What am I up to in this two months of Isolation?
Nothing totally productive or worth earning money. First, I momentarily forgot everything about him in those one month and became so busy watching series, documentaries, podcasts and anything else. I am actually wondering right now how fast yet so slow this past months had been. And in those months, I succumbed myself to temporary pleasures but isn’t really striking my soul to the point I have to take action and just do something worthwhile. Good thing I’ve chanced upon shows that makes me re-evaluate life itself and forget the reality for the meantime.
Hunter X Hunter
I remembered I was looking for a good show and then stumbled upon Hunter x Hunter. It was probably the best show I’ve watched this season and I just bawled my eyes crying in some of the episodes. I was so enthralled with the friendship of the characters — especially Gon and Killua. I always have a soft spot to stories of adventure together with someone, whether romantic interest, friends or families, and just growing together and discovering what to do in life. That last scene in the last episode of the last season (lol.. the construction of this sentence is just so redundant) is just so heartfelt for me that I can’t help but cry. Farewell for me is just something so bittersweet especially if you have to part ways with people whom you’ve shared memories and has been an audience of each other towards character development, every triumph and lost, every bad choices and good ones. It’s inevitable for Gon and Killua to part ways because at the end of the day, they are both individuals who have their own purpose in life and there are just some seasons in life where you have to go through it without your best friend or family.
Each season presented different arcs and stories of growth, redemption, revenge, to name a few. However, all I can say is I enjoy every part of it, both filler and main episodes. I enjoyed the Heavens Arena Arc and I just want to give a shoutout to Hisoka because he is actually my favorite villain (or not!) in this anime. Chimera Ants Arc is kind of a slowburn to me at first but during the mid and its final episodes it sort of gave me this deconstructed idea of who’s good and evil. I’ve read a lot of interpretations regarding this arc and how it shouts humanism all over it and I’m just glad to say how profound those interpretations. A lot of characters died in this arc (which is so dear to me) that is why this is the most emotional arc for me and I’ve cried tons of it. There’s this one character who died (I won’t tell who to prevent spoilers) that truly resonate with me; and like all these characters who are close to him/her, I grieve together with them. It was just a painful watch for me and the menacing result that was born out of that grief is somehow doleful for me.
Overall, this show has managed to capture my heart and I’m sad that there’s a blurry chance we get to see how it ends for the characters. However, the anime wrapped it up beautifully and I truly enjoyed the roller-coaster adventures of all characters.
Next to my watch list was Hospital Playlist which wrapped up its first season last week. This is the kind of show that I didn’t fully realize just grew in my heart and when I finally realize how good it is, I just start to care for every aspect of the storytelling. I started this show with no expectations and what caught me to watch it was some of my favorite actors are in it. I am not a fan of Reply Series (I just can’t understand why I can’t bring myself to love the show even though every time I watch some episodes, it gives a nostalgic and healing factor to me) but with good credentials of the writer-PD tandem, I give this show a try. At first, the rumblings and chaos in the hospital looks realistic for me and the first episode got me confused on what’s going to be the plot of this series. It actually gave me a bored feel to it because one episode is just too long for me. However, I think it was on episode 6 or 7 where I realized how this show just wants to give a story of friendship, love and life of normal people trying to make ends meet through a hospital setting. I think it was a smart choice to use the hospital setting because:
(1) we meet different stories of people in the hospitals — their struggles and their relationships. In each patient that the show introduced to us, we get a glimpse of what their life is outside the hospital. The patients’ POV give us a story of hope, grief and love in just a short period of time. How amazing is that, right? For us viewers to sympathize and empathize to character’s that are not even the leads of the show is a smart way to tell a story which creates impact to its audience.
(2) every time we watch a medical Korean drama, the story focuses on either hospital politics or hospital jargons which is use to create conflict or hospital romance. What separates Hospital Playlist among them is that there’s no hospital politics at all. (If you remember in episode 1, I think the writer wants us to believe there’s going to be a politics conflict brewing up after the chairman died. Rosa — which is the dead chairman’s wife and Jong Su are good friends and it also seems like a betrayal’s about to ensue. It turns out that there’s no conflict at all between them and whoever’s going to be the chairman isn’t really the main interest of the show. Well played, show. Well, played). In summary, this is just a series that shows the life of normal beings without grandiose battle of who’s who. Just a normal story of normal people working on a hospital.
This show is just a healing drama to those who will watch it because all characters are endearing to watch. Every main character was given emphasis and no one is left behind. Jo Jung Seok is always amusing to watch (props to his comedic timing; who won’t forget the now-and-soon-to-be legendary Pick Me dance) and he has given life to his character Ik-Jun who is the Mr. Congeniality of the hospital. But it also shows that however hilarious and friendly he is, someone who always give advice to people, he is not exempted to the trials of life. At some point, there will always be hardship too and funny guy can also be serious and earnest (insert: being a father to U-Ju and that confession of love) I would also like to mention the bromance between Jun Wan and Jae Hak. Oh, these two! Helping each other out sincerely and quietly without too much drama. I adore watching their antics and banters and watching them learn from each other.
There are just so many little arcs to mention in this show and I would like to highlight all of them but this post will just get longer and longer. 😀
Last thing I want to mention is the budding love lines in this show. Personally, I root for Seok-Hyeong and Min-Ha together and they are my most favorite couple in the show. An introvert and extrovert? Oh, I would love how it would pan out and I’m sure there’s going to be lots of comical scenes if it will happen. I read some opinions about the love lines on this show discussing how the writer actually confuses its audience about who’s going to end up together with who; showing some signs of ships to sail only for it to crash in the end. eg. Reply 1988. And that there are some subtle signs of who’s the real love team of this show. Of course, everyone is into Song Hwa’s love line with Chi Hong and Ik Joon. For me, what Chi Hong has was a one-sided love and as much as I pity that likeness and sincerity to Song-Hwa, I just don’t think he is the right man for Song-Hwa. I’m not going to talk much with Ik-Joon x Song-Hwa budding romance but going back to the discussions I read (which is actually an unpopular opinion but I firmly believe with a good basis to back-up) Song-Hwa just doesn’t like Ik-Joon. We can formulate theories of the romance through different shots of the scenes eg. that night where Song-Hwa stayed in Ik-Joon’s apartment. There was this shot of the both of them outside the window with the pouring rain and as the scene ends they became blurry because of too much rain. With regards to Jeong-Won and Gyeo-Wool, well their scene in the last episode just gives us a room to be more excited of what story they will provide in season 2. I just think it’s too early to finalized all love interests in this show because a lot can happened in Season 2.
Can I just also mention the OST’s?! This is one of the best this show has offered me as well. This group of people who’ve withstand the test of time, forming a band and just singing their hearts out is definitely a highlight of the show for me. I think this is the first time in so many years where I love all of the OST’s in the drama. OSTs speak of their past, their present and their future and I just love it.
Overall, I enjoyed this show so much and it’s just weird that the last episode doesn’t feel like the last episode because their stories left a lot for a second season. Now, the agony is to wait for the S2 for a year!? Let’s see what’s going to happen about it.
So this entry ended up with me making some flash reviews about the series that speaks volume to my heart. Well, it’s just so worthwhile to meet a good show that resonates deeply in my heart. I am not usually a fan of theories, though I welcome it, nor I have an eye for every detail. As I mentioned before, what grips my heart for a show to truly impress me is the storytelling of opening yourself to a wider perspective filled with emotions and reflection of your own self right after watching or reading it. For me, the downside of coming across this shows is it always leave a hallow feeling in my chest making me feel empty. Well, I want to believe that there’s an upside to this one too. Even though it leaves a space in my heart, it gives me a room to reassess myself and put more knowledge and feeling into it for me to learn more and get to know myself even better. I believe that this shows helped me go back to my inner core and just fully enjoy my own adventure even though I am stubborn and inconsistent in some of my ways.
And to everyone who will get to read this post, I hope you get to appreciate any form of storytelling (films, series, novels, poems) and whatever kind of storytelling you meet along the way, I hope it creates an impact to you and how you view this world.
Out of all the art I knew, it always boils down to the core which is the stories of life — hope and becoming, of tragedy and recovery, of yin and yang.