Bound by tragedy, healing through love in JTBC’s Just Between Lovers
Oh I love the unexpected cute that will, hopefully, counteract some of the heavier melo elements in Just Between Lovers. JTBC’s new melodrama has about three weeks left until its premiere, and the station has released four new teasers to give us a closer look at our leads, played by Junho (Chief Kim) and rookie Won Jin-ah, as well as our first brief glimpses of Lee Ki-woo (Woman of Dignity), Kang Hanna (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo), and Na Mun-hee (Dear My Friends).
Junho and Won Jin-ah’s characters are bound together through tragedy, both having miraculously survived a horrible accident that claimed the lives of their family members, and to an extent, their futures. Kang-doo, played by Junho, lives a rough life in the back streets after losing his father and his dream of becoming a soccer athlete. He seems a bit hot-headed, getting into fights regularly, even when the odds aren’t in his favor. It’s after one such brawl that he first meets Moon-soo, played by Won Jin-ah, as she warily enters the alley where he’s lying bloody and barely conscious. He narrates, “That wind changed everything.”
Moon-soo narrates the same line offscreen in the next short teaser, as the two sit together on a bench. The female lead holds a similar pain to Kang-doo, having lost her younger sister to what looks like a major accident, but Moon-soo doesn’t wear her scars on her sleeve. It’ll be interesting to see how two people who’ve dealt with their pain so differently come together to heal each other. They certainly look adorable together, when Kang-doo approaches her in the rain to “repay my debt in the alley before,” and he pulls her into a hug.
I thought that Kang Hanna and Lee Ki-woo’s characters were just colleagues at the architecture firm where Moon-soo works, but it look like they also have a shared history, perhaps a relationship that ended badly. She asks whether he would’ve acted differently, to which he replies, “I would’ve stayed, despite everything.” Out of them all, though, Kang-doo sounds the most jaded, asking who will compensate for the suffering of those who have lived miserable lives, and that you have to be crazy to live in this world. Maybe he got it from Yoon Se-ah (Forest of Secrets), who has become his only family after the accident, and though we don’t get to see her in the teasers, we can hear her say that it’s the “weak ones that will get all excited over the trivial things.”
I’m just holding out hope that the romance between Kang-doo and Moon-soo is as cute as the last teaser makes it look, because him getting thrown off kilter by her wordless, motherly actions—like tidying up his hair and buckling his seatbelt—are the cutest thing. Take in the stray, slightly feral puppy and shower him with love, Moon-soo! And I completely agree with the offscreen remarks made about how Kang-doo looks at Moon-soo “the way a man looks at a woman.” The show hasn’t even started and I’m already rooting for these two to be adorable constantly.
Just Between Lovers will air on Mondays and Tuesdays on JTBC, starting on December 11.