Fathers are the pillar of every household, but they can be a tough nut to crack at times. Fortunately, the lives of some iconic K-drama dads may offer just some clues to better understand and appreciate them more.
The K-drama abeoji (father) or appa (dad) is known for his wit and straightforward personality. They don’t take any gibberish from others, which sometimes explains their occasional fiery tempers. Yet despite their tough exterior, they love their families intensely.
If you want to understand your dad more, especially on Father’s Day, perhaps these K-dramas can help you out.
Park Sungyeol (Itaewon Class)
Park Sungyeol’s appearance in Itaewon Class was short, but it’s more than enough to show how much he influenced his son Park Saeroyi.
Saeroyi is known for standing up against bullies and helping his friends to do so. As a result, he was expelled after a rough encounter with Geunwon (a student with a high reputation in his school).
To Saeroyi’s surprise, Sungyeol didn’t punish him. He even resigned from his job (where Geunwon’s dad is his boss) to support his son. He also provided financial assistance to his son’s friend Sooah when she struggled to finish school.
Sung Dongil (Reply 1988)
We can’t expect our fathers to be perfect human beings 24/7. Like us, they’re trying to navigate through the world. What makes them different is they have a family and more concerns to handle.
In the words of Sung Dongil in Reply 1988, dads may not always understand their children, but they won’t stop trying. This can be seen in his relationship with Bora, Deoksun, and Noeul.
Who can forget the tear-jerking scene of Dongil apologizing to Deoksun after he failed to fulfill her wish of having a birthday party of her own? Another moment that made us cry was when he visited Bora in university to give her food and medicines, for fear of his daughter starving herself.
Kim Changgul (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bokjoo)
Training to be a successful weightlifter—especially as a teen—can be physically and mentally draining. Luckily for Bokjoo, she had the guidance of her dad Kim Changgul who was a weightlifter in his youth.
Changgul is no stranger to the pressure of being a weightlifter. So, when he realized that Bokjoo was feeling unmotivated during training, he encouraged her to take a break in the meantime.
One particular moment that made us tear up was Changgul saying sorry to his daughter for making her do weightlifting and not raising her well as a single dad.
Hwang Yongsik (When the Camellia Blooms)
In When the Camellia Blooms, the adorable Pilgu is blessed with two fathers: Hwang Yongsik and Kang Dongryul. However, there was something about Yongsik’s pure love for the kid that made us root for him more.
As Yongsik fell in love with Dongbaek, he fully embraced her as a single mom. He didn’t just make an effort to win her affections, but also her son Pilgu’s. He may not be his biological son, but he loved him like his own.
There were a lot of heartwarming scenes between the father-and-son duo but our favorite has to be the time when he defended Pilgu from bullies in a baseball game.
Kim Hyunchul (Youth Of May)
Youth of May tells the story of South Korea during the height of the Gwangju Democratization Struggle in May 1980. It can be described as the country’s own Martial Law. So, it’s no surprise that Kim Hyunchul was very protective of his daughter Myunghee.
Hyunchul grew up in a poor family where he also suffered from being a staunch critic of the government. This explained why he was so protective of Myunghee when she fell in love with Heetae, a child of pro-government parents. The constant struggle between the father and daughter was heartbreaking, especially when he insisted that he wanted to protect her.
One of the scenes that stayed with us was Hyunchul traveling Gwangju on foot after discovering his daughter was part of the students who protested against the closing of Chonnam National University.