I was really surprised I enjoyed this show so much. It doesn’t have a single one of my favorite actors or actresses and yet, I was spellbound. The plot, writing, acting, characters, and music blend together perfectly to make an excellent, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT Kdrama! I can definitely see myself watching Uncontrollably Fond again someday.
In high school, tons of girls had a crush on handsome, charismatic Shin Joon-Young. Although Eul liked him, too, she never let on because her best friend had a crush on him and Eul wasn’t about to let her feelings for a guy ruin their long-standing relationship. But when Joon-Young decides to use Eul to chase away unwanted females the teasing and tension blossoms into something positive for both of them. When Eul’s dad is killed by a hit-and-run female driver and a male confesses to the crime, is convicted, and the case closed, she diligently tries to find witnesses to bring justice to a corrupt situation. But her father’s tragic death and incredible debt to loan sharks ends up chasing Eul, and her younger brother, far away without saying a word about leaving to Joon-Young.
Ten years later they meet once again but is it too late to get back what they once shared? Joon-Young has been told he has just months left to live. Will the two be forced to separate once again because of Joon-Young’s cruel fate or will they be able to stay together thanks to a wonderful miracle?
All the characters in this drama are so real…
Shin Joon-Young is an all-around good guy. He grew up the only child of a hardworking, single mother. He idolizes her and is appreciative of everything she’s done on his behalf. Once he found out the father he never knew was a famous attorney he decided to become a lawyer as well. Unfortunately, two (related) things happened that called a screeching halt to that dream and he signed with an entertainment company instead of studying law. He is now one of Korea’s biggest and most beloved Hallyu stars.
No Eul was left at a young age to raise her little brother after the death of their father who was the victim of a hit and run accident, Eul witnessing the whole thing from across the street. She dropped out of college to go to work and has loan sharks to contend with. She works as a kind of reporter/camerawoman/program director and sees some decent, needed money coming from her working on a documentary staring mega-star Joon-Young.
Choi Ji-Tae comes from a prestigious, well-to-do family but he masquerades as a common, unemployed university student when he’s around No Eul and her brother. Why?
Yoon Jung-Eun was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, has an air of entitlement in her voice, and possesses a very nasty temper. She’s a daddy’s girl who thinks the world revolves around her.
I owe Kim Woo-Bin a huge apology. The only thing I had seen him in before he played the role of Shin Joon-Young, was The Heirs, and I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t care for his character and I scored him quite low on the handsome scale. But I have to backtrack and admit I may have been a little hasty in my judgment. He won me over completely in this drama. His acting is fantastic and he’s cute as a button! What a smile! His acting skills have either gotten much better in the past three years or this was just a role he was born to play. I’m really hoping he gets some type of an award for this. I’m truly a fan now!
I kept wondering if I had seen her before. I was finally curious enough to pause the episode I was watching and Google Bae Suzy (No Eul). Ha! I knew she was familiar. She played Go Hye-Mi in Dream High. (If you haven’t seen that one yet, give it a try.) Bae Suzy began her career with an audition for Mnet Superstar K in 2009 but was eliminated after the preliminary round. However, that wasn’t the end for her. A scout from JYP Entertainment saw Suzy and, boom, she was soon a trainee. She debuted as part of the singing group Miss A and then went on to acting. Just a quick FYI – she’s currently dating Lee Min-Ho! Lucky gal.
I remember Lim Ju-Hwan (Choi Ji-Tae) from his role as a doctor in The Snow Queen and as a police officer in Oh My Ghostess. I was shocked to find out he’s 34 years old. The man has one of those never-grow-old faces. He’ll probably be able to play a teenage role ten years from now.
This isn’t the first time Lim Ju-Eun (Yoon Jung-Eun) and Kim Woo-Bin have worked together. Three years ago, on The Heirs, they played the second female and second male lead, or what could be referred to as “the jilted lovers”. I’m not a huge fan of Ju-Eun but in both dramas, I think she plays the part of a spoiled-rotten brat very well.
I wasn’t going to mention this but then I remembered I had to bring it up in the plot synopsis, and since Shin Joon-Young (and the audience) is informed about it right at the very beginning of the drama I figured it wouldn’t be spoiling any surprise if I wrote about it in more detail… The thing I like about this show is the fact that the character facing their mortality is a male. In Marriage Contract and Super Daddy Yeol (and a couple other dramas I don’t want to mention because I didn’t talk about it in my review so I wouldn’t ruin the surprise) the characters having to deal with, and plan for, their death are female. Why always women? Maybe because they are thought of as the more delicate sex so watching a woman cry and a man protecting and comforting her breaks our hearts? Maybe because having the man left to deal with his lost love and tremendous loneliness tugs at our heartstrings? Maybe because writers feel men would deal with the devastating news better which would make us less sad for the tough guy? Perhaps they think males wouldn’t be in as much pain as women so we wouldn’t feel as bad for a strong man? I don’t know. However, what I DO know is that Kim Woo-Bin played this idea perfectly. Shin Joon-Young brings a whole different emotion to the same scenario. He shows excruciating pain, fear at losing his life, and worry at not being there anymore to “fix” things for those he loves. We hurt for him and cry with him. I assure you, the scenes are no less emotional with a man facing death.
I love Ji Sung and enjoyed watching Entertainer in July. It scored 9.8 (in my rating system) because it’s an all-around great show. Then came Doctors starring Kim Rae Won and Park Shin-Hye. That drama received a 9.5 because it’s simply quality entertainment. All three of those people are on my favorites lists so maybe Entertainer and Doctors had a bit more potential for me liking them. I trust myself more in reviewing Kdramas because I gave Uncontrollably Fond a perfect score. You see, it doesn’t have any of my favorite stars but I liked it better than the shows my favorite people are in. That tells me my judgment is fair. Also, I decided to add Uncontrollably Fond to my “favorite dramas” list but that meant taking something off so, with careful consideration I removed I Need Romance 3 to make room for it.
The music in this drama is absolutely fantastic! There isn’t a single song I didn’t love. Honestly. In my opinion, it’s one of the best Kdrama soundtracks of 2016. Eleven different songs made it onto the music charts. Woo Hoo! Kim Woo-Bin and Bae Suzy each sing two songs for the soundtrack. And here’s one very interesting side note – Suzy has been in two Kdramas where the song Winter’s Child (a Happy Birthday song) is performed. In Dream High her character sings it to the guy she likes, and in this show Kim Woo-Bin is the one who sings it.
The scenery is wonderful. Picturesque ocean views and Joon-Young’s amazingly-gorgeous celebrity home, that borders a lake, stand out as spectacular. Most of the drama takes place during brisk-weather months (not summer) but I never got the feeling the scenery was blah. The whole show is quite pretty.
If you’re ready for a romantic, emotional plot this is the show to watch. It’s a wonderful love story with a perfect ending that left me smiling while fighting back tears. I happily and honestly admit, I am Uncontrollably Fond of this drama.
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4 thoughts on “Uncontrollably Fond”
I loved this drama until Kim Woo Bin became ill in real life; after that it became too tragic to watch. Thankfully the last I heard (May 2019) it appeared that he was recovering.
I saw the drama before I read about Kim Woo-Bin’s illness or I might have felt the same way you did. Thanks for the encouraging update. I hope its not long before we see this amazing actor starring in another great romance.
Damn, I rarely cry when watching kdramas but this one made me cry😂. I looked like I was mourning😪. I didn’t really like Kim woo bin in the heirs but he’s one of my fav actors now and I can’t wait for his ultimate comeback after fighting that illness😫😫. I totally agree with your score here.
Oh yes… this drama will rip your heart out. Make sure you have a full box of tissues handy before turning it on.