The Memory In My Old Wallet
내 낡은 지갑 속의 기억 / aka A Faded Memory
KBS Drama Special (2013), Grade: A
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

This KBS Drama Special from 2013 called The Memory In My Old Wallet, starring handsome Ryu Soo Young (whom I definitely have a "thing" for ever since watching the lushly romantic reincarnation tale Rebirth-Next) and sweet Nam Bo Ra (Late Night Restaurant, Shark, The Moon Embraces The Sun) and up and coming actress Yoo In Young (My Love From Another Star, Mask, Goodbye Mr. Black, Oh My Venus), was a beautiful surprise to me. I shouldn't have been so surprised, really, since I have yet to watch a single bad KBS Drama Special. They may be short, usually one to two episodes, but they pack powerful emotional punches.

The Story: Ryu plays an emotionally distant, man-of-few-words used book store owner named Lee Young Jae, who had passed the bar exam to be a lawyer but who is doing nothing to fulfill his old dream of becoming a lawyer. His shop is near several schools, so he gets a lot of business from students. Then a girl student named Chae Soo Ah, played by Bo Ra, who obviously has a huge crush on him and plainly makes it known, keeps persisting flirting at him, even managing to shoo other women away who are intrigued by him too.

However, there is a secret as to why her interest remains zeroed in on him but we discover that secret later in the drama. Her home life is difficult and so she stops by the bookstore every morning just for a glimpse of him, thinking to herself at least she has one moment of "heaven" during her difficult days at school and at home. He'll open the door to his store every morning and there she is standing there and smiling at him. He has no idea why. Too cute, but also mysterious. 

However, when he does deign to talk to her he tries to discourage her from flirting, until something happens which prods his memory a bit about a forgotten incident in his past, and she helps him to discover that secret involving a past love relationship he had with a woman who is assumed dead but who is in fact still very much alive (In Young).

It's all kind of spooky and haunting and romantic -- though on the surface it seems like it could be a silly teenage girl crush story -- it's far more than that by the end. The actors make it work because they are so perfectly suitable to these characters; they're so sincere that you totally buy into the strange plot.

You can watch this wonderful one hour KBS Drama Special at this link, below, with easy to read English subtitles. Enjoy.