The Stranger
낯선 사람
KBS Special - Air Date: Dec. 8, 2022
COVID Romance. Grade: A+
Directed by Lee Min Soo
Written by Yeo Myung Jae
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

Oh my gosh, this was so sweet and wholesome, I absolutely loved it! Many of these one episode KBS Specials are equally as good as the longer dramas. Sometimes even better, since brevity is the soul of wit. More K-drama fans should take advantage of them online and watch. This charmer is available at this link on Viki.

The Story: Taking place at the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, we meet two young people in their twenties who are confined to a country hospital because of testing positive for the virus. They don't even show any dangerous symptoms but the hospital won't release them until they test negative. The lady Oh Hee Joo (Han Ji Eun, 100 Days My Prince) is a professional photographer and crafts hobbyist, and the guy Myeong Gi Joon (Kim Gun Woo, Record Of Youth) is a pastry chef. They begin to chat through their open adjoining rooms' windows, which only open a crack for security reasons, because his cell phone had been destroyed in an airport in an accident right before he had tested positive. Both of them are going stir crazy confined to one room each for days on end; they only have one another -- and a nurse (Go Aeri) who pops in on occasion -- to talk to.

Hee Joo comes up with an idea from her childhood to add string to two paper cups and she tosses one of them to Gi Joon's window for him to grab. So they begin sharing their life stories, talking via the cups. She reveals she had just been fired at work because of her COVID diagnosis, and he reveals he had been estranged from his older sister for some time and wants to reunite with her and apologize. In sharing honest conversations they really grow to care for one another quickly, and wonder if they will ever meet outside in "the real world" once they are released from prison -- oops! I mean the hospital. Because the windows had only been able to open a small amount they don't know what the other person looks like, so how would they recognize each other if they met in a park or a restaurant in the city?

Then suddenly Gi Joon's mild COVID symptoms intensify and he is rushed to ICU. Hee Joo finds herself worrying over him and realizes how deeply she cares about this "stranger" now. If they ever manage to return to normal life would they just continue to be friends, or would something else much more romantic result?

The Stranger is such a special story, don't miss it! All of us have been impacted by COVID in some way so the story kind of hits close to home. As the characters grow closer together you will find you grow closer to them, and to their story as well. Enjoy.

Cast And Director - The Stranger (2022)