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Lovestruck in the City: Episode 1

Lovestruck in the City is here, as Kakao’s latest experiment into K-dramas. We have a different show length, airing time, and (surprise!) format than what we’re used to. Though it’s a major adjustment, Lovestruck came in feeling new and fresh but still comfortably familiar. It might just be the perfect breezy watch I’ve been looking for.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A narrator tells us, “One day, we wanted to know how men and women in the city date. To satisfy our curiosity, we decided to follow several men and women in the city.” This narrator is actually a director, and he introduces us to the people he’s documenting:

We have architect PARK JAE-WON (Ji Chang-wook), marketer LEE EUN-OH (Kim Ji-won), another architect CHOI KYUNG-JOON (Kim Min-seok), part-timer/possibly unemployed SUH RIN-YI (So Joo-yeon), high school gym teacher OH SUN-YOUNG (Han Ji-eun), and novelist KANG GEON (Ryu Kyung-soo).

What do they have in common? They reside in the city, they’re in their late twenties to early thirties, and they’re all super awkward in front of the camera.

The director narrates that he won’t be interfering with these people’s lives, but he may share their interviews or edit them to make things fun. All righty… as long as you don’t go The Bachelor on us.

Director-nim encourages his subjects to treat the camera like a friend and to always tell the truth. But in some cases, he wonders if they’re lying, like when Jae-won claims that he’s not at all a clingy lover. So, Director-nim concludes, “We’ll let you be the judge.”

As we see the subjects in their daily lives, a few connections are made. It seems like Kyung-joon and Rin-yi are dating, while Eun-oh and Geon are friendly. Individually, they’re asked about the kind of people they’re compatible with. Eun-oh comments, “There’s someone I cannot forget,” and Jae-won says, “I have one, too.”

We get a glimpse to one year ago, when Eun-oh and Jae-won were together and very much in love. Jae-won doesn’t understand why they broke up when they loved each other, and he and Eun-oh comment back and forth about whose fault it was, as if they’re arguing in real time.

Eun-oh explains that Jae-won came into her life when she most needed him, that he was a gift. Jae-won, on the other hand, feels bitter and wishes he’d never met her.

September 2019, Jeju Island. Eun-oh was working part-time at a surf and ramyeon shop, and her boss asked to pick up a friend at the airport. Naturally, her only info was that the guy was tall and handsome. She saw Mr. Tall and Handsome (AKA, Jae-won) by the curb and nearly drooled. Yeah, I’d probably react the same way.

“You asked me what kind of women I’m compatible with,” present-day Jae-won says. “I’m attracted to strange women. And I’m compatible with such women.”

As the couple drove into Jeju, Eun-oh bopping along to the rock station, Jae-won watched her with curiosity. Eun-oh then got excited about a love ballad and rolled down her jeep’s windows, encouraging Jae-won to sing along with her. “That’s how I fell in love,” Jae-won says.

The couple discussed the camper Jae-won rented, and Jae-won revealed that he had two wishes since he was twenty: One was to live in a camper for a month, and the second was to do nothing but surf for a month.

Still, Eun-oh thought that if Jae-won had a camper, he might as well drive it. Maybe even drive it to the beach to watch the rain and drink coffee. Without asking him, she made a sudden U-turn and took him to the DMV to get a camper license.

As Jae-won continues telling this story, he walks into work with his co-worker (ah, and cousin) Kyung-joon. Jae-won seems pretty strict when it comes to their business, driving his cuz crazy.

After Jae-won was quite literally pushed into getting his camper license, he got his camper settled on the beach. The couple’s mutual friend tried to explain how to care for it, but Jae-won was too busy smiling at Eun-oh as she ran around with a dog. The friend Bin (cameo by Lee Sang-woo) asked Jae-won if he wanted to take “her” back to Seoul with him, and Jae-won was still smiling as he said yes.

Then Bin said, “Get her neutered first,” and Jae-won looked at him with confusion. Ha, he was referring to the puppers. Wait, Bin said, so Jae-won was talking about Yoon Sun-ah? Jae-won smiled as his gaze returned to Eun-oh, or at least, who he then came to know as the vivacious Sun-ah.

Later that night, everyone gathered at the surf and ramyeon shop owned by Bin and his partner Lala (cameo by Park Jin-ju).

The restaurant was in full swing, with Jae-won playing jenga and Eun-oh and her friend Gyung-goo (yet another cameo by Lee Sang-yoon!) playing beer pong. Even when the couple were across the room, they couldn’t keep their eyes off each other.

Lala initiated a game where she called out a type of group, like “three men and four women” or “four men,” and they had to huddle together. (Being an introvert, I want to cringe.) By the end of the game, Lala announced “One man and one woman” and…

Heol. Jae-won took Eun-oh’s hand and led her to the floor. (Still cringing, but also kind of swooning.) Jae-won narrates, “When I look at a girl’s eyes, I can tell if she’s compatible with me or not. I can sort of see her facial expressions in her eyes. I just felt it at that moment.”

Lala declared the couple as the winners, and like clockwork, fireworks exploded in the night sky. Jae-won continues, “I liked everything about her. Her breathing sound and her smell up close. Her weird hairstyle and clothes she threw together without much effort. Everything about her seemed perfect.”

The other docu subjects comment on Jae-won’s love story, Eun-oh herself saying this woman must’ve been really special. Jae-won and Eun-oh both say that if they were to re-live that moment, they’d fall in love all over again.

 
COMMENTS

I don’t know what I expected from Lovestruck, but it certainly wasn’t this. I seriously question why they didn’t push the mockumentary style in promos, when it makes the concept sound ten times more interesting. But I guess I can take it as a pleasant surprise. The “docu” acting and setup comes across as suuuper cheesy sometimes, but for the most part, it’s actually quite refreshing. Right off the bat, I love that Director-nim’s subjects have started forming a comfortable relationship with the camera. It’s almost like they’re confiding in us, making it feel that much more personal. I even love the 30-minute format, making it short and sweet and leaving me wanting more. I’m already eager for our main couple’s reunion, as well as the other couples’ lovelines.

And I’ll just say it: I’m very much into reality TV. Like, to a concerning degree. I know that reality TV stars can lie and that editors can manipulate footage, but there’s something about it that draws me in. I think Lovestruck has that something. The director (the real-life director) seems to be having a lot of fun with this, as he seems to with all of his projects. I see the same touch of whimsy that was in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, especially with the transitions and graphics. Though I don’t understand the flashbacks (Are they supposed to be re-enactments? A totally separate thing from the “docu”?), they also have a slight magical vibe to them. I wonder how much we’re going to see of Jeju; I wouldn’t mind spending a little more time there.

Jeju Island must’ve felt like some kind of sanctuary to our couple, seeing as how they left their professional selves in the city. It sounds like Eun-oh, in particular, was struggling in life, and she needed to be someone else. And she just happened to fall in love while she was Sun-ah and not Eun-oh. I thought it was so cute when she first met Jae-won and sweetly smiled to herself before switching to her other persona. To her, it was a romance that ended with Sun-ah in Jeju, but to Jae-won, it was a romance that ended inexplicably. I can’t help but wonder if Director-nim recruited these two knowingly. He’s not revealing names or any actual footage to the others, as far as I can tell, but he’s definitely going to stir things up. I don’t know how things are going to play out, just that we’re in for an interesting ride.

Note: Because of the drama’s length and schedule, I’ll be doing weecaps from now on. So see y’all next week!

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I really enjoyed the premiere and the episode flew by really quick (thanks to the 30 min format). It felt like I was watching a movie both with the setup and the characters. I’m looking forward to all the couples stories and especially how Ji Chang wook and Kim Ji won ended up parting ways.

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Hmm, I ended up liking this *quite* a bit.... the western vibes, the mockumentary style, the color-grading... almost everything, except WHY does a 'different, indie' kind of project automatically have to introduce the lead-female as some variant of a 'manic pixie dream girl'?
I sort of had an idea from the synopsis she was going to be one, but so far the story has been revealed from Jae-won's flashbacks & 'his lens'....which is sort of leaving that weird aftertaste.
I admit, I wouldn't have stuck around had the leads NOT been Wookie & Jiwonie (& instead some newbie actors). I hope they eventually reveal the cause for the breakup was because of JaeWon imposed that 'mpdg' image onto her, and she ended up leaving him. ugh.
Bonus point: as an architect, I really appreciate how they picked up on the profession's quirks... the 'month-long beachside vacation', 'the black-turtlenecks', 'trashing designs just because'.... hahaha, I genuinely laughed SO hard at that... :D
I admit, the mockumentary bit got a tad-cheesy at parts, sadly... :(

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I thought the exact same about Kim Ji-won's character seeming very Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She seems less like that in her solo interviews, though, so I'm also hoping the show demonstrates how it's the way JCW's character views her. That, along with my feelings towards JCW really cooling since Healer, meant I didn't really warm up to him as a character.

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There's some evidence that the "quirky, carefree and effortlessly beautiful" mpdg Eun-oh that Jae-won finds so appealing, is an act on her part - she literally gave everyone in 2019 a fake name!

And her present-day self looks/sounds/behaves nothing like that, if anything it makes her more interesting to me and not your typical male fantasy of the *quirky* girl.

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I saw her as Boho/Hippie surfer girl with a touch of clumsy.

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I wanted to check out the first episode review before trying the drama since JCW dramas have been sort of a miss lately and mostly due to the female leads. Not sure about this one too because of the description of FL. Anytime a ml says he likes “strange and weird” women alarm bells go off in my head. I doubt anybody no matter how unique likes to be thought of as “strange and weird”, especially by someone close to them. Argh!

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Oops! He didn’t say weird, just “strange”. Still iffy!

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It's not strange women in general, just this one rather odd (to him, and it's not surprising he would find her odd, that quirky personality is at least partly not the real woman Eun-oh is!)

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Also I would agree w your reservations if that 'inexplicably odd but appealing woman' trope was being played straight, but it's not. Because she's faking!

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So well put, manic pixie dream girl, so off putting, but I don't want to diss this yet because I am way less critical of Wookie than just about anyone else. All he has to do is smile with his beautiful wide mouth and I am bewitched. I also think he is a superb actor, no matter what drama he is in. I'll travel great distances (though murky melting swamps) to keep watching him.

But to return to the manic pixie dream girl. Hmmmm... the scene where *Jae-won was too busy smiling at Eun-oh as she ran around with a dog* To start with, I am attuned to dogs and their facial expressions (ha). That poor dog being dragged haphazardly along the beach... You could tell it was trying to cooperate. It being an accomplished actor who knows that it has to deliver when it gets a role. And then she fell over. I have serious irritability issues with FLs who cannot walk without falling over. It usually means they need brain surgery. Being kooky is overrated.

Other than that, I love the doco style. Does it have Sex in the City vibes? Even if it does, I have full faith in k-drama that it will go in interesting directions. @chibi8535 thanks for pointing out the architect references. I hope it keeps it up. Bring me more Wookie.

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I love Wookie to the moon and back but couldn’t manage to finish Melting me softy and Backstreet Rookie 😂 His portrayal of Ma Dong Chan was quite decent in MMS and I even liked the actress playing the female lead, but I think because of bad scripts and execution, the drama was overall mediocre. I ended up fast forwarding to scenes with Wookie. But I couldn’t even do that with Backstreet Rookie 😔

Although I generally don’t like sageuk, especially a 50-episode one, I did watch the first episodes of Empress Ki and then fast forwarded to Wookie’s scenes 😂 He was excellent in that drama. Whenever he was sad, something tingled in my heart, I felt sad with him.

Suspicious Partner was ok in my opinion, although I was so fed up with the entangled Dads thing, which has been overused in Kdramas, and I didn’t like the female lead character very much. At least in SP, JCW was so attractive, so sexy. That’s the beauty I fell for, and I haven’t seen it in Lovestruck in the city.

I just so desperately wish he would have a decent drama to keep his name hot and to be able to have good projects next. It hurts me to see my love struggle ☹️

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He was amazing in Empress Ki. His character was heart-breakingly tragic.

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Haha...I doubt he's struggling. He is getting pretty good offers even before his dramas finish airing and if I read one of his interviews correctly, he seems to be the sort who pays more attention to who he gets to work with in a drama. It looks like to me that his accepting of BR and LITC is mostly based on the PDs he gets to work with.

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Thanks heaps for the information, it helps to ease my worries. The reason I was worried was that I read on another thread on DB that because of some silly club incident before JCW returned from Military services and another silly video he recently posted on his page, JCW’s image is not as clean as before and that may affect the number of projects he is offered. But that’s just a theory, I don’t know much about Korean culture and am not sure if it is correct.

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Umm, i think I'm taking this quite differently. I delved in totally not expecting the format, was amused because I really love experimental (ish?) kdrama because of how different it is, and left quite.... Dissapointed? Idk if it's the 30 minutes content that isn't enough to grip me but upon seeing the duration I was excited because I felt like it's gonna be sharp and packed but instead I got a story that's kinda.... All over the place?

About the mockumentary though....... Idk what is it with Kdrama and tipping towards the failing side of effectively using mockumentary. I think it's just.... They tried so hard to make it a thing (like moving cameras). Few of my favorite shows are mockumentary (modern family, the office, and fleabag... Well kinda ish for fleabag lol) but what I caught is that they are using it to complicates the story with perspectives only us and the characters know, instead of using it as a story telling device. I don't think it's wrong but I just haven't found it.... as fun to watch. Producer did the exact same thing.... And gave up in the middle. So here's to hoping this one actually is a breakthrough because I would lobe to enjoy watching these pretty people falls in love beautifully🤞

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At times, I felt as if I was watching Kim Ji-won the actress acting like a carefree and weird person (felt unnatural to me). Don't know if it was intentional (i.e. her character adopting a temporary persona) or whether I subconsciously typecasted her. In hindsight, her past characters seem to be more uptight/knows what she wants than free flowing (heirs, dots, fight my way). Looking forward!

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Definitely! Not sure if it was acting or the writing. I couldn't help but roll my eyes when she was running after a dog while smiling.
Does anyone even do that? I can't imagine going somewhere with someone, leaving them be and running on the beach nearby

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I play with my dog like that at home but I don’t think I smile and laugh that much; I did suspend my disbelief in that scene though. She looked a lil bit too cheerful.

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Yup her character was awkward but surprisingly her mockumentary wasn't. So I'm hoping there's more to it.

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I notice that too. And how the ML fall in love with that very moment make me questioning pureness of his feeling. Literally, aside from manic pixie dream girl, I just fail to see anything interesting about kim ji won character. No wonder his friend thought he was talking about the dog.

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Just watched ep.2...
It seems as if the MPDG as a trope is going to be deconstructed in the future eps, and the way the directors decided to do it, was to make the MPDG side of her, a 'fake persona'. ^^
Still, digestible, as nobody behaves in such a forced awkward way IRL. Happy to see bits of her real personality peek through in some of their flashback convos. There is def more to her character as she seems to have fears and insecurities much like a real-person, aside from just being *quirky & strange*... :D
Like the way it's headed so far!

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I want to reply about it but since it's spoiler, I can't. Lol.

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Now I am super curious, and need to know! :P :P

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we can discuss next week!

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That's a relief.

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I feel like it makes more sense by ep 2, also the name and personality change between flashback and mockumentary definitely seem to suggest Eun-oh is putting on an act. Which Jae-won has fallen for.

In principle it's not unlike when sageuk heroines cross-dress, they aren't convincingly masculine either but somehow fool the hero for a bit because it just doesn't occur to them the girl has her own reasons for doing that.

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Absolutely, it makes more sense by ep2 because they deconstructed the mpdg-trope by establishing her 'beach-girl' persona was fake.
Nonetheless, its iffy how:
1. JCW's character views her as an mpdg, especially the way we are introduced to her via *his* flashbacks in ep1, thus his imposing of such a lens, on her.
2. The need to even introduce an MPDG as a FL to establish its 'indie, arthouse, experimental & western' vibes'.....
3. Automatically equating 'strange, quirky = mpdg' via the ML's thoughts. That is a problematic behavior (on part of the ML), I don't know why we are still doing this in 2020/21? You know it's a problem when the guy thinks 'oh, she is not like other girls' & 'I think I am attracted to strange girls'. Honestly, k-drama land has served us quirky & strange heroines so well in the past, without *ever* needing to impose an MPDG-lens on the FL. This, is just bad choice.

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I think the drama is actually showing us that this is the reason why Jae-won and (Fake)Seon-ah could never work out in the past - he just sees a "strange" "quirky" "free spirited" girl that he's attracted to, and gets really invested in the idea of her personality and how she makes him feel, but it doesn't really occur to him she's got a life and an agenda of her own.

And you see it with Eun-oh/Seon-ah, girl actually admits it was a persona she adopted for her time by the beach (which is why her speech about the surfing sounds like she's talking to herself as much as to Jae-won. And her city girl 'real' demeanour has a gravitas that her 'quirky' Seon-ah self never did. It's some really good acting by Kim Ji-won that makes this credible at all, but the writing is solid enough to make it clear that Jae-won didn't really know this girl at all and just projected like crazy when all they had was attraction.

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Also it's worth pointing out - the show first introduces Eun-oh as her actual self and not as ~quirky surfer girl Seon-ah. It's very clear Eun-oh (the real person) is NOT an MPDG and frankly I'm not sure what the 'indie' 'western' vibes are here, it just feels like a kdrama romcom with a modern bent - the feel and characters might have a different format but it's very Korean imo in the way things are expressed.

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Yeah, its the 'lens' with which Jae-Won views her is problematic, her character, her 'need' to adopt a persona, or even her IRL character, her fears and aspirations, etc...were never the problem. (hence, the 'deconstruction' of the trope)....
The projection of Jae-Won's gaze onto Eun-oh/Soon-ah was the issue. I like how its going, because as we know, she (real Eun-oh) is NOT an mpdg. Even to deconstruct a trope, you have to establish it first, and that is what I felt was unnecessary.
By 'western' and 'indie' I specifically was alluding to movies like 500 days of summer, where the FL wasn't an mpdg, but the ML viewed her as such, and that was problematic. Off the bat, there are more similarities b/w 500 DoS and Lovestruck, rather than Lovestruck with traditional 16-ep cable tv k-dramas.

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I liked it for the same reasons you wrote.
And I love the visuals.
Even if it’s only 30 minutes length we’ve learned quite a bit about our 6 leads, although wanting to see more.
This format feels like a web drama more than a kdrama, but I like it.
And yes, also the pretty boy and his pretty smile 🤨

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Yes, this is a web drama produced by kakao TV ( the message app kakao have invested money into producing dramas). It is apparently not what their usual runtime is. Their other dramas have a run time around 20 min. Frankly I find web drama nice but because of the run time often forgettable. I feel the 1 hour format have more time to deliver story and emotion.

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I was surprised by the documentary side too. It changed my expectations for this drama. I really liked their monologues in front of the camera, it was interesting.

I was surprised by all the cameos on Jeju Island!

I understand why they have so many car accidents in Korea if you really pass your licence like this...

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Loved the cameos too!

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Lol, your last line.🤣🤣🤣

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tuned in for the cast as a whole actually (LOVE Kim Jiwon, Kim Minseok and Han Jieun especially!!!) and really wanted to see JCW choose something less crappy than Melting and Backstreet but not so sure about this format...it was a little cheesy at some points but at the same time easy to digest. looking forward to the other couples’ stories and seeing an actual narrative evolve~ (that is if it actually does, not familiar with the mockumentary format apart from The Producers)

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I love this short drama and even the music I felt comfortable. In my one fave example, a beautiful dramatic instrumental music incorporated with beautiful slow-motion Jeju surfing romance scene.

I can't believe that I saw an animated face of Saw-type villain mask (Billy the Puppet) onscreen that appeared during a couple's game at the surf-and-ramyeon (beach) shop. It's rare how the famous Saw villain Billy the Puppet ever appeared on K-drama.

It's fun for me in the first good episode. I'm bracing for the Lovestruck in the City weecaps from next week so I got ready for more of my digging found items or things.

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I was expecting the format because I was a bit later to the party watching than others, but found it fun. It doesn’t seem like they’re going to stick to it rigorously because half the episode was basically extended flashback. I don’t generally like JCW overly but he kept me interested in the first half hour of this.

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I didn’t have any expectations for this one, I just happened to click ‘play’ on Netflix. It didn’t grab me for the first 10 minutes and all I had from the show was some awkward feelings. Things changed when I got introduced to FL when she was picking up ML though. I loved that kind of character: Free-spirited and a bit crazily fun to be with. As I’d love to befriend such person in real life, I was mesmerized by her character I decided to stick with it a bit more. I am liking it more than I thought but it remains to be seen if I’m really sticking with this one.

Apart from that, I don’t really like the concept of scripted reality show. It doesn’t really make sense to me tbh.

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I'm in, and a little disappointed that it feels more western television than K-drama. Kim Min Seok is the actor who pulled me in during this episode. Hoping the rest of the cast will soon.

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"a little disappointed that it feels more western television than K-drama"

Same here. I'm all for kdramas trying new things, new tones, new formats, but there's a reason we love kdramas, right?

This seemed very 2000s American indie romance to me. Interesting and different, but a bit lacking in heart (but hey, it's the first episode--maybe that will come later). The flashbacks seemed like a TV version of a beach read.

We'll see how it develops. Maybe this will be one for me to recommend to my friends who don't really watch kdramas.

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Good point. I want k-drama to always be itself. I love the inventiveness and the playing with form, so I'm hoping that it will do its usual borrowing trick and make some k-drama magic and end up with something fresh and provocative. Keep the tired old formulaic narrative arcs of the West away.

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Yep same here... it felt very western TV, a bit too western TV for me and I was a bit disappointed. With Netflix tapping into K-drama industry and entertainment I was a bit scared that writers and PDs would write dramas that would appeal mostly to Western viewers. I am actually feeling this slight shift a bit lately. I am very scared that K-dramas would lose what make them so unique, addictive and appealing.

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I'm also not impressed with the subs. They're simplifying and sometimes changing the tone.

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I was a little thrown off by the format in ep 1 and being someone who dislike reality TV, I thought they talked too much. But I was still intrigued by the story so I watched on. I just finished ep 2 and I'll say I'm sold. Love it!

I'm interested in the other 2 stories too...especially the character Oh Sun Young. Love how feisty she comes across. So far it looks like the girls in the stories are more spontaneous and takes the lead when it comes to relationships?

I did find KJW a little OTT but I guess that's the way her alter ego is written. I think she's trying hard to be not herself at this stage so it did come across as unnatural.

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It was cute, the episodes also didn't feel short, which I think is a good thing. I have no complaints except for the Tuesday, Friday thing. This isn't meant to be brilliant or grandiose and I am happy with it.

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I love the mockumentary style.

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I’ve never imagined one day I would see both Lee Sang Yoon and Ji Chang Wook, my two fav actors, in one drama, even though the former is just a cameo. Episode 2 and I am in.
But what happened to Wookie’s face? Why does he look sort of haggard in this drama? And his gaze, his eyes, where is my Wookie’s warm, deep and expressive gaze? Even his smile seems unnatural. And the way his mouth moves when he talks seems so different from before.

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I also thought he looked a bit different. Can’t say much though; the last work of his that I watched was Healer.

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Jcw liked to play cool, brooding, or arrogant character in his previous work which suit his face perfectly. But I watched him in one of entertainment weekly episode, and from that episode I realize his real life aura is actually very silly and playful. Completely different with healer. And now it is shown in LSITC.

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I've just "discovered" Lee Sang Yoon too. I'm watching him in About Time and switching back to VIP to compare. He has a certain something about him that is compelling, no matter his character. Interesting what you are saying about JCW. I felt he was like that in Melting - tired (clearly hoping it would all end asap), but not in Backstreet Rookie. I will rewatch to check.

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If you are into Lee Sang Yoon, I would recommend Angel Eyes, Liar Game and Second Twenty. LSY was amazing in those dramas.

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I see the warm, expressive looks in some moments eg. when he was observing KJW in the car. I wonder if it could be the retro look that made him look haggard to you. Plus most of the time, he was either getting out of bed or out of the sea from surfing...understandable that he would look tired. Ha.

One of the things I enjoy about watching JCW is that he looks different with every role. It could be an action role but if you compare Healer and K2, he was different. He absolutely nailed his role in BR, which I enjoy watching tremendously. The only drama I didn't enjoy was MMS, which was an F to me in terms of grading.

I hope he'll look different in this role. So far, I see an honest guy who is kinda seems naïve in the department of romance. Hopefully, he has more opportunities to show his range in the upcoming episodes.

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Absolutely agree with you that it’s crucial for an actor to look different from role to role. Otherwise he would be such an actor that doesn’t dare to make himself less gorgeous to live the role (I read on mydramalist someone commenting that Lee Min Ho never dares to make him “uglier” even if the role requires him to. I’ve never cared much about Lee Min Ho, I watched him only once in Personal Taste—because of Son Ye Jin— and was not very impressed, except his consistently weirdly short pants throughout the drama 😂).

JCW looked fittest in K2 and SP. I read in an interview that he did a lot of physical exercises to keep fit for the role.

Would you recommend BR? Although the ratings were not bad, I didn’t see many good reviews. Maybe the reason it did not appeal to me was that Wookie’s character was not very cool.

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Hmm...watching dramas is really a matter of preference so I'm not sure if you'll like the genre and plot. Personally I rate BR a B. Not bad by my standard but not great too. But I loved some things about it. One is KYJ as the cool fighting girl. The odd humor that many dislike appealed to me. And the family theme was heartwarming too. But perhaps mostly cos I liked JCW in it. He was so dorky and nerdy and uncool that I love him in it. He was endearing and very funny at times. I kept thinking he couldn't do romcom so well before that but BR proved me wrong.

Actually if you search the Net, BR is not too bad. It has many fans. Just not many in DB here. And cos of all the backlash it received initially due to some of the controversies, most didn't want to associate themselves as having watched such a drama.

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His comic timing in BR was sharp. He is a versatile actor IMO. It will be interesting to see his new character here and how different it is from his other roles.

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The 'haggard' look could be a part of his perpetually 'sleep deprived, architect' character... xD
Hahaha, jokes aside, I do think Wookie & Jiwonie look 'real-life urban people' instead of celebrities here. They really toned down the glam. Infact, they appear to be AS non-glam, as the other two couples (usually, the lead couple in k-dramas look all airbrushed and nice, but the side couples....don't?)
Jiwonie's character honestly looks like she can't afford a nice hair-colorist, and instead had a failed highlight-job from a boxed-dye. Those ugly highlights do make her seem pretty 'real' and far away from the polished Kim JiWon we are used to seeing in k-dramas [I mean, we all had bad hair-decisions due to an identity crisis right?]
Okay...i'll stop my rambling now!

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So I'm not the only one who thought her hair color was bad. :p

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Agree they don’t look glam and I like that. I have no problems with leads dressing like people in real life instead of celebrities. Examples include Son Ye Jin in Something in the rain, Lee Na Young in Romance is a bonus book... What concerns me and what appears to me is that JCW face looks stiff, it looks like someone who has had plastic surgery and thus uses his facial muscles awkwardly. I think no such thing happened to JCW, he just lost some weight, together with the makeup and lighting, he looks that way.

Anyway, I think in Kdrama, actors use too much makeup. They are alreay very handsome and have good skin, why bother? Watch Lee Jong Suk in all of his dramas and you’ll see that. I am no makeup expert, so I wonder if in LSITC, JCW looks that way because of all the shading and contouring?

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Maybe his face is stiff not because of plastic surgery, but because of fillers? God knows!..
Atleast I am happy, they have a realistic sun-kissed golden tint to their faces, expected from spending weeks at the beach, instead of being all pink-nosed and having foundation 3 shades lighter than what would be normal of a person camping around for a surf-vacation!...
But I agree, it could be the bronzer and heavy muddy contouring that could have him look like that! :P :P

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Stiff? Really? The only part that he look weird was when he was taking the instant photo. But that expression was deliberate and I thought it was good cos he looked real awkward. Other than that, he looks fine.

He was most expressive and look natural in BR thought if you are wondering and it's a recent drama.

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I especially noticed it in the scene when JCW said “Your entire body with ache tonight. It’s going to hurt quite a lot” while he was tending to the cut on KJW’s forehead, JCW’s eyes appeared quite blank to me. I’ve never seen such gaze from him. In SP, even when he was exasperated, depressed, annoyed, frustrated,... his eyes were still very expressive, very “Wookie”, they were never blank.

I guess it’s that he’s aged, lost some weight, together with the makeup and hairstyle, he doesn’t have the youthful look like before?

If the drama requires him to look that way, I am absolutely fine with that. So I’ll have to wait and see.

Looking at JCW’s photos before and after Empress Ki, I think he had his nosejob done, which I thought made his face even more gorgeous. But in LSITC, I sort of find his nose a bit too standing out 😅. But who am I to judge his look 😅 I love him nonetheless. Just that in my weak moments, I miss the pouty Bong-soo/Ji-wook so much haha.

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Not too Wookie to you? That's good news for viewers. I think good actors know how to read characters properly to act out the appropriate emotions. It's not always the same old techniques. That's what I appreciate about JCW as an actor. He's always able to display something different.

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Wait, it was short!

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I don't think they're in Jeju. Didn't he fly into Yangyang airport, which is like northeast Korea.

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Some of the surfing scenes were also filmed in Jeju-do. Wook even filmed a multi-part VLog on his You Tube channel about learning to surf for this role... and admits he failed miserably. 🤣

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I'm hooked from the 1st episode!
Finally Ji Chang-wook took a great role?
He should stick with playing a good-looking guy with a cool job, just like Lee Dong-wook should be playing a good-looking non-human guy.

I actually love the 30 min format. I don't need to create time for it. I can just watch it between stuff I need to do.

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PS: I love Lee Sang-yoon's cameo here... He looks so relax and looks like a hippie.. :D

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There is a bit of explanation for why she did what she did at the end of episode 2 (no spoilers though) and it explains why she says she would fall in love with Jae-won 'again' if she had the chance to. I wonder if we will see her get that chance later.

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I'm happy to see JCW in a role that seems harmless (yes, that's the first word that came to mind), it definitely kept my attention for the 30 minutes, but I found both the ML and FL characters a bit OTT in their own ways: him too BANG! in love and her "carefree spirit" a bit too flighty somehow. Maybe the characters just need time to set for me?I'll keep watching, but mostly because I want to see how the other storylines start weaving in.

There's definitely something very pretty about it, so that's nice. And I was also pleasantly surprised by the mockumentary style - those were the most entertaining elements to me. I'm not entirely sold, but I'll keep watching because I do think it could pick up some steam.

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The love making scene in Ep 2 was executed beautifully, but I agree with you about the ML seeming a bit OTT. I found it odd that he said he loved her so easily, and he said it twice!

The love making scene somehow reminded me of that between Jude Law and Cameroon Diaz in The Holidays. I don’t know much about broadcasting rules in Korea. I wonder if such scene would be acceptable if it were aired on SBS or KBS?

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The bed making scene that was tastefully done was Oh My Venus (KBS) and One Spring Night (MBC). Esp. OSN (One trick, the lighting in that episode was quite dim) but it was obvious the main couple were doing it lol. SBS does have bed scenes, but cuts away to just the couple lying in bed together. I Do, I Do (MBC) also had a bed scene that was cheeky.

If you look at pre 2010 or pre 2012/13 K-dramas, they used to show couples lying in bed together shirtless, and lots of taboo stuff (incest, sex, abortion, etc.). It sucks that its regressed, when it should be the opposite right? I blame the Korean Television Committee/Council for instilling those rules on TV in 2007.

I think Cable TV has also regressed a bit on that front too, although it's way better that's for sure in regards to showcasing intimacy, longer kiss scenes, and more passionate love scenes than their public counterparts.

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Love at first sight happens. I think it's very real at the right place, right moments, with the right person. So a holiday setting like this made it look believable for me. When you go on an adventure, you are usually not your normal self. No spoilers but if you watch Ep 2 and hear the interview, you may get what I'm trying to say.

But how deep is that love and whether it can sustain is another question. I mean love can happen fast but it can also disappear fast.

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Remind me of an old dido's song sand in my shoes. Meet someone during trip hit different feeling and people easily get sentimental about it, and as soon as we return to normal life, that's when reality kick in. Although, love at first sight more to love at the idea of that person than actually love the person for they are.

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oof, loving the 'idea of the person' versus loving 'the person'.... what an apt description! *_*

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I guess you're right. Looking back at my old self, I can see that when I thought I loved the person at first sight, I actually loved the ideas I had about the person and his appearance. That's how naivety and youth and hormones can do to you lol.

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So does that make this the first successful variety drama?? After four years and two attempts, we did it! 👏👏👏

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This drama seems like it picked up every little ingredient from the 'Netflix-bag of original content'. And it would have been a shame if Netflix didn't buy the license... :)
It's not 'different, indie, western or new'. It just not 'k-drama formulaic', but instead, it's 'Netflix-formulaic'. Will keep that in mind... :P :P

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I have no interest in the storyline whatsoever but their chemistry is scorching, holy shit 🔥

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The drama has a refreshing vibe. It's short and different. It doesn't feel like a Korean drama (I do not mean this in a bad way). I don't know how to describe it. It's just different.

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I haven't watched a good drama for a long time, so I thought I would give it a try since I am a fan of JCW. Didn't know what to expect. It definitely had a different vibe then your usual K-drama, sort of a SoCal vibe thing going, its refreshing. Kind of confusing going back in forth in the documentaries, not sure what is going on. Cinematography was great though. Looking forward to next episode.

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