Extraordinary You is THE Korean drama to watch if you’re looking for something to binge in 2 days. Or even 1, if you have 16 hours to spare.
I was looking for something to binge over a weekend and picked this one, and it was perfect.
The actors of this drama are not popular and I assume that is why it hasn’t gotten as much traction as it deserves, so y’all should really go watch it ASAP because it’s beautiful.
Cute? Check. Crazy story? Check. Awesome cast? Check. Intriguing? BIG CHECK.
what is Extraordinary You about?
Eun Dan-oh is pretty, the only daughter of a rich man, engaged to a popular boy who doesn’t like her back, and also has a critical heart problem. All this can mean only one thing: her life is that of a female lead’s in a comic book.
But one day, Eun Dan-oh finds out that she is only an extra in a real comic book. She doesn’t have control over what she does or says in “scenes” and frequently has memory loss when she jumps to the next scene.
Not happy with these terms, Dan-oh decides to change scenes and take control of her fate. She is unable to change anything but finds out that a nameless classmate with the roll number 13 is able to change her fate.
The drama follows Eun Dan-oh, Number 13, and her other classmates through the duration of this comic book story.
my thoughts on the drama
The reason I was drawn to this drama was because it is something like W: Two Worlds which also deals with a fictional story where the characters take control of their fate.
That drama is one of my favourites, and Extraordinary You seemed like another take on the same concept. I’m super glad I decided to watch this.
Now, onto the review in the form of lists because lists are awesome.
- This drama was A D O R A B L E.
I cannot stress on how cute the main couple were. I could not get enough.
- The characters were super interesting.
The comic book story in itself is pretty boring and something that we’ve all seen multiple times. But what made this show interesting was everything OUT of the scenes.
Dubbed “the backstage” is when characters, who have their “ego” or have realized that they’re in a comic book, have control over their actions.
The backstage is when we REALLY get to know the characters. And many of them are not the same as their personalities on stage.
- A satirical take on cliché stories.
The main comic book story is VERY cliche. I’m talking: poor girl got into a prestige school with a scholarship and the most popular guy falls for her.
There’s also a love triangle with the involvement of another popular guy who likes the same girl, and he is sweet and kind.
The characters who do get their “egos” recognize how cliche, annoying, and repetitive the story is. They frequently curse the author for their irritating dialogues and it’s SO FUNNY.
- Spotlight on the supporting characters in a story.
Using this drama, the supporting characters’ plights in a story is brought to light.
The supporting characters exist only to further the story with the main characters and don’t hold much weight on their own. Everything they do is something that helps the leads, otherwise they’re cast aside.
This is shown and made fun of in this drama. It’s a unique way of “spotlighting the smaller roles”.
- Unique take on self-discovery and character growth.
Once the characters get their egos, they also gain the ability of judgement etc. So they start to judge and have opinions of their actions that happen ON stage. And many characters learn from on stage scenes but off stage thinking.
This is especially brought up in the case of the “villian” who gets to really judge his actions.
- Supporting plot lines were sometimes annoying.
Kdramas never focus on just the main characters. They always put some focus on the supporting characters’ and their lives as well.
In this drama, I actually didn’t appreciate that. It became repetitive and I simply did not care.
- Eun Dan-oh is SUPER fun to watch.
She’s the highlight, honestly. She makes the show fun and full of energy. Her personality is different from traditional female leads who are more subdued.
Eun Dan-oh is full of energy and rebellion. I loved her.
- It’s not just ONE story, though.
The author of the current comic book has written another story previously as well, and has taken characters from that to add here. Hence, some of the characters also regain their memories from the PREVIOUS comic book.
The fact that comic book authors sometimes use the same characters (i.e. same features, personality) instead of coming up with a whole new set of characters is used to add more complexity.
It was actually pretty fun.
- THE ROMANCE.
The romance plot line is between Eun Dan-oh and the Number 13 student who is named “Ha-ru” by Dan-oh.
Listen, they were TOO CUTE OKAY??? I kept rooting for them. They were OTP* from the start.
The romance was perfect.
*One True Pair
- Plot holes.
This show’s concept is prone to MANY plot holes and all loose ends cannot be tied in just 16 episodes.
I DID recognize a few plot holes but as I was bingeing it but I didn’t pay much attention or analyze them.
It’s a drama for entertainment, not for analyzing or having perfect details.
When watching the drama, it’s all fun and entertaining. But only upon thinking later did I realize the NUMBER of complex emotions and relationships portrayed.
The characters don’t have complete freedom over their actions or fate, and the way they deal with it backstage with their egos really shows what kind of character they really are.
Our female lead and just an extra in the comic book, Eun Dan-oh is ENTERTAINING. She’s always high on energy and is spunky.
Her role in the book is to be a sad little extra. Dan-oh is engaged to Baek Kyung, a member of the school’s popular boy band A3. She has a huge crush on him but he is with her only because his family, otherwise he doesn’t like her. This creates a ton of sad scenes on stage as he keeps breaking her heart.
But off-stage, Dan-oh couldn’t care less about the rude Baek Kyung. Once she starts liking Ha-ru/Number 13, SHE’S TOO CUTE with shyness and all the feelings. I felt like reaching through the screen and crushing her in a hug every time she becomes shy.
Ha-ru / Number 13
This is the second lead in the Kdrama. He’s the unnamed comic book character who is pulled into Eun Dan-oh’s schemes to change her fate.
As he doesn’t have a name given by the author, Dan-oh names him “Ha-ru” so that she can call him something. Although he is only a nameless character in this comic book, there’s much more to Ha-ru’s character which is revealed as the drama goes on.
To all of you who like quiet soft boys who would do anything for their girls, HA-RU IS YOUR MAN. Not going to lie, I had a crush on him as well. It’s impossible not to. Doesn’t help that he is incredibly handsome.
Baek Kyung is part of the A3, the school’s boy band and hence is very popular at school. On his dad’s insistence, he is engaged to Dan-oh because her dad has a ton of connections. But Baek Kyung doesn’t like her and wishes that she doesn’t rely on him or like him.
Kyung is rude, arrogant, and so involved in his own issues that he doesn’t care about anyone else’s feelings.
He’s the only morally grey character in this Kdrama, and has LAYERS. All the other characters are pretty straight-forward but Baek Kyung is the one who actually has a full-blown identity crisis and starts to learn about himself.
Yeo Joo-da is the main character in the actual comic book story. A poor girl who got a scholarship to attend this prestigious school and is constantly bullied by mean girls.
Two members of the A3 fall for her and thus ensues the love triangle. But the boy whom she will end up with (as we all have seen SEVERAL times) will be the bad boy with emotional baggage and not the kind, sweet guy.
She’s there purely for the cliche, but around the end of the drama there’s an interesting twist with her.
The most popular guy in school, the lead of A3, and the son of a superstar. Oh Nam-joo seemingly has it all but there’s more to him than just the popular arrogant guy whom all girls fall for.
Oh Nam-joo is there only for the main comic book story and not for the drama. He’s the cliche lead in all romance stories.
The third member of the A3 and the eternal sweetheart, Lee Do-hwa is the third part of the comic book’s love triangle. He is kind and thoughtful, and is the cliched second male lead who is actually a better guy but doesn’t get the girl.
His aesthetic in the comic book is playing sad music on the violin for Yeo Joo-da and quietly pining for her.
But Lee Do-hwa has his ego, and how he goes about his love for Yeo Joo-da backstage with all freedom is the real point of the drama. His story was not a particularly interesting one, but it was nice to see.
Jinmichae / Dried Squid Fairy
An extra in the comic book, the Dried Squid Fairy is part of the school’s cooks who makes good dried squid. But he’s also so much more than that.
Eerily, he seems to be the one person who knows everything. But why? Who is he? As his story is revealed throughout the drama, it becomes more interesting.
Kdramas and their OSTs are a love story. Okay, but seriously. They choose the BEST music for the soundtrack, it’s unbelievable.
The music for Extraordinary You was perfect. Songs with fast beats were good and the slow songs WERE BEAUTIFUL. After a while, I started singing along. The feels.
This song is LOVE. I know it almost by-heart at this point. Every time I listen to it, I want to slow dance in the rain. It’s a whole mood. The other version of this song (drama version sung by a male artist) is also really good.
I’ve never heard of this artist group before but you bet I’m going to find out more of their songs. This is SO GOOD. Just listen!
I Draw You in My Heart by Jeong Sewoon
This song sounds exactly like the title. The exact same mood. It’s slow and sad and beautiful. I could cry.
A VERY cute drama which is much more than it seems. Perfect for bingeing/watching if you’re in the mood for something fun and intriguing.
It’s so nice that I really feel like rewatching it.