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Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

With an unhurried pace, dramaland’s latest slice-of-life offering takes us on a journey with our heroine who is done with the emptiness that characterizes her mundane life in the city, and seeks to fill the void in the solace and leisure of the countryside.

 
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

Blaring alarms that rudely indicate the start of a new day, the push and shove associated with running to catch the train, darting out of meetings for coffee errands and having all the doors slammed in her face. These are the hallmarks of the rat race that is our leading lady LEE YEO-REUM’s (Seolhyun) life. Despite being good at her job, Yeo-reum is the doormat at work, and her boyfriend of six years also breaks up with her because he finds her passive and exhausting.

Although they live in different cities, Yeo-reum’s one ray of sunlight is her mom, and her world shatters when her mom suddenly dies. Yeo-reum goes through the funeral in a daze and eventually breaks down when the packed side dishes Mom sent arrives just after the funeral. But in the end, nothing changes. Yeo-reum still lives like a robot going through the motions both at work and at home.

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

The train leaves Yeo-reum behind one morning, and as she takes a resigned look around, she notices it’s spring. Like the petals from the trees, the scales fall from her eyes, and when the next train arrives, her feet falter. “I’m not going to work,” she says, in a sudden burst of determination. And just like that, the heaviness from the pressures of work and life in general are lifted from her shoulders. For the first time in forever she wears a relaxed smile.

Yeo-reum decides to do nothing from here on out, so she quits her job, fits her essentials into a backpack, and it’s goodbye to Seoul. She heads straight to the countryside to run with the sand beneath her feet and wade neck-deep into the water. “I’m going on a strike against this thing called life!” She declares, exchanging the bleakness of her old life for a new adventure here.

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

Up next after the beach is the local library where Yeo-reum meets librarian AHN DAE-BEOM (Im Si-wan) for the first time. Unlike Yeo-reum back in Seoul, Dae-beom’s alarm wakes him up to beautiful mornings that start off with a jogging session, and continues with flipping through the pages of a book. It’s quite the leisurely life, but then, that’s the general pace which accompanies most people living in small towns.

We don’t get to learn much about Dae-beom yet, but from the little we see, he’s extremely shy around strangers. Seriously, he relies on written notes in the unavoidable circumstance when he has to communicate with strangers as he can’t even talk to them. But he’s a caring fella, and will go out of his way for them when the occasion arises. So far, Dae-beom has the most interaction — just a few sentences, really — with his fellow librarian JO JI-YOUNG (Park Ye-young) who ironically, can’t wait to be transferred to Seoul.

I had a chuckle when Yeo-reum mistakenly went “Excuse me, unnie,” to Dae-beom — and I get it, because aside from wearing his hair out, the dude has soft features. But Yeo-reum soon gets her karma when some kids address her as ahjumma, and it’s the start of her misadventures in the town — from getting pegged as a shoplifter, to the usual woes that come with finding a good place to rent.

As a last resort, she is introduced to a rundown billiard hall in a semi-abandoned building. It’s a much larger space than her tiny apartment in Seoul, and Yeo-reum is sold. So what if someone died in the place? She gets the entire building to herself at just $600 for the full year in exchange for fixing up the place, and that’s a pretty good deal! Heh.

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

While the landlord is okay with renting out the space, his slightly annoying son — and the store owner who accused Yeo-reum of shoplifting — BAE SUNG-MIN (Kwak Min-gyu) wants to sell the building. He’s not at all pleased that Yeo-reum is moving in, but who cares? However messy the place is, “I have a home now,” Yeo-reum says with a smile. And the next morning, she’s only too happy to finally delete that rude 5AM alarm from her phone. Phew!

It’s almost like a declaration that her time is now fully hers. And with no office to rush to, Yeo-reum proceeds to drink herself senseless. Thankfully, Dae-beom is there to save her from the clutches of an oncoming truck, as her drunken self wanders the streets. He takes her back to the library where she proves to be a heavy sleeper, and nothing he does can wake her up. Seriously, he tries everything! Except touching her, of course. Lol.

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

With a few minutes left in our opening week, I’m beginning to relax and form my conclusions on what to expect from the show. But when Yeo-reum rushes off in embarrassment the next morning and arrives home, we see a smoking man watching her from the opposite building and he totally gives off creepy vibes…

Now I’m guessing it’s probably not a coincidence that someone just so happened to have died in her billiard-hall-turned-house. Sigh. What is the genre of this drama again? I came here for the promise of a comforting slice of life drama, and I’m not in the market for sleuthing and murder mysteries at the moment. So if the show can keep the thriller aspect to the barest minimum, I’d be most grateful for it.

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

Asides the stalking creep, the drama generally evokes a sense of catharsis in me, and I think I’m finally getting the concept of what a “healing drama” is. I’m drawn to Yeo-reum — it’s almost like I’m living through life with her. And it’s not only because we’re viewing the drama through her lense, she’s just that relatable — although I’m nowhere close to quitting everything in my life to move to a semi-remote area.

Yeo-reum is braver than I am in that aspect, and I admire her ability to just up and go 180° on her life without much of a plan. Dirt cheap rent aside, going on to live in a house where someone died without raising further questions is another form of bravery. I mean, I’d have at least been curious enough to ask. But not Yeo-reum. Refusing to cower one last time to her douchebag of a work sunbae and exposing his corrupt and perverse ways? Brave, again. When Yeo-reum says she’s done, she is done!

While it’s unfortunate that Mom died, her death was the beginning of Yeo-reum’s retrospection. Mom was a hard worker, and she died without getting a day off to rest. Yeo-reum has chosen to live differently from her mom — exiting the rat race and moving to find the answer on how to live her life from now on.

Will she find the answer she seeks? Maybe, or not. Problems don’t magically disappear in a small town. But for now, it’s enough to live each day at a time doing what she wants to do: absolutely nothing — aside from reading and going drinking during the day without having to care about what other people think, because, why not? It’s the spring season, Yeo-reum is blooming anew, and I’m here for it.

Summer Strike: Episodes 1-2

 
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Not what I was expecting but...

When she gets pulled off the train and notices the blossom petals and then gets stuck out of time and just decides. to not go to work today. Yeah. That bit hit me. I've written about that exact feeling and even almost that exact scene, multiple times.

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Sic is watching. So am I! But not sure for how long.

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Jen is on dB! But not sure for how long 🤭

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🤣🤣🤣

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Not watching but... usually when someone who has had a really hard time at work wades out into the ocean it's -- let's just say, not a good sign.

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Agreed Lord Cobol. Not here though. Take peak at the second pick with Yeo-reum wearing the back pack. That is just before she jumped onto the beach, dropped the back pack and waded into the water for a dip. She was smiling the whole time.
(I wonder how cold the water really was and how many takes were required lol).

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Thank you, @unit, for the weecap! With the way you described the beginning of this 'feel-good' drama, I think I'll watch this. Off to my favorite kdrama website!!

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Just finished the first two episodes, and ... I'm staying on the weecaps for the next episodes and maybe, a big maybe, binge-watch later.

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I'm just commenting because of her socks while she was wearing sandals. Bothered me to no end. And the fact that she perhaps never showered after getting into the water at the beach, sweating it out looking at rental apartments with the real estate agent, before finally renting that rundown building with no (shower) facilities, and then just changing into new clothes the next day. Bothered me to no end. Focusing on all the wrong points in these 2 episodes, I know.

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Never, ever, ever watch ep. 11 of W - Two Worlds, then. 😂

The socks with sandals annoyed me, too, but getting incapably drunk on her first day in a new place bothered me more. It's a tired trope and there are other ways they could have set up a situation that reveals the ML’s kindness and protective instincts. Taking food and soju from another table was very odd - she said to herself that she doesn’t care what others think, but it’s almost as if they’re not real people to her. She’s treating others as mere characters on the set of her vacation while she’s play-acting, and once the action is over, she can help herself to the props and set dressing. It's only after she realizes the ML can both speak and hear her that he suddenly becomes real.

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Hehe, that reminds me that when I watch episode 14 of HEALER, I always hope that Jung-hoo has taken a shower and brushed his teeth.

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Oh man yes you reminded me of that other weird scene where she actually took leftover food left behind by other strangers. I just could not comprehend that too -- bothered me to no end as to what the writer was trying to express with that scene.

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I don't see an issue with it. The food will be thrown. She was still hungry and clearly thirsty for alcohol.

She didn't take it when people were still there...

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For me, the writer was trying to express multiple things; the FL making big of little things, emphasizing that good things, no matter how small, should not be wasted through the idea that good food is not to be wasted, and also the sublime contendedness the FL had over that meal, to finish everything, to not let anything be wasted, to enjoy it fully, to enjoy it with a drink, to take her time, and to contrast it with her other meal alone, the kimbap on the ledge.

Also completely side note, but I'm gonna step in and defend socks and sandals! They're a camping or hiking staple and if the weather is in-between, as it is in spring, then it's an easy way to layer for shifts in temperature- like you would with other clothes, and sandals are common shoes to backpack in cos they're easy to take on and off. AnyWAY. 😂😂😂

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💯! This is certainly not the most objectionable behavior I’ve seen a drunk kdrama character partake in, lol! Nor the most objectionable situation that led to a character getting drunk. In fact, her latching on to physical pleasures after experiencing so much emotional distress makes perfect sense to me (and I don’t drink!).

I also don’t fully agree that she’s treating people as characters—at least not any more than your average drama protagonist. I thought she was sufficiently polite to the people she came across, including the male lead. Maybe walking to the library while drunk and sleeping until after it closed was rude, but again, her drunkenness made narrative sense to me. Any selfishness she might display makes sense for how they set her character up, IMO. Not to mention how some of the other people in the town treated HER…

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The whole lunch sequence was just weird. This is not the first time in my kdrama viewing where a female character packs away the grub like they haven’t eaten in a week. Add soju to the mix and talk about having the munchies: polishing off your meal, swiping leftovers from another table and grabbing a big handful of lettuce to shove down your throat on the way out.
If you are looking for a way to give a bad first impression to your new neighbors I can’t think of a better way than this. What is the saying, “When in Rome…”.
Yeo-reom’s initial contacts with the Angok folks (other than good guy Dae-beom) could have been better but she is coming into an insular community here. It will take time and it could take forever before the locals warm up to her or vis versa. I certainly hope we are not in store for CAMELLIA 2 here but look how long in CAMELLIA it took Dong-baek (Gong Hyo-jin) to be accepted by the marinated crab ladies where she lived. Years.

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OMG thanks! I thought I was going crazy because of those socks with. sandals. And it annoyed me more because the director was like obsessed with showing her feet.

The next day she was wearing those same sandals without socks, that means she doesn't have a complex with her feet, then why the hell was she doing with those socks?

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I too do not like socks with sandals, but it is common practice to wear it that way if your skin is sensitive to the climate.

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You don't need a shower to clean yourself...

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This show was billed as having a 'thriller' aspect to it so some of the darker vibes were not unexpected. But on the whole, we were not displeased by the realism of the first two episodes. This will not be a light. fluffy rom-com. Neither was I'LL COME TO YOU WHEN THE WEATHER IS NICE which had its darker side too.

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Thanks for the comparison, I have the feeling that Strike can be the summer version of Weather.

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... and you know how deeply I love Weather (damn, I pressed send the previous post too soon!).

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WEATHER is one of our favorite shows. It was even well done from the sound effects standpoint: Most people reading this have never been in a forest on a winter night. I have- and WEATHER got that sound exactly right.

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The sound team on Weather did such an amazing job. It was the very first thing that stood out to be about the show in the very first scene. It was almost like ASMR, except it didn't make me cringe.

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First I want to commend the production staff for the best use of blossoming cherry trees (least that is what I think they are) in a drama I have watched since COME AND HUG ME (2018). Just stunning.

A good deal of the first two episodes was concerned with Yeo-reum’s story and how she wound up in Angok. I think that was presented quite well (loss of mom, breakup with 6 year boyfriend, quitting a toxic work environment.) Once YR arrived in Angok I wondered about her lack of prudence in decision making.
I hope we have the mandatory over indulgence of alcohol in a kdrama out of the way. I was cringing through the whole series of events after she opened that bottle of soju at lunch. The purpose I guess was to show how good a guy Dae-beom is. I loved the ‘Excuse me, unnie’ line.
The little guys outside the library certainly know how good DB is.
Both Seolhyun and Siwan seem to have a great handle on their characters. I am looking forward to Dae-beom’s story.

Now a bit of shallowness. I am not a fan of the overalls look on either a women or man outside of the farm. Iirc Shin Se-kyung in RUN ON wore overalls at times and I wasn’t crazy about that look either.

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I'm not crazy about overalls either. Overalls would be the last item I'd keep if I got rid of my clothes.

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When she said that it made me go "well now I'll be keeping track of how many wardrobe changes you have and if it's over a certain amount just know I'll be judging tsk tsk"...

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I've been thinking more about why I reacted negatively to Yeo-reum's actions when she first arrives in Angok. I really wanted to identify with her because I did what she did. When I was 29, I quit my toxic job, broke up with my long-time boyfriend, sold everything I owned, and moved to the other side of the country to a city I'd visited once when I was 12. I knew no one, did not have a job or a place to live, and was determined to find a new career field because I hated what I'd been doing. I am definitely a risk-taker and always have been, but I don't really understand her just falling off a train into a new life and not taking it seriously. She seems unable to properly assess risk. And yes, this is me taking it too seriously! 🤣 I'm just going to treat this as slightly on the fantasy side.

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If you do not mind can you tell were you able to successfully find a new job, new love and renew life in a new city?

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Yes to all of the above!

Episode 3 is up on Viki and I'm going to make a cup of tea and watch it in bed and pretend the traffic noise outside is the sound of the ocean.

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Why is it mostly heroines that run away from the city?

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Because when it comes to making life choices women are more realistic than men.

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I guess it's truth in fiction then.

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Exactly.

It works dramatically because it actually makes logical sense: She has absolutely nothing to keep her where she is, now that her mom has died and her boyfriend dumped her. She has a life that is simply making her miserable. Common sense in this situation dictates that she seek a different life, one where she can enjoy things. She is not enjoying where she is- so leave.

And that is what she does.

Yes, it is fiction. But the kind that explores truths about living life.

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It was kinda sad how the people were not nice with her at Angok too. Are people so mean in Korea with strangers? She's a nice a girl, she was polite. But they emptied her bag, like she had the time to steal something and to put it in her bag, the woman in the restaurant, the teenager who just threw her bag in the library, the 3 kids, etc. At least, Dae-beom looks like a cute mashmallow.

The 2 first episodes were really beautiful, the cherry trees, the ocean, the sky.

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I really hope they get better.
I couldn't watch Cha Cha Cha because of that.

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I guess it might be because those villages have a close-knit structure and not very welcoming to new people. Maybe coz of the supposed incident in the billiard place 20 years ago, they might be wary?

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The good:

1. Our girl is free. Yay! For me nothing's better than a peaceful life. I loved that line "if I go in the opposite direction from where everybody else goes wouldn't it be quieter, calmer and peaceful?"
I like her determination to find happiness. I'm rooting for her.

I also like our ML. He's super cute and relatable. I'm also super awkward with strangers. Ha. They call it strangers for how strange I act in front of them. 🤣

The bad:

I didn't like how the first 20min of episode 1 felt like a slap machine.
They googled "worst scenarios main characters face in kdrmas" but didn't have time to make a proper storyline with them, so they just threw them all in our faces and went "so... Her life sucks, right? It makes sense she's quitting her job and moving out right?"

I don't know about other people, but I would've understand her decision even if the only problem was the toxic work environment.

Like we talked with other beanie, maybe it would've been better to make them flashbacks.

2. Yes, our girl was living a Jung So Min drama, but haven't she watch a Oh Ji Young drama?

Finding a home isn't easy.
If the rent is cheap obviously someone died there. And a big old place like that one obviously needs maintenance that their leaving for you to pay.

I mean, girl...
1. Of course someone died there.
2. Of course the rent is cheap.
They're renting you that place so you fix it up for them.

The ugly:

I have the feeling that poor girl is going to be involved in a lot of problems and that she's going to DO THINGS. She literally said her life was on strike and that she wasn't going to do anything but the reality is that she's renting a big place that needs lots of work (is this Ghosts u.k? 😆)?

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I'm glad she left her shocking job, but I was wondering how bad does a job atmosphere
have to be in S. Korea before someone leaves it. It took the additional blow of her mother's death before something happened.
I'm intrigued by our ML.
It took a while to adjust to the overall pace, but the transformation of the FL appearance from work automaton to free being was quite amazing. She looked like two different people.

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This is the first drama that I'm watching form its first air. I kinda like how its portrayed like the FL is tired of the city life and is actually making a healthy choice of taking a break and revealing the team leader's deeds. I look forward to the character development of the FL that she speak up for herself and be less shy.
The fact that ML wasn't speaking so I actually thought that maybe he couldn't speak; but then they revealed how he can't speak in front of strangers. But I loved how he could call out to the FL. The show feels kinda mysterious rn and idk where exactlly they are taking this(altho it obviously feels like its abt the billiard incident 20 years ago and the ML prolly has trauma of then). But yeah I kinda look forward to this show and how it turns out.
P.S. I like how FL's name is Yeo-Reum(which means summer); it kinda reminds me of Gu Yeo-Reum in love is for suckers and i absolutely love her there, so I might be a bit more attached to the yeo-reum here

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I liked it. Seolhyun's acting has improved, so this worked for me.

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I like it so far! I've definitely been in a drama slump lately, and this is the first recent drama where I'm waiting for the next episodes to come out.

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Haha - I realized I'm sitting here in overalls and sandals with socks on!!!! :D

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I liked both episodes although I don't like FL so far, at least not yet. I totally get why her boyfriend left her, why his boss was so mean to her, why her workmate took advantage of her. It doesn't mean I approve, but she is that kind of person who is a good person trying to please everybody but herself. No wonder she decided to run away when confronting her mum's death... when you are dead you are no longer... will anyone remember YR? Not really, and she knows.

Contrary to all the comments before, I liked the scene at the restaurant. It was her way of saying "I don't have to follow the rules anymore", just as she did when she decided to skip working, enjoy the blossom trees and go back to sleep.

I do like DB. His life seems to have the balance YR lacks, and he always seems to be in a good mood. I found so cute and funny him communicating with post its. Siwan's expressions were delicious.

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Its interesting how in Korean dramas 'rural life' is much more congested than in American dramas. People still live cheek-by-jowl with roads criss-crossing. The difference is that in rural country the buildings are 1-2 stories while in cities their 8-16 stories.

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"It's interesting how a country that has an area 100,363 km² and an overall high population density has a different rural life to a country with an area of 9,833,520 km² and an overall low population density."
No, shit.

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Geography plays a major role in this: Much of America consists of plains so things can more easily spread out. Korea is mountainous. There is far less flat land- so even in the countryside towns and villages bunch up on the buildable land.

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Personally I think overall size and population play a SLIGHTLY bigger role in this than specific geographic features.
The point of my comment is that we're comparing apples and oranges and it's not a useful comparison within the original confines established. Ofc Korea is more congested, it's half the size of Florida with over twice as many people in it. It's not even a fair comparison matching it against rural America like that, unless you give a specific reason WHY you want to match two such vastly demographically different areas.
Also, apparently actually, both South Korea and the US have about the same 40% mountain coverage, it's just that South Korea is a lot smaller, and as a much different mountain system to the various mountain systems of the US, so I still think this is a secondary point to be considered, not the main contending factor: There is far less flat land, indeed, land in general, relative to the size of the population.

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I am city dweller, so compared to the dust and pollution in the city, it would be less in the village, but all that I kept thinking was the amount of dirt that got stuck to her hair and white top when she leaned on the window sill to admire the morning sky. Also, lying on the sofa without paper or an extra clothing made me think of the hidden bugs more than the dust. Now, all these makes me wonder if people really would trade comfort for a quiet life.

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