Well it turns out when you have two guest judges, the odds are that it will be very difficult to have three clear cut winners with an unanimous vote. So I played it super safe and asked for their top 7 choices. That’s how I was able to get at least the same names to make up the top three winners. As soon as I realized there was a tie for third place, I went back and looked to see who was next on the list to be a possible contender to round out the total number of winners to make five. Congratulations to all the winners and I want to thank everyone who entered cuz each and every contribution made this giveaway very special for me. Emails will be sent out to the winners tonight.
Drum roll please…And the winners are in order:
First place: Maidenelle
Second Place: SS
Third Place tie: Jasmine and Chokichoki
Fourth Place: Nonski
Here are my two guest judges who had the burden of selecting the winners among all the great entries.
Fanderay: I was thrilled that Softy asked to be a guest judge for this giveaway, but I had no idea how incredibly difficult it would be! I enjoyed everyone’s contribution, and felt like I was reliving the drama as I read through all the fabulous and thought-provoking entries. It’s hard to feel like I can ever be fair since choosing winners is a subjective process, and what struck a chord with me wouldn’t necessarily strike a chord with a different judge. I didn’t make my decisions based on whose answers were most similar to what I would have said (I kept an open mind) but it’s still true that my own life experiences caused certain entries to really stand out and create more of an emotional response. For everyone who didn’t “win”, I hope you know that you still make a very worthwhile contribution to our little OB community, and that your thoughts are still enjoyed and appreciated. It was agony to pick only three!
MS is a friend who has been watching kdramas for a few years and she happened to be visiting Korea right now so it was great to get her feedback and help with this. I was impressed by how enthusiastic and methodical she was about this whole judging process -she even memorized a lot of the submissions.
First Place Winner: Maidenelle
Fanderay: I feel like this wasn’t an obvious choice, but it’s a scene that stayed in my memory every time I saw TH on screen and I agree with everything M said. That scene developed TH’s character more than almost any other, and it changed his relationship with his brothers and made them (and us) see him in a new light. It’s also the only answer that really reflects on brotherhood, which is nice since everyone usually focuses on the relationship between JE/TH and JE/ajhumma.
Second Place Winner: SS
Here is what SS wrote: Softy, thank you for the opportunity to write our thoughts for our beloved OB. This is a great way to commemorate the anniversary. I had tears in my eyes just reading the entries posted thus far. To be honest, I had a difficult time writing this because I felt that I could not bring out the beauty of the show by my writing. I also had a hard time choosing the scenes, I’d start on some and give up half-way. In the end, I chose this scene because TH&JE couple is the closest to my heart and their love is also the epitome of the show’s message. (sorry about the length of this post. What was just 2 lines from the scene became a thousand words) Posting on question 1. Episode 58
One can say the wedding is the culmination of their courtship. But it is in this scene where after the wedding, in a quiet moment, when TH and JE say thank you to each other, they show us exactly what each meant to the other. Starts from where TH carries JE to bed, looks at her so lovingly and said ‘Thank you, for marrying me” In these few words, they encapsulate how TH felt for JE, that she was not just the love of his life but she was his life. He would have never existed without her, perhaps only at the existential level, a man incapable of expressing his feelings, incapable of loving himself. The loss of his father and abandonment by his mother left a hole in TH’s young heart. The pain and heartache he must have felt was so tremendous that the only way he could deal with it was to bury all his true feelings and pretended he was alright so that the pain will go away. As time passes, the pain faded but he didn’t realize that the true TH had also faded away. He had denied his own emotions so well that he too disappeared. When JE appeared in his life and the attraction stirred in him, he wasn’t just discovering love, he was discovering himself. JE is a girl who is the antithesis of himself. She is spontaneous where he is reserved, she speaks her mind and talks a lot where he is taciturn, she is the beam of light in his life. Where there was darkness, there is now sunshine. Where there was a void, it is now filled with love, happiness and joy overflowing. This is the woman who loves him with all her heart and soul, who gave up her dream as she could not bear being apart from him. How could he have left her? Even though during their break up, the bleakest period of his life, he had told his grandmother that he will go to the States because it was hard to live knowing they share the same sky. In his heart, he knew it will not be possible. He’d have simply re-live the sad & tragic life his mother led, thinking that being apart could ease the pain but the love will never go away nor can it be replaced by anyone else. He is thus grateful to JE for loving him, for marrying him, for being his tree, never to be separate from him for the rest of his life. He then leaned forward and kissed her gently on her forehead. JE opened her eyes and said “Me too. No, I am more grateful, for you not giving up on me all the way till the end.” This is so line with JE’s character. She always sees herself as the one receiving but never thought that she is the one who gives and sometimes a lot more than she receives. Like how eager she was to please her stepmother and earn her love even though she knows it is not mutual. Like how she was the one who was the first to warm up to Mom and break her resolve with her bubbly affections, sealing the bond of a mother-daughter relationship which was later threatened but stood the test of time. JE & TH’s got off a rocky start. In the beginning, though they fought with each other and exchanged angry words, the air literally crackled and the physical attraction was undeniable. JE was the first to catch it. When TH stumbled into her tent, when he leaned in on her in the car, when she felt his gaze burning right through her as she tied his necktie, JE describes all these perfectly when she told Kim PD that she cannot explain it but it is her body that first reacts to TH. He was a man who said very little but she could see everything he felt through his eyes and actions. He was a man who couldn’t express himself but when you look beneath, this is a man whose heart is gold and has so much to give. Most of all, this is the man who will do everything for her and love her more than himself. When he is down, all she wants to do is to hug him and comfort him. Without having a real mother in her life, JE could truly empathize with TH’s emptiness in his heart, waiting his whole life for someone who never came. That made her want to love him even more, to be there for him, to make him laugh. When he smiles, her heart bursts and overflows with such happiness, joy and fulfillment. She is grateful to TH for loving her, cherishing her and for being her shadow, always one and together with her. As TH & JE embark on this new phrase of their life together, I think Mom said it best when she affirms that marriage is a good thing. To me, marriage is the seal of love. We are created by love, for love and to love. In Ojakgyo Brothers, the central message is this and it resonates clear, that of all things, love is the greatest.
Fanderay: I thought this answer was really sweet and it reflected on the whole drama like some of my other favs. It was a short scene, but it felt like it encompassed all the other scenes between those two, and SS reminded me of that.
Third Place Tie Winners: Jasmine and Chokichoki
A Mother’s Warmth They say a mother’s hand is what you grasp on tightly as a little girl for the world is a scary place. Jaeun had no hand to grasp. They say a mother’s hand is what steers you through life. Jaeun lost everything in a moment. Pampered and sheltered by her father’s love, she was not accustomed to the cold, ruthless world that surrounded her. The warmth she needed to guide her disappeared, as she began to open her eyes to the cold nature of those around her. The person she longed for to fill her emptiness and become a mother, betrayed her and left her to fend for herself. She rebelled against the world of no warmth, a world she didn’t wish to exist in. Bokja ajhumma was a character I had grown to despise through the beginning episodes. Although I understood the pain and confusion she must have gone through to realize that her fifth child (the farm) was being taken away from her by a stranger, I thought she was very childish and immature about the ways she went about handling the situation. Throwing tantrums, openly torturing Jaeun due to her guilty conscience, I found her actions inexcusable. However, as she opened up little by little to the stray duck that had wandered into her home, I found myself liking her little by little. She was opening her heart to the one person who needed comfort the most. As they got under each other’s skin and gradually opened up to one another, I was moved by Bokja ajhumma’s reluctant affection for Jaeun. And then episode 15 sealed my love for this unconventional pairing, as Bokja ajhumma’s resolve finally broke. Jaeun was once again sick, cold, and helpless in the world that offered no warmth. Yet, this time it was Bokja ajhumma who became this warmth for her. Pretending to not care, and speaking to Jaeun in a blasé manner, she couldn’t contain the motherly affection that seeped through her cold words. She claims, “You do a little farm work and you’re already sick? How can you do work in that weak body?!” She nags and scolds Jaeun lightly, but as a viewer you notice that her gaze only follows Jaeun, full of deep concern for her well-being. And then she extends the warmth Jaeun has longed for, the warmth of her medicinal hands. They say a mother’s hands are what you clasp onto when you hurt the most. When Bokja ajhumma extended her hand to Jaeun, and as tears streamed down her face, Jaeun had gained the warmth, the warmth of a mother’s hands. Jaeun had gained a hand to grasp against the scary world, a hand to steer her through the obstacles she was bound to face. And this scene is the moment where the show had earned my heart. The moment where two people were united emotionally by the bounds of a mother’s hand. They say a mother molds and shapes you into the person you will become. Bokja ajhumma became that guiding light for Jaeun, the one who held her hand in her darkest hours, and shaped and molded her into the individual she eventually became.
Fanderay: I think that this response was the most eloquent and well worded compared to the others
MS: I like how Jasmine describes in great detail and very touchingly how a hand becomes a symbol of reconciliation. On a side note: This explanation made me finally understand why we always see photos of politicians shake hands and always have close-ups of only the hands. Though there were similar ones, Jasmine’s is more in depth, more layered and more touching for me.
chokichoki wrote this: The scene that I chose to discuss for question no 1 is actually one that I’m not satisfied with. I felt that it could have been done better because there was a lot of awkwardness. It’s the necktie scene from before they bid farewell to each other in episode 51. When Ja Eun kissed Tae Hee, she looked awkward and so was him despite her claim that she wanted to be more expressive. Even the dialogues sounded a bit cheesy to me (at least to someone who understood zero Korean and had to rely on the subs.. haha). But after countless reruns of OB, I finally understood why it was done as such. Pardon me if the way I’m going to explain this is confusing. I find it really difficult to come up with a thorough but simple explanation to deliver my meanings. To me, what makes OB meaningful is that it is full of purity and innocence. It is a drama filled with hearts and honest affections. Tae Hee and Ja Eun represented these themes well and it was established since early in the drama that they both have childlike innocence with pure hearts that are thirsty for love. We can see that as lovers, they didn’t need to constantly touch each other or be lovey dovey to show their affection. They didn’t even realize that they had never praised each other (which other couples would have done all the time), not until their very last date before the breakup. Despite being in love, they are always shy around each other and rarely spoke of their true feelings. When the day finally came for them to say goodbye, it was heart wrenching to see the separation of two innocent souls. The necktie scene, as acknowledged by the writer, is so significant that it was played out twice. The first time in episode 18, we witnessed how awkward they were around each other for being at such a close proximity. The second time it happened, there was a hint of awkwardness again, but for different reasons. We can see that their eyes were brimming with tears when Ja Eun helped Tae Hee with his necktie. And when he finally confessed that it was during those moments that the wound in his heart finally heals, the two struggled to keep themselves from crying. Then Ja Eun vowed Tae Hee will be the first and the last man she will ever do the necktie for and it later echoed in Tae Hee’s vows. Doing someone else’s necktie may not be an extravagant symbol of love; in fact, it’s just a simple act that many people can do. And yet, because this whole drama is full of innocence, even doing someone’s necktie can mean the world. To Tae Hee and Ja Eun, it is exclusive to just them. No one else is allowed to have the privilege of doing so because their hearts are already tied to each other. Indirectly, it is also a vow that they will never marry anyone else. If this scene was done in a different drama, or a different situation, it might have ended up being cheesy and immature. But because of who Ja Eun and Tae Hee are, it makes perfect sense why they would take such a thing seriously. Right after the confession, everything turned awkward (to me at least); how Ja Eun praises herself for doing such a good job at doing the necktie and how she came up to kiss him (though, more of a peck) and he barely responded. I guess all of these awkwardness happened because after the confessions from each other, it’s difficult not to feel more nervous around each other. They also knew and dreaded what is to happen next and when the whole feelings mixed up, I guess one can’t help but feel numb. It’s even worse that both of them were holding back themselves from crying. Plus, had they shown too much emotion, it would have been even more difficult for the breakup to happen.
MS: Chokichoki shows very convincingly the different layers at play in a scene and how different tropes can work together to deliver one message of “innocent, strong love”. She explains how the awkwardness in the kissing scene is a sign for the upcoming separation of two “innocent souls in love” and their fear of having to face this future. In the same time, she shows how a simple everyday object (a necktie) also becomes a symbol for the fear of this future but simultaneously conveys the message of strong, innocent love and the lovers promise for their future (even if living separately, to stay true to their love).
Fanderay: This seems like one of the more obvious scenes to choose, but she expanded on the details well and it’s hard not to love that scene to death.
Fourth Place Winner: Nonski
This is what Nonski wrote: okay, i had been very vocal about my love for JE and Pak Bok Ja. I pick my fave scene where both of them are in. Frankly there are so many scenes in OB that stayed with me and can still remember very well but this one is important for this pair. OB was the only drama so far that never had an episode disappoint me.
I choose scene at the end of ep 15 where Ajumma is rubbing JE stomach as she is having a fever and menstrual pains. Actually the last 5-6 minutes of that episode really struck me including the first few minutes of episode 16 but the highlight would be as mentioned earlier. Ajumma chasing JE away from the previous episodes and JE persisting and sleeping in that tent was a great contrast now to Ajumma rubbing JE’s stomach. It became special to me because at that point, even with bok ja denying her acceptance of JE, it became clear that a special bond had been forged. As i write this my heart constricts remembering that scene. Poor JE who grew without a loving mom had for the the first time in her life experienced the bond between a mother and her daughter. She cannot talk to her dad about her menstrual pains because he was a man. She had no one to talk to but now ajumma is by her side extending her warm hands of a mother so she can bear the pain. The hand that made the pain go away. I cried much during this scene. Even tho ajumma had been hesitant to go look for JE outside but eventually the instinct of a mother prevailed and still she checked on JE. Thankfully there is TH who was there and carried JE back inside. When ajumma had started caring for JE but was hesitant to show it, this scene was a start of a beautiful relationship between the two. I love that ajumma showed so much care for JE despite outwardly displaying a hint of anger. I would never forget that JE shed a tear knowing that she felt a mom’s hand for the first time and ajumma touched by these words from JE and knowing that this child cherishes her simple action.
I cut and pasted comments they emailed me as they were narrowing down their choices so some of these entries did not have both of their comments. Rest assured, all five of these winners were chosen by both judges.
Honorable mentions that barely missed the cut:
MS voted for her and I like this one as well: hitomiakiko. E52 ending scene. I might have felt so strongly towards this scene cuz I still remember bawling through it as I watched and recapped. But the way hitomiakiko described every emotion that was involved just touched me. She pointed out details that you can only notice when you feel everything the character is going through and that’s what made this entry stand out for me. (Softy)
I loved this one as well: Letters from E31. I loved how she described this scene. Everything she wrote brought me right back into that raw moment between TH and JE and she nailed every detail. If I had a choice, this entry would have been one of my top four contenders. (Softy)
Fanderay: Aisha (mom’s wedding speech): I like that this one reflects on motherhood and the relationship that the mom had with the entire family. That speech reflected on her past, everything that happened through-out the drama, and even included the future (I found myself nodding along as I read Aisha’s post, and could tell she really thought hard about her choice).
MS: Aisha, Episode 58, mom’s wedding speech
I felt this was difficult to judge in comparison to the others as it had a different way of analyzing. While the others analyzed the scenes’ dynamics as reasons why they were touched by the scene, Aisha foregrounds the influence of her chosen scene on her life and why the scene meant so much to her as a viewer. She explains very touchingly how this drama teaches that togetherness, forgiveness and love are the most important ingredients for a family life but also for life in general. In the same time, she shows how words of wisdom are only possible to express on the basis of the life experiences one had and that is life experiences in all its colors (from joyful to heartbreaking). one could say Aisha did something else than she was asked to do, but at the same time one could say she simply did it her way.
MS: KimLuvv, Episode 46,Tadpole Scene
KimLuv description shows very well how a street can be both in the same time: a symbol of distance, unfulfilled desire, heartbreak and (once crossed) a symbol of blossoming love, reunion and trust. In doing this, she showed how to take into consideration the place where the scene is filmed is key for its complete understanding. I think this is often overlooked and KimLuvv did a very good job to point this out.
Thank you all for contributing to my first blog giveaway.
THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL POST:
Written July 28th: I think I read up on almost every blog giveaway to find out how this is done, but everyone has their own unique style and I didn’t want to duplicate any of their ideas. Coming up with prize ideas was the hardest part. I didn’t want to just have one prize winner and wanted second and third place winners as well, but that would have been easier to do with DVDs and drama related stuff. If only I planned ahead and got those back when this drama was still airing. In November this blog will be two years old so I guess I could have held off till then to have a giveaway, but the one year anniversary of the drama that this blog owes a lot of its number of hits for is coming up on August 6th so I moved it up. Even though I have recapped over 18 dramas so far here and at Thundie’s Prattle, Ojakkyo Brothers holds a special place in all our hearts. For me it’s probably the only 58 episode family drama I will ever recap unless there is a miracle of a season two with the same exact cast or at least if Uee and JW come out as a couple again in another drama. Hopefully a shorter 16 episode one this time.
My first choice for prizes was obviously the DVD set, but there isn’t an official one from KBS. If they don’t have them yet, the chances are pretty good they won’t be coming out with them at all. So I went down the other options for OB related stuff and drew a blank. During the time the drama was airing, I bought some of the clothes items JE wore on the show, but none of those are available anymore. I even bugged Fanderay to give me some suggestions on what could be great prizes. She came up with the idea for key chains of the duck pendant that TH and JE traded with each other. Unless she learned how to whittle on top of painting, I am not sure where I can buy those. The only key chains from a drama I can give away are the bear ones from You’ve fallen for me and some post-its of the main characters from that drama. Then I thought of tracking down one of those parkas that JW wore for Mountia, but after checking 3 department stores, I gave up looking for that brand. Even if I found that store and bought the most feminine looking parka that he wore, it will still be men’s clothing and I doubt any of my readers are men. I rather get practical prizes that my readers can use or consume.
I finally decided to go with these after a lot of deliberation and consideration. First prize winner will get the best one. I have one too and it’s really pretty. Just looking at it reminds me of the drama all the time. It’s the Swarovski “Promise” necklace that JE wore for pretty much the whole drama series until she gave it to her father towards the end. Here are some photos of it above. In Korea, it retails for around $190. Second and third prize winners will get large and medium box sets of Cantata. Winners will later specify which type of coffee they want - Rich Gold or Mild Gold. For some reason JW smiled better on Rich Gold boxes. Even though it’s not OB related, if I give these away as prizes then at least we will be supporting this coffee brand so hopefully they will continue to use Uee and JW as their models. Uee’s face is on one side of the box and JW’s face is on the other. Since I can’t drink coffee cuz even one drop will keep me up all night, I have no idea what it tastes like. Might I suggest if it doesn’t taste as good as it looks on those commercials then give the coffee away and just keep the box to store things in.
Now comes the fun part – entries and how to win.
While I was making this post trying to come up with an original question, I was watching Spring Waltz on cable. That scene where a jacket photo had to be chosen for the CD came out and the girl chose one where the guy is looking off to the side cuz she said “it’s like him the most – even though he is smiling he looks sad.” That made me think of all the scenes in OB where I felt like the line of dialogue and emotions portrayed told more than what we saw so I came up with these two questions to choose from. One is creative and the other more direct and clear cut.
1 – Analyze, interpret, explain, or delve more into a scene that meant something to you. Be sure to include why it stood out in your memory the most or caught your eye as one of the best scenes out of the whole OB series.
2 – Pick one character from OB and describe what makes that person brave.
For a chance to win, all you have to do is be sure to fill in both top boxes and leave your normal user name and current email when you leave your entry in comments. That means no Anonymous entries. Limit one answer per person. All answers must be one paragraph long in length and please specify which number you want to answer. Three winners will be chosen by two guest judges. Deadline will be the OB anniversary date August 6th.
Here are two samples for #1. I included screencaps for a visual cue, but there is no need for you to go through the trouble.
When this scene first aired, I was pretty miffed since this was the only one these two shared for this entire episode. Now looking back on it, I realized I missed something crucial. During the tie scene, TH kept pretending to look away and then sneak looks over at her, but this time he stared right at her and never looked away as she focused on bandaging his hands. Though no words were exchanged for that short length of time at first, there was a certain air of greediness to the way he stared as if he was trying to memorize everything about her in these precious few minutes and take everything in. It was like he was trying to check whether or not she was ok, if she ate, if being this close to her again was a dream. What made it even special was the way she was afraid to look up cuz she knew the expression on her face would betray she still cares.
While I watched this scene live, I bawled like crazy – more than both of them. Then later when I played it again to translate word for word, I had to pause again cuz there was another lump in my throat and even more tears flowed. It’s not what the mother said to JE, it’s how she said it. Like a woman who knows the full extent of her wrongdoing and the pain she caused this young girl. She cares so much for this girl, but she knows that JE will never forgive her and deservedly so. Knowing this is the last chance she has to talk to JE alone, the mom lets it all out and tells JE to keep hating her. Despite not having the right anymore to be caring, the mom gives her some hard advice to survive in this world, to come to her if JE ever wants to have more of that porridge, and to keep warm. You have to imagine that some of JE’s tears weren’t all hatred directed at the mother but more so because the mom put her in this situation where JE has to despise her. One of the most difficult emotions in the world has to be hating someone you want to love and this scene just encapsulated that the best.
Winners will be announced August 12th. Good luck and have fun.