Dancing the Waltz Alone (혼자 추는 왈츠) is the next episode in my marathon of the most recent season of KBS Drama Special. And let me just say right off the bat, what a painfully heartbreaking yet unfortunately realistic slice of life portrait of today, all told in a beautifully presented hour.
Dancing the Waltz Alone tells the story of Gunhui and Minseon, both in their 20s, who struggle to make their way in the real world. It’s the very definition of adulting. Despite their skills, talent and other qualifications that they may possess, the real world is as harsh as it’s ever been. Where pressures from work, friends, colleagues and family weigh on your mind.
And in Korea, unfortunately, as we’ve seen many times before, this is the kind of pressure that weighs so heavily on people that tragedy can happen. People hide their true feelings so as not to draw the ire and mocking of others while also not wanting to put a burden on their loved ones. Even though sometimes your loved ones are the ones putting the burden on you.
That’s why Dancing the Waltz Alone is so heartbreaking and painful to watch. It’s all too realistic. An accurate and hard-hitting portrayal of what it’s like to be a young adult in today’s world. And it isn’t only in Korea or the United States. It can be anywhere. That’s what makes this story that much more sad and heartbreaking to watch. That it is so relatable that it can happen anywhere, makes this so effective.
Moon Ga Young and Yeo Hoe Hyun give excellent performances as Minseon and Gunhui. They bring this truly difficult, yet heartbreakingly real human story to life in the most beautiful way possible.
The waltz of the title as we see in the beginning and end of the episode are such a beautiful and graceful contrasts to the dark, sometimes upsetting and cold world that both Gunhui and Minseon have to navigate together and apart. The waltz is almost also like a representation of what a lot of us feel all the time. Trying to think of simpler times when we were younger, when things weren’t so complicated. Less responsibilities, less pressure, a time when all we had to think about was that specific moment. That moment in time that we all look back on and wish, “If only we could go back to that time, even for one day.”
And that’s what makes Dancing the Waltz Alone just so heartbreaking yet beautiful at the same time. Amazing performances from our leads and just an emotionally affecting, human story that is so relatable regardless of class, race or ethnicity.