I was looking for something to binge-watch a few weeks back. That’s when I came across this show on Netflix called Extraordinary You. It is originally a Korean TV series having only 16 episodes, best for binge-watching on a weekend. I won’t lie, I was reluctant at first because never in my life I have watched a Korean drama or movie. I gave it a shot because I like romantic comedies and the fantasy part of the show is like the cherry on top and I am not disappointed at all. I enjoyed Extraordinary You! I mean why not! A story within a story, characters with alter ego, teenage romance, love triangle, super cute protagonists, beautiful scenery, well-directed scenes, and mindblowing music. I can happily state that this has become one of my most favourite series and I am rewatching while I write this article. As I said earlier this is my first time watching a Korean drama, so I barely knew any of the actors and crushed on a few during the show.
It is hard to talk about a show without giving spoilers, but I will try my best to give you a brief overview of the show so that you can get the same essence as I did.
Extraordinary You is a fantasy romantic comedy. The central character Eun Dan-Oh is the daughter of a very rich father and student of an elite academy in Seoul with a lifelong heart condition. Her life seems sorted until she discovers she lives in a fantasy world of a comic book named ‘Secret’. At first, she thought herself to be the protagonist of the comic book, but to her mere dismay, she realizes she’s just a side character. Dan–Oh and all the other characters have to act as the omnipotent writer will want them to, they have no control over their fate.
Though this is a romantic show, it is full of touches of humour and funny scenes. The comic world they have presented here(the story within the story) is a stereotypical one. The characters of the comic world are portrayed mockingly: a ‘damsel in distress’ kind of female protagonist, a brat male protagonist, the super cute second male lead, some mean girls who always make the female lead’s life hard and the famous A3 who are the most popular boys at the school and cannot just pass by without getting attention. All of these are portrayed not only in a cringe way but also in the show writers make fun of it.
When Dan-Oh finally gets her ego, as she becomes aware of the whole thing going on around her, she goes through a lot of confusion and emotional changes. She is engaged to Baek Kyung, a rude and arrogant brat who doesn’t like Dan-Oh. In the comic book, Dan-Oh gets hurt by Kyung every now and then but in the shadow (a shadow is a place between two scenes, where characters can do things freely on their own, they don’t have to be the same as the writer draw them). She doesn’t care about Kyung at all after getting her ego. She finds out a guy helping her in the scenes who is a nameless extra and apparently can change the scenes. He is number 13 in Dan-oh’s class and is named Ha-Ru by her. In the scenes, they have to act as the writer wants even if they don’t want that to happen but in the shadow, they live a different life. She tries to change her fate with the help of Ha-Ru, going against the writer’s will. While doing so incidents take place, unfolds a lot of mystery, and eventually they fall in love.
The creators have portrayed romance, heartbreak, separation, and every emotion a person goes through in his or her life so well that I could actually feel them. Each and every actor has done their job beautifully.
Kim Hye Yoon as Eun Dan Oh has done a fantastic job. She is sassy, sweet, funny, and beautiful. The main story revolves around her, as I mentioned earlier. She is not a regular female lead who can be subdued. She is a rebel and full of energy. Even though she has a severe heart condition yet she doesn’t look for pity or sympathy from other people. Though she is extra and tries to change her fate she never does any injustice to the comic world female protagonist. I loved her.
The male protagonist of the show and a nameless character in the comic world, Ha-ru is played by Kim Seok-woo AKA Rowoon and OMG he is a visual treat. Rowoon is a famous singer of a K-pop boy band SF9 and it is his first leading role in a television series. Rowoon is more than perfect as Ha-Ru. He is introduced as a nameless character and later takes on the name Ha-Ru. He is too quiet and mysterious and his eyes speak (IDK if that’s Rowoon or Ha-Ru). He is devoted and mysteriously attracted to Dan Oh. He is passionate and protective. He does his best to help Dan Oh to change her fate in the comic world, even knowing he could cease to exist for doing so. I totally crushed on him (It’s impossible not to!).
Lee Jae Wook portrays Baek Kyung who is engaged to Dan-Oh but doesn’t like her at all. Also, he is one of the three members of A3. He has an abusive and greedy father, who is using him to keep a good relationship with Dan Oh’s father because he is rich and powerful. Kyung has shades in his character. Though initially he is portrayed as a rude, apathetic brat who doesn’t care about Dan-Oh at all, even knowing that she has a difficult heart condition, his character kind of changes with time but that is so little and so slow that you can hardly be sympathetic towards him.
The next major characters are Oh Nam Joo, the male protagonist of the comic world played by Kim Young Dae and Yeo Joo-Da, the female protagonist of the comic world played by Lee Na Eun. Nam Joo is a classic brat male lead. His mother is a celebrity and he is super-rich who falls in love with Joo-Da. He is also a member of the A3. Joo-Da, on the other hand, comes from a poor family and gets admission through scholarship. She is a super kind, classic female lead who is constantly bullied by the mean girls and always is being rescued by either Dan-Oh or Nam-Joo or the second male lead of the comic world, Do-Hwa.
Jung Gun Joo as Lee Do Hwa is great. He is a soft-hearted, cute second male lead who likes Yeo Joo Da and is a sweetheart. He is also the third member of the famous A3. The writer intends to make a love triangle between Nam-Joo, Joo-Da, and Do-Hwa. It is disheartening to see the writer’s cruelty towards him. I also liked his chemistry with Dan-Oh as friends. They are too adorable together.
And last but not the least, there’s Jin Mi Chae or known as Dried-Squid Elf played by Lee Tae Ri. He is a cook at the school and seems to know a lot about the comic world. He is mysterious and well informed about the comic world and his character plays an important role in the series. We get to know a lot more about him and his past as the show goes forward.
It’s utterly impossible to write about this series without mentioning its original soundtracks and background score. The songs are so good that they can give you butterfly in stomach while few can make you sad as well. The background scores are also very well composed and intriguing. I often find myself humming the songs even though I barely know the lyrics. But as they say, music is a universal language. Here are three original songs from the show, which I absolutely loved. Do check out:
The only drawback about this show is it is in Korean language and it has no English dubbing. If you’re not a subtitle kind of person it will be hard for you to watch. This show has very few loopholes and I didn’t mind them at all. Overall, the show is so great that I happily overlooked those loopholes and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you are a rom-com lover and looking for a show to binge this weekend, do give it a try! And let me know in the comment section or on our social media pages about what was your most favourite scene from the show!