KDRAMA REVIEW: Happiness (2021)

December 15, 2021

As a fan of Han Hyo Joo, I made sure to watch this drama since it's her small screen comeback after W: Two Worlds. Well, it was also Park Hyung Sik's small screen comeback. So a lot of fans are definitely waiting for this series.

Although I have been waiting for it, I never read the plot nor watch the trailers. So I seriously have no idea with its story. Since we're seeing another visual couple, I thought it was some kind of a typical romance K-drama. BUT I WAS DEFINITELY WRONG! I was shocked when I watched the first episode. I didn't imagine the story to be like that. But that's what made me interested with the story and continued watching the drama.


Title: Happiness (해피니스)
Episodes: 12 episodes (around 1 hour each)

There are actually a lot of characters but I'll just post here who I think are the main protagonists and antagonists.

Han Hyo Joo as Yoon Sae Beom
Park Hyun Sik as Jung Yi Hyun
Jo Woo Jin as Han Tae Seok
Bae Hae Sun as Oh Yeon Ok
Baek Hyun Jin as Oh Joo Hyeong
Lee Joo Seung as Andrew

Plot: A thriller drama that happened during the New Normal era wherein an infectious disease is spreading. Sae Beom and Yi Hyun was lockdown in their place along with their neighbors. The whole story revolved around how people reacted and survived the disease.

Things I like about the drama

Everything? I guess that's the most accurate answer. But of course, I'll be sharing some details about it. Note, that this review is not spoiler-free. So read at your own risk.

Every scene has a reason

This was in Episode 8. I can clearly remember asking, "So, what's the purpose of the two of them having conversation about Yi Hyun's digestive medicine?" But then a few scenes later, Yi Hyun drank a medicine in front of Joo Hyung and everyone thought it was the NEXT (the medicine that can make you infected). But it ended up being Yi Hyun's digestive medicine because he already has swapped the medicine in the car.

I was really amazed when the drama actually answered my question. I didn't expect that the first scene actually means something. I applause the writer for this. There are actually a lot of scenes that I thought doesn't make sense or can be edited out but ended up answering my questions.

A not-so-romantic drama but is giving me all the feels

Come on. Don't tell me you didn't root for this couple? No romantic scenes and cheesy lines (well at least during Episode 1 until the 10th episode) yet they're giving us all the feels and kilig inside. How was that even possible?

It's just a proof that their chemistry is so good that we don't even need those romantic lines to feel their love for each other. But of course, when they confess or show affection to each other for sure our hearts blasted.

This is one of the best K-Drama couples of 2021!

The antagonists are so effective

They say that an actor/actress is a great antagonist when you're really irritated with his or her character. The whole story won't be complete without these antagonists. They made the story more realistic. My stress level became higher than their apartment whenever I see them do something bad.

I remember a post on my Facebook page, it has reached more than a million reach because of these characters. That's how good they are with their craft that a lot of people got irritated.

The realistic zombie makeup look

From Park Hyung Sik's Instagram
Oh yes! An intense spoiler!

Koreans are really good when it comes to makeup. You'll really get scared when you see one in real life. I remember a Filipino director praising South Koreans for their efforts in doing makeups. The effort they do here is highly commendable.

Production set is so realistic

Screenshot from Happiness Behind the Scenes

My inner Multimedia Artist in me comes out whenever I watch the behind-the-scenes. I really love seeing how the drama that I'm watching was made. Who would have thought that the staircase is not a real one? How about the room in the first episode? The way they made it as if it's a real one is so mind-blowing. Kudos to the production design crew!

Relatable Yoon Sae Beom

She's definitely relatable! She just spits out things randomly but all of us can definitely relate to. But aside from these there are some lines that she said that remained in me.

"Happiness is hard to find."
"You have to look forward to something in order to be happy."

Simple statements yet struck hard.

Lessons I got from the drama

It may be a zombie-type of drama but you can actually learn a lot from it. One is, a lot of people are indeed selfish. You can definitely see it when there's a situation like this. Some are making money by extorting other people. Some are willing to kill. But let's not forget that there are still some people who are selfless. Let's learn to choose who we get to be with and who we are going to be when situations like this arise.

But one of the most heartwarming lesson I got here is, family will always be your family. I actually got teary-eyed with this short scene.

It somehow reminded me of the story of the prodigal son. After wasting all his money, he returns home yet his father is so happy to see him back. At the end of the day, it's our family who will be with us until the end. It's also heartwarming to know that this old man never left his wife even if she is suspected to be infected. This is what we call true love.

And of course, one of the mantra that I put my mind into. "People need something to look forward to in order to become happy." Every time I feel sad, I remind myself to find something to look forward to. In this example, Sae Beom looks forward for the meal that they will receive. It may be a simple thing yet it makes her happy. So, I'm always looking forward for my merchandises. (hihi).


For those who love watching thrilling K-Dramas with a little bit of a romance, Happiness is definitely a must-watch! I consider Happiness as one of my favorite K-Dramas of 2021. I'm really looking forward for Park Hyung Sik's and Han Hyo Joo's next projects and who knows, we might get another drama or movie from them?

For international viewers, Happiness is available on iQIYI, Viu, and WeTV.

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