Thursday, November 28, 2019

KBS Drama Special 2019: House of the Universe

I remember the old glory days at D-Addicts and it was there where in 2010 I fell in love with KBS concept of a series of stand-alone episodes, dealing with topics usually not seen in regular dramas. And not because they were socially insignificant or dull. They were small, centered around one person and affecting only a handful of those around them. 
This is why, after a long break, I'm back to KBS Drama Special episodes and as I mentioned earlier - I will work my way back all through to the 2015 when I left.

The short story starts with Sua, she is an architectural designer and she's been loving the structure and interior of houses ever since. She even redesigned the tiny flat she's living in now. However, her landlord is raising the deposit on it to such an astronomical level that she's unable to comply with his demand. That's why Yuchan, her boyfriend, proposes to her and asks her to look for a house together, since they both don't have much.

Up to that moment I so felt Sua's anguish at being constantly passed on by the world. She's not rich, her parents are not rich and when we get a glimpse of their apartment, we see some of the furniture held together with a tape and a glue. And she's being asked to redesign a luxurious apartment in a fancy district. Turns out - the owner of it is her friend who is about to get married and prepares the house for the future. And the work on that apartment strikes some unpleasant chord within Sua - that she's jealous of the houses other people have. I mean, I could understand the sentiment, sometimes my eyes also wander to the houses I pass by and I wonder how does it feel to own a house.

But then Yuchan invites her to meet his parents and Sua gets the surprise of her lifetime - his parents are rich snobs. She barely pays any attention to his firm but repeated rejection of any help his mother is proposing in organizing wedding and helping them financially. But she's fascinated by the huge and mostly empty house they are living in and her anguish rises. In turn, her parents meet Yuchan in the restaurant, because she's ashamed of her shabby background and house and she doesn't want to admit that to him and she refuses to invite him. Moreover, she refuses to give his overbearing mother her parents address when she asks to send a set of very expensive kitchen pots. She gives her friends' address - the same apartment she's been working on to renovate. Yuchan's mother comments that "the house and the neighbourhood say a lot about a person's social status". So Sua's ashamed of hers. Her friend has to leave for few days, and Sua uses her apartment as her - she even asks her parents to pretend it's their house when Yuchan comes. Disaster also comes when her friend arrives earlier.

Yuchan is disappointed in her behaviour and in exasperation says she does not even know why he left his parents and why he's doing everything he can to not inherit anything from them. Sua's father apologizes for always making her feel ashamed of them and their background. And then her friend confesses she broke off the engagement - because her mother is ill and she was told by her fiancé's family they "don't want a person with cancer at the wedding". So she asks Sua to redesign the apartment once again but this time for someone living with a cancer patient.
And Sua looking at all those posh apartment buildings finally comes to the conclusion that not everything's gold what shines. All is also resolved with Yuchan when his shabby car finally dies in the middle of the street and has to be towed, so she informs him she found a tiny apartment in which she planned to live alone (I bet she was sure after that fiasco he would break up with her) but invites him to live together.
And then they go to her parents' apartment to help with the renovation. Yuchan being sweet and helpful in painting the wall.

It's not a groundbreaking story, just a story of a person who became enamored with a façade of the houses she was jealous of. And then she realized that a small place can be full of emotions and love and luxurious, spatial houses can be empty or hide a tragedy. 
That's why I like these types of stories. I couldn't probably take a whole regular drama with such, really depressing in a way, theme, but one episode is exactly what I need to have my quota of "slice of life" drama fulfilled.

And you can watch it whole here: