After seeing Park Yoochun in Sungkyungkwan Scandal, I could not help myself from lining up his dramas on my TBW pile. After learning that he recently starred in this drama with Yoon Eun Hye (Princess Hours, Coffee Prince), I resolved to see it immediately. Be warned though that Missing you (I miss you) is far different from early dramas featuring these two fine actors but the results made for one very compelling 21 episode drama.
Lee Su Yeon (Eun Hye) is a 15 year old girl who becomes an outcast in the aftermath of her abusive father’s execution for the murder. She is bullied in school for being a murderer’s daughter, and her mother seems not to care about her at all, given all they have been through. Han Jung Woo (Yoochun), on the other hand, is a a priviledged 15 year old boy who returns to Seoul after years of studying the the US to be with his father, who cares more about money than his family. Despite their differences in status, the two form a bond and fall in love with each other, a love that is cut short when they are kidnapped and Jung Woo is made to believe that Su Yeon was killed after she was raped by their captors. Believing that Su Yeon is still alive and vowing to find her, Jung Woo pursues a career in law enforcement and waits for 14 years before he comes across fashion designer Zoe Lou, whom he recognizes as his long lost love. But complications stand in the way as Zoe is committed to a relationship with billionaire Harry Borrison, and is still embittered by her past ordeal.
Missing You is different from Yoochun and Eun Hye’s past dramas mainly because this story is super heavy drama. The story is darker and more complex than other Korean dramas and even the experiences of teenagers from the first four episodes were heart wrenching. I loved the casting for this series. I believe this is one of the most well put together cast in terms of television dramas from the actors playing the young Su Yeon and Jung Woo (Kim So Hyun and Yeo Jin Goo) until they grew up to be the main leads. I loved the chemistry between the kids and the chemistry between the adults as well.
Yoochun has proven himself once again to be a versatile actor, balancing out his dramatic prowess, his sweet and romantic side and funny side effortlessly. One can truly feel his suffering just by looking into his eyes and his boyish charm shines through when he interacts with Eun Hye and her mother , played Song Ok Sook (Winter Sonata). Yoo Seung Ho (Operation Proposal), who played Harry Borrison, the bipolar billionaire, on the other hand, was such a cutie. He had such an innocent face and even though most of the time, he was plotting something diabolical, his angelic face and his backstory will give viewers pause, debating with themselves whether to love him for being so vulnerable or hate him for standing in the way of true love. Eun Hye, for her part did great justice to her role, but I like her best playing characters with a bit of sass.
Despite a lot of shoddy policework, and overly emotional members of the Gangnam Police Force (which provided much of the humor for the piece), I liked the progression of this drama in the sense that the backstory was entirely fleshed out to make audiences understand the motivations behind the actions of the characters. I also liked the consistency in the acting of the child actors with their adult versions. The kids looked a lot like their adult counterparts, and their mannerisms were adopted by their 29 year old versions seamlessly.
I liked that the characters were not portrayed as superhuman, but rather as regular individuals who became victims of extraordinary circumstances. The revelations were made gradually so that audiences move on with the characters from the events that happened in the story 14 years ago. They understand how strong the bond is between Su Yeon and Jung Woo. They understand how Harry became the way that he was. They understand the characters’ flaws and how they get past the nightmares and choose to be together despite the odds not being in their favor.
Missing you is a story about how revenge can corrupt the purest of hearts and stand between two people destined for each other. Missing you is a story about enduring love. It is a tale of sorrow and regret and at the same time, it is also talks about hope and second chances. While the flashbacks were a bit much for me, I must admit that it lent consistency to the drama as well as worked for establishing the parallelisms between the past and the present. Missing you is definitely a drama that is not be missed. When watching this drama though, it is best to be armed with a hanky. The waterworks are sure to follow.