K-Netizens’ Reactions to ‘My Ahjussi’ – An Evolution

When My Mister was first announced, there were quite a few vocal opinions from the Korean netizens regarding the suitability of the cast for this project, as well as the subject matter itself.

Here are some snapshots of this interesting history, so we can all marvel at how this drama has taken hold of its audience’s hearts, despite everything.

(Disclaimer: These are objective selections that are meant to give an idea of many fan reactions pre-, during, and post-show. I don’t dare to claim this is the whole picture or was the case for every K-netizens out there. Enjoy!)

8 November 2017 – IU Cast in tvN’s new drama ‘My Ahjussi’

Article:[Exclusive] IU cast as lead female role in tvN’s ‘My Ajusshi’

Source: Ilgan Sports via Naver

IU will be playing the role of an orphaned woman who is severely in debt and exhausted with life, on top of having to care for her sick grandmother. She meets a man in his forties who lives under similar extreme circumstances and the two find a connection of consolation of sorts.

1. [+2,372, -91] So explain to me why an exhausted woman in her twenties has to date a man in his forties…

2. [+2,060, -92] Why are all the female leads like this. Nothing has changed since 10 years ago.

3. [+2,294, -211] A collab between the scriptwriter for ‘Oh Hae Young’ and the director for ‘Misaeng’ and ‘Signal’, damnnn

4. [+2,268, -340] I do admit that IU still lacks what it takes to be a lead. She lacks the experience and the talent to pull off the immense amount of screentime required of a lead and all the emotions that go with it. She needs to work harder is all.

5. [+642, -28] The title already states ‘ajusshi’ ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ a man in his forties and a woman in her twenties? Isn’t that the age difference between a father and his daughter? Can they quit it with these huge age gaps?

6. [+544, -27] Can they change the title? It’s such a turn off;; my ajusshi…

7. [+391, -18] Seems it’s a must for Korean dramas to have female characters like this…

8. [+373, -17] I don’t like the plot… so outdated

9. [+527, -81] Ah… can IU not act and just stick to singing..


1. [+299, -34] Do dramas feel sick if they don’t cast idols as leads or something?

2. [+296, -40] Why does she keep acting?

3. [+234, -30] Another obvious plot…

4. [+36, -3] Is IU just going to run with this loli image…? She already went through a whole lolita scandal and now her next drama is ‘my ajusshi’…. this is insane

5. [+32, -4] Another fail drama to add to the list… IU, please just stick to singing

6. [+30, -3] Another drama to skip

7. [+28, -3] You would think she’d cut it down after the whole ‘Zeze’ controversy but her next drama is ‘My Ajusshi’ ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ she seems to be stuck in the loli disease

8. [+20, -4] As if flopping ‘Moon Lovers’ wasn’t enough…. even though its failure is more attributed to that EXO member than anything with his sh*t acting.

9. [+25, -0] I guess I wasn’t the only one who doesn’t like IU in dramas ㅋㅋㅋ

10. [+23, -3] Is this some loli drama? Pairing a woman in her twenties with a man in his forties?


Viewers have had enough of dramas featuring big age gaps

Article: “Stop making relationships between young women and older men!” Age difference controversy for the drama ‘My Ajusshi’

Source: Donga Ilbo via Nate

1. [+2,393, -131] I have no problem with the drama if the ajusshi remains an ajusshi until the end and not a romantic interest

2. [+2,099, -146] It’s hard to focus on the drama when there’s a huge age gap between the couple. Plots like that are just plain boring nowadays too.

3. [+2,041, -165] Men in their forties better stop dreaming of getting into somes with women in their twenties

4. [+220, -29] It’s because of dramas like this that old farts think they have a chance tsk tsk

5. [+194, -24] I’m all for it if the love line is between the woman and the ajusshi’s son

6. [+184, -20] Just because men see celebrity men marrying women 13-15 years younger than them, they think they have a chance too ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ without realizing that these men own million dollar apartments and live in a different world, which other men will be quick to put down but immediately praise in other articles when they’re marrying younger women ㅋㅋㅋ

7. [+137, -19] Stories like this are only pulled off by actors like Gong Yoo. It’s annoying when dramas give hope to ajusshis.

8. [+94, -13] Everything aside, it just makes the drama uncomfortable. I can barely stand watching a 10 year age gap, let alone 20 years… doesn’t matter how good the plot is.

9. [+79, -13] In real life, there are barely any opportunities for women in their twenties to get to know ajusshis in their forties in intimate ways like this;; ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

10. [+55, -8] While we’re at it, can we get rid of chaebol stories too. Let’s get a fresh love story between a female chaebol and a salaryman making $2,500 a month.

11. [+39, -5] The thought of it seriously makes me throw up… why would a young woman date someone 20 years older than her when she has plenty of options with men her own age. As someone in their twenties, I feel uncomfortable when I go from seeing people my age to ajusshis in their forties. Everything about them from their skin and stuff is so different…

12. [+36, -3] Reminds me of Yoona and Lee Bum Soo’s drama. That was so wrong, still makes me mad thinking about it.

13. [+30, -8] Why do dramas assume that young women would ever go for wrinkly skinned, balding men with ET bodies and smelly breaths when we have plenty of cute and energetic men in their twenties around us???


13 November 2017 – ‘My Ajusshi’ completes line-up with impressive cast list

Article:[Official] ‘My Ajusshi’ Lee Sun Kyun, IU, Na Moon Hee, Oh Dal Soo… best line-up completed

Source: OSEN via Naver

1. [+4,037, -382] An Oh Dal Soo drama ㅋㅋㅋㅋ can’t wait

2. [+3,507, -515] So it’s not going to be a romance drama but a healing one, I’m liking the casting

3. [+1,945, -386] This is looking good, hoping for a daebak!!!

4. [+937, -111] Really loving the cast so please don’t make a love line between Lee Sun Kyun and IU

5. [+488, -89] This is a family drama, please don’t become fixated on the age gap and call it a makjang romance drama.

6. [+384, -56] So we’re sure there’s no love line in this, right? I enjoyed IU up till ‘Moon Lovers’ and I think it’s more appropriate for a drama like this to not have a love line ㅜ

7. [+1,028, -294] It’s not a romance drama, guys… it’s a good line up so fighting IU!!!!

8. [+690, -186] Oh.. hearing that it’s not romance but more of a healing, growth drama makes me excited!

9. [+327, -66] As long as it’s not a romance drama, it’s fine… ㅋ the line up is amazing though ㅋㅋㅋ

10. [+230, -54] It’s a healing drama… you can tell just by the producers + cast line up. It definitely won’t be another boring love story. Hoping for a daebak!


20 February 2018 – First still cuts of IU in ‘My Ajusshi’ released

Article‘My Ajusshi’ IU, cold and abrasive woman… first still cuts released

Source: TV Report via Nate

1. [+551, -69] I’m a fan who really likes IU but I really wish she’d leave acting to the actors. You don’t see actors releasing albums just because they can sing.

2. [+516, -61] She’s extremely greedy. She doesn’t have the looks or skills to be taking lead roles but she keeps taking all of them.

3. [+454, -54] So this is her interpretation of a ‘cold and abrasive woman’?…

4. [+34, -16] I’m sorry Jieun-ah, I’m a total fan of IU but I can’t give you good reviews on your acting ㅜㅜ

5. [+26, -50] I don’t care what anyone says, I like IU’s acting, she’s good

6. [+25, -10] I wish she’d just stick to what she’s good at. She’s not even good at acting, why does she keep doing it;;;

7. [+21, -19] It’s the same director as ‘Misaeng’ and ‘Signal’ so I’m looking forward to it

8. [+20, -26] I support IU~~~

9. [+19, -35] I like IU’s acting. She pulled off Cindy well in ‘Producer’!

10. [+17, -12] Please just stick to singing…


21 March 2017 – MY MISTER (PILOT) + RATING

Naver – Osen: ‘My Mister’s first broadcast, Lee Ji Eun stole Lee Sun Kyun funds…Lee Sun Kyun got dismissed

1.[+1158, -111] IU’s back stab ㅋㅋㅋㅋ But it’s sad, somehow it feels like the two of them are reluctant to live, I feel bad for them

2.[+1040, -132] It’s good and fun, Lee Ji An’s back stab was funny

3.[+962, -111] When IU comes out it become thriller ㅋㅋ It got more fun after halfway

4.[+933, -156] This drama is really fun. Lee Ji Eun is the best

5.[+855, -104] All the actors are good at acting ㅋㅋㅋ

6.[+364, -32] All the characters are good…It’s so fun…It’s has good comic and thriller!!!

7.[+357, -35] I know understand why they aired 90 mins, It’s a big picture to put in one hour…Maybe even 90 mins still lacks a little..That’s why i will watch it tomorrow too ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

8.[+358, -38] When she stole the money I was really nervous ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

9.[+332, -32] Wow Dong Hoon’s life is a mess. on top of it he accidently got delivered a bribe..

10.[+328, -29] Everyone is perfectly good at acting

11.[+281, -29] ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ It’s so fun

12.[+279, -30] It’s quiet the thriller ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ It’s fun, I’m curious about tomorrow ㅠㅠㅠㅠ

13.[+269, -24] I just finished watching it, I don’t know about the first part but starting from the second part it definitely got more fun ㅋㅋ


29 March 2018 – MY MISTER E04 + RATING

Naver – heraldpop: ‘My Mister’ Lee Sun Kyun x Lee Ji Eun who received comfort from each other “Knowing me is a sad thing”

1.[+2655, -269] It’s fun. Don’t look at the reviews and just watch it…

2.[+2323, -171] Today was fun, annoying and gave me goosebumps, It had everything…

3.[+2058, -157] Waw today really got me angry and sad ㅠㅠㅠ Writer-nim, Let’s keep on going only like today. Thank you for giving the hint. But why ‘My Mister’ articles aren’t on the main page ㅠ

4.[+1885, -151] It’s so fun ㅜㅜ Today was fun on another level

5.[+1726, -143] I really cried out loud today ㅠㅠㅠ Looking forward to warm ‘My Mister’ from now on..

6.[+846, -29] I cried at Ko Du Shim and Park Ho San’s scene..It’s sad thinking of what kind of thought the mother had while smiling at her child.

7.[+686, -39] It’s becoming the drama of my life, It’s really fun

8.[+636, -25] Today was sad on another level…Wow the writer is really good at writing ㅠㅠ

9.[+622, -22] Now the drama is starting to show its true value…There was really a twist today, the three brothers are the best and Ji An is even better ㅠ The political fight at work is fun too! I’m looking forward to more

10.[+543, -21] Ah…It’s so heart breaking..ㅠㅠㅠ It’s sad and realistic…but I’m so curious to when will we get to see Ji An happy ㅠㅠㅠ Let’s be happy, Ji An-ah

11.[+537, -16] Everyone is having a hard time earning a living…Cheer up. Let’s live by believing that a good day will come

12.[+536, -12] The growth story of an adult and an adult child. I liked because It’s not obvious (predictable)

13.[+525, -19] It’s so realistic, sad and immersive…


26 April 2018 – EPISODE 12 ROUNDUP

Original Source (Herald POP via Naver): ‘My Ahjussi’ IU resolves the crisis…Tells Lee Sun Kyun, “You’re a good person”

1. [+4319, -207] You can’t approach this in a way where you say he’s a married man and what not. Rather than saying this is a romantic affection, it’s more like a human being feeling a sense of humanity for another human being? Compassion? Anyways, it’s something like that. It really isn’t a big deal but touching, warm words.. But for me, I find it more touching because it’s not a romantic love.

2. [+2439, -24] Today’s scene stealers: 1. Moon Chul Yong-ssi who was keeping an eye from the window, 2. When mother Yo Soon asked, “She is really weird?”, when Jung Hee told her Ki Hoon found a girl and they match well
↪ [+173, -2] ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I’m going nuts because of the mother
↪ [+166, -1] Jung Hee: She matches well with Ki Hoon-ie. Ki Hoon’s mom: Is she really weird??? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

3. [+2035, -33] I wish there were a lot of people like Park Dong Hoon in the world who helped Ji An grow in a better path through a warm heart and care

4. [+925, -17] In the preview, there was a coworker who said he liked Ji An, I’m curious whether that was the truth or he was saying that to get rid of the suspicions towards Park Dong Hoon and Ji An. I wish Ji An can live normally now… In reality, if she said that she has a past with murder then everyone would disappear, right?
↪ [+133, -0] It feels like it’s because the Zion. T director won’t let it go so the coworker stepped in, the answer will be in episode 13..
↪ [+181, -1] Zion. T director ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

5. [+723, -31] I want to live like Park Dong Hoon

6. [+577, -8] “Yes, I like him. And I admire him. For the first time, I was treated like a person and he’s the person who made me think that maybe I’m an alright person, to manager Park Dong Hoon.. thank you. The three months I worked here, it was the warmest for me in my 21 year old life.” ㅠㅠ Dong Hoon-ie taught Lee Ji An, who didn’t know anything, how to live life in an orderly, upright way.. he’s just a sincere teacher…

7. [+513, -5] “I like him”.. These words are such good words but it’s been really discolored/tarnished.. This is a warm drama that enlightened the genuine meaning behind the words “to like”


10 May 2018 – Episode 13 + 14 Roundup

Original Source (Sports Chosun via Naver): “Lee Ji An, call me” ‘My Ahjussi’ Lee Sun Kyun knows about Lee Ji Eun’s wiretapping

1. [+975, -38] Is this really the writer who wrote ‘Another Oh Hae Young’? How can a person write a drama this different, this insanely well? Also… Eric and IU are people whose original job is being a singer but how can they become this different with the clothes they’re wearing? (t/n: this person is basically saying they’re really fitting in the role) Is it the power of the directing or because of the screenwriter’s script? I… feel so bad for Lee Ji An. My heart also hurts for Dong Hoon-ie. I really want these two to be happy… I’m not crazy right (for feeling like this)? If Ji An-ie was my neighbor, I want to at least feed her a meal.

2. [+651, -55] Let’s give Lee Sun Kyun-nim a daesang and give Lee Ji Eun-nim a best actress award

3. [+435, -8] This is the best masterpiece that can make you feel the ringing deep within the lungs.. (t/n: I think they’re talking about the scene where you can just hear Lee Sun Kyun’s breathing) this is Lee Ji Eun and Lee Sun Kyun’s life character ㅜㅜ

4. [+368, -11] I choked up and my heart feels numb.. Tears are falling down on both of my cheeks.. It seems true that if you like someone, you’ll do anything for them.. I don’t watch dramas that often but this drama really touched me.. The background is somber but you fall deep into it.. I really like the drama and the actors…

5. [+213, -3] I didn’t know a day would come where I would cancel on plans to watch a drama live ;;;;


17 May 2018 – Episode 16 Roundup

Original Source (Sports Seoul via Naver): ‘My Ahjussi’ Lee Sun Kyun x Lee Ji Eun, ‘happy ending’ as they begin a new life

1. [+5341, -82] Thank you for presenting it beautifully until the end, I feel like the heartwarming story of Ji An and Dong Hoon will become a huge source of strength and comfort when we’re worn out and struggling in real life. To all the actors and staff members of ‘My Ahjussi’, thank you for your hard work and finally, thank you very much for producing a drama like this

2. [+2477, -72] I’ve never watched a perfect drama like this ㅠㅠ I was really comforted and I was happy. In the end, it was my first time experiencing lingering from a drama, I’m stunned ㅠㅠ

3. [+2152, -20] There are a lot of times where dramas rush the ending but they really finished it perfectly, nothing was rushed and they finished it by doing everything they wanted to do, so that’s why there’s more lingering

4. [+1845, -19] I received strength after watching this drama.. ㅠ “You are all good people, until you achieve comfort, fighting!” (t/n: Korean dramas usually show behind-the-scene pics of the staff and actors during the ending credits of the last episode and usually end the episode by thanking the viewers for watching but ‘My Ahjussi’ also added this into their thank you note to the viewers ㅠㅠ) My Ahjussi… I liked it because it had a huge meaning to my life.. ㅠㅠ I hope we have another chance to watch another drama like this..

5. [+1786, -24] This is what you call a script…-is what the writer showed us, writer-nim’s solid writing was the best…!

6. [+690, -17] I feel like the people who are saying that the drama received less ratings because of IU are people who didn’t watch the drama;; I became a fan of IU after watching this drama.. (t/n: same lolol) Don’t be hateful for no reason, it was just all good, I just enjoyed watching all of it, and I’m just going to miss all of it My Ahjussi

Article‘My Ajusshi’ finale, Lee Ji Eun leaves Lee Sun Kyun for a new start “Can I hug you?”

Source: News 1 via Nate

1. [+755, -123] Watching the last episode made me want to start back from the first episode… this has been the best drama of my life

2. [+658, -111] Thank you, I sobbed so hard again today ㅠㅠ

3. [+585, -111] Seriously daebak… first drama that I watched from start to finish

4. [+66, -7] I don’t think we’ve ever had a drama like this in Korea yet.. a flower that bloomed from ashes… It’s not a beautiful or flashy drama but a drama that shows the depth of life

5. [+65, -6] Such a realistic ending… Dramas often rush things through a happy ending but I think this one did it well. This drama was great. Let’s be happy… I hope all ajusshis are happy… and let’s all become proper adults where people like Jiahn can truly flourish

6. [+61, -8] This drama deserves an award

7. [+58, -9] Now that I’ve finished the drama, I can’t even imagine if anyone but IU played Jiahn. This drama was perfect, not a moment to be wasted. Lee Sun Kyun was amazing as well, as well as the supporting staff.

8. [+58, -13] Can’t believe all those b*tches called a drama like this loli fodder

9. [+57, -12] I’m 31 years old and this is the best drama I’ve ever seen in my life… really made me choke up

10. [+49, -4] We all end up being hurt by people in life but it is also people who treat us… Let’s all be happy! Fighting!



6 thoughts on “K-Netizens’ Reactions to ‘My Ahjussi’ – An Evolution”

  1. I love how their opinions changed over time. Anyone could see this was a hit drama from the first episode. I’m glad opinions changed as the show continued airing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was really amusing and gratifying to read. Thanks a lot for putting this together. The picture used is also so great – it’s like they’re laughing at all the unnecessary brouhaha and seeing people change their tune.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a 75 year old Canadian man, and I’ve read many hundreds of novels in my lifetime including some by Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The script for this television series rises to that level.
    Every part of the series is superbly done. The acting is perfection. Anyone who says that Lee Jieun can’t act must have watched this with their eyes closed. She is destined to be one of the world’s finest actresses. My Mister is simply the best thing we’ve ever seen on film, television or movie.
    We can’t get it on a streaming service anymore so we’ve bought the DVD set and watched it again.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. he criticism the show received about the age gap stuff is absurd. Many of the greatest movies and tv shows and books of all time have involved couples with large age gaps. And there are plenty of actual age gap couples in the world, including in Hollywood, the French film industry, the Spanish film industry, etc. To this day, the most famous Hollywood couple of all time is Bogart and Bacall. They were together till the day he died despite their 25 year age difference. I always roll my eyes at people who get upset at age gaps between consenting adults. The president of my country (France) is married to a woman who is about 30 years older than him.


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