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Tell Me That You Love Me -- Drama Review

Five minutes in to Tell Me That You Love Me, a Korean series based on the 1995 Japanese TV series Aishiteiru to Itte Kure, starring Jung Woo-sung (Cha Jin Woo) and Shin Hyun Been (Jung Mo Eun) about the romance between a hearing-impaired painter who is used to express his emotions through drawings rather than words, and an aspiring actress who expresses her feelings with her voice, and the people around them in how they interpret/react to their romance, interact with each other; how their childhood impact them in adulthood, and how they ultimate face their unrespolved past history as adults.

My first thought when I started watching this drama was finally a story I can get fully invested in physically, emotionally, and, more importantly, mentally. And as I continued to watch week after week, I finally understood what the world-renowned Khalil Gibran meant when he said, "There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone. The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves, and they would escape. And there are those who talk and, without knowledge or forethought, reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand. And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words. In the bosom of such, the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence". By the end of the second episode, I immediately knew I would shed many tears throughout this 8-week journey. I remember thinking I hope between the tears there would also be lots of laughs or at least smiles. In Tell Me That You Love Me, there is an unexpected yet lovely pairing of Jung Woo Sung and Shin Hyun Been , and I completely appreciate the casting director for the selection of such brilliant actors that not only did justice to the story but had me completely and totally wrapped up in this powerful drama.

People say ignorance is bliss, and at any other time, I would agree, but not in the case of this drama; ignorance is totally not bliss. To think that people with disabilities should try ten times harder to accommodate those who perceive themselves as "normal" is not only narrow-minded, but insecure, and selfish, and all because the "normal" people don't even want to try to understand those who are different than them. It boils my blood. I loved this drama so much for bringing to the forefront what it means to be a person with a disability, how a person with a disability wants to be treated, and for advocating that we as humans need to stop treating people with disabilities as less than humans. That Joon (Kim Ra On), Jin Woo's neighboor and a child at that understood this more than the adults was so telling. I fully understand one drama or even ten won't bring about the required change, but it will challenge the mindset of millions worldwide and bring about some change that will lead to even more significant changes. I read this recently, and it hit me so hard, especially now that I am watching this drama -- "we need to keep in mind that disability does not discriminate – any one of us can join the disability community at any point in our lives. It's not about them, it's about us". Jung Woo Sung is flawless; I am in awe of him, and Jung Mo Eun's beautiful soul shines so brightly through Shin Hyun Been.

Jung Woo Sung is just beautiful and more so in the role of Cha Jin Woo. I can't even comment on the episode; I was so wrapped up in him. He is a brilliant actor. Whoever said our eyes are like windows to our souls. They shine and dazzle as the stars do in the sky wasn't lying. Cha Jin Woo's eyes speak volumes in unsaid words. I don't know if my heart can take so much unspoken feelings. I love this drama so much. Thank you to the writer for penning such beautiful feelings, the director for bringing it all to life, and the actors for expressing it so profoundly. Tell Me That You Love Me is the type of drama that, at its onset, pierces your heart to pieces, scattering it everywhere only to slowly, methodically, and healingly put it back together before its end. The drama had complete power over me to the extent that I imagine what it must feel like for them, and before I know it, I am overcome with all sorts of emotions, with waves of tears streaming down my face and a massive lump in my throat. The writer is brilliant. I am overwhelmed. Tell Me That You Love Me is the power of words and the potency of silence wrapped up in one.

Very few dramas, My Mister, Lost, My Liberation Notes, Chocolate, and Call It Love, have affected me to the extent that I would go as far as to say changed me, and Tell Me That You Love Me is slowly but surely earning its right to be among those few but greatest ever made. Every episode, I cry. Sometimes, I find it hard even to catch my breath while laughing or smiling at the same time. I knew she would confess, the way she stared at him as he sipped his coffee. I am overwhelmed every time. This beautiful drama profoundly impacts me. I love a drama that silently delivers strong messages that make me more aware of myself and the people around me. It's amazing how those of us who have all our senses assume everybody else is just like us. We take what we have so much for granted. I am guilty of it for sure, or at least was, until Jung Mo Eun brought me to consciousness when she told Jin Woo people misunderstand because they think everyone can hear such powerful words. I love how she is with Jin Woo; she makes no excuses for him, nor does she try to hide her feelings for him. I swear, not one episode with a dry eye. I am in awe.

Everything about this drama makes me emotional, it touches me to my core even Jin-woo's college classmate and ex-lover Seo Kyung (Kim Ji Hyun), who ends up taking a job as the director of the art center where Jin Woo works. She too, touched me. Excellent casting in Kim Ji Hyun; she is fantastic in this role. Her facial expressions, the ways she speaks, and even signs I couldn't help but wanting her happy despite not knowing what impact she had on Jin Woo as a young adult. I liked how the drama protrayed the friendships as well as family and other relationships in this story. From Lee Jae Kyoon as Yoon Jo-han Mo-eun's high school classmate who is a composer and music producer to Park Jin-joo as Oh Ji-yu Mo-eun's best friend and roommate who is an art center employee and Shin Jae-hwi as Jung Mo-dam Mo-eun's younger brother who is a fitness trainer. To Kang Shin-il as Jung Ji-pyeong Mo-eun and Mo-dam's father, and Kim Mi-kyung as Na Ae-sook asmMo-eun and Mo-dam's mother, who made my heart smile for not being the typical toxic, disapproving k-drama parents. Heo Jun-seok as Hong Ki-hyun Jin-woo's best friend since childhood who runs a bar, and last but not least Park Ki-deok as Kwon Do-hoon Jin-woo and Seo-kyung's college classmate who was in love with Seo Kyung in college and later becomes a famous painter.

I must say Kim Ji Hyun and Park Ki Deok were amazing in their roles. I particularly enjoyed Park Ki Deok as an actor, this was my first time seeing him in a drama, and despite his very minimal role, boy, he is good. The one scene that stood out to me with him was one where he was at a bar with Seo Kyung talking about their resentment for each other and all because they did not take the time to talk to each other was brilliant. He is fantastic, and I hope to see more of him. Yes, young people make mistakes, and with age comes wisdom, one would expect, but I am not sure that either of them entirely grew out of that mistake, especially Do Hoo, who keeps resenting Jin Woo for Seo Kyung choosing him. But as much as I liked Seo Kyung; I grew to resent her for abondoning Jin Woo and making him believe that he wasn't enough because of his disability. I apprecaited her taking accountability for her actions back in colleage and that she genuinely felt guilt, but to abandon him and think she could easily walk back into his life after everything was audacious of her and a little unattracitve. As for Mo Eun, I loved that she finally met up with Seo Kung. She needed it, and I felt I needed it too badly as I was starting to feel like she was drifting away, and I wasn't wrong.

Like many things in life, nothing lasts forever. Half way through the drama Mo Eun begins to doubt her ability to reamin in a silent relationship, espeically with the reapperance of Seo Kyung with her impecable sign language and history with Jin Woo's. It was painful to watch. Love is not always beautiful or easy. Sometimes, it has flaws and imperfections, but true love does not give up, and I desperately hoped that Mo Eun would choose to fight for her love no matter how hard it gets. As I watched I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be in this relationship, but going out of her way to find his birth home filled my heart with so much joy, and makes me hope for a good ending. My heart hurt for Jin Woo and his mom and it reminded me of how time can be so unkind. Not only is the acting great but the dialouge even more so. I think maybe one of the best descriptions I have read of what it means to break up comes from this drama, where Jin Woo narrates "Breaking up means until recently we loved each other. Leaving means until recently someone was by my side". It broke me to see that having felt love even for a second was better than not for Jin Woo, as it was more than he had ever had in his life. It reminded me of that saying it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. The scene with Jin Woo and his mom was this drama's heartbreaking yet fulfilling moment. Again, I was reminded that sometimes we can only appreciate or know what we've got once we've lost it, but that we can only know what we've been missing once it arrives.

To every ending there is a new begining. Sometimes we need to step away to be able to clearly see or feel what we really need rather than what we want. As cruel as time is, it has a way of putting everything into prespective. I can't say I wholly forgave Mo Eun for how she treated Jin Woo, but she neither could she forgive herself, so I guess that evened things out for me, and so did the ending. More than the drama itself I loved the message: Sometimes, we miss what's standing right in front of us because we're looking for something we think is better, but more importantly, we need to be aware of others and not make assumptions, not to fear silence because sometimes the loudest words are those spoken in silence. Jung Woo Sung was simply beautiful in this drama. It truly does take courage not just to love but to accept love. I loved all the characters in this drama. Jung Woo Sung is incredible to watch. Kudos to the writer for penning such a moving story, the director for bringing it to life, and the actors for effortlessly making me feel it. I can't believe it took me this long to talk about how much I love Jin Woo and Ki Hyun's friendship. I loved them as adults but even more, as children who instinctively had each other's back. The flashbacks to their orphan childhood days got me so emotional. Thank you to the writer, director, and all the actors for bringing such a touching drama to life on my little screen. I was deeply touched. Watch Tell Me That You Love Me here.

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Soni SHB
Soni SHB
Apr 11

Korean dramas are dramas that are very popular with today's young adults, most of which are in the romantic genre, especially since they have different plots with the best actors. Recommendations for Korean drama films that you must watch, visit the website.

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