First Impressions: MBC’s Warm Post Heart Transplant Drama My Spring Days

[Yeorobum, I’m thrilled to welcome back summer hibernating Jomo to the world of drama writing! I’m even happier that she loves MBC‘s currently airing Wed-Thurs drama My Spring Days to the extent that she wants to write about it. I love reading Jomo’s take on dramas whether I am on the same rabid love of said drama or not. Folks have asked me to write about MSD but I really have nothing particular to say. I watched an episode and was rather nonplussed, neither enjoying it enough to keep going but found nothing wrong or off-putting about it. I’ll probably pick it up again when I have more time to marathon it.

Sooyoung continues to improve as an actress from the last time I saw her in Dating Agency Cyrano, and frankly I find her gorgeous in an earthy way and can’t for the life of me understand why she gets flack for not being pretty enough. Kam Woo Sung is totally channeling my I Lub You Jung Woo Sung in A Moment to Remember and that is one mighty fine male character specimen to bring to the screen. I’m sure this drama is good and has the potential to stay good so it’s great that Jomo can share her thoughts on it with y’all. As for me, whether it’s due to Rain or zee cancer-stricken furry doge in My Lovely Girl, that’s the Wed-Thurs drama that currently has me hankering for more. xoxoxo Koala]

Everyone should watch My Spring Days. A groundbreaking story this is absolutely not. At all. Not only is the set-up tired, it is also being used for the two competing Wed/Thurs shows, Blademan and My Lovely Girl. As different as they are from each other, and as varied the motives and goals of the production team, all three have a similar premise at the core. A man meets a new woman who makes him think of his former (dead) love. The woman resists and fights with the man, later… yawn…zzzzzzzzz…snork…whu? Sorry fell asleep writing that. Where was I?

Forget the set-up, since it really couldn’t sound any less compelling. I don’t even know why I clicked on the play button for the first episode. But I did, and the first hour flew by. Everything worked. I laughed out loud a LOT. Tears sprang into my eyes unannounced. I awwwwed. All of the cast got me excited to watch more of their interactions; none of them made me want to hit mute. The best one-word description of My Spring Days is that it is natural. It feels sure-footed. Yes, there are cliches everywhere, but handled with a style that feels fresh.

The pace, the lighting, the music, the wardrobe, the locations – everything blends seamlessly. It feels like the person helming this would have a string of family dramas. Imagine my shock that THIS guy did Missing You. You know, the one that split all of dramakind into two camps: For and Against? His other shows weren’t as divisive, more run-of-the-mill: Can’t Lose, Hero, and Thank You. The writer, Park Ji-sook, surprised me, too, in that his two most recent dramas were cop shows: True Steel and Special Crime Squad. I am afraid to mention the producer, Han Hee. His drama-ography is all over the place, with some real clunkers including Dr. Jin and Personal Preference, but also recent successes, Empress Ki and Fated to Love You.

We can rule out creative team and plot as compelling reasons to watch. What then, do we have?

Kam Woo Sung (The King and the Clown, Alone in Love) leads the list. With a familiar role like this, he could be playing it safe and easy. Instead, we get a fully committed actor making us feel all of his character’s emotions. Plus he has dimples – each of which count as a great reason to watch. I have to point out that as cute as these stills are, this is an actor you have to see in motion to fully appreciate.

Kang Dong-ha is confident, earnest, warm, headstrong, intelligent, sexy, laughs easily, good listener, successful and SINGLE. I want this man to cook my meat.

(Choi) Soo-young (Cyrano Dating Agency) is very good as the dietician and heart transplant recipient, Lee Bom-yi, the “Spring” in the title. Yes, there is an 18 year difference between the leads, but she is 27 years old. Nobody is robbing from the cradle here, agreed? Cheerful, stubborn, fun, wise beyond her years, confident to the point of arrogant, successful, loyal and eager to share her nutrition knowledge with anyone within earshot. I super like her even though she is tall, thin and pretty. There is no artifice in her.

Poor poor pitiful Lee Joon-hyuk (City Hunter, Equator Man) as Dr. Kang Dong-wook, perfect man and brother of Dong-ha.

He is a sensitive and talented surgeon. A sweet melancholy haunts him and we learn it is because he has already lost one girl to his hyung. Fiancée Bom-yi and he share a seemingly deep and unbreakable bond. Watching his girl become involved with his brother’s family unsettles him, and almost too perceptively he recognizes a threat to his future happiness. I do understand how the pain from his past could linger. I wonder, however, why he lacks the confidence he needs to win against his big brother. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about this actor. God help us all as we live the looming pain with him over the next few months. Cross your fingers that his next role will be the first lead.

The kids. I love them. Nothing seems forced. They look and sound like the kids down the street.

Hyun Seung-min, whom you may recognize from Empress Ki, plays teenager Kang Poo-reun (her name means “blue”) Whatever happened before she came on screen was pretty good. Her presence kicks everything up a notch. That’s an amazing feat for one so young. I knew after five minutes, my life would not be complete until Poo-reun-ah ended up happy. Her intelligence and maturity play very well against her father’s gentle teasing. Gil Jung-woo as Kang Ba-da (His name means “sea” so together they are “blue sea”) does little brother well without being too bratty. When Dad is alone with his children, he isn’t clueless, nor does he seem bitter about losing his wife. They aren’t a perfect family, but they enjoy each other and it is so much fun to hang out with them.

Jan Shin-young (Thorn Flower, Empire of Gold) is the beautiful second lead girl with a past. She’s smart and ambitious. Nothing makes me hate her yet, but I am sure that will have to change.

Our Secretary of Comic Relief, Lee Jae-won (Masters Sun, Dr. Stranger), continues his over the top, scene stealing ways as he has in everything he has ever been in. He calls himself the Messenger of Love, and his relationship with boss Dong-ha delights me.

The in-laws couldn’t be any more different. Recognize the elegant Shim Hye-jin from Secret Love Affair? As Bom-yi’s mom, a powerful hospital executive, she continues to scheme, while Dong-ha’s mother, the no nonsense Kang Boo-ja (The Woman Who Married Three Times) wants nothing to do with her.

The last three I will mention are strong funny character actors. Kwon Hae-hyo (What’s Up Fox, Big Man) plays Bom-yi’s not-so-serious father. Ga Deuk-hee (Queen In-hyun’s Man, Nine) is Bom-yi’s BFF, and Jang Won-young (Miss Korea, Trot Lovers) plays Dong-ha’s neighbor and family friend.

It is a hopeful sign that overall, the cast has proven comic acting skills. Despite the fact that we will soon be falling into major melo territory, the director knows he can keep the tone light with this talent.

The 18 years between them aside, since it really is not obvious, the OTP matches up very well. The lively back and forth doesn’t relent any time they meet. The writers keep the jokes going about their age difference, mostly at poor “Abonim’s” expense, but at the same time, there is a latent chemistry that I can’t wait to see spark.

My biggest complaint is the cellular memory angle being pitched at us. I do like the idea of the former wife and mother blessing their union; that’s sweet. We simply don’t need another reason for these two characters to hook up other than the immediate and crazy attraction to one another. I am almost wishing they pull a Summer Scent (no spoilers here) and remove the “I have your dead wife’s heart so OF COURSE you will love me” reason for them to stay together.

After four episodes, a delicious warm meal is laid out with all the lovely side dishes – that nobody will enjoy – at least not until the end of the final episode. What we look forward to now is how the dawning awareness between Bom-yi and Dong-ha changes everything. Both Poo-reun and her father have tasted how sweet a life with Bom-yi could have been if only she hadn’t met Dong-wook first, and the poor Doctor imagines only the worst outcome as the table seems to tremble before him. Me, I am ready to gobble up whatever the rest of the drama serves.

What do you all think of this show so far? I am actually considering recapping again.


First Impressions: MBC’s Warm Post Heart Transplant Drama My Spring Days — 50 Comments

  1. Jomo jomo jomo!!!! You captured everything in this summary! I marathoned this drama over the weekeend and LOVED it. I just KNOW it is going to squeeze my heart dry but i am ready and waiting. Even though the medical bit of a dead heart being transplanted didnt diminish the drama for me!!!

    I LOVE BOTH brothers.. Have always loved lee joon hyuk’s serious inerense face and demeanour but wow, this ahjusshi.. There is just something special about him.

    As for soo young.. She is a natural. She was a natural in cyrano too but really shines with this great script. She only bothers me with her toothpick legs.. Not even chopstick legs!! Toothpick. I keep thinking how does she walk in those?? Oh, love her dad here. He is so funny.

    Anyway, happy to hear that you love it too and looking forward to your recaps 🙂

    • LOL… Which is better, toothpick legs or daikon legs???? Poor poor Lee Joon Hyuk, always had a soft spot for him too… When will be your turn?

      • I have no idea coz i dont know whatdaikon legs are. She is radiant though and looks great in all the clothes she wears, esp jeans, so there is something to be said for toothpick legs! Esp when paired with beautiful broad shoulders.

  2. Jomo! You’re back! 🙂 I haven’t watched the show, but most definitely will, because of Kam Woo Sung. Love him! As soon as some more eps are aired, I’ll check it out and read your recaps, too. <3

  3. I love this drama! I have watched all 4 episodes 3 times since Friday. Yeah I am crazy about it.

    The show is natural. Sometimes in drama you hear people speak and you think “do people speak and think like that?” But with my spring day, so far, I feel that these are things I would do and say if I was in their position. The children are the best. Gosh that scene on the escalator was funny as hell.

    I hope they keep up the humor. Even in a life full of drama, people do find time to laugh and I love that about this show. It is not all crying all the time.

    The actors are so good in the show that I know the show is in good hands. The chemistry is excellent. I don’t even care about the age difference because it feels like they belong together and all we can do is root for them.

    Overall it is a great watch.

  4. I had two problems with the show and I quit (despite liking the warmth and actors):

    1. The tears coming into Sooyoung’s eyes automatically on seeing the children of her donor…I want my characters to develop feelings organically…same things goes for other such scenes between the elads.
    2. The second lead loves his fiancee only because she has the ehart of his forst love!

    Hence, I dropped the drama after first episode.

    • I wonder why tears don’t come automatically to her eyes when she comes to the butchers’ (while the drama makers are trying to show her as a sensitive and compassionate person)?

      • Notice I skirted that issue altogether…They showed her saying a little prayer when she first arrived, and they showed her wince at the whole tour of the meat plant.

        Show decided to go for the money rather than present a nutritionist who opted for earth-friendly sources of proteins, et voila PPL Beef.

    • The premise turned me off this drama for good… And the two points you made about the show just reiterated that…

      The show can only go into two separate ways for it to be acceptable for me:
      1) either the two leads and the previous family developed their relationship organically (without the I have the heart of your wife/mother, I have no choice but to love you)
      2) or they go ‘cellular theory’ but that the female lead will still have a life all her own separate from the male lead and his family.

      Unfortunately, said drama went both ways together so it is definitely a NO for me.

      • agree, i do not like the way that the girl has the heart transplant and that makes her has to live with the family…and i cannot accept that the girl falls in love with her future bother-in-law…oops, sweating~~

  5. Thanks Jomo, for your insight.

    I’ve watched 4 episodes of this drama and am loving it. Soo Young is spunky here and I’m in love! Kam Woo Sung was great in King n Clown and he’s nailing it here!

    Please continue your recaps of this drama as no one else seems to be doing it. Would love to have your perspective here.

    Thanks again. 🙂

  6. You know what, I really don’t have any other dramas to watch these days and while MLG is my default Wed-Thurs drama, I cam definitely invest time watching the other offerings later in the week. And MSD is definitely one that I’m leaning on to watch. I’ve sampled IM yesterday and while I found it quirky and funny without the initial disappointment that I thought would permeate and stop me on my tracks on the first episode, strangely, it wasn’t. BUT, after the second episode I was bored.

    I totally thought that the drama would have been totally generic with its premise of prickly chaebol meets candy, and I’m totally fine with it. I thought there was enough narrative potatoes to keep the drama going with just that. Then came the supernatural aspect, and while it didn’t really bothered me, I thought it was completely unnecessary other than to throw something in the plot. And so, I tapped out. Not because it was god-awful, but it was boring.

    So yeah, I’ve gone a bit off-topic but I’m definitely be trying MSD too. I hope this ine sticks.

  7. Oh Mz Koala I was hoping, so hoping that you would recap this drama. Yes it has all the cliche known to man but I still love it!

    It works on every level, and more importantly the chemistry is wonderful with the two leads. The 18 year difference only adds to the charm.

    Might add I had such fond memories at my previous job, meat and livestock Australia – that every time he talks about beef I have this smile on my face. What’s not to like about this drama!

  8. Gaaaaah, I am so freakin’ happy reading that article. I thought that I won’t be able to read anything related to My Spring Days anymore because koala mentionned that it bored her, haha. But yeah for you 😀

    I completely agree with you about how the storyline isn’t anything new nor original but the delivering makes it so refreshing 🙂
    The acting is really good and even though I am a Sooyoungster, I am impressed by her lol. I admit I had some doubts because I was afraid she wouldn’t be able to pull off such a role but again, she surprised me and I feel so bad as a fan.
    Whatever, I discovered Kam Woo Sung and I freakin’ love him. He is so charismatic and he is shining and giving so much life to his character. The same for Lee Jun Hyuk who is greaaat. I love how he can be the most gentle and nicest boyfriend in Earth and then, make a drastic change and become a cold/heartless brother to Dong Ha and ex to Ji Won. That’s why, I kind of disagree with you when you describe him as “perfect” because for me, he is far from it. He is much more complex than he seems and I am so bummed that description/sypnosis made him such a typical second male lead before the drama started airing.
    We don’t see much of Ji Won but boyy, I do love Jang Shin Young. When she was drunking with DH, her expressions were the best. Elegant, sexy and yet, so vulnerable and fragile too.
    OMO, I can’t forget the kids/parents/friends !! All of them bring so much warmth and comic relief. You can feel the acting from the veteran actors for real and gosh’, Pureum’s actress is amazing. I love her and she has such a great chemistry with Sooyoung.

    Overall, I am freakin’ happy with this drama. Usually, I will watch whatever Sooyoung is in but I am relieved that I am loving that drama so much. Maybe a little too much because I don’t need subs anymore when I watch it lol. I CANT FREAKIN’ WAIT FOR TOMORROW !!


    • You are right about the doctor. I used “perfect” ironically – what SHE sees is that he is perfect, since she doesn’t have the facts we do.

      Actually, that is one of the reasons I like this show – So far we have seen only surfaces of all the characters. All the folks seem to have some secret or another that interests me.

  9. You know I just realized too that all three wed-thurs dramas have some kind of supernatural aspect to it in varying degrees. From other-worldly connection, truck stopping poltergeist, and the iron spikes and the like.

  10. Yep, you nailed it. This show is like a warm blanket and hot chocolate on a frosty morning. So comfortable. I want to know these people, have them as my neighbors and play cards with them on Sunday evenings. The only thing that scares me is that it is a melo. I usually run for the hills when I hear melo because people die in melos. (At least the ones I have been brave enough to try.) I’m hoping that the only death in this is the one that has already happened. With this gentle story, I’m willing to take a chance. So bring on the melo. I will invest in a box of Kleenex and cry my way through the next few weeks.

  11. Hi Jomo, I am so glad you like this drama and thinking of recapping, I hope you do coz it is a great, heart warming, funny and intriguing drama. I am truly surprised that there are people out there that finds SooYoung not pretty enough, I think she is absolutely gorgeous and natural. Love this DH, the Ahbunim, Ahjussi and hyungnim…. Can’t believe he is called so many titles in 4 eps by the same woman.

    • I know!! “Abonim” gets me every time. Did you see how the secretary reacted when he heard BY call him that over the phone? It’s so insulting and so perfect.

      • the secretary kinda reminds me of Sec Tak of Fated, and i’m often tempted to label him a copycat, but when I remind myself that I enjoyed his role in Master’s Sun, where he was also a bit OTT, i’m okay with everything again. 🙂

      • Yes, it was indeed insulting and perfect. Just love the Sec expressions, he is one great Cupid too, It’s funny that the Sec dresses up more ( not necessarily better) than the CEO but I like the way DH is styled in this drama, very comfortable, natural and very ‘him’, humble and unpretentious .

  12. I have watched all 4 episodes. I do like the characters and find the actors good but I was bored out of my wits! So, I decided to just drop it. But I will read your recaps if you do decide to recap it. Hopefully I will read something in your recap that might push me to pick up the drama again.

    None of the Wed/Thurs dramas is really grabbing my heart right now, but of the 3 dramas, this is the most watchable.

    I also don’t get criticisms of Soo Young’s looks. She may not be the prettiest K actress out there, but she has charm aplenty. And charm is preferable to pretty. Pretty fades, charm grows with age.

    • “She may not be the prettiest…”

      I’m genuinely curious~ in what way is she considered not pretty? I was shocked to read that she gets criticized for her looks, because to me, she’s super pretty. And yes, she has charm, and warmth, which make her even more attractive.

  13. I’m LOVING this drama! MSD and Yoona’s Street have me giddy about kdramas again! I know nothing about Sooyoung as a singer or a reputation so I was stunned to hear so much negative talk about her (well now it seems people’s tunes have changed). Ah well, there’s always a designated black sheep people like to pick on.

    My only minor concern is how the melo will be. I have high standards that the writers will maintain some humor and warmth that we have enjoyed till now. All I can do is hope. Either way, really enjoying it for now and I can’t wait to read your recaps and the discussions on here! Thank you!

  14. yes! 4 episodes in and my interest is still engaged. i actually enjoyed episode 1 at first because KWS reminded me of Masaharu (just slightly though, must be the hair), but when the kids and their dad started singing this song while riding at the back of a truck, i started really focusing on the story.

    both lead actors really do have natural chemistry (more so, i think, than Yoona and LBS had in PMAI). and ditto on the child actors, especially the girl. they both exhibit this easy camaraderie with KWS that it becomes a joy to watch their interactions. here’s to hoping the writers can keep the story lighthearted while we move along the inevitable melo part.

  15. Thank you so much, Jomo, for taking an interest in this lovely drama that gives us the right warm fuzzies before the melo and angst…and hopefully a good balance of light and heavy throughout the whole series.

    I LUFF this show, oh how surprised I was at how good and natural (as you pointed out) the drama flows despite a very formulaic plot. I credit the great actors and their even greater chemistry.

    So looking forward to you recapping this, pretty please? Thank you!

  16. Ding dong dang! Great summary~ I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

    I enjoyed Kam Woo Sang a lot in Alone in Love, but I’m finding him more swoonworthy in this~ maybe because he’s been flashing his dimples more frequently? Also, there’s something about loving single dads that I just find so sexy.

    Thanks, Jomo! And thanks, Koala for providing space for a MSD lovefest.

    • You can check on dramcool or gooddrama but a lot of people complain that the latter has a lot of popp ads so I guess it may be better for you to use the urssffirst one. Perso I dont really care because I am just so addicted and in love with it that I can bear all the inconvenients 🙂

  17. What chaebol? There’s a chaebol in this drama?

    Thanks for the recap Jomo. I am swaying towards watching it. And probably will start episode 1 after this comment.

    The plot doesn’t interest me at all. In fact I want to run in the opposite direction.

    I think the actor is too old and ahjussi- like. And Sooyung is ok.

    But but since everyone says the vibes are natural and the story is good and flowing – I’ll give it a twirl.

    • Not to sound so pessimistic and grudging. Sooyoung was actually really lovable in Cyrano and her acting the best amongst the whole girl group.

      It’s just that I trust some of the commenters on this site. I wasn’t going to watch FTLY because I didn’t like the 2 leads. They did nothing for me in their previous dramas. But I ended up loving FTLY to death. It’s ended up fantastic. So I am hoping MSD ends up that way as well.

  18. Thanks Jomo for taking interest this wonderful, heartwarming drama. I love how they inter act when the 3 of them were in bed. Looking forward on the next ep. Have a blessed day.

    • Anyone who has not watched this show may raise an eyebrow or two at your comment. LOL. It could be our adult leads that you are talking about and who am I to tell them otherwise?

  19. Thanks for writing up your impressions of the show! I have to admit, I am really enjoying watching it so far. I hope you continue to recap it 🙂

  20. jomo,
    Thanks for sharing your first impressions with us. Big thanks to Ms. Koala giving us a platform to hear your thoughts on yge show. I do def hope you decide to recap. The show has such warmth, humor and the leads (even with the age diff) have good chemistry and rapport. Although I know that the story has the cellular memory/heart transplant angle but it doesn’t even need it. What I mean by this is that without that plot device (points) I could see the main leads growing closer & having a relationship.
    It’s also great to see a kdrama where there is a loving, fun and “normal” relationship between a parent and his kids. I just hope that as we near the angst there will still be humor in the show. I was pleasantly surprised by the humor and like not only the OTP but the side characters as well.

  21. Thanks KOALA, actually we’re following this drama, hence we find this very interesting, and truly enjoy the story. Looking forward ahead of the coming episodes.

  22. Yes, jomo, please continue to recap this drama. I know that this may be a familiar kdrama set up. but with the right actors, it can sizzle. For me, it is currently my favourite drama among those I am now watching. It has all the things I so like about kdramas (warmth, wittiness, and a touch of sexiness). That is all I ask for in a comforting rom-com.

    Even the age difference, which usually creeps me out, doesn’t bother me because both actors create a believable attraction to one another, despite the age difference. Kudos to them. These are two actors I want to keep my eye on.

  23. Jomo, please do the recap. I’m shocked that MSD didn’t received much love from international fans despite this is the only Wed-Thurs drama with all casts are brilliant in acting and good plot, cinematography and directing. The rating started off alright but it slowly picking up to attract the audience who lost faith on this drama before it was even aired. MLG in my opinion is bad and IM is too ridiculous to understand for 2-episodes-per-week-tv-viewers. I have to agree about some errors medically made in MSD, but I would say this is a ‘dramaland’ where everything is possible. I also have to admit about some cliche-ness but the casts and plot bring them smoothly; making the scenes to appear enjoyable. I hope you will continue supporting this drama even on the episodes when they slows the romcom and brings up the full of tears melo (somehow I sense episode 5 onwards will be like this). Thank you so much!!
    Please do the recap. I’ll be waiting! Thank you!

  24. Did SM have a change in acting coach? Both Yoona and Sooyoung improved a lot. I always thought these are the prettiest among SNSD. They may not be the best singers but are gorgeous. I watched both blade man and MSD at the same time but dropped blade man after 2 episodes. What’s with the rain and the ridiculousness? For MLG,no matter how much I love Rain, that drama is so messy. But My Spring Day got veteran casts and classic but down to earth script. The only drama for my Wed-Thu time slot.

  25. You’re sucking me back in with your saucy little teasers, aren’t you? You know I’m busy, you know I don’t have time for K-drama, darnit, and, yet, here you and Koala are, colluding to get be back in the vortex ……..

    it better be good. Of course, whenever isn’t it?

    • Wow! Look what the Kang Woo Sung brought in!!

      Yes, yes, yes! We have a decent man leading, no Darcy, no chaebol, no playboy.
      Just a guy trying to bring home the steak to his family but who then falls for the wrong woman. Totally not his fault!!

  26. That just grates on my nerves when people diss Kam Woo-Sung, because they think he’s too old. Kam Woo-Sung can ACT. That’s actually kind of IMPORTANT for tv and film.

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