This time I have decided to do a double drama feature on two very similiar kdramas. More often than not, k-dramas come with very similiar themes but strikingly different stories. I know my title must have confused everyone. So let me explain that first. This kind of “sibling” k-dramas are dramas that start off with the leads in a brother-sister relationship. However as the story progresses we find in fact, they are not siblings but total strangers. Their relationships and closeness however confuses them (and us) and the story takes its place. I know it sounds really wierd, but once you check out these two dramas, you will understand what I am talking about!
Autumn in my heart
Also known as : Autumn Fairy tale ,Autumn tale , Endless love: Autumn in my heart
Country of origin: South Korea
Language : Korean
Directed by: Yoon Seok Ho
Written by: Oh Soo Yeon
Starring: Song Seong Heon, Song Hye Kyo, Won Bin
Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 16
Aired: September 18-November 7, 2000
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
The story starts in a hospital out of the incubation room where many babies are kept. A father shows his new baby sister to his toddler son. The father’s attention is directed somewhere else and in that gap, the young toddler, walks into the room and accidently switches the labels of two babies.
Years later Joon Suh and Eun Suh, two loving siblings are growing up happily with their mother and father. Their family is quite well off and everything is happy. Eun Suh however faces troubles from a classmate of hers, Shin Ae. Shin Ae’s father ran away long ago leaving her with her mother and brother. Her brother always causes fights and problems and her mother runs a small restaurant from which they can barely live by. She doesn’t receive any apparent love and is jealous of Eun Suh who seems to have it all.
However fate takes action. In a blood test after an accident, Eun Suh’s parents realise that Eun Suh is not their real daughter but, Shin Ae is. After many dramatic instances, the daughters are exchanged after many years and Shin Ae leaves with a heartbroken Joon Suh and his family to America.
Years later, Eun Suh who has not been able to receive any proper education due to her birth mother’s circumstances, works as a maid in a hotel owned by Han Tae Sok’s father. Han Tae Sok drinks and spends time idly with many women but he is curious about Eun Suh and finds he has feelings for her.
Meanwhile Joon Suh and his family are back from America after fixing his marriage. Soon, Eun Suh and Joon Suh meet again and are delighted. Joon Suh, his fiance, Eun Suh and Han Tae Sok (who is close friends with Joon Suh) are happy the siblings have found each other and spend time together. But as time passes by, Eun Suh and Joon Suh have realized the love they have for each other is not sibling-like but something more. The drama then captures the dramatic sequences where they both and their loved ones come to terms with their relationship, but fate has something tragic waiting for them.
Sounds confusing right? It is a little but once that’s cleared and the two leads start to realise a change in feelings it’s not just confusing and painful for the characters, but for us too. The drama begins with a sad separation of the siblings. In a way it’s almost cruel. Their situations change so much from that. Overall the series is 16 hours of agony and tears as we traverse through the sad fate that this couple has. Especially towards the end, things get really sad.
This drama is actually part of a 4-part drama series called ‘Endless Love’ out of which this is the first one. This drama is a classic in every way. Seeing classics like this, help us understand from where all the classic instances and styles of k-dramas today, must have originated. This drama had immense viewership ratings, and was the start of the “Korean wave” that took over the world. The sites used in this drama are even very popular tourist sites now. As for the actors, after their splendid performance in this, their careers sky rocketed especially Song Hye Kyo who is referred to as the “Queen of k-dramas” and Won Bin who is an acclaimed actor and considered one of the most handsome actors in South Korea. His looks are so famous in fact that beauty standards of men are commonly cited as “Won Bin level” in dramas and movies in South Korea!
That Winter, The Wind Blows
Also known as: Wind Blows in winter
Country of origin : South Korea
Language : Korean
Directed by : Kim Kyu Tae
Written by: Noh Hee Kyung
Based on: Ai Nante Irane Yo, Natsu by Tatsui Yukari (A Japanese television series)
Starring : Jo In Sung, Song Hye Kyo
No: of seaeons: 1
Aired : February 13-April 3 , 2013
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
The story starts with Oh Young who is a lonely heiress to a conglomerate business. Her parents divorced when she was young and her mother had taken away her brother Oh Soo in the process, after which she progressively went blind. Understanding that her father’s secretary (with whom he has an affair) is slowly taking over the company what with her father dead, and she being blind, she decides to go find her lost brother Oh Soo.
Meanwhile Oh Soo is a high stakes gambler with a large wining percentage. He turned to intense gambling after his girlfriend passed away. But he gets cheated and lands himself in jail with a huge loan. Once out of jail, he tries his best to get money to pay the money but can’t seem to.
It is at that time that Oh Young approaches him to find her brother Oh Soo, who gave her his address in a letter. Oh Soo (Jo In Sung) realises that her brother is his best friend who has his same name. However in a chase, her brother dies in a car accident, unbeknownst to Oh Young. Later that night, he is approached by the company officials after they mistook him for the real Oh Soo. But to get money he decides to pretend to be his now dead, best friend to get the money. The rest of the story is about how he tries to trick them to get the money and the growing relationship and confusions between the “siblings” Oh Young and Oh Soo.
Sounds a little confusing? It’s more straightforward in the drama trust me! This too is another hit drama from Song Hye Kyo and is another very different rendition of the theme we saw in “Autumn in my heart”. This drama saves us a lot of the pain we suffered through in Autumn in my heart. This drama focuses more on the confused actions of a man who is trying to be a fake brother for money, but is fighting his conscience and feelings while slowly finding the truth about the family he is trying to trick. Although Song Hye Kyo’s character seems to be at an apparent disadvantage due to her disability, trust me she’s not. The entire setting of the drama with the icy-wintry surroundings made us feel the gravity of the story more. Her connection to her family, especially her mother is something that helps us connect with Oh Young so well. The drama fits perfectly with the theme of “melodrama”. It has all the typical sequences that make it a melodramatic k-drama, but at the sane time has enough to make it stand out, what with its plot and character development.
So what do you think about these “siblings” that confused us? This kind of relationship is actually a very delicate kind of topic in my opinion, but they handled it well in both dramas to make us enjoy it. Although autumn in my heart is very sad, don’t let that put you off. It’s a classic and despite the agony it actually has the entertainment value. While that Winter the wind blows is a more modern rendition of the same, it too has a the typical modern style that k-dramas maintain today and the lead couple has us gripped till the very end.
Let me know your thoughts on these two dramas and if you know any other such stories, films or TV series in the comments below!
Image courtesy: Google