There’s a short webdrama called Wind-Bell that teaches us about love, forgiveness, and family. Although it’s lessons are excellent, the show itself is only mediocre.
Short and sweet – the story is about an award-winning author named Daniel who was born in South Korea, adopted and taken to America as a young boy, and is now back in Seoul hoping to reunite with the family that left him.
Sung Yeo-Jin works as an editor at Sung Woo Publishing House but she’s not happy there because she doesn’t get to do any editing. Instead, she has to wear a penguin suit and try to sell books to people. Just when she hands in her letter of resignation her boss tells her they’ve signed with an overseas author named Daniel to publish the Korean translation of his award-winning book and Yeo-Jin gets to work with the author on the project. That’s enough to make her change her mind about leaving the company but things don’t run as smoothly as Yeo-Jin was hoping they would and this Daniel person is a bit more than she had bargained for.
Daniel was born in South Korea but at the age of ten he was adopted by a family in the United States and has lived there the past 18 years. Although he has reservations to stay in a hotel while in Seoul, he decides to cancel them and go to the guest house owned by the woman who put him up for adoption so long ago. Daniel has to wrestle with his past and lay to rest all the pain he received, both emotionally and physically, from the people he should have been able to count on for support.
Kwon Min-Ah, better known as Mina, plays the part of Sung Yeo-Jin. She made her entertainment debut as a member of the girl group AOA in 2012. The following year she made her acting debut in the drama special Adolescence Medley. Her first leading role came in 2014 through the Kdrama Modern Farmer (which has been on my drama list but I still have yet to see). She has been an MC for the variety show Gourmet, and a co-MC on Weekly Idol. In 2017 she won the Hallyu Star Award for her role as a nurse in the medical Kdrama Hospital Ship. A year ago she played the part of a cop in the excellent detective drama Queen of Mystery 2 (which didn’t end so I’m hoping for a part three soon). Also, she compiled a bunch of quotes that she personally found meaningful and published them under the title Stars Don’t Lose Their Way at Night.
For information about Jung Jin-Young, the actor who plays Daniel, you can go to my review of My First First Love.
Just in case you were curious, in the drama, Daniel’s book entitled The Promise won the Man Booker Prize which is a real “literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success.” (Quote taken from Wikipedia.)
Can this webdrama be categorized as a romance? Well, not really but there is a kiss in it, although I think it was just thrown in for the heck of it. They haven’t known each other long and there hasn’t been any flirting or romance going on between them at all but for some reason Daniel decides to kiss Sung Yoo-Jin as they’re standing in the middle of a (non-busy) street. Now, to me that seems more like something we’d see in an American drama than in a Korean one. However, Daniel has spent the last 18 years in the states so that kiss may have been put in the script just to show how Americanized Daniel is. Even if that was the case, it still seemed out of place to me.
This webdrama was a project selected through the Seoul Story and Drama Script Contest which is held by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. As I’ve mentioned before, I like the idea of script contests. They’re great ways to find creative new authors with scripts worthy of being made into dramas. Other countries should do that, if they don’t already. I’ve seen a few really entertaining dramas that have come from script contests – Lie to Me is my personal favorite. You ought to check it out if you haven’t already.
There’s nothing glaringly wrong with the show, it just failed to involve my emotions. We don’t get to know these characters well so we’re not on the edge of our seat praying for their happiness. It’s a fictional work of art and I was aware of that fact every minute the story was being played out. The other thing that kept me from loving Wind-Bell was the character Sun Yeo-Jin. She’s snippy, rude, gruff, and irritating – one of those “sassy” personalities I dislike. If she was someone I worked with I would smile graciously each morning, say hello, and keep my distance. Since the whole thing sets up a situation where Daniel can either choose to “mend fences” or “let it go,” and I was okay with whatever he decided to do, and since someone I’d dislike in real life was the main female character, the drama didn’t have a lot for me to enjoy. I kept watching solely because it was short and I wanted to finish it, and those aren’t great reasons to spend time on something.
Just so you know, the title of this drama, Wind-Bell, refers to the name of the guest house Daniel stays at. Folks in America would call a wind-bell a wind chime. As a child, Daniel said the wind gave the bell a gift by making it ring. That’s actually quite a charming, philosophical thought for a young boy. I love the sound of wind chimes, so much so that I have three outside my bedroom window. From now on whenever I hear them ring I’ll think of the wind giving the bell (and me) a gift.
The song at the end of the show is really good but because the drama isn’t that long, it’s all we get. Unfortunately, there’s no information about that one song so I can’t tell you who sings it, but trust me, it’s pretty and goes well with the show.
As for scenery, there’s a lot of famous places we get to view. Daniel wanders around seeing some of Seoul’s major tourist attractions – Bukchon guest houses, Namsan Tower and the love-lock wall, the Han River, Seoul Plaza, and Cheonggyecheon.
If you’re looking for something to fill an hour and a half of your extra time, Wind-Bell fits that time frame. Just don’t expect anything more than mediocre and you won’t be disappointed.
Only an hour and a half
Lesson teaching forgiveness
Nice Seoul scenery
Pretty ending song
Charming guest house
A philosophical way of looking at wind chimes
Doesn’t really draw you in
The character Sung Yeo-Jin