My Mister is a 2018 South Korean television series starring Lee Sun-kyun and Lee Ji-eun. The series was directed by Kim Won-seok, written by Park Hae-young and produced by Chorokbaem Media. It aired on tvN from March 21 to May 17, 2018, on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:30 (KST) time slot.
The drama received critical acclaim, winning Best Drama at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards. It is currently available on Netflix and iQIYI.
My Mister tells the story of an impoverished and debt-laden young woman (IU) struggling to stay afloat as she nurses her deaf, sick grandmother and working a temporary job. She develops an unlikely bond with one of her equally miserable supervisors (Lee Sun-kyun), which is subjected to scrutiny and manipulation by their colleagues, friends, and dysfunctional families. Enduring the weight of their respective lives, they come together, forming new relationships, keeping parts of themselves secret — but ultimately healing one another’s past scars.
Review 1 : by mooseonskates20 (link)
My Mister – in a league of its own
I’ve been saving this drama for when I was in the right mood and it finally took me 4 years to get to it but I’ve made it to the other side! I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype but it surpassed all my expectations and then some.
Right from Episode 1, I was certainly intrigued and it was a very interesting set up right from the get go. I didn’t completely get into it until Episode 4, when Dong Hoon defends his brother and confronts the landlord guy, making him apologize in his own unique way. That was like the moment when I started to truly feel invested in the story.
I especially loved the attention to detail, the cinematography, the directing, and how this world was so carefully crafted with such beautifully flawed characters that you get so attached to. Just the simple details like Dong Hoon taking the train to and from work everyday and his walk back home in the neighbourhood, the interactions with his neighbourhood friends – it all made the drama feel so immersive.
The highlight of the show for me was Dong Hoon and Ji An together – I didn’t read romantic vibes from them but I was happy about that because having such an interesting, platonic pairing isn’t something that common in the k-drama world so it was very refreshing. I love how they become a source of strength to one another and how they are able to lift each other up and assure them that they’re doing okay and that they are good people. I like how they each have such a strong effect on the other that they slowly break down their walls and let their emotions out.
I also really liked the friendly neighbourhood gatherings – it felt so warm and comforting seeing all these close friends enjoy each others’ company and also eventually take in Ji An as one of their own in the most genuine, non-judgmental way. This closely knit community gave me all the feels!
To tie it all together I revelled at how beautiful and ethereal the OST is – my favourites being Grown Ups by Sondia and Rainbow (both the acoustic version by O. When and the band version by Vincent Blue). They have a nice balance of dark yet hopeful undertones in both the melody and the lovely lovely instrumentals. I LOVE.
I could go on forever about the things that I loved but this show is truly a gem – it’s one of the few that have left a lasting impression on me and I definitely see myself coming back for another rewatch to catch all the little details and nuances that I probably missed the first time. It’s dark, somber, and at times gritty, but ultimately very warm, human and uplifting.
Review 2 : by Flower-1496 (link)
I have come across many posts recommending My Mister and always wondered would it live up to the hype? So, to commemorate my one year of getting into Korean dramas, I watched the show and I’ve jumped on to the appreciation bandwagon.
The entire theme of sadness, being broken and wistfulness is combined with a sense of “fighting” which makes the drama so good. I have never seen a drama more real and human. I didn’t feel the drama was “slow”; for me, it had the right pace.
Safe to say, its writing is beautiful and shines throughout the drama. These lines can uplift any person going through a tough time. For example, when Park Dong hoon says “If you consider it to be no big deal, then it is no big deal“. Or When Yoo Ra says “It made me think, “it’s okay to fail”, “it’s nothing really”, “you can still be happy”“.
The characters are so well fleshed out. They don’t seem real, they are real. I can probably write an essay on all of them, but I’ll try to keep it short.
Park Dong Hoon has easily become one of my most favourite character. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s his simplicity, his non-judgemental nature, his ability to be kind despite himself, and his (very genuine) smile that makes him endearing. I, especially, liked the scene when he finds out they’re being followed by a camera guy in the metro and he chases him away to stand beside LJA. And I appreciate him for never speaking a word against his wife when he had the chance. He endures and sacrifices too much. That’s what makes him relatable. We all sacrifice and endure so much, thinking that we must do that, it’s our duty. Lee Sun-Kyun is an amazing actor and his eyes are very expressive.
My most memorable part was when he fights for Lee Ji-an with Gwang-il. It was such a heartbreaking scene. The desperation and hurt in his voice when he says “Why would you hit her? Doesn’t her story break your heart?”. When Gwang-il tells him that she has killed someone, the conviction in his voice, “I would’ve done the same”.
My other favourite scene is when PDH tells LJA to call him through his phone in the cinema. This shows so much about who PDH is. He isn’t going to judge her now, he knows her. He trusts her and asks her to trust him as well.
IU has done justice to the character of Lee Ji-an. Ever since I’ve watched Hotel Del Luna, I was eager to watch more of her work. She portrays a conflicted character. At times, she seems so fierce, as she threatens that she can kill again. At other times, she seems so small, as she cries when PDH fights for her. It’s the first time anyone has fought for her, and she breaks down. And I break down with her. The line that got me the most was when she says to PDH, “Aren’t you going to stop being nice to me after 4 times? Now, you’ll say I’ve been nice enough and “I’ll stop””. This, right here, shows her fears. That she has never known a person who was nice to her, without demands, and one day, he might stop as well. And, when PDH tells her it’s alright that she snooped, she admits that “I really wanted you to be happy”. This shows who Lee Ji-an is. She just wants to help a person who has helped her through so much. In a way, she also helps Gwang-il to become a slightly better person (Re: Episode 16).
I would like to credit Park Sang-hoon as the person who made me cry the most. The way he used his entire collected money to give a good funeral to Lee Ji-an’s grandma. It was the most heartbreaking and uplifting scene. I cried buckets and can’t begin to translate the beauty of the scene into words.
Jeong Hee is a character I came to love gradually, and then in an instant. Her late-night walks to home, only to return at the bar; her trying to brush and wash so as to feel normal; the way she puts her arm around LJA. I cried every time she cried. The line used When you’ve love to give, but there’s no one to give to has remained in my mind constantly.
Honourable mention to Song Ki-bum (Lee Ji-an’s friend), who went through a lot of trouble, without asking any questions. I wish we could’ve known more about her. And to Yoo Ra, who made me smile a lot. She’s a sweetheart. And to the entire friend circle of Park Dong-hoon.
OSTs that stuck with me the most are Rainbow by Vincent Blue, A million Roses by Woorim Ko, Dear moon by Je Hwi, and Grown Ups by Sondia. I’ve listened to them on-repeat and still end up crying at times.
I don’t know if my review does justice to the beauty that is My Mister, but I wish to recommend it to the world. A 10/10 for me!