- Title: 가을동화 / Gaeul Donghwa
- Also known as: Endless Love 1 / Autumn Tale
- Genre: Drama, Romance
- Episodes: 16
- Broadcast network: KBS2
- Broadcast period: 2000-Sep-18 to 2000-Nov-07
- Air time: Monday & Tuesday 21:55
- Viewership rating: peak: 46.1%, average: 38.6%
Yoon Joon-suh and Yoon Eun-suh grew up as siblings but Eun-suh was in fact from a different family as there was a mix-up at the hospital where she was born. The switch came to light when Eun-suh was involved in a car accident and it was discovered that her blood type was different from her parents. Eun-suh’s life took a complete turn when the two girls were returned to their respective families. Soon after, the Yoon family left for the States and Eun-suh was left living in sordid condition with her real family in Korea. Years after, Joon-suh returned to Korea and by chance the two former siblings were reunited.
Song Seung Hoon as Yoon Joon Suh :: Sigh, he was one of my childhood crushes. And this drama was no help at all! Joon Suh was the kind older brother that pretty much does whatever he can to please those he cares about. As a teenager, he was very protective of Eun Suh. Actually, that never changed. I’d say he became more reserved as he got older. It was as if he was never truly happy, even though he has a fiancee. He constantly faces the dilemma of doing what others want and following his own heart. <— And THAT is basically him the entire drama. Is it strange to say that I understood the pressures he was under but, at the same time, felt how unfair it was for him and Eun Suh.
Song Hye Kyo as Yoon/Choi Eun Suh :: This was the first drama that introduced me to the beautiful Song Hye Kyo and made me a huge fan. This poor poor poor girl. She went from having a loving family to living in poverty with an abusive older brother. Ugh! My feels. Even as a kid, she was always kind to others and tried her best to make everyone happy .. even if that meant her own unhappiness. If there was anyone who deserved to be happy, it was Eun Suh. If everyone was in the ocean and I could only pull one to safety, it’d be her. If there was some sort of life raft that could only fit one person, I’d haul her ass on it while everyone else can swim with the fishes. The shit this girl goes through is just so heartbreaking. Everyone, literally everyone, makes a request to her. And being the noble kind idiot, she complies. It’s just so so sad that her fate in the end is something completely out of her, and everyone’s, control.
Won Bin as Han Tae Suk :: Let me just say this – I love him. Won Bin was just .. soooooo perfect as Tae Suk. I rooted for him as well. I remember thinking, “It’s okay Tae Suk, you have me” the entire length of the drama. He started off as a spoiled, rich chaebol/pro-golf player. He’s resented by his older siblings, but apparently loved by his father because he’s the youngest. As he fell deeper in love with Eun Suh, his tough guy front melted and he did all he can to protect her .. and also have her. He knows that she will never see him that way, but he still tried. Tae Suk wasn’t the typical second lead, where they turn all evil and what not. I found that great and wish that current dramas would drop that tired trope.
Storyline &* Relationships
For Throwback Thursday, I decided to review one of the very first dramas I can remember watching. And it just so happened to be this freakin tearjerker. No matter how many times I watch this, I always always end up in tears. I am going to sum up the entire plot within one paragraph: Yoon Suh and Eun Suh grow up as siblings until middle school in a very well off family. Both are well-liked by their peers. Shin Ae, who is tired of living in poverty, is jealous of Eun Suh, especially when she loses the class president position to her. After a minor accident one day, they find out that Eun Suh and Shin Ae were switched at birth. Shin Ae immediately embraces the high life and Eun Suh goes to live with her birth mother. Because people are assholes, their social life at school is switched as well. Eun Suh is ridiculed, except by her best friend, and Shin Ae is basking in her new status. Because the stress is too much to bare for the family, Yoon Suh, Shin Ae and family move to the US and leave Eun Suh behind. About 8(?) years pass and Joon Suh returns to Korea, now an artist. Eun Suh is working as a hotel operator, where she meets Tae Suk. Tae Suk takes an immediate liking to her. Joon Suh and Eun Suh finally meet, over time their feelings are not just as siblings but something more. Joon Suh’s fiancee realizes that something is going on as Joon Suh grows more distant, well he always seemed aloof with her anyway. She asks Eun Suh to help her and Eun Suh decides to “date” Tae Suk. Tae Suk knows where her feelings truly lie and still dates her, such dedication #swoon. The cat’s out of the bag, thanks to Shin Ae’s big mouth, and everyone knows about how Joon Suh and Eun Suh feel about each other. They take off and enjoy some time to themselves. They’re eventually found by Tae Suk and are griped by their parents. Joon Suh refuses to drop his feelings, while Eun Suh is on the fence because everyone keeps telling her how wrong their love is. Joon Suh’s, now, ex-fiancee tries to commit suicide and this manages to keep Joon Suh in her grasps. Eun Suh finds out she has leukemia and doesn’t have much time left. She asks Joon Suh to spend just a weekend or so with her, but he feels so guilty about suicidal ex-fiancee he refuses. Ex-fiancee has fully recovered, but does not tell Joon Suh. Even when Joon Suh finds out, he does nothing because this is for the best and he plans to leave back for the US. Eun Suh collapses and is taken to emergency, where she falls into a short coma. Joon Suh is afraid to visit her and when he finally does, she wakes up and they take off together. Eun Suh and Joon Suh live in whatever peace they can find until she passes away as he’s carrying her on the beach. After her funeral, Joon Suh goes back to the place where everything took a turn for the worse – where Eun Suh first had that accident, which led them all to discover she was switched at birth. He is then hit by a truck and dies. THE END.
Depressing, right!? Luckily, I was too young to really figure out the kdrama stereotype of diseases that seem to plague so many plots. It wasn’t so much the plot the pulled me in, it was the characters/actors. Everyone played their part so damn well, it remains one of my favorite dramas. There’s a heck of a lot of noble idiocy that goes on in the drama from our two leads, multiple .. times .. -_-; I thought the best voice of reason throughout the drama was Tae Suk, plus he wasn’t an overbearing second lead. But, like I stated before, the one I truly wanted to be happy was Eun Suh. She sacrificed sooooo much for the sake of others. One big annoyance was Joon Suh’s fiancee. I mean, I know she didn’t want to lose him. BUT, to do so in that kind of way was just so .. URGH! Yeah, anywayyy .. Surprisingly, I was satisfied with the way it ended .. in a way? I knew that Eun Suh had to die no matter what, Joon Suh’s death at the end pretty much solidified how traumatizing her death was to him. It wasn’t just her death though, it was everything that had happened. If he lived at the end, I felt that it wouldn’t really make much sense. The drama wanted to show us that he couldn’t live without her and how the entire ordeal was just too much. I would’ve liked to see how Tae Suk was at the end, but alas we will never know. The relationship between Eun Suh and Tae Suk felt very typical in a way. Second lead starts off as a jerk and falls for the kindhearted female lead. He changes for the better, but doesn’t get the girl. But hey, at the time, it felt relatively fresh to me .. as a kid anyway 😄
9.3 out of 10
This has been a Haejin review.