“My Memory” of Winter Sonata

SERIOUSLY, I have NO memory of Winter Sonata, the hugely popular 2002 Korean television drama… only because I’ve never watched it, until this week, that is.

Despite the popularity of Winter Sonata in creating the Korean wave throughout Asia, I had never bothered watching it when it was first shown in Malaysia in 2002. It was reportedly the first Korean television series shown on TV3, the media company I used to work for. We had just returned from Washington DC the year before and I suppose I was busy re-settling after being away from home for more than three years and returning home with a family.

Recently I chanced upon the song “My Memory” an orignal soundtrack from Winter Sonata sung by Korean singer Ryu, on YouTube. I listened to it and as clichéd (even corny) as it may sound, I fell in love… with the song, that is 🙂 Love it enough to look up its piano sheet and attempt to learn it (despite never learning the piano before and having stopped playing the organ aeons ago). And love it enough to trigger a curiosity to finally watch the series and see for myself what the hype was all about, eleven years earlier.

Thanks to YouTube, I found the complete series and watched all 20 episodes, advertisement-free, in THREE days this week, ha2. Speaks volumes of the series’ alluring appeal, or simply my obsession to get it over and done with, and get on with my real life!

“My Memory” along with other original soundtracks make such pleasant listening, even little Em asks for it for her bedtime lullaby! The song “13 Jours En France” which was featured prominently throughout the series, was reminiscent of an organ piece I used to play, thus bringing back memories of my three years learning the instrument with Ms Leong.

Besides the OST, I was also drawn to Winter Sonata because the abundant snow and winter sceneries (shot on Nami Island in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province) were reminiscent of our three memorable winters in Moscow. The déjà vu brought back such lovely memories. Secondly the love story was both heart-warming and heartbreaking, but ended well (don’t they always? except for the blind bit). Nah, not reminiscent of my own experience… but ahhh well, everyone deserves to indulge in a little escapism once in a while 🙂 Finally the lead actor Bae Yong-joon and actress Choi Ji-woo were a charming couple to watch.

Well, I am STILL not  a Korean drama fan convert. For the record, Winter Sonata is only the FOURTH Korean television drama that I’ve ever watched in my life! I caught two Korean TV series while in Moscow (can’t even remember the series titles now), and recently completed watching the 20-episode A Gentleman’s Dignity even though NTV7 has just aired its 10th episode.


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