I wonder how many people remember the first drama they ever watched.
I started watching Japanese dramas at the wee age of I don’t remember, and I’ve been obsessed with Asian dramas ever since. So while I don’t know the very first drama I watched, I do remember the very first Korean drama I watched.
And that is Autumn in my Heart.
Major spoilers ahead.
Eun-Suh and Joon-Suh live as brother and sister, even though Joon-Suh has a crush on his “sister.” Later, the family learns that Eun-Suh was switched at birth. Ten years later, Eun-Suh and Joon-Suh meet again and slowly fall in love.
When I first watched this show as a teenager, I cried my eyes out. I clearly remember using so many tissues because this drama was so heart-wrenching.
This had every trope you could think of:
- The forbidden love
- The extremely kind, hardworking, poor, and sick female protagonist
- The mean and jealous antagonist
- The successful and handsome love interests
- The star-crossed lovers
I came back to this drama many years later because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to watch… I couldn’t finish it.
I didn’t even get halfway before I was so done with the main characters. The more I watched, the more I thought how unrealistic Eun-Suh and Joon-Suh’s characters were. Eun-Suh’s kindness made me want to tear my hair out at some points. And, unfortunately, Joon-Suh was equally as bad since his kindness just continued to hurt Eun-Suh.
I also noticed how strange some plot points were. For example, Eun-Suh was apparently really smart, but she didn’t go to college/university because of financial issues. So why didn’t she try applying for a scholarship?
Eun-Suh and Joon-suh’s characters literally had me going:
At some point, I started rooting for Shin-ae and Tae-Seok, the two side characters who, more or less, act like real human beings. While Shin-ae was pretty cruel to Eun-Suh, I started adoring her selfishness. Same with Tae-Seok.
What didn’t change for me was sympathizing with Eun-Suh on her illness. That still hit me in the feels. Also, the way her “new” brother treated her. Her life went to hell real fast.
It’s interesting coming back to a drama you loved as a kid to see how you feel about it now. You see characters and the premise in a different light. You also catch things you missed the first time.
Needless to say, what this drama taught me years later is that being kind isn’t everything. I won’t be coming back to this anytime soon. But the cast was brilliant.