The One and Only (South Korean TV series)

One and Only kdrama

The premise is extremely sad but they were able to wrap this show in a thriller which made it more entertaining with brief moments of heartwarming scenes. It’s about three terminally ill women who met in a hospice. All three women are very different, had very different lives but all ended up with a death sentence. They get wrapped up in a murder and their reasoning for the murder was, “I take one bad guy with me when I leave and make this world a better place.

Pyo In Sook (Ahn Eun Jin) is a woman who works as a scrubber at a bathhouse who lives with her grandmother. She has always had this feeling of abandonment and worthlessness since her mother left her and her father dumped her at her grandmother’s shortly after. She grew up believing that nothing would go the way she wanted in life and her belief was confirmed when she got her brain cancer diagnosis. She automatically assumed it was not treatable and will die in a few months. She immediately checked herself into a hospice and told her grandmother that she was going on a trip.

Seung Mi Do (Joy) is a woman who is a social media influencer. She lived her life gaining followers showing the world a rose-colored image of herself. There are many times she tells people around her that she rarely talks about herself even though she spends the whole day with an audience. Despite never having smoked a cigarette in her life, she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Kang Se Yeon (Kang Ye Won) is a typical housewife who was taking care of her sick mother-in-law. She always put aside what she wanted and did what was expected of her as a woman of her age. She was diagnosed with leukemia.

Min Woo Cheon (Kim Kyung Nam) is a contract hitman with a very tragic past and lonely present. The only living thing he cares for is his dog that was thrown away by someone else. He has a close relationship with his boss, Tae Il (Ahn Chang Hwan).

The four of them get caught up in a murder and In Sook and Woo Cheon are on the run from the police all while In Sook is suffering from symptoms of her disease.

This show was a complete emotional rollercoaster and it from intense sadness to a thriller in the blink of an eye. I was mentally prepared to cry during the whole show but I only cried for some of it. The romantic chemistry between In Sook and Woo Cheon – wooooh, panty dropper for damn sure. The rest of it was just awesomeness. This show is a must-watch. Just put it on your list and thank me later.

Review – Section Below Contains Spoilers

I always knew Kim Kyung Nam was a good actor but I had never seen him play a lead character. He absolutely blew me away. There were some scenes when Woo Cheon was telling In-Sook how he felt about her and what she meant to him and if anyone other actor did the same scene, it would have come out as super cheesy. The moments when he looked at her felt so real and my heart dropped to the floor. The pain of knowing that In-Sook doesn’t have time and how he might also have to go to jail before she dies. So many things blocking them from loving each other.

Let me tell you about our girl Ahn Eun Jin who played In Sook. I have only seen her on Hospital Playlist but I saw that she was also a theatre actor and it shows. She is incredible. I felt her give up on life. She didn’t bother to get a second opinion and she resigned to her disease and decided to go down peacefully.

I found myself hoping and desperately wishing that all of the characters were miraculously cured and for In Sook and Woo Cheon to escape to Venice and live happily ever after. I was on edge the entire show and there were moments of happiness and healing.

Mi Do is an interesting character and definitely fits with the times. She was annoying but somehow still likable. She is a social media influencer. Her character was hiding behind her social media profile and even used her disease to gain more followers. She felt abandoned by her family and clung to a man who was willing to marry her who we later find out that he is a player in the murder. She was the saddest character to me and the reason why women need to be told that they are more than just pretty. She had so many followers on social media but when she was on her death bed the only one by her side was In Sook.

The show was set in a less than a pretty backdrop. It showed the ugly side of Korea. I love that they made the setting realistic and no one had ridiculously large luxury apartments. Even in the hospice, it looked like it was somewhat run down. No one was wearing perfectly pressed uniforms. The neighborhood that In-Sook lived in was run down and had trash piles nearby. Nothing was done up if it didn’t need to be. Everything felt dark and gloomy but there were small rays of sunshine and specs of beauty that stayed true to the actual plot.

The only grievance I have about the show is the lack of medical research. No one surgeon would operate on a 10 cm tumor. Maybe radiation decreases the size and it may extend their life by a few months. I think In-Sook made the right decision of dying in peace. Se Yeon had leukemia and I don’t think they discussed if she had treatment prior to coming to the hospice but most leukemias are treatable or even curable. Liver cancer patients typically have jaundice at the end of their life. If you’re in the medical field, try not to focus on these things and just enjoy the beautiful show.

The end of the show was vague and left the viewer wondering if In-Sook remembers Woo Cheon after having parts of her brain chopped out. The last scene was heartbreaking and healing at the same time. Both Woo Cheon and In-Sook were full of anxiety and hope. It was a perfect ending, in my opinion.

Overall this show is a 10 out of 10 for sure. Everything was quality (minus the medical stuff).

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