s actually a word, who would have thought…) with no clue to what the story was about. When Joon Sang returned I thought they were really trying to pull it off as a look-a-like, and unlike you I was “no way would someone look that similar!” (Not that it would be that farfetched in K-drama land, since they did that with the Mother in CYHMH.) I agree with CYHMH for tugging at the heartstrings, and I doubt if I’ll ever cry as much as NTOG. But what about the scene in The Princess’ Man where she realizes he’s still alive? So what if he took her with the intention of killing her, that scene is so riveting that you can feel her heart breaking in relief at the sight of him. It gives me goosebumps to watch it (hmmm….or maybe it’s PSH giving me those 😉 I think I need to go watch episode 14 again to decide!

    • The reunion between the lovers in The Princess’ Man first embarrassed me because Moon Chae-won’s character was being a little TOO open about her feelings not knowing he was watching (all that shadow talk…) and then even AFTER she knew who it was but then had me enthralled because of the kidnapping scenario. I love revenge plans gone awry and it was OBVIOUS Park Shi-hoo’s revenge plan wouldn’t go through and instead would leave us with some CRACKLING OTP moments, which it did. Could have done without PSH’s “batman voice’…but that’s another story…

      • Haha, I noticed that voice, too! I guess I just wasn’t expecting the kidnapping scenario or the venom he was spewing towards her (I can be so naive when I want to be), so I was riveted by the whole thing. This even surprised me, because A) I wasn’t that into PSH until that point and B) I’m not the sort of woman who goes for that macho forceful guy type. That scene is one I won’t forget, though!

        There are so many classic scenes in my mind that I’m considering writing my own drama with all of my favorites: Guy finds out it’s really a girl after watching her with glow in the dark balls, girl’s secret mission into his house goes awry when she’s discovered with his panties, fake relationship ensues to fool press/parents/ex-fiance, couple separates due to car accident as girl waits for hours with snow flakes swirling around her, supposedly dead guy returns after becoming warrior man and kidnaps girl for revenge, guy decides not to kill girl because he really doesn’t care if girl’s a guy or an alien, girl doesn’t care that guy’s deaf, dumb and blind because she’s still high from reuniting with her long lost mother that she meet during her stint at the gisaeng house, couple has a huge hot kiss under exploding coke bottles during a karaoke song, and they live happily ever after washing windows together. It may work…..sorry, I digressed!

  5. I’ve never rely on acting when watching some moving scene.. As long as the scene resonate with me, I will feel touch and the tears will drop endlessly…. In Brilliant Legacy, as Thundie’s has point out, when I watched HHJ’s character and her dad scene, I swear I always cry when I watch that scene… It’s a wonderful feeling when U watch some moving scene that resonate with u

  6. Mine really isn’t a reunion scene, I think I’ve become rather versed in the way K-dramas go around pulling strings in that department, New tales really had an over exposure of them, what with Ja, Rara and Saran all finding late in life “their roots” , and then I mustn’t forget Baker Kim Tak Gu who also had to wait for ever and a day to get to see mummy again.

    The scenes in k-drama that put my heart through a wringer and start the weeping machinery non stop are; in “Lovers” when the woman in her haste drops the bag of chestnuts and has to hear what she’d rather not. In “Thank you” when the reformed ex-bad tempered doctor aligns his shoes along side mother and daughter’s on the doorstep of that humble abode in rural Korea. Those nuances really make it for me. Then in “Robber” when the unsociable and extremely timid financial advisor goes to the kindergarden to apologise to the little girl. Well, to tell the truth all scenes between that man and that little girl I adore. In “Personal taste” and all the scenes where he tries really hard for the girl to love herself. How he washes her hair and buys her tampax….yeah those scenes amongst many make my heart aflutter.

  7. Goodness, I love you. You seem to put into writing exactly what I’m thinking way better than I could have thought it, and now I want to go back and revisit old dramas! Reunion scenes do always make me tear up (if they’re done well).

    I think the most-anticipated reunion scene that probably didn’t deliver was the Dae-gil/Un-nyun reunion in Chuno. It made sense for the story that they wouldn’t get their happily ever after reunion, but that had been the focus of the story for like eleven episodes so the hype was so strong, even though I knew 8 episodes in that even if they reunited, it wasn’t going to happen. But it’s still probably my favorite, because Jang Hyuk sold it really well.

    Second-favorite reunion might be mother/son in City Hunter. I think I shed a few tears there.

    And another super-hyped reunion that somehow didn’t deliver like I expected was the mother/son reunion in King of Baking Kim Tak-goo. I dunno though, maybe I was expecting too much after they’d built up this reunion for twenty episodes? I think the longer a show builds up the anxiety, the more pressure they have to deliver the tears in a heartfelt reunion scene.

    • “…now I want to go back and revisit old dramas!”

      It’s really fun, LOL. When I was searching for Deokman’s reunion scene with her parents (the king and queen) in Queen Seondeok, I came across this:

      Totally forgot about crazy Bidam! And his hair!! 😯

      • Hahaha! Bidam’s hairdo caught me totally off guard and I died laughing at this shot. But I had to resurrect myself again in order to continue posting.

        Thundie, you are a scream. May I remind you that perhaps this pic should rightly be in your other thread on actors’ hairdos which was hilarious.

  8. Why did you bring up THAT scene from Can You Hear My Heart. My shirt is all soppy with tears. I hated Maru sooooooo much and totally wanted to hit him repeatedly for being so mean to his dad.

  9. 2 scenes in Hong Gil Dong, made me bawl my eyes out. The separation when she finally got “proof” that he was dead, she was literally bawling while GilDong (Kang Ji Hwan) looks at her; and reunion, where Yi Nok and Suk Geun were drinking talking about Gil Dong until she bawls out yet again, drunk this time, how she can’t move on if she keeps thinking about GilDong, all the while GilDong yet again, looks from a afar. [SPOILER] Ep 8 and 12.

  10. I think I like family reunions over lover reunions. Genuine parental love just kills me. My favorite is probably from Jejoongwon with Hwang Jung and his father, as mentioned in the post. However, what I remember most (and brings me to tears) is the scene where Hwang Jung openly admits who his father is. The pain, the anguish, the tears!! You knew the scene was inevitable, but the emotions that hit you while watching everything unravel is so powerful and raw, it brings a poignant conclusion to their reunion.

  11. Although I don’t cry much in dramas, if I do its prob a family reunion– ones that get me every time:
    CYHMH– the father/son reunion as well as the grandmother/grandson reunion….ugh cried like a baby! but you know what I almost cried in every episode of this drama so I don’t know it that counts lol
    Brilliant Legacy– (I think Laica mentioned it above) the LSG/brother final realization and the reunion of the family with the son….I’ve watched this series multiple times and I’m always NOT moved by the father/daughter meet up in the airport but then moved to tears at the family/son meet up (maybe cuz my hatred for the step-mom is so deep against the poor helpless boy versus a full grown adult {the dad} who continued to make stupid decisions lol)
    I’m sure there are more but I cant think of it right now…this makes me want to go watch CYHMH again and have a good cathartic cry:)

      • I’m definitely a sucker for old people crying…and the way he tossed her around here was the first time I actually hated him (I was kinda sympathetic about how he treated his dad because he was just a rebellious kid who made a decision that he can’t change or excuse himself for) but the way he took it out on granny…ugh heartbreak….

      • I tried so hard to put myself in his shoes, but I just found myself getting angrier and angrier at him. The only person he had to be ashamed of was himself, primarily for being ashamed of his father who was a better father to him than many fathers are to their kids. Granny grew up at a time when it was far worse for a child to be an abandoned bastard of an unwed mother than to be the son of a mentally handicapped father. No one in his family held him back; rather, they were so proud of him. It was their poverty, his own biological parents’ callous greed, and a classist society that held him back. I was so moved when he truly reunites with them later on. That reunion, when they all sat around a dinner table for a meal… When his father finally got to serve him a meal… That was what got me. And his reunion with his non-bio mom. Cause it was so evident that she truly loved him despite her desire for revenge.

        • I’m with you on that one. Maru’s problem was that he was selfish, and a coward. His selfishness was was led him to leave his family, to always care only about his own pain and not theirs, and his cowardice made him unable to face them or return to them all those years later. It doesn’t excuse him for his actions, but it does make me pity him a little. Credit mostly goes to Namgoong Min for his amazing performance – in the above scene he showed shock, grief, vulnerability, anger, love, and hatred within seconds and even simultaneously. I was very angry at Maru, I even hated him at times, but I always had just a little bit of sympathy for him too. And in the end when he redeems himself… I cried so much.

          Oh, and speaking of which, I would call this a reconciliation and not a reunion, but that phone conversation at the end of ep 28(?), when he finally says to Young-gyu, “Appa!” with his voice cracking in that little boy way…. tears are coming to my eyes again as I write this. That was their REAL reunion, as father and son.

          I might have to rewatch this drama, oh dear.

          • Yes, regarding the actor. Great, great job!

            Yes, also to the pity and sympathy. I wanted to hit him so much because I wanted only good things to happen for him. And for that to happen, he needed to come around to appreciating those who loved him. While I shed tears of blood when he found himself discarded yet again, I was so glad that he finally saw that those who would never fail to be there for him were those he’d thrown away repeatedly.

          • I beg to differ! Ma Ru left his family to rescue his father from jail. He was a kid, and was told that Dad was going to be jailed and that the family would be libel for the fire damages, and he’d be the one paying for the rest of his life. So he went to find the nice lady who had told him that if he needed help, she could help him. Little did he know he was selling his soul to the she-devil. He had no way of knowing that the deal was to get his father out of jail and off the hook for damages he was selling himself to this lady for her own purposes.

            He blamed himself for abandoning them, they originally thought he had run off, but Dong Joo explained to them what had happened. Of course, then when Ma Ru was thinking of reuniting, and discovered that he’d been lied to about who his parents were he had a wee bit of mental meltdown, but hey – I think we can give him some slack. I was a Ma Ru defender from the word go, but the scene where he reunites and argues with his grandmother is just brutal.

            Other reunions? Bidam and Mishal…

            And hey! You put Bidam in the hall of shame for his mane of glory? Not my lovely Bidam!!! Ok it was a terrible fake tan, which contrasted with his white teeth to make him look like he was doing a toothpaste commercial. I may have to leaf my way through my Bidam collection to demonstrate the pretteh.

            • Ah, I had forgotten about his original motivation for going to the lady. But he was pretty eager to be a part of a less burdensome family when she offered him the pact with the she-devil.

              Don’t get me wrong. I really, really liked Maru. And that’s all the more reason why I wanted him not to be so ashamed and angry all the time. I cared far more about Maru and his family relationships than the OTPs’ own.

            • You’re right about Maru’s original motivations, and I didn’t blame the 14-year-old Maru for what he did. I could understand him. Although I don’t think it was purely to save his father that he went with Dong-joo’s mom. He was also glad to leave a home he found suffocating.

              It was the adult Maru that I found cowardly and selfish. He wasn’t willing to give up the nice life he had for the sake of his family, who had missed him so much, and whose hearts he broke over and over again.

              And I loved Maru despite all that. I cared and worried for him more that any other character in the drama – yes, more than the OTP, I agree with you anais – and I was praying that he would redeem himself, even when he went dark for a while. That scene in the kitchen of his apartment, when he tells his father where he keeps the rice… oh my heart. Oh, Maru.

            • Oh I forgot about that Mishil and Bidam reunion, heck all their interactions were memorable especially the death scene. I agree he does not belong in hall of hair infamy despite the tan.

      • Oh God, my heart.

        I was going to mention this in my comment above, but technically it’s not their reunion, that was in the hospital. But it’s an incredible scene, and it left me a total mess. This was the best drama of 2011. You totally called it back when you wrote your review, thundie.

  12. I wasnt that moved by the father-daughter reunion in SI either…mostly because I knew that was going to happen soon enough and I was more concerned about her meeting her brother….but her reunion with her brother made me cry like a baby
    and yes CYHMH daddy-son reunion moved me to tears as well…actually any scene with those two had me bawling like a baby…even the ones where Maroo tells him he was not his father
    Also in Who Are You, when Go Ara’s character finds out that her dad’s soul was in Yoon Kye Sang’s body and later on when she is able to see him again…I cried for both those scenes just as much as I did when her dad has to leave eventually
    49 days…when Yi Kyung and Yi Soo are reunited for 1 day….that was a cryer too….well that whole drama was a cryer so…
    hmmmm….idk if this really counts for a reunion…but I was nearly dehydrated from all the crying at the end of episode 10 of Mixed Up Investigative Agency [SPOILER] when Yong Su finally discovers the body of his missing brother, with the Happy Birthday note addressed to him…O god…I’m tearing up write now thinking about it…I think I owe half my tears for that one to Ryu Seung Soo’s amazing acting…

    • I totally agree with you about the end of ep10 in Mixed Up. It was so heartbreaking and the way Ryu Seung-soo broke down and cried! Totally epic and gut wrenching. I love that show. There are so many memorable moments, and it has a fantastic ensemble.

  13. I remember in Yi San bawling my eyes out when (Lee Seo jin) Yi San [SPOILER] found out about (Han Ji Min) Song-Yeona’s cancer and had her brought back as she had left the palace in order to hide it from him. Their reunion was heartbreaking as he lost it as he couldn’t believe what was happening.

    • A lot of people didn’t seem to have liked Yi San, but I really loved it because of Lee Seo Jin’s portrayal of Jeongjo’s tenderness toward Song Yeon. Every single time they’re reunited, the tenderness that overflowed – especially from Jeongjo’s side – made me think of Joseon monarchs differently. Honestly, that was the first time I probably thought to see a Joseon king as a flesh and blood person.

      • The first time I watched Yi San I was liked -meh but every time I rewatched it I love it more and more. Lee Seo Jin rocked his role together together with Lee Soong-jae who played his dad. I loved how Lee Seo Jin portrayed the role and how he (this sounds strange) but doesn’t cry pretty. He conveys the emotion without being vain. He really brought that character to life and made him seem like you said ‘a flesh and blood person.’ If I could have the good fortune to meet any actor of my choosing, I would pick him but *sigh* the odds of this happening is almost nil.

  14. Oh love love a moving reunion scene.

    Reunion scenes that got me:

    In Chuno – when general Choi, Wangson and Dae Gil meet after he thought they were dead… I cried so so hard. T___T

    Can you hear my heart? The grandma-Maru, the Maru-father meetings GAH…. Broke my heart many times…

    I have one that I really like too, on Dong Yi. When Chona mets his son (that he didn’t even know he had) that scene was so… Cries…

    Princess’ man it was not the Teacher and SY scene that got me. It was Jong and SY scene that made me cry….

    Others reunions scenes… ahhh I have a bad memory – sure have many others good scenes but I can’t remember… ??

  15. Reunions generally don’t have me sobbing my guts out. It’s the death scenes.


    Stairway to Heaven, watching Choi Ji-woo breathing her last in his arms – cripes, I almost passed out.
    Secret Garden, when HB drives off with her, headed into the storm – omg. The final stand-off scene in City Hunter where BadDaddy dies with Yi Sung? – killer emotion. The last scene for Song Il-guk in EotS – hopeless sobbing – which resulted in my husband demanding, “Why in the hell do you keep watching those things?!” 🙂

    • I have the same husband, and I always tell him, “I’m cleaning out my tear ducts to prevent eye diseases, go away!” 🙂

      I am a ‘sucker’ for the reunion moments when a mom/dad finds their child or finds out that they have a child. Too many to mention, but the look that moms/dads get at the first sight of their child … I use hankies as they are rewashable and I need that to be a k-drama fan. 😉

      • “I’m cleaning out my tear ducts to prevent eye diseases, go away!” LOL ! I can use that one on my hubby next time 🙂

  16. Is it my age or what? But the reunions between parents and princess in Queen Seondok, father and daughter in Brilliant Legacy, teacher and student in Princess’ Man, mum and daughter in New Giseang and Autumn’s Tale did absolutely nothing for me.

    It has to be reunion of the lovers kind.

    I cried buckets over the reunion between Se Ryeong and Seung Yoo in Princess’ Man. Particularly the scene when she told him to rest his head on her shoulders and sleep after he told her that as a fugitive, he had to sleep with his sword in his hands . Never a moment of rest before their reunion. That scene was so tender.

    And also the scene where she stood in the way of Shin Myeon’s arrow meant for him. The shock in Seng Yoo’s eyes at her ultimate sacrifice was so piercing, my heart and my dam broke at the same time. Tears flooded my house and the price of Kleenex went up.

  17. CYHMH, every single Maru-father-grandma scene gave me shivers and tears.

    Chuno Dae Gil-Un-Nyun reunion scene/s, both Dae Gil and Un-Nyun’s first encounter with each other.

    Moo Hyuk and Mommy eating noodle scene in MISA, tho I won’t categorize that as a reunion cos Mommy didn’t know.

    Damo reunion ending, tho Rebel Leader and Chae Ok had already met each other countless times before.

    • Damo! How come nobody had mentioned Damo yet? The final reunion when Rebel Leader and Chae Ok recognize each other as family, [SPOILER] just before they die.[END SPOILER]. Agh. I sobbed. The acting, the music, the soaring tragedy of the moment…guh.

      Similarly, the lovers’ reunion in Comrades just blew me away. The way they look at each other even when they’re pointing guns at each other was just so heartbreaking.

      • Damo scene did nothing for me as I was angry at everyone (writers, Chae Ok, Rebel leader).

        I was angry at Cha Ok for running off for her ‘revenge’ and getting captured indirectly causing Naeuri’s death, angry at Rebel leader for killing Naeuri, angry at the writers for at first establishing Cha Ok as a good detective who pays attention to details but who couldn’t put 2+2=4 in the fauxcest cave and for that darm ribbon that ended up having no meaning.

  18. [SPOILERS]

    Dae Jang Geum, when she is piggybacking her mentor on the way to the slave camp and her mentor dies.
    Hwang Jin Yi, when the carriage carrying the dead young noble stops in front of the gate and also when her mentor dies.
    sorry, don’t remember their names but just remember bawling and going through a box of tissues.
    In Thank You, after the grandpa died and she’s leaving with the movers and Jang Hyuk stops the truck…just so emotional and choked up to the point where I forgot to breathe.
    Oh yes, and of course, ditto ripgal on Damo.

  19. I agree with @lovepark, family reunions >>> romantic ones.
    But then no one writes romantic reunions like Song Ji-nah. Eyes of Dawn’s 1st reunion was too… um, bitter. 2nd one was much more rewarding *chokes back tears*.
    Daemang’s wooden gate scene… *sob* also Im Jung-eun as a runaway (very pregnant) slave and Jo In-sung as a very elusive swordsman/warrior (someone, make this pairing happen again!) who meet one night and part again, they meet again decades later as Jo Min-soo and Park Jung-hak and you can’t help but sigh at the romantic longing between them and all the what-ifs.
    And not quite a reunion scene but a scene that was so (unconventional but) romantic, and unforgettable, the alleyway scene in Sandglass.

    Comrades made me cry a lot, but was not so much about the romance-that-could-have-been for me as much as it was about Seong-il and Yong-taek’s relationship… so moving.

    Awww… the Lee sibling reunions… I did try to rewatch that show at one point but couldn’t get past episode 3 for all the tears I was trying to choke back.

    Like Gisaeng Tales and Hear my Heart, I never finished Shining Inheritance, j’ detested that everything about that latter show with a passion, sorry. But to add to the list of phoney acting making for anticlimactic family reunions, I would say the mother-daughter reunions in Jamyung-go (I blame Kim Sung-ryung) and Women of the Sun (Lee Hana… what… on earth… had possessed you in that scene.)

  20. I tend to stay away from weepy dramas in general but some are just too irresistible to stay away from. The 2 which have left me bawling my eyes out so far were Can You Hear My Heart and Queen Seon Deok. Both have left me with puffy eyes for a day, people around me even though I got an alergic reaction to something hehe ^___^

  21. i so blame thundie for making me cry just reading through this. 🙂

    GIant! can any other reunion surpass the scenes there? i dunno, it will forever be etched in my mind and in my heart. i just had my dvd ready after reading this. need to rekindle and cry over it again. i could not actually which one is more heart-wrenching. Kang-Mo/Mi-Joo or Sung-Mo/Mi-Joo or Kang-Mo/Sung-Mo, either of the three will leave you with torrents of tears. Giant is a drama that the emotions just cut right though you heart. No wonder coz it gathered a lot around the most distinguished actors around. There are a lot notable reunion scenes but Giant had become much benchmark.

    That scene in CYHMH made me cry so hard my head aches. Funny thing is we often revisit them still. ahhh… the drama addicts in us!

    • uhm, i happen to pass by this thread coz i was looking up one of your previous posts. i re-read my comment and would like to add a comment that, the screenshots alone of CYHMH and some notes are what made me cry… (yes even recaps and screenshots can make me) i haven’t seen CYHMH yet. 🙂

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s