My gut instinct says this drama is a keeper. Some plot points are reminiscent of so many past dramas, but if you shake it all up, you might end up with something original. The element you can never go wrong with is a ticking time limit. It keeps you on your toes cuz you know you shouldn’t be rooting for a couple that has an expiration date, but you find yourself wishing they had more time together anyway. It was going to take something really good to draw me out of hibernation and this drama did that with just a few scenes. The other big draw for me is Joon Young’s adorable dog. I am a sucker for those shaggy haired sheep dogs. They are like walking barking balls of cuddly fur.
Shin Joon Young = Joon = Kim Woo Bin
Noh Eul = Eul = Suzy
Flashback to winter of 2006
Eul is running and sees a grandma pulling her cart full of empty boxes for recycling. (This is a very common sight in Korea because it’s the elderly that always does this kind of hard work for some reason.) They know each other. Eul altruistically takes off her own scarf, mittens, and hat and puts it on the grandma saying the grandma will die from freezing. The grandma feels bad so Eul lies and says that Eul is hot (so that’s why she gave the grandma those things to wear). Eul kids around and says the grandma looks too good to just go home so go have a date with the dry cleaner grandpa and Eul will put away the rest of the boxes.
Eul goes to her dad’s street food cart where he is about to sell some sweet pancakes to a kid, but Eul goes over to the kid and makes him blow his nose (it’s gross but she uses her fingers to hold his nose while he blows then she shakes the snot off her fingers then wipes her hand on her clothes). Then she tells him to think of all this food as his and he doesn’t need to pay. Her dad tries to get some money from the kid but she tells the kid to go cuz the kid’s dad and younger sibling will be waiting. Her dad says the same thing he always does and calls her out on her charity. He asks if they are chaebal (rich people) and if she knows how much debt they have left. She points out the kid’s dad fell off at the construction site and cant work “so do you want to take money from a kid like that?” Her dad insists he does and points out how he doesn’t have money so he cant even buy an item of clothing and cant eat what he wants. if they accrued all the charity money she gives out to others he wouldn’t have to freeze on the street selling this stuff. A girl runs over to inform Eul about some bullies so Eul reacts in anger and is about to run off to help, but her dad says “didn’t I tell you not to interfere in other people’s business, but Eul says that the girl in trouble is her friend and not “others”. Her dad hopes she slips and falls and she actually does in the background.
At school Joon is in big trouble cuz he got into a fight with some boys over a girl. He will be transferred to another school. Joon’s mom is with the girl in question and tries to explain to the principal that her son was only helping out the girl when the other boys were messing with the girl. She wants the girl to speak as a witness that Joon stepped in to rescue the girl and is in this fix now cuz of her. But the girl told the teachers that she was only speaking to the other boys when Joon stepped in and started insulting the boys on his own and started the fight. Joon’s mom is in disbelief and can’t believe the girl said that. She asks the girl “why did you lie? did your parents tell you to do that?” Joon’s mom thinks the girl is backing the boys with money instead of the kid with no money (Joon) so that the girl will get something out of it. Joon’s mom slaps the girl and calls her names so the teacher yells at Joon’s mom. She suddenly gets on her knees and starts to plead with the principal and teacher. She explains that Joon is going to be a prosecutor so this kind of punishment is like telling him to die. She will take responsibility and discipline him so he never fights again. She begs them to rescind the order for transfer.
The rich boys involved in the fight are laughing about Joon’s punishment and how Joon overstepped and didn’t know his place. Suddenly a backpack is thrown at them. Joon walks over. The rich kids ask if Joon still can’t understand that someone like him can’t mess with people like them. He jokingly admits his wrongdoing interfering in what the “young masters” were doing and doesn’t want to end it this way so he is thinking of beating the crap out of just one of them and getting expelled. The rich boys start to back up as Joon asks for the volunteer to raise his hand.
At the precinct, a cop keeps hitting Joon on the head saying that Joon still hasn’t come to his senses. Joon asks “what will change if I come to my senses? If I come to my senses, will you put those other punks in jail according to the law and disregard their backing?” (meaning the other boys have powerful dads that called in favors to get their kids out of trouble). The cop keeps hitting Joon on the head saying “I was taking pity on you cuz you grew up pitiful” so Joon takes offense at that and grabs the cops wrist to stop him. Joon: Why am I pitiful? What are you to view me as pitiful?” Joon’s uncle comes in just then and starts to mouth off to the cop saying if they keep pestering Joon the uncle will call Joon’s father. if his dad shows up, the cop wont be able to keep his job cuz the cop will be too busy begging on his knees to save him. The cop laughs it off and says then bring this student’s dad. I was curious what kind of parent he was when his son is in this state. The uncle says I will – that man is very busy but when he learns his kid is in this situation, he will drop everything and come. Joon tells his uncle to stop but his uncle keeps talking about what Joon’s dad will do to the parents of the other boys. So Joon finally screams for his uncle to stop by saying “how can a dead person come here. say something that makes sense.”
At a restaurant, Joon watches footage of Assemblyman Choi on tv. Joon tells his uncle not to make up fibs like that (referring to what his uncle said at the police station), but his uncle mumbles that might not have been all fibs. As Joon keeps staring at Choi, his uncle asks what Joon would do if Choi was Joon’s dad. What would you do if that impressive assemblyman was your dad?
Joon: I would kill him. He threw away mom and me and now lives well by himself- and comes on tv.
uncle: did he do it on purpose? he probably doesn’t even know yet that you were born. your mom hid that she had you and ran away so how could he know?
Joon looks at his uncle in shock and asks what he said. His uncle had been drinking and let the truth slip out so he tries to back track by saying “I just meant that could have happened”
His uncle drinks some more and says “I can’t think straight cuz of you and said that without realizing.” Joon suddenly stands up to leave so his uncle asks where he is going without eating. Joon says “to ask mom myself what you just said uncle.” His uncle tries to get Joon to sit cuz he knows his sister will be furious Joon learned about all this.
As Joon walks home he remembers what his uncle told him. That his dad hid that he was going to be a prosecutor and worked as a waiter. Joon’s mom worked at the same place and they locked eyes while she was cutting up fruit. His uncle continues narrating: she didn’t have much education but her face was very pretty.
His uncle reminds Joon that his mom can never know that the uncle told him all this.
Right when Joon spots his mom sitting on the stoop, he remembers the last part of what his uncle told him. Choi’s older brother came to Joon’s mom one day and told her off saying that their Hyun Joong (Joon’s dad) was the country’s top lawyer and future assemblyman and couldn’t be toppled by a mistake with someone like her. The uncle asks do you know your mom is a fragile and gentle person on the inside though she acts tough.
Joon calls out to his mom asking why she is sitting her and didn’t go in – were you waiting for me? His mom asks why did they release someone who goes around like a gang member punching people? They should just stick you in prison – why did they release you?
Joon: there were too many bad people so there was no room.
She doesn’t believe him when he said all he had to do was apologize. He goes over to help her up asking if she didn’t eat cuz he is hungry too. she tells that she doesn’t have food to give him so if he is hungry go ask for food at the jail. She goes inside so he remarks that she isn’t smart enough to know the difference in food you get in jail and in prison.
While she eats a mixture of rice and side dishes, he stands over her commenting that she isn’t even asking her son to taste it.
Joon remembers what his uncle told him – that she is determined to make him a prosecutor cuz of his dad. after she makes Joon become a prosecutor, before she dies she is going to go find his dad just once and proclaim “even without you – I raised our son really well.”
Joon grabs a spoon and joins her. He says he wont do tutoring anymore so fire the tutor starting from tomorrow. They fight over the food cuz she doesn’t want him eating it. he remarks that it doesn’t make sense that a tutor worth 1,500,000 won would teach for 300,000. she hits him and asks why he rescued that girl – since when was he that gallant. even if someone was dying in front of you – you didn’t care. Joon agrees with her and remarks: I must have lost my mind for a second. after finding out you worked at a bar trying to earn my tutor fees.
she chokes on her food so he gets her water and says wake up from your dream. I take after you so I’m really dumb. Just cuz you get me tutoring – how can I become a prosecutor? she retorts she wont bother with him anymore and he can live however.
While she cries herself to sleep, he goes to his room and starts studying.
Even the next day, he is in full study mode and ignores all the love notes he receives.
Then he runs into Eul outside the bathroom. She speaks in jeondae (formally) asking why he ignored 7 notes asking to meet for a second. He just looks at her and speaks in banmal saying you aren’t my style. she retorts back in banmal – you aren’t my style either. she goes back to jeondae to explain how her friend has been bedridden cuz of him so what is he going to do. Joon (jeondae): do I have to do something? Eul (jeondae): cuz of you my friend is not eating, sleeping…He cuts her off saying in jeondae: what does that have to do with me? Eul (jeondae): I am saying cuz of you she is dying. Joon (jeondae): just tell her to die then. He turns to leave but she yells out in banmal – if she dies you die by my hand too. Eul: this is no joke. she isn’t eating, sleeping, or going to school – just crying. cant you humor her? just save a life first then later you can break up. just until her heart is ready. He goes over and feels her forehead. she asks what he is doing. He says I don’t think you are in your right mind. go to the hospital. should I contact your parents for you?
at the hospital Eul sits by her friend’s side as the girl sobs away. Eul tells her to stop crying and eat something. the girl says how she wont eat and will just die. Eul yells why die over some worthless punk. is he the only guy in the world? Eul points out how popular the girl is with guys – should I line up all the guys who like you? the girl says if it isn’t Joon she doesn’t need the rest of them. she says it must be nice for you Eul cuz Joon isn’t your style and you don’t like a guy like him.
Eul looks a little guilty and doesn’t reply
later as she walks home she remembers back to a time when she actually did have a crush on Joon. on that day she went and got her hair done at the salon. she planned to go confess her feelings to her one sided love. she makes a call to borrow a pretty dress for 3 hours. she says into the phone – you are going to have a brother in law- I will tell you who if you lend me that dress. I’ll go to your home in a little bit to go get it.
As she walks over she practices what she will say “Shin Joon Young. I am Noh Eul and I’ve liked you from a long time ago. I know you are very popular with the girls but your destiny is me. You cant avoid me. she turns the corner and spots Joon hugging that girl she called.
As Eul walks home, she is on the phone with her dad but she uses an aeygyo tone and speaks banmal and addresses her dad by his name asking if he sold a lot. her dad asks if she is drunk. Eul: how can a high school student drink alcohol? cant a daughter use aeygyo on her dad? her dad guesses she has another charity case and asks if she needs money for a friend who cant attend school. she mouths the exact same words he always says “are we chaebol? do you know how much our debt is?” she asks him to buy her a drink so he calls her crazy and tells her to just go home and sleep and hangs up.
Eul is on the phone with her younger brother when she spots her dad across the street heading home pulling his food stall cart. He stops and looks down at the two bottles of soju he has for her. she turns and faces away from her dad and tells her brother she will go on a date with their dad and then go home so wash up and sleep. a car speeds by and she turns when she hears the crash. she drops her phone when she sees her dad lying on the street behind a red sports car. the girl in the car gets out and looks at what she did and jumps back in and drives away. she hears Eul calling out “dad”. Eul chases after the car yelling at the driver to stop. she turns and looks back at her dad.
in the middle of the night Choi gets a call. the father of the hit and run informs choi what his daughter did and asks for Choi’s help.
Joon is still in full study mode and studies late into the night.
Eul stays by her dad’s side at the hospital and suddenly leaves for the police station cuz she got a call that the culprit of her dad’s hit and run turned himself in. The young man keeps saying I am terribly sorry but Eul explains to the cop that this man wasn’t the culprit. that it was a girl in a red sports car. she recites the license plate number. but the man breaks down in tears saying I did something worth dying. she yells at him asking why he is lying.
Choi is on the phone and explains that he thought there might be too much traffic so he took the subway and left his car at the courthouse this morning. A sudden rain shower begins just as he gets out of the subway, but Joon appears with an umbrella. Joon guesses where Choi is headed so Choi asks how do you know that? Joon explains cuz you are a very famous prosecutor. You come out on tv too.
As they walk together Joon tells him how his dream is to become a prosecutor too and wants to go to the same college as Choi. Choi says you must study really well. Your parents must be proud. you are certain of your dream and how to utilize that dream, these days kids aren’t driven -they have no dream or ambition. I am envious of your parents.
the rain suddenly stops and Joon remarks that it must have been a passing shower. choi thanks him for bringing him and offers his hand for a handshake. Cjoi: let’s be sure to meet again later as my hoobae (someone who graduated college after him). Choi walks away but turns and explains he has the type of personality where he cant owe someone and asks for ten mins of Joon’s time.
Eul locates Choi’s car and throws a rock at it and makes the alarm go off.
She gets taken inside and waits to meet Choi. Choi looks at her and asks did my car do something wrong to you? Eul explains how she came many times to meet him but was told he was busy or not in the office and kept avoiding her. I didn’t think you would meet someone like me if I didn’t do something like this. Choi sends the others away and speaks to her alone. he asks why she went this far to meet him. she tells him he cant end her dad’s hit and run case like this. the culprit hasn’t been caught yet. the man who turned himself in isn’t the culprit. he explains how he cant be in charge of everything and doesn’t know why she came to meet him. she points out what the investigative cop said to her. that as soon as Choi got involved everything changed. the culprit was changed. the car was changed. witness statements were changed. and the cop in charge of the case was changed too. Choi feigns innocence and tells her to go tell that cop if he has time to write such fabrication – investigate properly. she continues quoting what she was told. that it seems there is some impressive backing (meaning someone with power is controlling everything to their advantage) and that this isn’t a fight she can win so just be quiet and receive compensation. choi claims not to be the kind of person who has time to continue listening to such fabrications. choi: you came from far away so sorry for making you just go back. he turns to leave but she points out very cleverly: I never told you where I live and where I came from. you knew who I was all this time didn’t you? that’s why you kept avoiding didn’t you? you made the culprit go free and set all this up didn’t you. Choi claims that he only thought she came from far away cuz her uniform wasn’t from around here. go home quietly. letting (your actions) slide cuz you’re like my daughter, it’s only up to here.
Note: The fake culprit got a payoff for taking the blame and his side was also offering monetary compensation for her dad’s accident so Eul was rejecting the payoff all this time cuz she wants the real culprit caught. Sad to say but this type of hit and run accidents happen far too often these days. Thanks to CCTV though, culprits are usually caught. In the past though, if an expensive car even slightly hit a pedestrian, even when it was the victim’s fault, the driver had to pay. You hear stories of desperate people randomly allowing themselves to be hit or scraped by the car on the ankle, arm, or leg just to be compensated on the spot. The driver would be willing to pay as much as ten thousand dollars or more in cash just to avoid reporting the case to the police and having it on their record.
as she walks out she spots Joon smiling to himself. he is recalling how Choi said I am envious of your parents. she goes over and says are you enjoying it that much. cuz of you someone still isn’t eating, but are you that happy? Joon: didn’t you go to the hospital yet? it’s dangerous for a girl like you to go around willy nilly. she mumbles what does that girl like so much about someone like you. if she was my daughter I would have broken her legs. she turns to walk off but he trips her and makes her fall. she yells that this country is in trouble cuz bastards like him are trying to become prosecutors. she points out how he rejected her friend cuz she would interfere with his studies. she yells how her friend could interfere with his studies when he is so dumb and ranked so low out of the class. Choi comes in time to hear that last part and Joon looks over at him and looks embarrassed. Eul stands up and says from here on don’t meet girls or date or get married and just study for the rest of your life and die.
Choi walks over and apologizes for making Joon wait so long. he hands him a book – present for letting him use the umbrella – and asks for Joon’s name and offers to sign it but Joon says next time – after I study hard and pass the bar-give it to me then and I will tell you my name then too. Choi offers to keep the book well till then.
Joon ends up on the same bus as Eul. He walks over and apologizes to the girl sitting next to her and asks the girl to move to another seat so he can sit with his friend. Eul tells her we aren’t friends but Joon gives the poor girl a scary look so the girl moves and he sits. Eul tries to move but he pulls her back down and says “then you try to seduce me. If I have a girl I love to death – what crazy guy would reject a girl cuz of his studies. it must be cuz I didn’t like her enough to die. so you try to seduce me so I can’t study cuz I’m crazy over you. so I wont even dream of becoming a prosecutor. Eul looks at him like he’s flipped his lid. she tries to get up but he pulls her back down saying “if you wont seduce me I will seduce you.”
Eul puts up fliers everywhere trying to track down witnesses for her dad’s hit and run.
as she walks to school sleepy from her late night sessions posting fliers, she asks her friend for a job her friend knows about if it’s still open. her friend worries cuz Eul doesn’t have money these days and the dad’s hospital fees are exorbitant. Ever the optimist, Eul says I just have to earn money. her friend says all you need to do is be compensated so Eul points out he isn’t the culprit so how can I be compensated?
Joon draws a crowd of girls by holding a big teddy bear with hearts on it. the friend wonders if Joon came to meet Na Il cuz he regretted rejecting her- to date her again. Eul tells her not to be so concerned with other people’s business. Just as she walks by him he pulls her aside and says “since it’s our 100 days anniversary I skipped classes to come here so how could you not even give me a glance and go?”
Eul looks flabbergasted and says: what? 100 days? who? he shoves the bear at her and says congratulations on 100 days.
Eul has a stunned look and her mouth drops open
Joon: I love you Eul.
she notices all the attention and her friend watching on – the one who is lovesick over Joon. He looks over at the girl then grins at Eul and musses up her hair and says she is cute and how he cant study or focus cuz of her. Her jaw drops open even wider. her friend collapses.
Joon puts his arm around Eul’s shoulder and says “let’s not hide how we ended up like this. I’m the bad guy – what did you do wrong.” Just as Eul yells: you crazy jerk – what are you talking about? he covers her mouth up and tells her to be still and he will take care of things. he yells out to her friend “this is how it ended up. sorry. be sure to find a guy better than me.” Eul keeps struggling to get free.
Joon is laughing by himself so his uncle goes over and asks what’s up cuz Joon is someone who might laugh once in his life. Joon cant stop laughing and starts to say that girl messed with the wrong guy. Joon asks why he is so bad – who does he take after. His uncle thinks Joon lost his marbles from studying too much.
at her dad’s bedside Eul and her brother are washing their dad’s hands. she wonders aloud how to kill Joon. her brother asks who she is talking about and refers to Joon as hyung so she says that guy isn’t a hyung or a person – just a bastard. so the kid tattles to his dad that she is cursing. she tells her dad it’s not cursing – it’s a fact. cuz of that guy I became a betrayer and someone who stole her friend’s boyfriend. dad please wake up and get revenge for me. her brother says do you think dad will wake up quickly to get revenge for you -how old are you. the kid asks the dad to wake up quickly and buy him pizza with sweet potato crust and bacon. Eul: what about you? just cuz you ask him to buy you pizza do you think he will wake up quickly. that’s why you are a kid. Just as she asks her dad to hurry and wake up his monitor goes off. she calls for the nurse then later the doctor comes over to pronounce time of death. her brother cries and asks the dad not to die and pleads to the doctor to save his dad.
Joon is in the bathroom and overhears some boys talking about the street food cart ajussihi passing away. that he was in a hit and run and passed away. poor Eul. I heard from my mom that Eul couldn’t afford a wake for her dad and they were chased off by collectors. Joon asks them where Eul went and they say they don’t know. the debt collectors came to the wake and made a fuss. the kid asks if Joon didn’t know anything since he is dating Eul.
Joon goes to the wake and overhears the neighborhood people yelling at the debt collectors. the neighborhood people took up a collection for Eul’s dad to have a wake, but the kids cant even attend cuz of the collectors.
Joon goes in to pay his respects to her dad.
Choi meets with the hit and run driver’s dad and informs the dad that the victim passed away and how the matter was resolved. the girl’s dad says you suffered a lot. I will never forget this debt. choi asks what happened to the daughter. the dad says he sent her that night to America. she was shocked a lot cuz she is young. for the time being, she can calm down by traveling around. the dad asks if this small mistake wont change their agreement to have their kids get married. Choi’s son and the man’s daughter. choi says it wont.
Joon calls the number on the flier (Eul’s phone) but doesn’t get a reply. time goes by and Joon gets the highest grade on this test.
Joon’s mom celebrates her son’s accomplishment by feeding the teachers at school and thanks the head master for all the teachers teaching her son so well and raising his GPA the most.
Joon replaces her old flier with a new one and calls the number again, but Eul’s number now belongs to someone else. he writes his own but scratches it out muttering why should I pay so much attention like this. he crumples up the flier.
As he walks away he gets a call from Eul. she says she heard from the grandma that he carried her dad’s picture during the procession and thanks him.
Flash forward to current time
She asks him in jeondae- did you change your mind? isn’t that why you came back? I’m not doing this for my benefit to get a job. this docu will really help your rude reputation and honestly it’s good for you to earn more money.
Joon interrupts in banmal: do you not know me?
Eul:I know you -everyone knows you.
he yells out again: don’t you know me?
she drops to banmal and says I know you bastard. if I say I know you – will you film the docu? you wont. if I say I know you – you will act more like a jerk and be rude like in the past.
she holds up the money he left her and uses jeondae to thank him and says I will spend it well. she bows and walks off then faints on the side of the road.
As he walks towards her, he narrates: that girl couldn’t be Eul -she can’t be Eul. there is no way that girl can be my Eul.
He finally starts to run towards her.
Preview: Joon asks her: did you eat yet? I didn’t eat yet.
Eul shows up and drops a lot of aegyo on Joon asking if he is done with classes.
Haru asks her brother Ji Tae if he is going to marry Jung Won(the hit and run driver)
Joon asks: where are you running off to?
Jung asks Eul: are you looking at me right now?
Even as he races towards her hoping she isn’t the Eul he knows, he can’t deny that hope that she is. He doesn’t know it yet, but those last running steps towards her was him chasing after something he doesn’t know he needs desperately right now. He needs someone to be there for him in these last months of his life. Someone to remind him what he will be letting go of and someone to remind him of what he had and how great it was during their short time together. He has existed in a world of isolation he made himself by being such a rude guy, but I bet his heart will be the first to admit that this is no way to spend the remaining days he has left. A smart person would fill that time enjoying life to the fullest. A desperate person would make amends to all he wronged. A greedy person would fill that time being in love despite knowing full well that he won’t be able to grow old with her. A selfish person wouldn’t acknowledge how much pain his death would cause to his loved ones. Here’s hoping Joon young will be all those things and more.
I should have known better than to expect lightheartedness from the writer for Will It Snow For Christmas. There is so much heartache from the start when Joon-young goes to see his doctor and we learn of his tragic diagnosis. Suddenly those lines from his drama in the opening scene of E1 makes sense. “I don’t want to die, I can’t die this way.” I was so excited for the start of this drama and looked forward to it ever since it was announced. I just didn’t factor in the emotional turmoil this kind of drama would be for me. From a personal standpoint, certain dialogue is hitting way too close to my current reality. I have someone very close in my life who is currently going through stage four cancer. Nothing makes sense after a doctor tells you that you don’t have long to live. They never realize how their words predicting how much time you have left become an anvil that weighs on everyone’s spirits. It’s really astounding how just a few words can change your state of mind forever and affect so many people. Everyone who is touched by cancer knows there is a constant knell ringing in all our hearts. For some, they learn to live with it – just trying to cope, but then you have a few who refuse to give in and fight the inevitable or cling desperately to a hope that slips away with each passing day. They don’t want what time they have left to be dictated by a mere prediction of time. A prognosis of a few months left or a few years suddenly becomes a race to make each day something special. Every moment becomes precious. Enjoying one more really good book goes on a mental checklist of things to accomplish. Not everyone is lucky to be blessed with good health, but for those who know what living on borrowed time is like, they are blessed with something more profound. They know how much every kind word and action can carry weight once they are gone. That’s about the only good thing about dying. It makes you kinder and let go of superficial and petty emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy, and bitterness. Maybe it’s because they want to wipe their life’s slate clean. They want to end like they started as babies – just innocent, loving, and full of wonder. With one exception – this time they will also have peace. It’s the only thing I pray for these days.