Rating:
Average user rating 4.6
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When My Love Blooms: Episodes 1-2 (Review)

What a lovely start! When My Love Blooms premiered on tvN this weekend, telling the story of college sweethearts that meet again later in life. The drama’s strength lies in the passage of time it portrays so poignantly, and it grabs you from the start.

Note: We will be continuing coverage of this show with weecaps.

 
EPISODES 1-2 REVIEW

The story of first loves meeting again later in life is by no means new to dramaland, but When My Love Blooms brings a melancholy but beautiful take on it. Like most other dramas of its genre/plot, I expected When My Love Blooms to open with two-ish episodes of backstory with our younger cast that would lead to the “X years later” moment where we switch to present day and our adult cast. We’re all seen it many times.

But hooray, with When My Love Blooms we finally have a new bit of storytelling mechanics — our past and present storylines play out simultaneously, and it proves a real advantage for the story.

We open up with an introduction to our leads in the present day. We meet HAN JAE-HYUN (Yoo Ji-tae), just as he’s completed a four-year prison sentence. We quickly learn that he’s taken the fall for the chaebol corporation he works for, and he seems a little weary as he’s about to return to his life, wife, work, and family. At the same time we also meet our heroine YOON JI-SOO (Lee Bo-young). She seems ordinary, if a little somber, and we learn she also has a criminal record.

It’s not the most wild introduction to our leads, but what makes it come to life is in the contrast between who these two people were, and who they are now. After the quick present day introduction, we meet our leads back in 1993 when they were in college. Here, Ji-soo is played by Jeon So-ni. She’s pretty, sweet, and empathetic to the loads of political protests going on across campus.

One of these protests gets violent (to the tune of Smells Like Teen Spirit lol), and the police come in with tear gas. Ji-soo is lost in the shuffle and nearly trampled… until she’s saved by Jae-hyun (his younger protesting self played by Jinyoung). A storybook meeting? Yes. He coaches her back to normal breathing after the tear gas, bandages her wound with his hankie, and then he’s off to complete his escape.

You really can’t blame Ji-soo for falling head over heels for Jae-hyun. He’s got this solid, serious presence, and he’s passionate about his cause. Kudos to Jinyoung here — he’s played the younger version of leading roles before (and particularly well in Beloved Eun-dong), and he’s primarily a lovable puppy. But there’s virtually no puppy to the Jinyoung we meet here.

Jinyoung plays Jae-hyun as commanding, masculine, and gruff, and it not only works, but helps draw a line between him and Yoo Ji-tae (which is nice, since usually I just have to force myself to believe that two actors are playing the same character rather than feel like they are). Long story short, college Jae-hyun is super crushable.

Ji-soo can’t forget him, searches him out on campus, and pursues him with adorable persistence. Even though he pretends to reject/ignore her, it’s clear there’s something there, and it’s actually a lovely sequence of scenes. Tonally, it’s beautiful, from the dreamy color palette and saturation, to the wistfulness of remembering one’s youth. It creates a great contrast to the present day, because both our characters are quite a bit different when we meet them over 25 years later.

Jae-hyun is now on the other side of the protests, looking down on them (in both senses of the word) from his corner office. He’s now a chaebol son-in-law thanks to his marriage to JANG SEO-KYUNG (Park Shi-yeon) — they have a son together, but from the glimpses we get there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of togetherness in this marriage. Despite seeming like the chaebol bad guy, we also see a lot of the Jae-hyun we know — grounded, sure of himself, and ready to stand up for a righteous cause.

Ji-soo, however, seems to be doing worse than him. In some ways she is truer to herself (still supporting protests and playing the piano), but it’s clear she’s been kicked a bit by life. We don’t have all the details yet, but in addition to her time in prison, she went through a horrible divorce (circumstances unknown so far) and is struggling to support herself, her son, and her father who’s in a nursing home.

I really enjoy dramas with older, more mature leads, so I’m loving Lee Bo-young and Yoo Ji-tae in the lead here — and of course, they’re great opposite each other (but did you expect anything else?). They bring a gravity to the story immediately. We only have to look at these characters to know that they’ve been through a lot in the decades between our two stories — and that much of it hasn’t gone as they imagined it would.

Because the story takes its time, it feels like we have much more of the drama under our belts by the time our leads find each other again in the present. But in reality, it’s only been a single episode — and here’s how, as I said before, the drama’s parallel storyline is a real strength. Not only does it work to build the history between our couple as we watch both timelines unfold, but the younger story adds a sweetness to contrast the present day bittersweetness. As an audience, we get the best of both worlds: the spring of young love, and the cold winter of reacquaintance. And the balance is great.

Perhaps my mood was just right when I watched this show, but it struck all the right notes for me. The script is lovely, and knows just when to switch storylines to build context and history. But more than that, it’s the emotions the drama is able to convey that stand out the most.

Interestingly, many of the moments that grabbed me in these opening episodes were the ones without words — just great direction, acting, and the story coming to life. One example is when Jae-hyun recognizes Ji-soo from the corner of his eye and bolts out of the room before she has a chance to notice him. Another is when the two do meet each other, and rather than say anything, Ji-soo just looks at him, her eyes brimming with tears. The camera holds on her, and watching her emotions take over is quite poignant (as is Jae-hyun’s response). It makes you want to cry — not because it’s dramatic and pulls at your heartstrings, but just because it captures something in the quiet that gets right into you.

In our second episode, our present day storylines get fleshed out a bit more, from rivalries to romances. The drama is quiet and calm, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to be a melodrama of sorts, so we do have some familiar setups with school bullying, catty chaebol heiresses, the life-long unrequited crush, and more. But even with all these elements, because the story is so strong, it seems like they will serve the plot with appropriate restraint. Still, we gotta have drama, and that almost universally means wronged heroes/heroines, and outside antagonization — and that is clearly coming down the pike.

At the story’s center, though, is our two leads, and everything else circles around them. We have to believe in their connection, their history, and their love in order for everything else to work — and boy, does it ever. I don’t often enjoy both past/present storylines with equal affection, but here in When My Love Blooms, I have to say that I do. They work beautifully together, and watching both stories unfold is half the delight of this drama.

 
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Weecaps? Whatever it is, at least this show is getting a review!

Really enjoyed the first episodes a lot. A Melo can either be done well (tugs at the heartstrings) or be too heavy. I felt like the show has established a really good handle of their tone thus far. I am also a huge fan of the two main actors, and the fact that they don't have a small age gap (3 years) is a god send!!

Good mix of the past selves as well, I think it helps the drama to feel a bit fresh. I'm intrigued by the premise of two student activists and their collision together. Hope it continues!

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Lol I meant to say the fact that they don't have a large age gap in rl! Find me in your Memory is another Melo out rn, but the 13 year age gap in rl is a bit apparent in the show at times but in here it feels just right.

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First episode made me really curious about the characters but second episode made me feel a bit disappointed about the drama's treatment to the heroine. It felt all too much like a kdrama where there is a candy heroine who has too much self pity, too poor, too disappointed and too everything.

But the I absolutely love the direction and the way story is told. The young romance is beautiful, both actors doing such a great job.

Yoo Ji Tae is absolutely powerful in his presence.

I really hated that there is yet another teenage son who is getting bullied, wrongly accused and can not talk to the parent. I also hated that instead of standing up to him in some way, she is kneeling in apology.

Anyways, direction is so solid that I am going to be looking forward to next week and I am hoping it will be more than a male rescuing a candy female story.

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"I really hated that there is yet another teenage son who is getting bullied, wrongly accused and can not talk to the parent. I also hated that instead of standing up to him in some way, she is kneeling in apology."

You may hate such situation, @dramafan100, but I think they are totally realistic. Kids always hard to talk about his/her situation, especially on something traumatic for him/her; and when there is a divorced dad in the picture, Ji-soo would do everything to protect herself and her son, at least her kneel is way more persuasive then Sae-ro-yi's in «Itaewon Class» (end of Ep.15), because the story has built up her motivation on why she has to kneel.

In my point of view, the story intertwine the past and present seamlessly, and it is executed very beautifully. Ji-soo's fight for the weak is obviously inspired by Jae-hyun, and at the same time Jae-hyun's switching the side from fighting for the suppressed, to being the oppressor himself. Both changes, as well as their experiences in relation to South Korean history will be some of the focuses I am going to take note, maybe because of the love lost? That will be very interesting.

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I am actually fairly certain the kid getting bullied and unable to talk to the parent is realistic but I keep seeing that so much that I sometimes wish dramas actually start teaching parents how to deal with it instead of succumbing to it. It is also perhaps my changing preferences to the kind of content I enjoy more - I do not seem to have much patience to Korean kneeling or parents unable to stand up to bullies of their kids. I can forgive kids, but I have difficulty watching parents in such situations.

But I do agree with you, this might be more realistic take on the situation but it frustrates me and I enjoy that kind of content less and less I think.

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For that, I don't blame your hatred to such situation. i guess it is very frustrating for even average Korean. One of those similar incidents is the so-called "Nut Rage" scandal, in which a chaebol daughter was angry of her employees, who was a Korean Air flight attendants simply because she didn't put those nuts in a bowl but serve her those nuts in a package. She forced two of them to kneel before her to ask for forgiveness, and kicking one of them out of them plane (fortunately the plane is still on the ground) despite delay) Damn, such incidents are way too common, and we all hate them ...

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I agree with you about the repetitive behaviour and storyline when it gets to single moms or children at school or chaebols but like @imperialtitus pointed out that's everyday reality in that peninsula of the world. Which country doesn't have it?

It's little bit opposite to US TV series where they make a hero or a heroin with extreme positive thinking to become a very successful person by studying hard, writing a wonderful innovative essay to be able to enter Harvard or other prestigious university and win full scholarship and have a wonderful wife and bunch of kids or it stops there because there're no struggles ever after that. I might be harsh but while I did Work & Travel in the US I was quite surprised by the opposite reality to the movies and TV series produced by that time. Yes, by hardworking you can succeed and be appreciated but it must be hard for single moms in there too with health insurance system as it is and a parent in a care institution which is very expensive.

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Hmmm...

She's not really kneeling because she feels she's got to apologize. Her ex-husband is a lawyer and she only got guardianship of her son in spite of her financial situation because she gave up alimony. He also told her in a scene that he wouldn't give up on her nor her son and that if anything happened to their son, he would take that chance to get his son back.

That means that to keep her son she has to make sure that no incident happens and her husband is in the dark (we also get that phone call when she asks her son's teacher to keep silent since that teacher doesn't know she's divorce)... which would be impossible if a violence comity is set up. So yeah, as humiliating as it is, she has no choice but kneel especially since her son refuses to say anything... He probably doesn't want to burden his mother who already struggles financially... not knowing that his silence is actually worse.

So yeah, nobody likes such scenes - she used to be quite spunky and not the servile type so you get how humiliating that is - but keeping her son is priority.

Obviously such situations wouldn't happen in the West where usually divorced couple have shared rights on the kids ( I don't know how it works in the US but in France it's common' for parents to arrange to live not too far apart so that the kids spend one week at the father's, the other at their mother's attending the same school or, go see their other parents during the holidays).

I still don't get why the Asian systems (from what I know the drastic separation is also the same in Japan) haven't changed yet, I'm sure lots of parents are discussing it.

Anyway back to the drama. Melos are hits or misses for me and I usually wait for them to have ended before starting them...

BUT what can I say LEE BO YOUNG, YOO JI TAE... I had to check it out.

L.o.v.e.d i.t and it's not even winter :D (because yeah, all that snow when it's sunny outside... not like you can really enjoy it since most of us are stuck at home).

I also love that for once their youth is told in parallel with the adult version... So we're not told the whole story... Great job by the "young" actors ( the actress is 29... holy molly give me your genes).

But anyway. Lee Bo Young. She does have a knack for choosing good projects just like her husband so. Yeah...
I'm waiting impatiently for next week though I wish we got a second female lead less bitchy (seems like Ji Soo's ex is also a handful).

... But I'm so in love with the young and older couple that I don't really care, and yeah it just rang the right chords for me so I'm sold!

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I agree with you. So far, this is the downside in this drama. Don't get me wrong, I loooove Lee Bo Young, but not her character who I find selfish and absorb in self pity. Raising a child, refused financial assistance from ex husband, with no effort to find a regular job, and spends her days attending rallies. She depends on her son being smart and is able to go to school where he is bullied. We all know what a mother can do. No matter how irresponsible a woman is, the moment they become moms, they work, and work, and sacrifice to provide for their child. She is a complete opposite of this. However, I love the sadness of their love story, it will make u grab a box of tissues.

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Are you blind? She is working a lot of part time jobs and recently got fired from her job at the supermarket hence the protest. She is showing exactly what a strong woman is. Aren’t woman not allow to show emotions too? She’s in pain yes but she didn’t give up she kept going.

A self pity behavior would be complaining and sitting at home doing nothing. Sorry but your comment don’t make sense to me.

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Wasn't particularly intrigued by the seemingly K-drama story line at first, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the first 2 episodes! I also enjoyed the directing and storytelling, and the interplay between the younger years and the present timeline is so artfully and refreshingly done. Least to say, the acting and the weight the two leads brought were so... understated yet saying so much. I'm sticking around!

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Someone said that the Korean title for this show is the same as In the Mood for Love!?! I wonder if they will try to evoke that film/sensibilities throughout the show. I didn't make that connection but I am intrigued.

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It is! But I haven't watched In the Mood for Love, so I can't comment. But I'm not sure if there was intended to be a connection though, the phrase is a standard Chinese phrase to mean the (usually youthful) years which are the best years of one's life :)

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On second thought I think its based on the standard Chinese phrase that you mentioned lol. Fits in more in line with the description from this show about being the best moment in one's life.

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I love our main girl in the past just boldly chasing after Jin Young for a date ^^ The past memories blend nicely into the present.

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Love the leads. Give me mature actors, with not too large an age gap, and I'm in. The transformation of JiSu from a determined and sweet youth to the current oppressed one appears to require much explanation for me. The same for the ML. Hope we have a good journey through this drama given the pandemic.

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I kept hoping that this will be recapped on DB, and so I was happy enough to see a review, but then I read that this will be continued with a weecap? thankss :D

My first impression of the first ep: a good script, beautiful cinematography, 2 pair of wonderful leads (1 each of past and present), I always like yoo ji tae and lee bo young, but the young conterparts are holding their own presence in this, I really like them too..
I really like how lovely the young love was potrayed, felt so passionate yet so innocent, and the curiousity that I have after noticing how different the female lead in the past vs the present in term of her attitude and expression, what have happened to her all these years? is this another life mishap or thing like bad choice she made, I’m intrigued. So safe to say, I like this show a lot. but, looking at how complicated our leads’ life, I’m preparing for an angsty life journey of them too..

My only gripe for the first two episode is the scene when our heroine has to kneel for her son, as other beanie has commented, I couldn’t tolerate this action more and more, but I hope this time, in this drama, I would get some sort of reason for me to tolerate her to do it,
come on show, give me a good reason for it by writing a compelling character of a female lead that I can root for!

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I want to watch it for Lee Bo Young and Yoo Ji Tae but I'm not very interested in the young couterparts.

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Have you watched the show yet? Are they not interesting in the show or you just not a fan of the actors? I am still thinking of starting or not - I like all the actors/actresses and I typically love romance stories in their 30s or 40s, so not sure about this one with seemingly more younger scenes. But it seems like from other comments/DB review the 20s scenes are actually good?

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No I haven't yet. I think I wanted a show centered on the 40 years old characters' couple more than a half-half. I'm not a big fan of JinYoung but it's more about the story than the actors.

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You should give it a shot. The young leads are doing a wonderful job and the directing of the present and previous years are really well-done, merging both into one storyline. I am loving both eras so far.

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Thanks for the review! I had no interest to watch this initially, but got curious after reading an article about it. Totally in love with this! It's melo-romance well done, and your review captured the reason why this drama is working for me! Both the older/ present day couple and the younger/ previous years couple are doing such a good job, both in chemistry and acting. Can't wait to see more episodes next week.

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I really enjoyed first episodes. Give the old school drama feel.
I really love JS as we can see the she can stand up for herself. Like when she was talking with that lady in the school comity and fired back that she apologized 30 sec ago. Also with her ex-husband that he should learn detach lies from her voice. Like we could see that her past self is still there. Gonna be interesting to see how this two ended up where they are now, and how meeting each other again bring the spring back to their life.

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Yay!!!!! Weecaps.

I only watched one episode. And I loved what I saw. I loved how the past and present were shown. It made me a bit sad seeing a somewhat jaded leads in their current 40s. But it also shows how idealistic we can afford to be in our youth. It kinda made me a tad sad.

Am curious about what brought them here. Will be back after I finish episode 2!

Thanks for the weecaps.

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Thank you @missvictrix for the timely weecaps! When My Love Blooms is a joy to watch- it does have all the quiet charm of an old school drama beautifully acted by both sets of leads.

I can't wait for the rest of the story

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I was pretty disappointed in the first two episodes. The directing and cinematography were good but the storyline disappointed me. All k-dramas have tropes; for me, it's all in how they are used, and so far, they are being used in the most familiar of ways here. If just one had been different - if the male lead and his chaebol wife had a crappy marriage but she was kind of cool instead of witchy or the female lead and her ex husband had both completely moved on and were friendly - I would be more inclined to give this drama a chance. Instead it was all of my least favorite tropes in one drama. Couldn't the male friend at least have been a male friend instead of one with a 25 year crush. Sigh.

Yoo Ji Tae is serviceable. Lee Bo Young is a good actress, but I've only really liked her in I Can Hear Your Voice. I wish she would do something like that again instead of these heavy roles.

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Other than witnessing a story of a first love getting a second chance, I am even more interested on this show's promise of giving us a social commentary: when Ji-soo whose from a privileged family being persuaded by Jae-hyun to become a social activist, Jae-hyun who used to be a social activist to help the suppressed now become an oppressor. This dynamic is pretty interesting. How their love to each other as well the break-up afterwards change their worldview to the society they live in, and have the society change to be a fairer one during this period of time? This is what I am looking for. I think the drama lay out their story past and present like a parallel universal is not coincidence, but intentionally showing this side of them story as well, which I find it epic.

However, I doubt if the student demonstration in 1993 is just as vigorous as between 1983 (Gwangju Massacre) and 1987 (June Struggle and the downfall of Chun Doo-hwan) According to this article (https://ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/ihe/article/download/6220/5456/), student protest at least is not that violent as this drama shows, and I hope someone enlightened me with more information.

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That is the exact thing I really like about this plot

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I hope they use this protest material well! It can be a great central theme.

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I really hate kids being bullied story line...is Education system in Korea this much shitty when it comes to school violence management. Ji Soo is too stubborn...I don't think hiding her son throwing a bench at somebody from her ex-hisband was a smart thing to do...the entire kneeling scene was done to put Ji Soo on the spot between Jae Hyun and his wife....now with all the minor gripes out of the way...I love this show...the past and present...the parallel presentatio is so well ...it makes you wonder what cruel trick life played on the lovely, energetic Ji Soo and quiet Jae Hyun...how did they drift so apart from each other and are merely shadows of their past self..how will they reconnect...one is married with a son...one is divorced with a son with an ex- husband still holding on to her...the chaebol part is least interesting and almost too cliche...but barring that everything else clicks well...Jin Young was very good on Psychometric and I can see his growth here...well done to him so is Jung Eun Chae.

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Lee Bo-young from 'Mother'? I didn't recognize her. Married to Ji Sung with whom she had worked all the way back in 2004.

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Thought that it would be another usual longing melo
surprised to see that it brought feels , warmth while watching
Kudos to cinematography; intricate story line; appropriate portray of emotions by past and present leads
Hope FL develops spine in next episodes 🤞

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i love me a good past-to-present-to-past drama, a la Love Rain and the like, so i'd rather looked forward to see how this would play out. definitely curious about all the little hints within the show (e.g. why was Ji-soo in prison?), and thought it was also interesting how there was some light moments within the show, thanks to Han Jae-hyun and his sneaky (non)stalker ways. looking forward to seeing more of the 90s scenes as well peppered through the drama. the past scenes (of the 70s) were what i'd loved and missed the most in Love Rain and cramming it into 4 eps left me wanting more!

also, i couldn't help but laugh out loud at how dramatic that last scene in ep 2 was... a bit too makjang for my liking 😅

if anyone's curious about the show's locations thus far, we've amassed a fair bit of them here!

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I wasn't really interested in this show, but I read some comments on the beanie wall and decided to give it a try as I wasn't watching anything on weekends, and... what a lovely surprise I found!!

I know I'm going to like something about this show: how we change as we grow up. There's this quote alleged to Churchill, G.B. Shaw, Russell or Disraeli (and whoever said it, doesn't matter) who holds a bit truth: If you’re not a soci*list at the age of 20, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re still a soci*list at the age of 40, you haven’t got a brain. This is the first thing I thought when I saw our leads.

I just loved the two episodes, and our both couples both in the present and in the past. I want to know more. The directing and cinematography is really good, and so far actors are just fantastic.

The train station scene made me cry, and I wasn't ready for that. It was just only some minutes that I had met those two, I didn't know anything about their story in the past and why they were apart, but that "I found you, Yoon Ji Soo" and I bursted into tears.

Go on like this, show. I have the feeling you may steal my heart.

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Haha well said. I think we've all been there - attending protests fairly randomly but with much enthusiasm when in college, and then, revisiting priorities and positions a few years later.

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I'm still a romantic, you know, but now I know (and I suffer) how things work. So let's say I'm a pragmatic romantic, if that can even exist!

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Been looking forward to this review because I hadn't decided whether or not to add it to my now-long watchlist. So thanks, you've made it sound very much worthwhile.

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I was surprised by Jinyoung - like you said no puppy here. I did think his protest demo speech could have used a bit more (I don't have a word for it in english - ठहराव) & just shout with more infection, clarity & a little pause?

It makes me happy lol that we end up picking same dramas, thanks for the weecap @missvictrix!

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Nice word! The closest English word that comes to mind for ठहराव is "gravitas", maybe? I didn't think Jinyoung did his part as student leader well, honestly. He still seemed puppy-like to me, and I haven't watched him in anything else :/

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Yes that's it - gravitas, thank you!
__ Having watched Jinyoung in 2-3 other things, I found his performance significantly different from the outset. That he's supposed to be soft deep down is maybe what gives the puppy vibe - but here he's not looking for guidance or explanations, he's leading. He's always played a somewhat lost boyish character before (at least in what I've seen) so this time to me he wasn't puppy. He looked & felt like a student leader.

Also *inflection not infection ugh. I regret typing too quickly now.

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Is anyone carrying this? Netflix, Viki, Kocowa?

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I think Viki is.

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yes, it's on Viki.

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Yay 😀 another lee bo young’s drama. I am a fan of all her dramas except ‘ I hear your voice’

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Same! I could not even finish it. Oddly enough, the last straw was when he tried to embrace her and she stuck her foot in his face. At that point, I wasn't buying any romance they were selling.

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I personally don't buy into all those high school guy and Nolan romance. The same reason, I don't like high school, king of savvy.

That is the reason I don't watch Lee Joon Suk's drama, I keep picturing him in 'I hear your voice'. Though it is a pity, I hear he is good

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Why do all rich parents excuse their children's evil behavior? Ugh. That poor kid.

Ji Soo's ex is delusional as per the norm. My question is does he want custody of his son because he loves him or because it's a way to hold onto Ji Soo?

Can't wait for Jae Hyun to dump his wife and get out from under his dirty boss.

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I think he never wanted to divorce...
I'm going to bet that as a law firm lawyer, he took a case defending a corporation that unjustly fired some employees. Jisoo probably found that offensive and completely against her morals, and decided she could no longer live with him. Nor did she want her son to be raised by such a person, so she sued for divorce and custody.
From the ex-husband's point of view.. he was probably just doing his job and trying to keep his job. From the divorce scene it didn't seem like it was one out of animosity or hatred... and the husband seemed like he wanted to help out financially at least and get partial custody but Jisoo turned him down...

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See it looked like the opposite to me. Like she couldn't stand him anymore and that rejecting alimony and child support she could stop him from running her life any further. I'm sure there was a good reason for the judges to give her full custody hence his comment of how he could get the son back and by extension her.

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This seems like it will be a trope-filled old-fashioned melodrama. The protest theme is different, and if used well, can make it interesting. I hope they do it, otherwise, I'm not sure what else about the show will make me want to stay the course!

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I have a thing for older female leads too, whether they are paired with younger male leads Gong Hyo Jin x Park Ha Neul in Camilia, Kim Hee Ae x cheating husband who can't let go in Married Couples, Kim Hye Soo x sexy lawyer counterpart in Hyena... or with those at around the same age as them like Son Ye Jin X Hyun Bin in Crash Landing. There is a certain self-assurance and gravitas.

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I eagerly anticipated as I really like melo-romance and great acting (which typically comes with older leads). I found first 2 episodes slow - as in many scenes were 2 seconds longer than necessary . The slow-mo is a bad directing device ( I notice this a lot in TKEM as well) - instead of getting touched , I find it very in-your-face. And though I normally prefer mellow music, the opening instrument sounds like something in 1950s. Is it just me? I even made a new subscription just for this.

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would anyone possibly know the name of the piano song ji soo plays with the mask and maybe be able to share the piano score?

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@yumseyo8 I'm pretty sure it's original to the drama -- so pretty, right?? I did some digging for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcAeu2mTbDk

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@yumseyo8 @missvictrix The piece Ji-soo plays is “Comme au premier jour,” by André Gagnon. I know this only because the Korean singer Elli K (aka Unknown Dress) added Korean lyrics to it some time ago, and later did a music video I came across on YouTube (her version is titled “Sonnet”). I really like both the song and the MV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HMx9PYA-G8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxAN19LTgRw

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Yes! I was wanting to find one too!

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Thanks for the review.

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What a beautiful summary and review, ... just like this poetic melodrama.

What else can be said, ... only can add that sometimes words can never fully describe what art is trying to portray, and to illustrate, I would like to quote the first sentence of one paragraph from your review:

"Interestingly, many of the moments that grabbed me in these opening episodes were the ones without words..."

And you go on in elaborating on your idea explaining what those moments are. Absolutely right on point, and I could not have described it better.

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I'm only one episode in but I'm surprised how invested I am in the story already. I like both couples and I agree with you about the pacing. There's a good balance of back story and current day, each special in it's own way. We barely got past mutual interest in the back story yet I felt the pain and emotion when our couple met current day. I even got a bit watery eyed at their snowy reunion. I've been in a bit of a drama rut recently having a hard time finding one that holds my interest but I think this one has broken the streak! I thought this was gonna be a feel-good drama so I wasn't prepared for the feels, but I'll never complain about a well produced drama.

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Hi all-I am so impressed by all you commentors loving this show! I am finding it sooo slow, so heavy, both characters so heavy-handed and miserable, I find them hard to watch. Add to that the politics in the protests and the poor little boy being bullied. I'm out. I guess I'll just watch 1% of Something again!
p/s - I did appreciate the comments about watching mature characters for a change! And I love Tae from Healer! I hope his character in this one will be a bit more lively and let his sense of humor come through! Thanks!!!

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Love Secretary Kang and he plays it well and nice to see a matured couple struggling with their love. Wish i can understand Korean to catch the the dialogue better ..... :)

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Really like this. Thanks for the weecap! Find the mood & tone as wistful and beautiful as the Love Letter movie mentioned in the show.

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