K-drama 49 Days (AKA Pure Love) Review


Shin Ji Hyun is a carefree and innocent heiress in the middle of planning her dream wedding when an accident puts her in a coma. She is informed that it wasn’t her time to die, but she was simply at the wrong place in the wrong time.  In order for her to wake up, she must find three people (non-relatives) who would be willing to cry genuine tears for her. She is given 49 days to complete the task before her soul is permanently separated from her body.  In her search for her three genuine tears, she borrows the body of Song Yi Kyung, a young woman who is completely unhappy with life.


Lee Yo Won (Song Yi Kyung)

I think she did a good job acting in this drama. You can clearly tell when she’s Song Yi Kyung or Shin Ji Hyun in Yi Kyung’s body. She’s much brighter and happier when she’s Ji Hyun. I didn’t like her at first because I found her character too emo and depressing, but as the story progressed, she grew on me. I like the fact that she didn’t try to be overly cute like some girls in most K-dramas. And I really like that she wasn’t stupid. For some reason, girls in K-dramas are usually depicted as stupid and clumsy, but Yi Kyung wasn’t like that.

Nam Gyuri (Shin Ji Hyun)

Honestly, I wan’t a big fan of her in this series. I thought her acting was terrible and that she looked too plastic.  As in literally “plastic”, like a doll – probably the effect of too much plastic surgery.  It’s probably partly due to that why her expressions seem so fake when she acts.  I don’t really know how to explain it – there’s just something really unnatural about her.  But there’s no denying that she’s pretty though.

I didn’t really like her character either. She’s shown as this innocent and naive rich girl.  At the very start of the show she’s seen crying and whining about being late for her engagement party while her friends had to calm her down and think of solutions on how to get there on time. I suppose the writers intended for her to be a loveable character, but she really irritated me. However, it might just be the way the actress portrayed her, because I did like Ji Hyun when she was in Yi Kyung’s body.

Jo Hyeon Jae (Han Kang)

Hyeon Jae did a good job in this show I think. His acting was believable and he played Han Kang really well. He’s portrayed as an insensitive jerk in the beginning of the show, but later we see his sensitive and caring side. He is one of the first to recognize Ji Hyun in Yi Kyung’s body (presumably because he’s been secretly in love with Ji Hyun since middle school) and he does his best to help her out. I really liked his character in the story. My sister tells me it’s because I’m a tsundere fan XD

Bae Su-bin as (Kang Min Ho):

Bae Su-bin plays a two-timing character with evil intentions of stealing the Shin family fortune. He pretends to love Shin Ji Hyun and even ends up being her fiance. He does it to help his girlfriend, Shin In Jung (who is actually one of Ji Hyun’s “best friends”) get revenge on Ji Hyun. It started out as an act of revenge, but he continues to do it for the monetary reward at the end. His character is supposed to have been extremely poor when he was younger so he has this great desire to be rich. He constantly tells us that he has nothing against the Shin family, it’s just fate’s evil doing that they got mixed up in his plans.

Jung Il Woo (Scheduler):

He’s sorta like the grim reaper in this series – although he explains that he’s not in charge of the person’s death, he’s just there to make sure that they die according to schedule. He was the one Ji Hyun went to for advice when she first realized she was in a coma. He explains the whole 49-day concept to her and guides her along the way. He wasn’t allowed to interfere according to the rules, so he mainly dropped little clues for her along the way to avoid punishment. (Although there was one time he couldn’t take it anymore and got himself involved, which resulted to him having his contract as a Scheduler extended.)

Jung Il Woo isn’t exactly the best actor, but I did like him. He wasn’t spectacular, but his acting wasn’t fake or stiff. I think given a chance, he could be pretty good. Plus, he’s undeniably cute:


Seo Ji Hye (Shin In Jung)

She plays the female antagonist in the show. Together with her boyfriend, Kang Min Ho, she planned on destroying the life of one of her closest friends, Shin Ji Hyun.  She tells us that its because Ji Hyun is too naive to the point that she hurts people without even realizing it.   In Jung is initially portrayed as heartless and two-faced, but in the end she realizes her mistakes and asks for forgiveness.

Seo Ji Hye did a pretty good job in this drama.  I thought her acting was good and she really embraced In Jung’s character. She shows us that every one makes mistakes but it’s never too late to ask for forgiveness and change our ways. I also liked the fact that they showed her as a woman who was capable of true love by standing by Min Ho even after their plans fall apart. In the end of the drama we see her visiting him in prison and assuring him that she was still willing to wait for him, despite the fact that he almost left her for Song Yi Kyung. And of course we see in the final episode that she really did love Ji Hyun as a friend (even after resenting her for years) and even ended up shedding tears of pure love for her.


A friend recommended this drama a couple of months ago, but I’ve been too busy watching old Family Outing and Running Man episodes so I didn’t really pay attention to it.  It’s aired here in the Philippines (with the title “Pure Love”) and a lot of people had been talking about it, so I finally decided to watch it last week.  It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. Some parts were a bit too boring for me and I actually spent quite a lot of time fast forwarding certain scenes because I just wanted to find out what would happen next.

I did like the concept of the story though. It’s a bit similar to ABS-CBN’s 100 Days to Heaven, where the main character dies and is given 100 days to help the people she’s hurt in life before she is allowed entrance to heaven. The idea for 49 Days differs in the sense that instead of giving the character a chance to enter heaven, they’re given an opportunity to wake up and live. (And in 100 Days to Heaven, the main character didn’t need to borrow a body, she was given her own, except in the form of a child.)  The whole idea of having a 2nd chance just appeals to me for some reason.  I wouldn’t exactly enjoy being put in Ji Hyun’s situation, but I gotta admit, it must be interesting to see how many people would cry tears of pure love for me when I’m gone.

The story was interesting enough that I finished all 20 episodes in 3 days, but it wasn’t like when I watched You’re Beautiful, Boys Over Flowers or Secret Garden, where I would stay up till 4 in the morning watching (and re-watching) episodes. With 49 Days, I watched it because the story had enough twists and secrets for me to want to know more, but not to the point that I’d be willing to lose sleep over it. I suppose the lack of eye candy was partly to blame. I mean sure, the Scheduler was hot, and Han Kang was definitely easy on the eyes, but when I compare them to ANJell, F4 and Hyun Bin … it’s just not the same.  But the women in 49 Days were really pretty though.

One thing I liked about 49 Days is the idea of redemption. Shin In Jung was depicted as this traitorous woman who set up her best friend for heartbreak and devastation, just because she felt that her friend was “too nice” to the point of being insensitive. In Jung and her boyfriend, Min Ho, set up this elaborate scenario where Ji Hyun would get lost in the mountains and Min Ho would end up rescuing her so they could fall madly in love and get married. The evil couple planned on stealing the Shin’s family fortune for themselves.  But in the end, In Jung realized what a terrible friend she’s been and asks Ji Hyun for forgiveness.  She even ended up contributing one of the 3 genuine tears that Ji Hyun needed to collect to wake up.  Even Min Ho was seen atoning for his sins in prison. Unlike other antagonists who end up getting caught, he showed no signs of wanting revenge and seemed to truly regret his earlier actions.

Such happy friends.  Their friendship may have been led astray at one point, but in the end they realize how much they all mean to one another.

Min Ho and In Jung.  Although they were horrible people that planned on destroying the life of someone who truly loves them, I still like the idea of them together.  I hated In Jung’s character throughout most of the show, but I liked the fact that she knew when it was enough.  And she stayed true to Min Ho till the end.  In their final scene in the series, In Jung tells Min Ho that she’s taking care of his sick mother and will continue doing so until he is released from prison.  She tells him she’s willing to go through anything for him especially since it was her fault that he ended up in jail.  He replies by saying that she may have started it but it was his own actions and decisions that led to his downfall.   He feels terrible for what he’s done and can only hope that the people he has hurt will forgive him someday.  He asks In Jung to let him go so she would be free from the suffering he brings her, but she assures him that she will stand by him until the end.  And maybe by the time he is released, he will finally be able to forgive himself.

I’m sure everyone has done something in their past that they are not proud of.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be as bad as deceiving a friend and leading them to bankruptcy.  But what we must realize is that while there’s no way for us to change the past, there’s no better time than the present to fix our mistakes.  I think this was the big lesson that the writers of 49 Days wanted us to learn.

Before I forget, I have one question about this drama : are all the characters in this story blind?? There were so many scenes where a character would walk by next to the person they were looking for, without realizing it was them, all because they weren’t directly in front of them. I guess according to this show, there is no such thing as peripheral vision~

There’s this one scene where In Jung enters just as Yi Kyung was leaving the house.  Apparently In Jung couldn’t see her because she was too preoccupied with closing the gate.  Either that or Yi Kyung has some sort of secret ninja powers that made her invisible as she ran across the garden, just meters away from where In Jung was standing:

There’s this other scene where Min Ho doesn’t realize that there are two girls standing in his apartment lobby because he was in such a hurry to leave.  He walked right by them without noticing anything.  Never mind that one of them is his girlfriend and the other he has very strong feelings for:

The characters in this story may be blind, but they’re pretty smart. Song Yi Kyung realized that someone else may have been using her body because for some reason her hair had gotten softer due to Ji Hyun’s conditioner, Min Ho deduced that it was Yi Kyung that was spying on him at the hotel based on one bead that fell from her shoe, Han Kang was absolutely sure that Ji Hyun was in Yi Kyung’s body because she knew his certain things about him and could play the piano in the same way she could, etc. I know that it’s possible for people to figure out these things in real life, but usually not in the K-drama world. In most series I’ve watched, the characters need to be presented with so many clues before they figure out what’s going on.  It can get pretty frustrating at times.  But in this drama, the characters pick up on even the tiniest clues.  I mean what are the chances that your friends would figure out that your soul is borrowing another person’s body? If it happened in real life, most people would just think that “wow, they have really similar personalities”. But in this drama, Han Kang, Min Ho and In Jung figured out that Ji Hyun was possesing Yi Kyung.  Han Kang even took it to the next level but successfully figuring out that Ji Hyun wasn’t allowed to reveal who she was and that she was there to complete some sort of mission so she could live again. Brilliant huh?

“My hair is so soft!  Someone is possesing me!”

I liked how the story went but I wasn’t too pleased about how the drama ended.  It was okay, but I wish it ended on a happier note.  After all of Shin Ji Hyun’s hard work, she finds out that she was meant to die just shortly after she woke up. I was hoping that something will finally happen between her and Han Kang but she ended up dying!  And I’m not really sure what to make of the whole revelation of Song Yi Kyung turning out to be her long-lost sister either. It’s obviously supposed to be a good thing because that would mean that the Shin family finally found their lost daughter, and that Song Yi Kyung wouldn’t be alone anymore, but for some reason it seemed to me that the writers just wanted to throw in a good thing to the story after they killed off Ji Hyun. I can imagine them thinking along the lines of “Oh, let’s give the audience a big surprise at the end to distract them from being sad over Ji Hyun’s death”.  But I do like how the ending gives the audience the message that we should treasure every day and live life to the fullest.  The final scene shows Song Yi Kyung and Han Kang standing next to Song Yi Soo’s and Shin Ji Hyun’s graves.  Yi Kyung and Han Kang tell Yi Soo and Ji Hyun that they’ve learned many things from the two, and for that they are happy.  I cried a lot in the last episode, especially towards the very end.  It was both sad and happy in its own way, if that makes sense.

I suppose I would have liked the drama more if it focused more on the romance between the characters. The entire time I was watching, I kept hoping for some sweet moments between Han Kang and Ji Hyun/Yi Kyung, but the most they did was hug and go on a picnic together!  I was even hoping that Ji Hyun would become a Scheduler too and she’s end up with Yi Soo and they could be a couple for eternity. Oh well~

But at least I was treated to some sweet Yi Soo x Yi Kyung scenes.  They’re adorable~

As for the soundtrack, it was okay. Some of the songs were pretty nice, but I didn’t like it enough for me to want to download it.

I didn’t really have that many favorite moments in the show, but I did enjoy the scenes when Ji Hyun would call for the Scheduler. Like during the time he was at the concert in Episode 2. I also liked all the Song Yi Kyung and Song Yi Soo scenes.  Other than that, nothing else really sticks out for me. Probably because I prefer silly comedies with a hint of a love story over drama.


I would give this drama 3.9 out of 5 stars. It was good, but not something I would watch again because some parts were too dragging. I mentioned earlier that I skipped a couple of scenes because I got bored with the characters saying the same things over and over again. There were also a lot of parts that were too unrealistic. The plot is good enough that it made me want to continue watching till the end, but the lack of sweet/giddy/mushy moments kept me from enjoying it thoroughly.

If you’re interested, you can watch the series on dramacrazy by clicking this link.


21 thoughts on “K-drama 49 Days (AKA Pure Love) Review

  1. actually there were already subtle hints from the beginning of the show about yi kyung being ji hyun’s sister. i remember ji hyun’s mother asking God “not to take away her remaining daughter.” the writer had planned this from the beginning, in the same way that she planned ji hyun’s death. i read the interview last month. lol, so i guess you’re not into melodrama. this drama is deep, which a lot of people might find too difficult to process. i watched you’re beautiful but i couldn’t even finish it because it was so full of cliches (btw, did you know that seo woo was in you’re beautiful? i think she was a member of the an-jell fan club or something). i’m currently watching secret garden. the past four episodes have been such a DRAG. thank goodness, things are starting to pick up at the end of episode 5. i loved 49 days because it’s a unique drama and it has a well-constructed storyline. its not the typical rom-com genre that i hate in korean shows. also, many people have been so pissed off with the ending but it was necessary since the writer never intended for the story to be a fairy tale. if you can recall, the opening showed scenes of korean society going about their daily lives, women giving birth (life) and people visiting a grave (death). the story was a tragedy and sad. but that’s what life truly is, a tragedy. we all die but we’re still given a chance to experience trule love and we can redeem ourselves through love.

    • Ah, I probably missed the subtle hints about yi kyung because I kept skipping scenes when I found them too boring. You’re right, I’m not much of a melodrama fan. I do watch them occasionally (especially when they come highly recommended – like this show) but I still prefer comedies and love stories. I find that there’s already a lot of drama in real life so I try to avoid it when I can. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate dramas (especially if it comes with a good plot) I just don’t enjoy it as much as romantic comedies. I do welcome a good cry every now and then, but I love laughter so much more.

      Yes, the drama is deep compared to the other shows I normally watch, but I did like it (or else I never would have finished it). However it’s just not something I would watch over and over again. Like I said in my review, I liked the concept behind it and that I understand why the writer ended it the way he/she did. I’m not angry about how it ended or anything, I was simply voicing out that I still prefer happier endings when it comes to these things.

      “We all die but we’re still given a chance to experience trule love and we can redeem ourselves through love.” – I agree. Which is probably one of the main things I liked about this show. I really like the idea of redemption.

      Now that you mention it, I do remember Seo Woo playing one of the ANJell fanclub members. It didn’t click at the time but thanks for pointing it out. No wonder she looked familiar.

      And yeah, even though I love Secret Garden I have to agree that some parts were a bit boring. I mentioned in my review of that drama that I also fast forwarded a couple of scenes from there as well because they were too dragging. Actually, when I first started watching the show (back when it was still airing), I gave up after 3 episodes because I didn’t like it that much. (That, and I didn’t like having to wait a week for each episode. I didn’t find it interesting enough to keep a lookout for it each week.) But they kept promoting the show on Running Man by showing sweet moments between Joo Won and Ra Im that I decided to watch it again after the entire show finished airing (I’m such a sucker for love stories). I’m glad I did because it got a lot better in the later episodes.

  2. ” I find that there’s already a lot of drama in real life so I try to avoid it when I can. Don’t get me wrong,.. I do welcome a good cry every now and then, but I love laughter so much more. ”
    –>> nyahahha.. don’t you worry Ate, madami tayong ganito, typical Pinay opinion on shows.. ^-^

    • We all love to laugh and cry (occasionally). It depends on our mood. Minsan gusto ko lang tumawa, kaya comedy hahanapin ko. Pero minsan nasa mood naman ako umiyak, kaya gusto ko din ng drama (as long as its not *too* deep). I like watching shows because they help me forget my problems in real life, even if it’s just for a short while. Kaya ayoko din ng drama na mega complicated, kasi lalo lang sumasakit ulo ko, hehe.

  3. P.S. Ate Strange vision at Ate Bonita, salihin nalang din natin Ate Ashanti, ang galing nyo pong tatlo mag-english..!! nag private language lesson po ba kayo.? ~^-^~ nice po pala ng banner at your whole blog about Pure Love po.. O:) God bless you always po..!

  4. i didn’t catch the subtle hint of ji-hyun’s mother sorta telling God not to take the remaining daughter of hers.

    anyways… overall, i really liked this drama. i am not into light dramas… therefore, i found this drama very appealing. i like ALL the characters… and i think all the actors and actresses did a good job on it. this is the first time seeing Nam Gyu-Ri’s acting… and well, the first time HEARING her name… but i also think she did a pretty good job. the 1st episode looked light and bouncy… so it didn’t appeal to me as much… but i kinda got hooked from the 2nd episode onward… after ji-hyun seeing the ‘handsome’ scheduler. jung il-woo… i saw him in My Fair Lady… and i must say he can act well as well. his death scene (the motorcycle incident) felt so realistic i was actually feeling his pain for him. yeah…

    anyways… all in all… this is a drama i would watch over and over again… and i plan to watch it again… in the very near future.

    Secret Garden was ok… until the 18th episode. i did not like the ending at all… and… it got boring from there. =/

    well, we have our different tastes in storyline, i guess. 🙂

    ja… so, yeah… that was my 2 cent in.

    • (I could have sworn I wrote a reply to your comment way back, but I guess I forgot to hit enter)

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s nice to see that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t pick up the subtle hints about Song Yi Kyung being the 2nd daughter.

      My friend who watched Secret Garden didn’t like how it ended either. They thought it got too complicated when the whole amnesia issue came up. But I thought it was pretty cute 😀 (I fast forwarded the boring parts though XD)

  5. No matter what you’re opinions are. For me I love this drama, although it is not a happy ending, because every episode are so exciting. There are so many twists but there were no complication to the story ! I cannot blame nam gyu ri(ji hyun) on her acting because I feel that she did her best for the series, no one is perfect and there is no such word as perfect tv series, so if 49 Days Pure Love has their wrongs on their shooting for sure other series also have. It is not right to say that nam gyu ri is irritating and don’t blame her because she undergone plastic surgery, it is her right why judging her!. I know she is not good in acting but her charm to people made her a cast in Pure Love. And why don’t you like her, did she hurt you or did bad things. I am saying this not just because I’m a fan of nam gyu ri, I am saying this because i felt that someone is being insulted. I am respecting your review and honestly I found it very detailed, but I just want to say that it is unfair to hate somebody especially he/she not made things bad to you. Returning to 49 days, all of us has their own tastes but there is so called general standard, I think Pure Love is in general standard because many are being caught by the story, story of being alone, story of being fooled by your fiance and best friend, and of course the story of pure love. All in all it was good because I was also caught by the story and I also laugh very much, you might call me ”mababaw” but i am just telling the truth and I’m sure I’m not the only one who laughed in this series http://www.facebook.com/purelove49days.abscbn . Thank you for your nice review, just remember ”Be aware to our opinions because it maybe unfair to the subject” Have a nice reading……….:-)

    • First of all, thank you for respecting my review despite our difference in opinions. And yes, my tastes in the sort of shows I watch would definitely affect how I see the ending. I prefer comedies and happy endings and I don’t think there’s any harm in me saying that. I never bashed drama, I just said that I wasn’t a major fan. Which would probably explain why I didn’t enjoy the show as much as other people did. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. In fact, I even mentioned that, although I wasn’t pleased with how the drama ended, I liked the final message that the writers left the audience.

      Nowhere in my review did I mention anything about hating the show or Nam Gyuri – I just said I didn’t like her. She’s not the best actress in my opinion and I that’s what I said in my review. I’m not going to lie, I found her annoying, but I don’t hate her. I though it was just the character at first, but I liked Ji Hyun when she was in Yi Kyung’s body, so I guess that wasn’t it. But hey, with the myriad of actors and actresses they have out there, you can’t really expect a person to like every single one of them, right? But that doesn’t mean I hate them.

      And you weren’t the only one who laughed while watching this, I did find some scenes funny. It may not be a comedy but it does have its moments.

      You may ask what I’m doing watching a drama if I like comedies more and the answer simply is because this show was recommended to me by a good friend who liked it very much. We usually have the same tastes in these things so I gave it a go. And while its not something I would probably watch on my own, I did enjoy it (at least compared to other dramas I’ve tried watching, most of which I don’t even bother finishing). Besides, if I didn’t like the show I would have given up halfway through. And I definitely wouldn’t have bothered making a review considering how little free time I have these days. It was good, but it just wasn’t one of my favorites.

  6. Okay!!! I hope Nam Gyu Ri will get better in acting so in the future you may be like her,,,,…. hehehehe…… You’re good in English ah… I think you could be a nice translator…. Have a nice day, Good luck po!!! I used ”po” because I know you’re older than me Sis…..

  7. Thanks for the Review. It was quite interesting to read your take on this drama.

    I have watched plenty of Korean Drama’s and am actually pretty addicted. I guess I’m a little weird as I’m a male in Australia 😛

    This drama was probably the best I have watched. It was good to have a drama that didn’t just focus on love. I thought the story line was quite original and entertaining. The acting in my opinion was great overall. Especially Song Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won) . I’d agree with you that Nam Gyuri (Shin Ji Hyun) was kind of annoying. I don’t think it was Shin Ji Hyuns character. I think it was the actress. She did look a lot like a doll. Kind of spooky.

    Also, I agree strongly that there are many beatifull women in this drama. Lee Yo Won is stunning. A close second to Park Shin Hye (Heartstrings , Your’e Beautiful) 🙂

    Thanks for your review. I’m up to episode 18 of 20 so finding out the ending was a bit of a spoiler but that is my fault for reading it.

    I’ll definitely be reading more of your reviews.

    My favourite dramas I’ve watched would have to be
    * Heartstrings
    * Goong
    * My Girl
    * Full House.

    I’ts pretty weird for a guy to like those I guess but I cannot help it. I’m a sucker for the beautiful women and the acting and storyline!


    • Thanks for reading my review. 😀

      I very impressed with Lee Yo Won’s acting in this drama too. I really liked how she played both characters (Song Yi Kyunga nd Shin Ji Hyun).

      I don’t think its weird for a guy to like these kinds of dramas. After all, the plot is interesting and (like you said) they cast a lot of beautiful women to play the characters 😀

      I haven’t seen Heartstrings but I like all the other dramas that you suggested. Full House was one of the very first Kdramas I saw (though it was dubbed in my language when I first watched it) and I absolutely loved it. And I also enjoyed My Girl and Goong a lot too.

      • ..I don’t think Nam Gyu Ri’s acting isn’t good..she’s an above average actress in fact, she can do comical scenes and she can cry..had you seen the episodes when his father will sign the testament, when her bestfriend planned to kill her while she was in a coma and when she was crying many times with Song..I dont think that was a fake act..and you have to note that this was her first kdrama series..yes, she had undergone plastic surgery and bcoz of that, her acting was already fake?..how was it related?..hahah..funny..and annoying bcoz you’re unfair on making your review..I guess you just dont like Nam Gyu Ri that’s why you said that..

        • I personally didn’t like her acting in the drama. I don’t see why stating my thoughts in my own review should be deemed “unfair” or “annoying”. Being able to cry on screen doesn’t necessarily make someone a good actress in my opinion. You need to have a genuine connection with that character the you’re playing.

          As for the plastic surgery issue, I like plenty of actors/idols/singers who I know have undergone surgery. I definitely don’t believe that getting plastic surgery will turn a good actress into a bad one. If you’ve got talent, it will show.

          But of course you’re more than welcome to have your own opinion about her. If you think that she did a good job, then I don’t see why that should be a problem for me.

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