Written by: Helga Mari
When you let kindness flow around you, it will create a ripple effect that will eventually flow back to you hundredfolds. That’s the implied message conveyed by the drama series When The Camellia Blooms.
For a series to be a mainstream hit, two dominant themes are usually present — An ultra-romantic plot which is heightened by the chemistry between the main characters, and/or a fiery revenge story rooted from the main character being unfairly wronged who will, later on, engage in some vengeful ploy towards his/her tormentors in order to get even.
When The Camellia Blooms is categorized in neither of these themes. It is not based on a thick romantic plot and is mostly light and comical, nor does it have a storyline that flows on a vengeful scheme of the protagonist. No wonder it was off the radar in comparison to other mainstream favorites until recently.
What makes it beautiful, however, is its subtle depiction of life as we know it, like a mother who tries to make both ends meet to raise her child, having to deal with gossiping neighbors on a daily basis, living in an unsafe space which is a hotspot for crimes, and so on. It mirrors what real life is, and we or someone we know may be living this kind of story.
And so I picked up some of the wisdom this drama conveyed and condensed it into five life lessons:
1. There’s dignity in being a single parent.
Raising a child single-handedly doesn’t make you less a person. In fact, with all the hardships that you have to go through, you will always be a hero in your child’s eyes. So if you are a single mom (or dad) or a person who’s been raised by a single parent, keep your chin up and take pride in being one.
2. Prejudices are everywhere.
No matter how you keep yourself whole, there will always be people who will want to keep you torn apart by holding on to your shortcomings or even to your past mistakes. It will either make or break you. But knowing yourself better and focusing on what you are capable to do, others’ notions about you will no longer matter.
3. Hope and forgiveness lessen life’s burden.
Life is unfair, a constant reality we have to come to terms with. The world may be harsh by judging you based on your family background, social status, or whatnot, but don’t beat yourself up. Hate and resentment will only breed evilness in your heart and nothing comes out right from it.
4. Second chances (or nth chances) in life are worth taking.
Regardless of how many times you’ve been burdened by misfortunes, it will not always be storms and thunders. There’s no such thing as cursed or unlucky fate. So take the shot and make sure you give it your best.
5. There will always be that someone who’s willing to go through your highs and lows in life devoid of any conditions. And that is real love.
Gong Hyo Jin has always been brilliant with her acting prowess. She owned the character of a shy, soft-spoken Dongbaek that I almost forgot she previously starred as the feisty, seductive and smart psychiatrist in It’s Okay, That’s Love. That just shows her versatility as an actress.
What’s even more amazing about her is that she let Kang Ha Neul (Yong-sik) shine as well. She didn’t hog all the emotions of the scenes for herself, but instead made her onscreen partner’s character to stand out. With that, I almost believed that Kang Ha Neul is a half-jerk-half-sensible guy who will always save the day for the love of his life. That’s a realistic acting performance for you. And it paid off when he got an award for it.
Moreover, I would say that WTCB is a complete package with its romantic melodrama theme blended with mystery-thriller feels. I hope that others, too, will find this drama beautiful and enjoyable to watch.