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Every character of the drama has a unique story to tell. Not a single day goes by without a quarrel, but the Song family is quite harmonious. While their days were going smoothly, one day the family’s eldest son Jun-Seon returns after getting a divorce because of his economic incompetence. He has zero sense of reality but he’s a very good-natured character with a magical charm that cannot be hated. Soon their first daughter Ga-Hee also finds out about her husband’s affair and gets a divorce too. She also moves to their parent’s home with her son. Now that the youngest daughter Song Da-Hee also returns after she finds out her husband cheating on her literally the next day after marriage.

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The only hope for the parents was their smart second daughter Na-Hee. Na-Hee is a doctor and she works with her husband Doctor Yoon Gyu-jin (Lee Sang-Yeob) at the same hospital. They fell in love during their medical school days and got married, but their married life was not doing very well. As a result, their third child Na-Hee, who suffered from conflict with her mother-in-law and experienced a miscarriage, also divorces her husband, Gyu Jin, whom she had loved with all her heart. However, due to economic problems, they decided to live together for a while and keep their divorce a secret. Now that all of them are divorced and choose to go back to their parents’ house, imagine the stress level of their parents!

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The drama aired on KBS2 from March 28 to 13 September 2020. The drama actually has 50 episodes but in order to circumvent Korean laws that prevent commercial breaks in the middle of an episode, the episodes were repackaged as two 35 minute episodes, with two episodes being shown each night with a commercial break-in between. While usual K-dramas are mostly 16 episode-based, this drama might feel like too long to watch for some viewers. But don't be intimidated by the number of episodes, you won't even notice it while you start watching. Every episode is golden and won't bore you at all. “Once Again,” did incredibly well with viewers, with a cast that was well known, but not in the realm of superstars. Still, the show was a great hit. It's highest nationwide rating in South Korea was 37%. These are huge numbers, especially for a series that wasn’t well promoted.

Aside from receiving the highest viewership ratings, 'Once Again' bagged multiple awards, too. During the 2020 7th APAN Star Awards, they bagged awards like; ‘Top Excellence Award (Actor) in a Serial Drama’ (Lee Sang Yeob), ‘Top Excellence Award (Actress) in a Serial Drama’ (Lee Min Jung), and ‘Excellence Award (Actor) in a Serial Drama’ (Lee Sang Yi). Also during the 2020 34th KBS Drama Awards, they received many awards as well as ‘Grand Prize (Daesang)’ (Chun Ho Jin) and ‘Writer of the Year’ (Yang Hee Seung).

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Most people think that having a big family is always a hassle but by watching this drama you can see different sides of a big family. 'Once Again' features a comic touch of parents, who have a headache several times a day because of their four children, and the people around them. The family quarrels and reconciliation brought about by the successive divorce and breakup of their children, and realistic choices for their own happiness will make viewers nod their heads. Some exaggerated and comical touch makes the production seems a bit excessive. Still, because we can relate to the stories as “those that can happen to us anytime,” we fall into the drama with some understanding. It gives out diverse emotions and messages to life. The cast has and is justifying their roles with amazing acting skills. The chemistry between all the characters of the drama is amazing.

We get to see what it’s like to be in a relationship that has lost its meaning four times in different situations. We also get to see what it’s like to be in a situation where you lose your baby, your dreams, your partner, your will to communicate, your sibling, your career, or even your own path. It shows you the bad side of a relationship but you can overcome that bad relationship by sharing how you feel toward each other. It is a pleasant and warm drama that completes the search for happiness through the process of overcoming a crisis. In addition to scriptwriter Yang Hee-Seung tackling the topic of divorce with a refreshing yet warm angle, director Lee Jae Sang has also subtly portrayed the rift divorce causes between parents and their children.

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Writer Yang Hee-Seung said in an interview that, "I did a lot of research while thinking about marriage and divorce. After researching the reasons for divorce, I set up three siblings for each case. For example, the youngest Song Da-hee was given the task of worrying and challenging about the problems of employment and specifications that people in their twenties face.” This shows sensitivity of writer Yang Hee-Seung, who puts his heart and soul into each character.

'Once Again' has tons of characters. Each one of them has their own life struggles which made them very interesting. The thing about this drama is that there’s no antagonist, just real, relatable people struggling to live their lives and reach their dreams. Watching them figure their lives out for 50+ hours will definitely give you separation anxiety after finishing the drama. This drama will make you feel every emotion possible. Pain, laughter, heartaches, excitement, anger, longing, sympathy and so much more, they’re all jam-packed in here.

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* Rumaiysa M Rahman is a 10th grader at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Dhaka

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