Lazy Unnie’s Couch: When the Camellia Blooms

Dong Baek is a single mother living in the small town of Ongsan. She runs the bar-restaurant Camellia, while also taking care of her son Pil Gu. The people of Ongsan frequently gossip about Dong Baek. She grew up as an orphan, is a single mother and runs a bar where many of the men in Ongsan frequent. Regardless of what the locals may whisper about Dong Baek, local police officer Hwang Yong Shik is deeply in love with her. Meanwhile, Dong Baek’s ex-boyfriend Kang Jong Ryeol suddenly reappears in her life. He is a famous baseball player, that hid their relationship when they dated. While Dong Baek tries to find happiness, something truly sinister lurks in the background. A serial killer roams Ongsan and Dong Baek may be a target.

mydramalist
  • Starring: Gong Hyo Jin | Kang Ha Neul | Kim Ji Suk
  • Episodes: 40 (35 mins.)
  • Aired: September 18 – November 21, 2019
  • Network: KBS2 Netflix
  • Where to Watch: Netflix


I didn’t start this one for a long time because I knew that Gong Hyo Jin was going to be playing the same character she’s been playing in dramas for the last decade. And was I wrong? Nope. Dong Baek was basically your typical female lead that has drawn the short stick on life. She was abandoned by her mother when 7, had a baby in secret from her ex-boyfriend, and raised her son as a single mom. Oh, and she is being targeted by a serial killer. So what we get is a lot of pity party moments. However, there was so much more to this show than I realized. And I think it had a lot to do with the rest of the cast.

When it came to this drama, the supporting cast really stood out to me. This was a story about a single mother just trying to live her life and it had a town full of people who on the outside felt like they were against her succeeding and yes, at one point they were. But eventually, they really became a family that protected their own when it was time to. Even though there were really times they got on my nerves, like Choi Hyang Mi and Noh Gyu Tae made me want to skip over all their shit. But once they started serving a greater purpose, I didn’t mind it as much.

The romance was fine. I loved Kang Ha Neul being a total himbo because we need more of those tropes. But I had a love and hate relationship with how in love (obsessed) Hwang Yong Shik was with Dongbaek. Like we get it, she’s amazing. At one point I was really hoping for Dongbaek and her baseball star ex, Kang Jong Ryul, to work out a nice co-parent relationship. Their chemistry was really good, even if it was hate. The stand out was Kim Kang Hoon as Dongbaek’s son, Kang Pil Gu. His ability to just cry and be mature and vulnerable was amazing.

The second biggest storyline in this was the serial killer plot. Honestly, I grew bored with it halfway through because I was sure of who the killer was. However, when shit started being revealed I was starting to become super intrigued and wanted less to do with the other plotlines of romance and redemption for Dongbaek’s mother. For a show that had a lot of slow-burn moments, ended up having a lot going on with it. Sometimes I felt like it was a little too much to follow and could have dropped some of the side plots. Ultimately, I think it ended up being a compelling story about forgiveness and acceptance.

Acting: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Music: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

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Fave Song: Motte & Yongzoo – You Are My Vitamin

Published by Unbothered Unnies

A couple of ladies who love to express their opinions from anything and everything. That includes shows and music and anything in between. This blog is dedicated to our love and appreciation for Asian entertainment and culture.

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