My Ahjussi: 16 Episodes Worth of Life Lessons

My Ahjussi: 16 Episodes Worth of Life Lessons

My Ahjussi (My Mister) is a tvN drama from 2018 starring Lee Sunkyun and IU that received both critical acclaim and commercial success during its run last year. The drama is a heartwarming story about a young woman and three middle-aged brothers struggling with life’s typical hardships. It offers 16 episodes filled with relatable situations and life lessons that we can all learn from.

My Ahjussi Synopsis

My Ahjussi revolves around Lee Jian (IU), a 21-year-old woman who is a temporary worker at an architectural firm. She is quiet and exudes a mysterious demeanor as she goes around doing her work. She also has a hostile personality, which leaves her fellow employees perturbed, so much so that they do not interact with her.

Park Donghoon (Lee Sunkyun) is a structural engineer and manager at the firm. He is the second oldest in a family of three brothers. His older brother, Park Sanghoon (Park Hosan), is separated from his wife after losing his job and failing to start his own business. The youngest brother, Park Kihoon(Song Saebyeok), is a struggling movie director trying to make it in the entertainment business. With no work, both brothers live with their mother and look to Park Donghoon to uphold the family’s pride as the only son with a good job. Park Donghoon is also married to Kang Yoonhee (Lee Jiah), a successful attorney; the couple has a son studying abroad.

There is an ongoing fight for power among the firm’s directors who seek to oust the current CEO, Do Joonyoung (Kim Youngmin), from his seat. One side sets a trap to get one of the directors, Park Dongwoon (Jung Haekyun), fired by sending him a “fake bribe,” but the money is sent to Park Donghoon instead because of a spelling error. Park Donghoon is caught up in the crossfire and is under the threat of being fired for accepting the bribe.

Lee Jian steals the money, hoping to pay an abusive loan shark but ends up giving the money back. She throws the money in a trash bin, which helps resolve Park Donghoon’s case as it proved he did not accept the bribe.

With no other way of paying the loan shark, Lee Jian makes a deal with Do Joonyoung to get both director Park Dongwoon and manager Park Donghoon fired. This leads Lee Jian to get entangled in Park Dongwoon’s life, creating a very unusual relationship between the two of them.

My Ahjussi Review

The drama invested in good actors who are able to portray well-rounded characters that we can identify with, making it possible for viewers to relate to the story. IU especially shines in her lead actress role as Lee Jian.

Park Donghoon and Lee Jian are drawn to each other because they see the other as pitiful and miserable. This mirroring somehow manages to create a rare and beautiful bond between them.  Park Donghoon is able to see through Lee Jian’s façade for who she really is. With a troubled past, Lee Jian might not have had a future to look forward to, but having Donghoon there as a guide helps her rebuild her life. She does the same for Park Donghoon and gives him the strength to keep going at a time where his life seems to hold little significance and direction. The support that they give each other, without any ulterior motives, is something special that we all could use in our lives.

Park Donghoon’s relationship with his brothers, each with his own quirks and struggles, is endearing and fun to watch. Family is a strong foundation; the drama highlights this as the brothers relate with each other even when bickering or fighting.

Another thing worth mentioning is the way Park Donghoon handles his wife’s infidelity. It is truly painful to watch as he tries to keep his marriage intact after he finds out, but he handles it so maturely. His most admirable trait is his ability to see past people’s mistakes and give them a chance to live past them as well.

The drama seems to tell a normal story with an interesting office romance, but watching it gives a more insightful view. The drama tackles a variety of themes ranging from family and infidelity to gender relationships. The real selling point, however, is how this drama helps viewers evaluate important life decisions. It also puts into perspective what it means to be a success or failure as well as how we can go about dealing with both situations.

Overall, My Ahjussi is a beautiful story that will give you a unique outlook on life. You are sure to shed some tears, but through all that, you might be able to resolve an issue that you may be struggling with, or you will gain strength to endure through the hard times. It is a story that we all can relate to, and that is what makes it truly special.

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The Café Culture of Korea

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