K-Drama: A Bittersweet Ending at Thirty-Nine?

Thirty-Nine | 서른, 아홉 (2022)

JTBC | Thirty-Nine

Thirty-Nine revolves around the lives of three best friends, Cha Mi-jo (Son Ye-Jin), Jeong Chan-young (Jeon Mi-do), and Jang Joo-hee (Kim Ji-hyun). Having been friends since high school, they have gone through thick and thin together and now we see them at 39 years old each with different lives but of course, still the bestest of friends. It’s interesting to see a k-drama focus on the friendship between three women, especially at the age where they are now. Three single professional women where they are reflecting on themselves but when you are at thirty-nine, we can’t help but feel wary with it being an unlucky age 😨 So what happens when one of them is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer with a 0.8% survival rate? 

JTBC | Thirty-Nine

Thirty-Nine focuses more on Mi-jo’s perspective as she narrates to take us through the story of the main characters’ friendship. We learn very early on that she grew up as an orphan but was adopted into a wealthy and very loving family. A hard-working student during the early years, she is now the director of Gangnam Dermatology Clinic. Having just paid off her loan and worked so hard to reach where she is, she’s at the point in her life where she decides that she needs a break by taking a golf vacation to America. 

JTBC | Thirty-Nine

Joo-Hee is the ditzy one between the three friends and who I would describe as having a 3D personality 🤩 She has gone through hardships herself with her mom having cancer in university. As her friends and her mom are all she has, there's a constant worry in the back of her mind about her mom’s health. Now reaching the very end of her thirties, she is working as a cosmetics manager in a department store and is still trying to find a first love. 

JTBC | Thirty-Nine

Chan-young is an acting teacher with a strong and blunt personality. She is as straightforward as ever and says whatever is on her mind. Chan-young brings the laughs in the friendship and it makes this K-drama seem a little bit more lighthearted considering the situation. The biggest obstacle she faces is her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Kim Jin-seok (Lee Moo-saeng)… who’s married 😲 Her best friends joke that she is having an affair when in reality they have a deeper past that neither Chan-young nor Jin-seok can forget. She’s at the stage where she has decided to quit two things: smoking and her ex-boyfriend. 

JTBC | Thirty-Nine

So Thirty-Nine may seem like a feel-good K-drama but what I think makes the series so interesting and well-written, is the fact that one of the main characters is faced with having cancer and we know that they don't survive. The very first scene of Thirty-Nine is actually a funeral held for one of the main characters. I think this is what makes it different from past K-dramas I've watched where we know the news near the end of the k-drama and are only able to reminisce about the character's past. Whereas with this k-drama we follow along the emotional rollercoaster of each of the characters and the way they deal with it. And of course, it's in a crazy way where they make each moment count!   

JTBC | Thirty-Nine

Thus, in fact, Thirty-Nine revolves around the lives of three women and each of them fighting for time to make memories because they know that it’s limited 🥺 A K-drama that we know has a sad ending but where we are able to treasure the relationship between Mi-jo, Chan-young and Joo-hee and their loved ones. Even with the few episodes premiered, I’ve had a few laughs and tears that I’m sure by the end of it all, this kdrama will have me experiencing all the emotions. If you do want to be a part of this emotional rollercoaster of a k-drama, new episodes are released every Friday. Click here to begin watching! 

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