Our Blues P1
 Bingo Card
(우리들의 블루스) 2022 tvN

An ensemble drama about a whole bunch of people who grew up on Jeju Island, or recently integrated into the local community. Many of them have reached middle age but have histories going back to childhood. Some are just growing up on the island. They all have very dramatic storylines: debt and a failing marriage, teenage pregnancy, woman with a mysterious past, depression and suicide.

Lee Dong-Seok (Lee Byung-Hun), Choi Han-Su (Cha Seung-Won), Jung Eun-Hui (Lee Jung-Eun, briliant), Jung In-Gwon (Park Ji-Hwan), and Bang Ho-Sik (Choi Young-Joon) all grew up on the island, and form the core of a series of one to three episode arcs detailing the tribulations of various people in their sphere. Strong supporting cast as well.

K-Drama Bingo Score

Using the Modern K-Drama set

Running commentary

Our Blues is, indeed, a protracted blues song in cinematic format, and sung in Korean -- nay, Jeju dialect. It's a series of vignettes, each a few episodes long. The show has a slightly weird pattern where the first 10-15 minutes of each episode revolves around characters from a story arc other than the main plot of the episode. The viewer gets a glimpse of one storyline, only to have it disappear at the break, and it may not reappear for several episodes, at which time it becomes the primary plotline for the episode. It's a bit jarring, especially with such a large ensemble cast, to piece together the disjointed plotlines.

Each storyline in the series is more heart-wrenching and bleak than the last. To be fair, Our Blues deals with a variety of complicated emotional issues — debt, living for your children, teenage pregancy, despression and suicide, disabled family members, tragedy and children — and it does it incredibly well, not shying away from anger, resentment, bad attitudes and even worse choices by its characters. And they find their balance, but it would be hard to say that anyone there seems actually happy.

Unlike many, lighter K-dramas, this is not an escape. It's a fly-on-the-wall home movie of other people's tragic lives.


This one's definitely going to be a slow burn. It oozes with nostalgia, for both place and time, and the first episodes linger a bit long in the wash of reminiscence for my taste. Lee Jung-Eun is fantastic as the fishhead-chopping Eun-Hui, but everything about Cha Seung-Won's Han-Su'character makes me want to crawl under a rock and die. I'm waiting to see some redeeming qualities in him. (That doesn't really ever happen, but the storyline only runs for a few episodes.)

The mid-century European crooner classics, jazz and accordion/chanson soundtrack sets a mood. I'm not sure it's the right mood.

Alright, everyone on Jeju Island is just plain depressed, depressing, suffering, angry, or dying. Seriously, there is no hopeful outlook here.

Episode 6: Further evidence that Our Blues was designed to discourage tourists from going to Jeju. The locals' stress levels are off the charts. And even if you make it to Seoul, Jeju will suck you back in again.

Episode 7: There is no doubting that the acting in this show is top-notch. No joke. In this episode, even a circulating fan gives an unbelieveable performance. Seriously. The whole scene is great. Teen pregnancy, though, so no real levity here either.

In Episode 8 of This is Us: Jeju Edition, we deal with the single fathers, former best friends, and we start to untangle their complicated history while watching them lose their shit on their own children. And there's a meaningful car accident.

Yeong-Ok's dark secret — that she has a twin sister with Down's syndrome on the mainland — is a great arc. Yeong-Ok is ashamed of how she treats her sister, but keeps doing it. And she doesn't believe her sister when Yeong-Hui says that she's an artist. "Boy, she's going to feel like shit at the end," I thought to myself. And sure enough, Yeong-Ok — and me — bawling her eyes out upon seeing all of Yeong-Hui's drawings and paintings. Just like 5 solid minutes of sobbing.

After 20 long episodes, it's over. And the ending is as melodramatically tragic as everything that preceeded it.

  • Vehicular tragedy
    (2 pt)
    S01E08, S01E16
    Gwon-In's mother-in-law is run over in the street while trying to tell Gwon-In to "not be an embarrassment to his son." Later, Man-Su is in a car accident and hospitalized in a coma. Only a bit weird, because he was driving a dump truck, which is about like getting injured while driving a tank. What must he have hit?
  • Bullying
    (1 pt)
    Dong-Seok takes a beating as a teenager
  • Cartoony FX
    (1 pt)
    Young Eun-Gi sees octopuses and divers before falling asleep
  • Cramped quarters
    (1 pt)
    S01E04 55:24
    Jeong-Jun lives in a van down by the water
  • Crushing Debt
    (1 pt)
    Han-Su has spent every penny he has, and sold his house, to finance his daughter's golf career in the United States
  • Finger hearts
    (1 pt)
    Seona gives finger hearts to her son, taken away in a custody battle
  • Korean Standoff
    (1 pt)
    Jeong-Jun and Yeong-Ok face off in the road
  • Memorial service
    (1 pt)
    Dong Seok's stepfather, whom he despised, has a small in-house service in Mokpo
  • Piggyback
    (1 pt)
    In-Gwon is transported to safety after a beating by Ho-Sik
  • Pinky swear
    (1 pt)
    Eun-Gi and her grandmother pinky swear that Eun-Gi will be good. Her tiny fingers are too short to touch thumbs at the end!
  • The Playground
    (1 pt)
    Eun-Hi and Han-Su shoot hoops and talk about serious things
  • Wrist grab
    (1 pt)
    Yeong-Ju and Hyeon have a moment.

Unmatched Bingo Spaces

  • (Dis)possession
  • Childhood friends forgotten
  • Chicken & Beer
  • Middle-of-the-Road Soliliquy
  • Rumble tummy
  • Shamans & Talismans
  • Son Hyeung Min
  • Thumbs up
  • 강한나 (Kang Han-Na)
  • 내 친구 ("My friend…")
  • 한국어학교 (Language lessons)