Elise Stevenson

Uncontrollably Fond

Elise Stevenson
Uncontrollably Fond

Grab your tissues, chocolate and any other comfort food you need. Uncontrollably Fond is one sad rollercoaster ride of emotion and makes very clear that your parents do not define who you are.

This is the terrible tale of Shin Joon Young and No Eul, who were once very close classmates as teenagers but were separated due to the awful events that continued to plague their lives. When they come back into each others lives, they have both changed and there is still a lot of baggage keeping them apart.

Eul witnesses her father being struck down in a hit-and-run incident that left her and her brother as orphans. Eul reports everything to the police, however, the person charged for the crime is completely different and Eul believes that the prosecutor, Choi Hyun Joon, has protected the real criminal. Eul quits school to fend for herself and her brother.

Joon Young started off as being a student who didn’t care about his life and just liked playing with others, mostly coming to the defense of others. Joon Young’s mother, Shin Young Ok, wants her son to be successful to be able to show the estranged father that she was able to raise her son well. Joon Young eventually finds out that his father is a highly esteemed prosecutor (do you see where this going?) and decides to study hard to become one too. He does end up passing the bar exam during college, but then he finds out that Eul has evidence to implement his father. Joon Young takes steals this evidence off Eul, which then causes her to get hit by a car and fighting for her life. Joon Young then makes a plea to God that he will stop following his dream, he will give his life, just so Eul can continue on living. And, of course, Eul survives her surgery.

Afterwards, Joon Young drops all of his pursuits in becoming a prosecutor and becomes a celebrity instead. He becomes one of the most popular actors and singers in Korea, but is known for being hard to work with. Eul is now a PD for documentaries who will do anything, even taking bribes, to get money. She is then hired to be the lead PD on Joon Young’s documentary. During this time, Joon Young finds out he has a terminal brain tumor that is inoperable and he only has months to live. His mission is to help Eul uncover the real culprit of her father’s death.

As they reconnect, a lot (and I mean a lot) of family drama happens. I would be here all night writing every single point so let’s summarize. Joon Young’s mother cut him off and her friend/love interest, Jang Jung Sik, helps her at her restaurant. His son and daughter work with the entertainment company that manages Joon Young. Joon Young’s estranged father has a wife, who is just awful, and they have two children. The daughter is Joon Young’s biggest fan and meets Eul’s brother, while the son lives a double life being Eul’s friend and potential love interest. The son is also promised to be engaged to a woman, because her father and his father had made a deal to help cover up a crime she committed (have you figured it out yet?)—summary over.

I’ll be honest, it took me a really, really, really long time to get around to finishing this drama and you can see why. As much as I loved it, it drags a lot and it’s mainly because of the constant resistance Joon Young has to getting close to Eul. It ultimately doesn’t do too much anyways and that had me a little bit frustrated once the story was coming to a close. Not to mention all of the storylines you have to keep up with.

But the beautiful scenery, the soundtrack, the emotional heartbreak, and the individual character developments were so worth it and fun to watch. Even the smaller ones like Jang Man Ok getting together with the other guy from the restaurant or Choi Ha Roo’s evolution from brat to mature young woman. One thing I’m not entirely sure was resolved was the loans and medical bills that Eul was trying to pay off to loan sharks. It might’ve been mentioned but I guess so much happened that it was a blip compared to everyone else.

I loved the underlying message about the dynamics between parents and their children. Joon Young feels incredible guilt for trying to protect the father who didn’t know he existed after finding out he was the reason why Eul’s life was the way it was. He then changed his entire life to make sure he did not end up like him. The same turmoil is felt by his half-brother, who looked up to his parents until he found out how evil they were.

Of course, this drama hurts a little more knowing that life began to imitate it with Kim Woo Bin’s cancer diagnosis. I’ve always enjoyed his acting, no matter what he was in, and seeing him act opposite Suzy was a real joy to watch. The chemistry between the two of them was so good and I only wish there was more. But, we were told that Joon Young was going to die and that’s what happened. I would have been more mad if the writers did miraculously save him in the end.

This drama has gone into my all time favorites and I hope that it will be one of yours as well. Check out where it is streaming in your region and get ready to be an emotional wreck.