Annyeong Oppa Feature Drama / Series Show Reviews

11 Reasons why you shouldn’t miss watching the romcom crime drama “When The Camellia Blooms”

If you are looking for a romance comedy drama that can also give you thrill and goosebumps, When The Camellia Blooms is perfect for you. Surely, you will love its realistic storyline, mother and child highlight, life and love lessons, and the versatility of the leads.

All photos from KBS and Netflix

It is a 2019 Korean drama aired on KBS2 which ranked second in highest rated dramas list that year. It tells the story of a single mother named Oh Dongbaek. When she was young, many people around her treated her poorly for being an orphan. In her 30s, she moves to Ongsan, a fictional town, and opens a restaurant bar called Camellia to support her child alone.

Then, she experiences being disliked by some people for being a single mom. Six years later, Hwang Yongsik will come to her and her son’s lives; together, they will face life challenges. Later on, the mysterious killer in Ongsan will appear again, chasing after Dongbaek.

When The Camellia Blooms main leads include Gong Hyojin as Oh Dongbaek, Kang Haneul as Hwang Yongsik, Kim Jiseok as Kang Jongryul, and Kim Kanghoon as Kang Pilgu. Other cast members are Son Dambi, Ji Yisu, Oh Jungse, Yeom Hyeran, Go Dooshim, Lee Jungeun, Jun Baesoo, and many more.

If you are looking for signs to watch it, there are practically various reasons why you should not miss it; below are just 11 of the things that you will truly love about it.

1. It will make you laugh so hard even in night

When The Camellia Blooms characters gave me genuine happiness and good laugh while watching them. I really love how I can simply relax and appreciate each of them as the story goes.

This is so perfect for someone who wants to have a good day and to shove off stress. Yongsik will definitely crash into your heart and plaster a sweet smile on your face. He is such a loveable and bright person here. Pilgu and Dongbaek will also give you joy with their adorable sides and smiles.

Other than that, you should also anticipate the comedy scenes and light parts of it. The story itself is so well-written that things are really balanced.

2. But this drama will also make you curious and come up with theories

Expect that this drama will truly draw your attention. As what I have mentioned, “thing are really balanced” in here that helps the story runs smoothly. Comedy, romance, crime, and thriller, these genre are mixed well that gives no room for any loophole.

Who is the real culprit? Is this person an antagonist here as well?

Watch out for every clue in each episode and do not let yourself fall in love too much with Yongsik (just kidding). Honestly speaking, pay attention to the details shown in here that can probably be a clue. You may find it hard to guess who the real killer is but the little information and clues you have will later on be something really “big!”

3. Realistic storyline

One of the best things about “When The Camellia Blooms” is its realistic storyline that will hook you and your attention. From the story of the lead characters, to the background of the supporting roles, and secrets of the antagonists; all of them have something to tell and teach the viewers.

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Aside from that, there are also various societal issues tackled in this drama. Bullying, superiority, big gap between rich and poor people, stigma in the society, and many more. These things will help you relate with any of the characters and emphasize with their different pain ahd hardships.

Even the neighborhood in Ongsan seems so real where many of us live in the reality. There are those who wake up early in their daily lives to feed their family, well off people with good educational background, kind and nasty individuals, loving parents, mature kids, and so on.

What’s more?

When The Camellia Blooms also highlights that not everyone who faces problem in life can resolve it in a snap of a finger. For some people, they need weeks, months, and even years to find solutions for their problems. It simply shows us the reality in life: some are wealthy and well connected but there are also those who are poor and are fighting their battles alone.

Truly, it features a slice of life and has a lot of things to offer to its viewers. Wherein, you can learn life and love lessons, see the truth in the society, and have a glimpse of family and financial problem that others experience.

On the other hand, it also focuses on the everlasting love of mothers to their children, maturity that is not based on age, how people should be generous, and more. Indeed, there are various things you can learn from this drama.

4. Incredible acting skills of cast members especially the leads

Gong Hyojin is my most favorite Korean actress since I have watched her in Master’s Sun. I have seen her act in various K-dramas with different genre and roles she took. She perfectly showed us how versatile as an actress she is.

Unexpectedly, through this drama, I noticed something big about Kang Haneul as well. I have seen him in few dramas and movie before but here, he perfectly proved that he is not just great doing the action and/or thriller movies but can also slay in romance comedy K-dramas.

The way Sky portrayed all the characters he took since then up until now, we can truly say that he really exerted effort, hard work, and passion into it. Personally, I really appreciate him and his eyes that says a lot about his emotions. Just looking at his face, you will definitely see how great he is in acting without even doing any body movement.

Other things you should look forward about him: his genuine smile which can seriously brighten up your day; he really sings well; true gentleman; and such a gem that should be treasured.


  • There is also chemistry between the leading man and leading lady;
  • Kim Kanghoon, the child actor, can seriously move you with his acting skill;
  • Yeom Hyeran and Son Dambi are also great actresses who can annoy you and break your heart for them at the same time; and
  • The other cast members also did great, they can make you laugh, get annoyed, and even send you chills.

5. Women empowerment

Since episode 1, I already noticed that When The Camellia Blooms is really something. There are various things in here that will get your attention while watching it; one of the top things which can captivate your heart as a viewer is its women empowerment.

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Although Dongbaek look down on herself at first, the way she handled to be strong when she was a kid until the time she was raising her child alone say a lot. She even managed to open a restaurant bar although many people are kind of insecure about it. Dongbaek might be a cry baby to some, but inside her is a strong and independent woman.

Moreover, this drama does not only empowered her but the other women in Ongsan as well. There is this episode when the Ongsan Police Station chief mentioned that women in their area can learn a lot by themselves. They may have negative qualities with them but their capabilities are stronger than those.

Additionally, they also showed the viewers their character development as time passes by. Some may not have seen it but the way women in Ongsan supported each other in any way is really heart moving. They may be kind of harsh at first but they care for every woman in their area.

Lastly, the “everlasting love” of mothers in this drama. They may have different approach and ways of raising their children, the love and deep care are there. They may get hurt and stumble at times but they prefer that they will suffer alone than their children.

6. Captivating cinematography

One of the things that I have noticed when I started watching this drama is the great cinematography. The framing, technique, used background rolls, depth and focus, lighting, and even the camera movement are really eye catching. Even the camera angles and moves, exposure, and shot sizes have been paid a lot of attention to by the film production team.

Additionally, I personally love the intro and every last part of each episodes that suit with the chosen soundtrack. It helps me to loosen up, focus on the story, and enjoy the whole drama.

7. Life lesson #1: Love waits and should not be rushed

Dongbaek and Yongsik proved to us that if you truly love someone, you can patiently wait for him or her until the both of you will finally be ready. Being in a relationship is not about the “on fire love” you have for each other. Dongbaek categorized such love as something that does not lasts forever. Being in a relationship is where both of you can be happy on one another’s arms even in hard times. Being in a relationship is about trust, respect, and being consistent on how you show your love which is not simply based on “emotions.”

Kang Haneul’s character set the bar too high, indeed. He keeps on giving Dongbaek a bouquet of flowers as he also never tries to break his own promises. Without the assurance that Dongbaek will say “yes” to him, he still pursued her. He stayed by her side, tried his best to understand Dongbaek’s expressive eyes, and been so attentive to her actions.

8. Life lesson #2: True love means being with each other through thick and thin

One of the best qualities of Yongsik is appreciating Dongbaek even if she says negative things towards herself. He was able to see her strengths, positive traits, good sides, and wonderful “future.”

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He never complain and he also never vents out his frustration on Dongbaek. He always tries to analyze things and puts his shoes on Dongbaek’s.

Other than that, Yongsik also never blame Dongbaek for anything bad that happens around them. When he was catching the real culprit aka Joker, he said that he wants to do it so, Dongbaek will not need to be that “careful” and scared.


This life lesson is not just for people who are in a romantic relationship. This K-drama reminded its viewers that the “true love” some of us talk a lot about means being with our “loved ones” through thick and thin. Whether it is a family member, friend, or anyone dear to us, we should stick by their sides in their highs and lows.

Life is not just about the celebrations after victories with our loved ones. Life is also about offering our shoulders to our loved ones in their bad days; trying to understand their pain or just being there to show support.

When The Camellia Blooms taught us that we should appreciate our loved ones even in their gloomy days. Because who knows how this kind of act will affect them?

9. Life lesson #3: Always be kind

Everyone struggles likely to what Mrs. Deoksoon said. It is not just a single person or two who have problems in life. Saying that, all of us should learn how to be kind just like Dongbaek. She perfectly knows how hard it is to be treated bad that is why, she never tries to do the same on others.

The world does not only revolves around you. Everyone deserves to be loved, appreciated, and treated well. If you can not do such things towards others, just simply do not hurt them.

To you, who struggle and been strong all through these years, you are worth it. Keep on shining and achieving your dreams. Know that you glow differently when you are doing what makes your heart flutter. Still, do not forget to be a blessing to others’ lives as well.

10. Catchy lines

Words have power. You need to talk about your dreams in order for them to come true.


It doesn’t cost money to be nice. We should be nice to each other.


If a guy is determined to cheat, he will cheat on you no matter what… If he’s not that type of a guy, he won’t do it.

Hong Jayoung

A fire that burns quickly also fizzles out quickly… Don’t just fall for anyone when they tell you that they will give you everything. You should take time and observe that person.

Deoksoon (Yongsik’s mother)

What’s really weird is that I smile a lot these days. It’s not the situation that matters, I guess, it’s whom you are with.


11. Baeksang awards

When The Camellia Blooms is one of the nominees for the Baeksang Arts Awards 2020. On June 5, they bagged various awards and many fans are really proud! Below are the awards they achieved on that night:

  • Best Screenplay award (Im Sang Chun)
  • Best Supporting Actor award (Oh Jung Se)
  • Best Actor award in television (Kang Ha Neul)
  • Television Daesang (Grand award)
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