MBC 2020 Drama Find Me in Your Memory with Kim Dong Wook and Moon Ga Young is the Every Ingredient Works Crack Romance K-drama that Fills My Hearts with Waves of Emotion

There are plenty of good (and bad) K-dramas that slip through my cracks, even ones I intend to watch. It’s a thing called real life other stuff and timing, and sometimes I’m glad I avoided a hot mess. This weekend I learned in this case goodness I missed out on TWO YEARS of the best most nnnnnnggggg where have you been all my life K-drama romance crack in recent memory and all because a little thing call the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. MBC drama Find Me in Your Memory (Korean title That Man’s Memory Memoir) premiered in March 2020 and if anyone had much mental juice at that time for casual drama watching it wasn’t me, so I checked out the first episode and stopped midway through. I love Kim Dong Wook but Moon Ga Young hadn’t worked for me yet and the beginning of this drama was just set up so it didn’t hook me. And saying to myself that I would go back to watch turned into weeks and then months and obviously years. But during that time I would hear buzz and chatter that the OTP and chemistry of the two leads in this drama was on fire and this drama remained in the back of my mind.

As one C-netizen put it once: “these two are one foot in the registrars office already” i.e. they are ready to get their marriage license. Haha, love the creativity in the description and it was so many netizens swooning over “Anchor-nim and Yeo Ha Jin”. When this past weekend’s Shooting Star (Sh**ting Stars) had the two leads playing their characters back for a cameo and the short minute scene was enough to showcase to me what people were talking about – Moon Ga Young has such a spark and crispness in her character and Kim Dong Wook just made me knees melt with how suave he was coming off work and with that amazing voice and warm demeanor I’m surprised Yeo Jin even has the ability to do her job and pretend to make sparks with other actors haha. So anyways, I said enough is enough with my procrastinating and I clicked play on Find Me in Your Memory. To which I then proceeded to marathon the sucker for 10 hours straight (some forwarding of course) and now I am spent and in love and totally and utterly smiling cheek to cheek for Anchor-nim and Ha Jin-shhi. And I look like a sleep deprived panda, but it was so worth it.

First off, Find Me in Your Memory takes a good 2 episodes to set up, so be patient. Episode 1 is like the beginning construct of any procedural, just take in what is happening and who these people are and what they are like in behavior without trying to make connections. There are two cute cameos to help – Ro Woon and Kim Sun Ho show up and both are super adorable scenes with Moon Ga Young, and I believe Kim Sun Ho is reuniting with her from Welcome to Waikiki. Then episode 2 starts the good stuff, basically the moment wuri Anchor-nim Lee Jung Hoon meets actress Yeo Ha Jin when he’s reluctantly interviewing her for a puff piece. The sparks are instantaneous between the characters narratively and totally between the two leads in their acting chemistry.

Once we learn that Jung Hoon has a memory that forgets nothing, that he has lost his first love, and that Ha Jin has lost a chunk of her memory and quite an important part at that, then the drama takes off. It’s not a spoiler so say that the two leads are “meant to be” but it’s both so fated and poignant but also so bittersweet and heartbreaking. But the drama deftly balances so many different moods throughout – it’s a comedic opposites attract rom-com in parts, especially as Ha Jin gets Jung Hoon to agree to pretend to be her public boyfriend during the run of her new movie, and also a really solemn discussion of how and what past memory means to those living in the present and looking towards the future.

The supporting leads are great in acting and have characters that each have their own personalities and story lines. This isn’t a drama with just the OTP and everyone else as stock characters. Kim Seul Gi is especially perfect in her role as Ha Jin’s younger sister and manager Ha Kyung and her romance with Jung Hoon’s newsroom hoobae is entertaining and satisfying in its own right.

Watching Ha Jin so openly and candidly attracted to Jung Hoon, and his reluctant but unavoidable falling for her, it’s the special sauce of this drama and the very thing that I keep harping about for why a great K-drama romance is extraordinary and also why it’s so so hard to make happen. Because the central love story has to make sense (why these two like each other), and the leads need a central conflict to help ground the romance in something more meaningful, and it has to pave the way for a cohesive story. Here every element is there. And there is a dangerous criminal part of the plot too, did I forget to mention that? There is danger lurking around Ha Jin and Jung Hoon, both in their past and their present, and there is more than one danger to that. The tension laden bits are perfectly strewn around the story and serve to accelerate for Jung Hoon his paused life until then so that he realizes it’s a future with Ha Jin or without Ha Jin in it and he chooses the latter no matter how much harder that road is. Perfect stuff *chefs kiss*.

And the chemistry of the leads. Goodness these two need to get a room but then its also chemistry that is very sweet and subtle and even a tinge chaste at times. Yes, I threw in many GIFs in this post, so you’re welcome. You have to see these two in motion to really feel the way they just fit seamlessly together onscreen. It’s natural, it’s palpable, and it touches on so many different facets of attraction so it’s not just usual love/hate to love trope but a broader range than that. For her it’s almost love at first sight, she’s so affected by him because WHO WOULDN’T LOVE wuri Anchor-nim at first sight haha. Okay just kidding, sorta. For him it’s the connections between Ha Jin’s thoughts and words that remind him of his ex-love but also how she’s constantly saying things that are like an id stream of consciousness which really forces him to respond rather than just remain silent. She pulls him out of his shell and statis. It’s so satisfying to watch.

The visuals are impeccable in this drama. Moon Ga Young has never been as beautiful and the coordi deserves a raise as every outfit she wore as actress Yeo Ha Jin is just the stuff of fashion dreams. Kim Dong Wook goes from sleek Anchor-nim to conservative relaxed low key introvert and it’s a great visual cue as he starts to fall for Ha Jin to see his fashion change as his heart opens to her. The drama had two PDs and the second PD is a rising female director Lee Soo Hyun who went on to direct Awaken, The Witch’s Diner and now Shooting Star and is an undeniable talent especially with the intense and creative Awaken.

With all this effusive praise you must think I find nothing wrong with this drama but that is not the case. The writing can be too coincidental at times, like how many stalkers keep meeting up with the women in Jung Hoon’s life, and it can be tonally jarring at times to have to balance the romance with some life and death stakes. But for me it worked because the romance was just so strong it smoothed over this drama’s narrative rough edges. And I loved that there were multiple baddies, so even with one danger over there was another and even one that started to take shape in the second half of the drama but was so awful to see happen and yet really highlighted the central theme of “memory” in this drama. The ending was hard earned and worth it, true love sometimes takes time and to use that time to validate it. I love this drama so much and to think that when I first heard my bae Kim Dong Wook was doing a romance drama for like the first time ever I vowed to watch and then betrayed my vow and I guess this is my punishment, to have to wait two long years before I can feel the satisfaction of watching a K-drama that brings all the FEELS.


MBC 2020 Drama Find Me in Your Memory with Kim Dong Wook and Moon Ga Young is the Every Ingredient Works Crack Romance K-drama that Fills My Hearts with Waves of Emotion — 46 Comments

    • Where have these two been all my life! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  1. Welcome to the club…

    One of the most memorable dramas of them both

    I’ve seen their cameo and sigh, they were better than the main cast. I hope there’ll be a reunion for them in the next drama.

    • If these two in one minute of screen time can get me to watch their drama then yes, they are magnetic onscreen and prob better then that main cast.

    • I’ve always loved his voice but his voice was an actual own star in this drama. From his Anchor reads to him being angry to of course perfect oppa calm telling Ha Jin he loves her, my knees were buckling and it’s not even directed at ME!

      • He was really good in psy in Your Are My Spring. His voice was perfect for this role too.

  2. It’s been so long since I’ve seen koala dedicate such a long post to rant about a drama, not just any drama but this beautiful piece. I’ve liked MGY since her child acting days and KDW since coffee prince (“my chan” anyone?) So this drama was a must watch. Their chemistry was what sold it, whether with skinship or just being in the same space. Great now I want to rewatch it

    • It’s been so long for me to want to dedicate a long post to rant about a drama and Find Me in Your Memory deserves all my time to write about it and love spent watching it for sure.

  3. Hahaha! Welcome to the club, better late than never! It was a really addicting drama for me when I was watching it live and I have really fond memories of it despite the frustration of waiting a whole week for another 2 episodes! But yeah it worked so well despite its flaws as you pointed and after seeing that cameo I was getting all those feels again and was just thinking about rewatching it again. Now I definitely have to after this this post XDDDDD

    • Hello to the sunbaes in the club! *shy waves*

      I probably would have turned AKP into a FMIYM dedicated site for the 8 weeks it was airing if I live watched it hahaha. Actually, I would have, not a probably, a definitely.

      • Aww, that makes me sad you didn’t get to watch it in real time! I think the last drama that made me feel this way was Lie to Me.

      • Lie to Me! Everyone who read my blog from the early days would know that LTM was my #1 drama obsession, I posted only about it basically during its entire run.

        And yes, this drama did bring back the same feels at LTM, not as strong though since I didn’t watch it live like I did LTM. Live watching elicits a stronger visceral connection because you have to wait and it makes the good gut clench in your stomach grow with hope and anxiety. Along with anticipation for more swoony OTP scenes to come and wondering what the writer has in store and how the two leads will keep bringing all that chemistry and feels in future scenes.

  4. MGY was luminous in that drama and was so lovable. He was such a dependable tock in the drama. Such steady dependable and solid as anchor- nim. And when they were on screen so right for each other.

    I have not liked MGY as much in her other dramas. It was the chemistry between them that made the OTP so right for each other.

    • I have never seen Moon Ga Young so visually beautifully and so acting natural as in this role. Lucky her to land Ha Jin, and of course as Ha Jin to get to pretend romance KDW for 8 weeks. It’s the stuff of dreams.

  5. This is one of the very few Kdramas I was able to complete in the past two years. The OST and the chemistry between the leads is sheer perfection. I personally think oppa romances >>>>>> noona romances and it still puzzles me why we see so many of the latter.

    • Oppa romances are my #1 trope and #2 doesn’t even come close. But it’s so few and far between to get one these days. And to have it set up right – he’s in his 30’s (late or middle) and she’s in her late 20’s to early 30’s. No huge age difference but that sweet spot between 4-7 years between them.

      And yes, the OST for this drama is AHHHHHHHmazing. Another reason why the drama is so perfect, great songs and deft use of it in scenes. My personal favorite is Yang Pa’s A Memory in My Heart. Reminds me of another OST song I love Kim Jong Wan’s Lean on Me from She Will Never Knows.

      • Sigh. I’m so happy that you loved it and it’s touching that you replied to every comment.

        There were a couple of moments that really made my heart flutter and remember why I bother to watch romance. One where she’s watching him at his office with that swoony song from Jooyoung playing and another one where they’re walking at night under flowering trees and she turns to look at him and walk backward in the most coquettish fashion imaginable.

        I love love love oppa/ajhusshi romances. I wish more established actors deigned to do television dramas 🙁

      • I think after a top male lead “makes it” it’s harder to lure them back to K-dramas for what would be considered a frothier role in a romance drama.

        And when they DO do an oppa romance it’s like, weird, and nothing highlights that more than Goblin (which I love but NOT for the central romance part) – Gong Yoo is the quintessential oppa but he was paired with Kim Go Eun playing a high schooler in a cutesy way that didn’t fit her style whatsoever. It was play pretend house level awkward.

        Binnie in Memories of Alhambra could have been an oppa drama with Park Shin Hye but they didn’t have chemistry AND the construct was weird with his hallucinations and her complete flower pot of a character in the second half.

        Lee Jun Ki and IU in Moon Lovers is a true oppa drama in sageuk form except with a rocks fall down and then a mountain range falls on top of those rocks ending which just defeats the oppa protects her construct hahaha.

        Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung would have worked better if the drama was filmed a few years later than when Backstreet Rookie aired, but the characters didn’t have the right oppa romance storyline in the way his was written.

        Narratively Why Secretary Kim is an oppa romance (in the drama) but Park Seo Joon is younger than Park Min Young so it didn’t deliver the full feels.

        I’m waiting for all those now 30-something actors to step into the oppa romance era like Kim Dong Wook did. Absolutely a gold mine waiting.

  6. Love love love that you discovered this! I watched it almost 2 years after and felt the same. Now it’s one of those shows I wouldn’t hesitate to rewatch.

    • OMG another kindred spirit! I’ve already done my first rewatch like a day after my marathon haha. Of course it could be because I had a family emergency and flew out in 24 hours to a country that requires a 7 day quarantine, or 9 days since the arrival day doesn’t count and it ends on midnight of the 7th full day so I can’t leave until the following morning anyways. So all this forced free time means much more time for Find Me in Your Memory love!~

      • First, whatever the family emergency is, I hope everything turns out OK. Second, Yay to forced quarantines!!

        I have to say I’ve been a follower of yours for YEARS AND YEARS. it’s been a long time since you’ve delved into recaps and I remember how Lie To Me was one massive hit for you (and me!). It was so good to see you write up about a show you loved coz I’ve totally missed your thoughts on these!!!

  7. Have you watch their IG’s live streaming? I don’t know whether you still find the footage in Youtube or not. they do the live streaming 2 times, first in the car and 2nd outdoor in cheongyecheon.
    OMG, MGY was soooo sweet toward LDW, she’s busy fixing LDW’s collar which quite a few for us, how she leaned to him, I feel like watching real couple doing interview. even their PDA better than HyunBin/YeJin interview (the swoon) during CLOY era

    • I have a feeling once I check out their IGs it’ll be like going down a rabbit hole, a rabbit hole of MOAR FEELS! Argh, I can’t afford to fall more in love with these two darlings even if I want to inject their chemistry right into my drama loving veins.

  8. First, whatever the family emergency is, I hope everything turns out OK. Second, Yay to forced quarantines!!

    I have to say I’ve been a follower of yours for YEARS AND YEARS. it’s been a long time since you’ve delved into recaps and I remember how Lie To Me was one massive hit for you (and me!). It was so good to see you write up about a show you loved coz I’ve totally missed your thoughts on these!!!

    • Thank you Elaine, hugs on wishing my familial situation well. I need it.

      I also miss writing these kind of gushing effusive and long reviews. Recaps I may pick up in a few years when both Koala teens are off to college. But I could do longer reviews except there are so few dramas that reach deep into my heart and grab it with both hands that brings forth all this writing energy and juice inside me. FMIYM did what no other drama has done in years, make me word vomit my love hahaha!

  9. KDW is a “discovery” for me from this drama, as I vaguely remember him in Along With The Gods, where I didn’t even know he is a top actor, but I remember well I cried at scene where he say farewell to his mother from the other world.

    His Anchor-nim character is really precious, amazing how he can make this stoic, boring ajusshi-ish character into a swoony character with just reading the news in that solid voice.

    MGY is became a favorite too from this drama, I remember her as the bitchy character in The Great Temptation, but not impressed. Her follow up drama True Beauty is great as she is the heart that carries that drama.

    Just pure wishing, now that they have a cameo, wouldn’t it be great to have a sequel ? They could just throw in more crazy fans and stalkers as part of the plotline, all we want is a continuation of this perfect couple.

    • You just discovered Kim Dong Wook?!?! Welcome to that club too! He’s just so squishy perfect in ANY role even the bad dude, scary dude, evil dude, loser dude, righteous dude, melancholy dude, possessed dude, you name it, you can act it and make you believe it’s a totally unique dude with no resemblance to any other character he’s played before.

      I don’t know if anyone else can play wuri Anchor-nim but him. And this is such a great character as well, Jung Hoon is the heart and soul of this story since Ha Jin spends most of it without her memory of the key event. Any male actor would be lucky to land this role and I’m just glad the production wisely went with KDW.

  10. This drama was not perfect by any means but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks to the amazing chemistry between the leads, the beautiful cinematography and great acting from the cast. The plot development can be slow and repetitive towards the second half but it didn’t stop me from enjoying this underrated drama. Anchornim Lee Jung Hun is up there as one my favourite male leads. I just love the way he respects, supports, protects and loves Yeo Ha jin. Once he made his decision to stay by her side he was all in, he was ready be strong and fight through any obstacles that threatened their relationship. When Ha Jin wanted to leave he respected her decision and waited for her without being pushy or impatient. Such a swoony male lead, anchornim’s voice is honey to my ears. KDW may not be typically tall and handsome like most other kdrama actors but his acting always win me over. ❤️

  11. Hi. Quietly following you for years. Welcome to bandwagon of lovers Find me in your memory. It’s a gem and worth to watch many times. My top drama with My name is Kim Sam Soon in romance genre.

    • Hi hi @balca, thanks for delurking for this drama! I don’t know where I would put FMIYM among my top romance K-dramas, it’s for sure in the top 10, probably in the top 5, but I need a long weekend going through my mental rolodex on if it lands in the top 3 and if so where. With that said, I have watched A LOT of K-dramas so my top 10 is already nearly impossible to get a new drama into. This has done it. The more I think about it the more I’m fairly certain it’s a top 5-er as well.

  12. Ok. I didn’t find the poster appealing for some reason so I skipped the drama lol. Now you all made me want to watch it. Will check it out.

    • Jooooooooin us. I promise this isn’t some Children of the Corn type cult, lol, the drama really is a criminally underrated gem. It’s from the screenwriter of Queen In Hyun’s Man, Nine: Nine Times Time Travel, and Yumi’s Cells. Had I remembered that I would have made more of an effort to snap myself out of my ennui two years ago and watched this precious gem then.

      • You beat me koala. I was just about to start to watch this. So you’re not too far behind. The recent dramas don’t interest me so I’m going back to old ones

  13. OMG, I haven’t watched kdramas seriously all the way through in a while but it’s been so long since I’ve seen you post about how good a drama is (such a long post, thank you) and everyone here is raving about it too!

    Gaaah! Now I really have to watch this….

    • Oh please watch pretty please! I want so much for as many K-drama lovers to watch this drama as I can because it’s just that good.

  14. Ms Koala, i’ve so happy that you finally watched and loved this drama. It was my drama crack while it was airing and so underrated then.

    since it was on netflix, i’ve rewatched many of the episodes and scenes that i love.

    memory-couple fans were especially delighted last year (about a year after the show) when MGY was doing a live-blog and someone suddenly appeared. she looked so shocked and kept saying “Oppa, this is live”. Then KDW said he knew and appeared in front of the screen greeting everyone and asking them to support Yeo-Hajin & MGY. So much feels 🙂

    • OMG I watched that after you mentioned it and nnnnnnnnggggggg they are still sooooooo cute and perfect together in every interaction. I know better than to real life ship but in the 1% chance they ever get together I will say it was meant to be.

  15. I’ve been meaning to watch this drama too since last year but somehow i never really did 😅
    Then I saw your lengthy post and decided to finally watch this already and I’m glad I did!!
    (I did skip a lot too, lol)

    And I think I’ve found a new fave couple! 🥹❤️
    I didn’t expect their chemistry to be sooo good! Now, I want more of the Memory couple 🥹

    I also love the funny banters between the sisters and Seulgi is also perfect for her role. I also found out that Hajin actually have an ig account and she just updated recently from their recent Shooting Stars cameo ❤️

    I dont know much of KDW’s works but I enjoyed his role here so much. And Gayoung is also very enjoyable in this role.

    Ahhh… I’ll do a rewatch of my fave scenes 😍

  16. I jumped into this because of your enthusiasm. This is totally my cup of tea. I think I thought it was one of those things where the guy couldn’t keep a memory and I’m over that concept because I don’t know why I didn’t give this a try. Already have watched 5 1/2 hours of it. So good.

  17. Seems moon ga young and kim se jeong are next top leading ladies
    Much better than kim trio & very tough competition to kim so hyun & kim yoo Jung of same age liner

    Kim sae ron career is doomed now by drunk case

  18. I have to watch this one. My fave otp couple is still Jihyun and Inguk in SKL. Just looking at the slide banner above of Bokshil and Louis give me the flutters. Lol.

  19. *sigh* The last K-Drama I liked since years. What shocked me was how unhuman the ML was treated by people even though he had his life in order and was no risk for others. I think it is time for a rewatch.

  20. exactly my thoughts. i was like strolling downwards enjoying reading and mesmerise by the all the beautiful photos posted by koala !! the strolling down never seems to end … ha ha ha ..

    good job by koala..the first longest posting ever .. thumb up for anchor nim and ha jin

  21. Sending well wishes to you and your family @ockoala. Yay, as others have noted welcome to the FMIYM fanclub. I really enjoyed watching the drama when it aired in 2020. Thanks for this post, you inspired me rewatch it again. Have to say, I enjoyed the kdrama just as much if not more the second time around.
    Food for thought: How it started vs. How it’s going…
    Questions Anchor Nim asked Ha jin during the interview on set in the studio vs. Question(s) Anchor Nim asked Ha jin during the press conference
    Any thoughts/opinions on what Anchor Nim’s question to Ha jin was at the press conference in the final episode?

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