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Love to Hate You: Episodes 1-10 (Series Review)

A new battle-of-the-sexes drama has just dropped, and while it boasts all the K-drama tropes we know and love, they’re packaged in a slightly more mature box. Love and silliness are still at the forefront of this rom-com, but it also addresses sexism and misogyny from the lens of a woman who has made it her mission to stomp on the patriarchy in whatever small way she can.

 
SERIES REVIEW

Kim Ok-bin in Netflix Love to Hate You

If I’m sporting panda eyes today it’s because I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning binging Netflix’s latest rom-com offering Love to Hate You. I was unexpectedly hooked after the first episode, and I think that was partly due to the slower pacing and introduction to our main characters. Like, seriously, what romance drama waits until the second episode for our couple to have a proper meet-cute?

But it was this very subversion of the genre that compelled me to watch the next episode. I just had to see what kind of fireworks would be set off when the worlds — and diametrically opposing viewpoints — of YEO MI-RAN (Kim Ok-bin) and NAM GANG-HO (Yoo Teo) officially collided. And from that point on, our story did well to keep me anticipating all the relationship milestones we typically see in romantic comedies.

Not to mention, Mi-ran is an absolute BAMF who immediately captured my attention with her Strong Woman Do Bong-soon-like introduction. She’s a champion of love and justice, throwing punches — and shade — at anyone who exhibits deplorable behavior. She’s particularly passionate about dismantling gender stereotypes and calling attention to internalized societal misogyny that is prevalent in dating, work, and even family life.

Of all the examples the drama used to drive home the point that sexism is a daily occurrence for most women, I was particularly interested in how the story called out her father as being a perpetrator. On the surface, he seems like our stereotypical grumpy K-drama appa who doesn’t understand his progressive and independent daughter. But, in reality, he’s very locked into gender roles and often directs his anger and frustration with Mi-ran at a weaker opponent: Mi-ran’s mother.

Sadly, this particular aspect of Mi-ran’s family life, which would have profoundly shaped her present-day ethics and distaste for men, doesn’t get the proper respect and attention it deserves. There was definitely room to flesh out her family’s side story a bit more, but instead of using a small number of higher quality and nuanced examples to drive home the point, the drama focuses more on emphasizing the frequency of such encounters. Unfortunately, because most of the “everyday” examples are of drunk men crossing boundaries, it unintentionally undercuts the reality that sober men can sexually harass and have misogynistic opinions against women, too.

Yoo Teo in Netflix Love to Hate You

As much as I admire Mi-ran’s philosophies and the way she calls people out when they’re being sexist, she is very eager to pick a fight — even when the law isn’t on her side or she doesn’t entirely understand the context of a situation. Cue: a bad — but not wholly inaccurate — first impression of Gang-ho, an actor who doesn’t buy into the rom-com cheesiness, despite being constantly typecast to fill romantic leading roles.

Gang-ho turns his nose up at the very romantic tropes we all tune in to watch each week, but his jadedness doesn’t stem from his behind-the-scenes perspective, which strips away the magic and romance of post-production editing. Instead, the real source of Gang-ho’s aversion to romance is women — well, two women in particular. The actions of his mother and his ex-girlfriend OH SE-NA (Lee Joo-bin) have led Gang-ho to believe that women only want to perpetuate gender stereotypes (*cough* aegyo *cough*) and marry rich so they can live a life of luxury.

Yoo Teo in Netflix Love to Hate You

Oh! And Gang-ho also gets panic attacks whenever he gets physically close to women. As you can imagine, this makes romantic scenes particularly difficult to film — to the point he and his manager DO WON-JOON (Kim Ji-hoon) have a habit of acting out the scenes together, preemptively coming up with strategies that hype up the romance without the need for an on-screen kiss. It’s no wonder that he’s looking to move away from romances and to film an action flick!

To be honest, his panic disorder was an eye-roll-inducing plot device used so our leading lady can prove she’s “special” by being the cure for his affliction, which was completely unnecessary for these two characters or the narrative. The story would have done better to ground his aversion to women in a series of experiences that showed how his fame and fortune contributed to a cognitive bias. A sample size of two to three is pretty wimpy, and compared to Mi-ran, who has experienced sexism on the daily, his stats make it hard to sympathize with his over-generalization and hatred for all “adult women.”

Love to Hate You (Series Review) Love to Hate You (Series Review)

About the only thing Mi-ran and Gang-ho have in common is the fact that they’re both extremely prejudiced against the opposite sex. So, as you can imagine, there’s a good bit of buildup until these two inevitably meet and clash. And boy, do they clash!

Thanks to their opposing perspectives — not to mention a series of misunderstandings, lies, and assumptions — these two get off on the wrong foot. Gang-ho assumes Mi-ran is just like all the other social climbing women he’s met, and Mi-ran? Well, she thinks Gang-ho is a pedophile, and she sets out to rescue his underaged girlfriend (who turns out to be his niece) from his evil clutches.

From there, the story progresses like a typical rom-com, and along the way, we’re treated to some classic K-drama tropes. There’s even a scandal that forces our OTP into a contract relationship just as they are starting to acknowledge their attraction to each other!

Love to Hate You (Series Review)

I particularly enjoyed the story arc where Mi-ran becomes a stunt double for Gang-ho’s co-star Se-na — the aforementioned ex-girlfriend who made him join the He-man Woman Hater’s Club. Although Se-na is around to be the annoying ex who wants to get back together with Gang-ho, she — quite refreshingly — never poses a threat. Gang-ho remains unaffected and sees through her weak attempts to tug at his heartstrings, and Mi-ran is too busy living her best life as a stuntwoman to feel jealous or intimidated.

Instead, our couple’s adorably cute romance is threatened by fans and anti-fans when Mi-ran’s supposed promiscuity makes the news and creates a scandal for Gang-ho, who is fully prepared to quit acting to be with her. Although this pre-ending break-up arc dragged on longer than I would have liked, it served the purpose of highlighting the double standards concerning the number of sexual partners it’s socially acceptable for men and women to have. And, ultimately, it all built up to a satisfactory happy ending.

Love to Hate You (Series Review)

Once our OTP started falling for each other, I really appreciated how their love was portrayed as being healthy and playful. That scene where they’re wrestling in bed together — and no that’s not a euphemism — brought a huge smile to my face because it was both realistic and squee-inducing. And even though their official meet-cute was delayed until the second episode — which seems like a massive pacing issue for a ten-episode series — this couple had a lot more substance to their relationship than most of their K-drama counterparts.

It’s a pity that I can’t say the same about our secondary romance between Won-joon and Mi-ran’s roommate SHIN NA-EUN (Go Won-hee). Won-joon and Na-eun did well in their roles as our leading couple’s besties, but together they didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Won-joo had better chemistry with Gang-ho in that Episode 1 scene — you know which one I’m talking about — than he did with Na-eun, and I honestly thought for a long time that Won-joon might have a crush on his soon-to-be-divorced noona, CHOI SOO-JIN (Kim Sung-ryung).

As for the comedy in this rom-com, it definitely tickled my funny bone, but I found that I appreciated some of the smaller, subtler moments more than the scenes obviously intended to make us laugh. For example, in Episode 1 Mi-ran discovers that her boss — and only guy friend — is a cheating pig. After he goes outside to argue with his girlfriend, he takes off his glasses by sticking his finger through the frames where the lenses should be — proving everything about him is fake. That small detail had me in stitches for way longer than it should have.

It probably goes without saying (because I’ve already admitted to binging this drama in one night), but I enthusiastically enjoyed Love to Hate You. It wasn’t perfect, and there were certainly points where the pacing was slow and the story could have better explored its more serious themes, but overall this rom-com did well in both the romance and the comedy categories.

Love to Hate You (Series Review) Love to Hate You (Series Review)

 
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This may be the worst example of Netflix's "Western" drift with Kdramaland. Since 2020 I stopped watching western trash and loved Kdramaland mainly for the healthy and balanced relationship between the sexes. I was and still am disgusted by the cultural drift of the West which has embraced identity politics and all forms of lies and extremism aimed at turning people against each other.

Thank God Cdramaland stands firm in its advocacy of morality, tradition and respect. Even a simple little gem like Hi Venus manages to excite and to represent healthy examples of relationships between people.

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Wow, there's a lot to unpack here.

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Ive been reading for more than five years and I had to register just to approve this response.

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Welcome, I hope that you will find other posts that make signing up worth it.

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I’m usually marathoning waaaayyy after a show has aired making commenting pointless, but 🤞🏽. I’d love to be more involved🫶🏽

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That is an actual honour 😂

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I don't lose hope with K-dramaland yet. There are still a lot of series which are not pressured by Netflix.

I watch very few Western shows too. I don't know if they are trash, but most of them only manage to annoy me or bore me.

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Dude, this like comments from some Western politicians on Western vs Chinese morality blah blah ...

Can we just enjoy Kdrama as it is without looking at its streaming platform or TV channels? Please?

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I am trying to understand this. What in this relationship was unhealthy? They both were adults. Both having been in past relationships. The female lead actually had agency and was open to the idea of dating and sex. She even said she enjoyed it. The male
Lead was respectful and valued her as a person.

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It is very telling that in one of his remarks he states that male/female relationships seem very healthy in Japanese drama. Personally I hate the meekness of many Japanese women in their drama’s.

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You’re going to have to give some examples of what you didn’t like about the show for any of us to understand this.

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If you're really interested in understanding what Western entertainment has become, I recommend checking out Critical Drinker's YT video series "why modern movies suck". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmOZgSyQjtA&list=PLFz_00sC7mo7Zu5GSSj9hqJ8G3faYyhLK&ab_channel=TheCriticalDrinker

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May I know what is your opinion on the Japanese doramas & J-movies?

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I have seen at most 10 Jdramas, but none of them compare to the best of Kdramaland and Cdramaland, at least for my taste.

Old Enough! is funny!

Love is Blind Japan is still better than the Brazil and USA versions :) Male-female relationships seem healthier to me in Japan too!

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I’m more interested in why you think this show merited your initial post. At the moment it feels more like “when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.

THIS show. Talk about THIS show.

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It’s easy to predict though
- she’s a very strong willed independent woman
- who’s unapologetically had many flings/relationships
For some that’s enough 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Cdramaland is under close watch by the CCP Govt. There is no choice but to follow the rules so as not to be censored. Are you aware of this?

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Of course I know. The same goes for Hollywood. If you don't follow their political agenda you are doomed to utter irrelevance. In my opinion, they are both dictatorships: the difference is that harmony, decency, respect and morality are promoted in China. Try producing and distributing a film that is not aligned with the woke agenda...

Believe me, the big step to take is to realize that there is no democracy in 2023. There are only different kinds of dictatorship. I don't feel guilty if I prefer The Bond or Hi Venus to Emily In Paris or She Hulk...

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I think you might be on the wrong site. We talk about to shows here. Specifically, in this case, the tv show “Love to Hate You”.

So far I haven’t seen you actually post about the show, just about political/social theories that don’t appear to be connected to the show at all. I don’t think you’re going to get the engagement you’re seeking.

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If you think that there is no censorship and no cancel culture in the West, you are not paying attention to the events of recent years!

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There's no censorship. Censorship is official government policy that says you can go to jail if you say or do certain things. Since you can't go to jail for the things you say in the US then it doesn't have censorship. In China, people not adhering toofficial broadcast standards can be jailed by the government. That is censorship. The fact you think this is somehow a good thing as long as what they're enforcing things you like says volumes, frankly.
Volumes.

"Cancel culture" is just made up nonsense from vested interests who are annoyed they don't get unfettered access to having their views broadcast anymore.

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In this drama, the ML is "cancelled" because he's dating a sexually active woman.

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That's why I stopped watching the two CDramas I started after a few episodes. Knowing that the government, which tramples human rights with its feet, sets the rules here, I could not enjoy the series (Especially since they were dramas in which the main characters were lawyers).

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My husband refuses to watch C-dramas for that reason as well. I actually stopped watching them because they're just so darn long! I watched Lighter and Princess and got sooo burnt out, lol.

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You’re painting here with a very broad brush and making some sweeping generalizations to dismiss as “trash” any content that doesn’t fall into your narrow definition of “acceptable” drama.

There’s a place for depictions of all kinds of relationships—from the storybook romances that you seem to espouse to the more complicated and nontraditional ones we see every day in the real world. I’m all for escapism (who isn’t?), but most of the shows that stick with me and make me want to return to them are the ones depicting characters who are flawed—even unlikeable at times—making their way through life and hopefully learning and growing with each challenge they face. When you think about the high rate of failed marriages and romantic relationships, isn’t it a good thing to have dramas showing couples navigating their way through conflict to create a healthy, enduring relationship?

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I don’t get what your objection is. I assume because the female lead is a strong independent woman who - oh the audacity - dated a lot ?
Dude, there’s nothing wrong with this series, it’s a depiction of a perfectly healthy relationship (more so than most romances in k drama which seem too platonic).
Oh, and C drama is boring, I tried many, and every single one was a waste of time. To each his own eh ?

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Beanies! Chatting about differences of opinion and perspective are always welcome here. What is not welcome, however, are biting comments that target a single person. Please take a look through our policy again: https://www.dramabeans.com/about/commenting-policy/

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Thanks for the weecap @daebakgrits the drama really did shine a light on so many of the accepted stereotypes but they still managed to keep it light. I also binged it because it was proper addictive and having a whole series drop was perfect for a drama like this.

I agree the dad attitude must have been so tiring to deal with day in and out and I am sure she stayed as long as she could as a protective factor for her mum. I loved the example of her managing problems face on rather than taking her dad’s advice and avoiding the problem. I can’t believe her dad just let it go and it took a teenager to call out a paedophile who was having a huge impact on the local girls. This point of the victims having to address the issue has been made in other dramas too, usually it’s a flasher targeting school girls on their way to or from school.

I loved her best when she literally changed the narrative of how the character responded when being victimised and think her being a stunt woman was the perfect job for her. I get they wanted to emphasise her ‘hero on a mission to right the wrongs’ persona in real life but fighting is still fighting and if you have to hand over your hard earned money to cover the compensation is it worth it? The break up was ridiculous when he had already said he was not going to have his life controlled by nameless fans and random people who have way too much time so feel the need to get involved in stranger’s personal lives.

The drama had me laughing out loud and I was generally smiling throughout most of the episodes. I need dramas like this to debrief from life and the other reality of life material I consume, so I appreciate it when it’s at this level. Usually I tolerate much lower quality stories because there is nothing else. There are a lot of dramas that pitch things at a higher quality level but unlike this drama they mess up on the percentages whilst this was a near perfect balance of silliness with serious and romance with comedy. Most other great dramas go equal levels of the conflict to calm when it should be nearer an 80/20 split. Crash course is a current example of this unbalanced air time of main genre to side plots, it has given the ‘tiger mums’ and ‘killer’ storyline ⅓ of air time each alongside the romance if they had made the romance, family and school friendships 80% of the story they could have maximised the main selling point for the type of audience that like rom coms with found families and enemies to lovers tropes in their dramas.
All in all I would recommend this as a great example of an enjoyable watch.

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I didn't think the breakup was exactly ridiculous but I did wonder if people would classify it as noble idiocy. Honestly, I don't know what the right choices are in those types of situations (which is why I don't mind noble idiocy trope) because he really could've lost his career while she was being harassed and attacked in the streets and online. Even her mom wanted her to break up with him. It's like she said during the first break up attempt she could deal with it to an extent but it would be hard because she's human too.
And then when he doubled down on his commitment to her, yeah it's sweet and noble and the power of love but practically, he could've ended up villified (along with her even more) and she was trying to spare him that. Plus going through that and losing your career (she was told to resign, he lost ads and his project was halted) could breed resentment.

Actually, that arc reminded me of a real celebrity whose popularity took a huge hit due to his girlfriend and they've been criticized ever since they were revealed. Now he's marrying her. This is a case of the couple just weathering the storm, whatever may come. (Don't think people were throwing eggs or bombarding her in the streets but still).

Coming full circle, I think those type of situations are tricky and there's not necessarily a right or wrong choice, just making one and dealing with how it plays out.

Sidenote: oh the court of public opinion!😫😤😮‍💨
If makes me want to rant but I don't even have the words haha

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‘ Sidenote: oh the court of public opinion!😫😤😮‍💨’ That’s the issue for me breaking up so random people can calm themselves down…I agree resentment and safety etc. may have been a factor but they didn't test it out. Change comes about when people stand up to be counted but we all have to know where to draw the line as we can’t fight every battle and stay sane so I agree they did have to think about what they felt strong enough to face up to.

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Yes, ironically, while this show highlighted one entrenched issue head-on (patriarchy/misogynistic men, etc.), it was wringing its hands because of another entrenched issue in SoKo that I can't wrap my head around....how fans (or anti-fans) dictate the PRIVATE life of any entertainer. Don't get me wrong - I loved the show enough to binge watch it one day. But it basically made me sad in the last two episodes when they had to break up because of fans, and how even the whole PPL and ads were all doing the same thing, boycotting the actor. When will we get a show that stands up to those issues? :(

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Well, that is because that's how entertainers are marketed there. The whole business model, from what I understand, is fostering parasocial relationships so the fans feel just as entitled to a say in their relationships as people that actually know the entertainers such as friends & family. The same way the father was outraged over everything, the fans felt the same. It's the same emotional response. That plus the internalized expectations are a powerful mix.

I'm not saying it's right; even recently I've been thinking about parascocial relationships and how entertainers can genuinely just look & feel different to a person because they did something.

It's kinda fascinating how the brain works. You truly want the people you like to be happy & successful but then you want it to happen in a way that you've idealized or imagined.
I actually recently realized that I'm guilty of this and I'm trying to work my way through it.

I think one positive thing about Mi Ran's scandal was that it led to conversations. Even if there were the classic "she's who you date, not who you marry", that's still a conversation because there was a point in time she wouldn't even be considered worthy of dating. She would've just been treated as a plaything to be used and thrown away. The younger generation of girls could see the benefits of dating around until you find the right person for you. Even conversations about Gang Ho's reaction is a good thing because it normalizes being more open minded and setting boundaries between entertainers and their fans.

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was covered in a recap/review haha
Thank you for doing this.

Once we're introduced to Mi Ran's character, I knew there would be complaints about her and western influences "corrupting" kdramas. Those were one of my first thoughts but immediately after that I thought that it's nice to see yet another woman like this onscreen.

What I like most about this is NO LOVE TRIANGLES! Yeah, there were exes and I think a friends with benefits situation but they were never really factors in the development of any of the couples' relationships.

One of the things that's always hard for me to watch is when women have to put up with mistreatment with a smile on their face because that's considered the "respectful" thing to do. And it's almost always featured because as mentioned above "internalized societal misogyny that is prevalent in dating, work, and even family life."

I didn't think about this when watching it but @daebakgrits may have a point about a better story beat was showing that sober men also sexually harass and objectify women as well as showing Gang Ho having or witnessing different experiences with the manipulative, social climbing women to further validate his aversion to women as a whole to the point he physically got sick and anxious.

I liked the relationships between everyone.
I really liked the friendships between Mi Ran & Na Eun and Gang Ho & Won Jun. They seem like sisters and brothers respectively, even the way they argue with each other. Soo Jin was also a cool character.

I really liked everyone's maturity. Everyone, most of the time, are competent at their jobs, communicate their thoughts and feelings to trusted friends, and engage in realistic adult dynamics and situations.

Once again reminded how Korean celebrities in particular have it when it comes to their personal lives.

This really is such an easy show to binge and get lost in.

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Enjoyed this, too. Caught me at the right mood. Kim Ji-hoon is an early kdrama crush, but a bit miscast here. Yoo Teo, i followed since Chocolate. The female lead, i haven't seen her in anything but one i'll be following.

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I only know the male lead as Jerome from Vagabond. I had no idea he does leading roles.

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Oh he was jerome !? I totally forgot 😀. I’m still waiting for a 2nd series btw, that ending was annoyingly open.

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This was a fun and breezy watch.

What I liked best:
- Kang-ho's horrified and disgusted expression while watching the filming of the movie scene on the beach and his comment "Romance writers are all psychos".

- Won-joon's hair.

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Somebody finally speaks out the reasons why rom com, candy type FL is not my favorite genre and trope.
I said Yess

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Having has the sam thought a few times while characters danced around on the beach (of course I can’t think of a good example now), that comment made me laugh so hard.

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Thanks @daebakgrits! A fluffy watch to wash away everyone's busy week! Perfect to drop all episodes together, I'm not sure it would suit a weekly drop but was a perfect binge watch.
I agree it would be good to see more of Gang Ho felt as strongly as he did, but the great dynamics between the leads and their friendships showed why a murderous/chaebol power struggle element is not needed for all rom coms.

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Enemies to lovers is one of my fave tropes so I knew I will check this out. I am grateful that all episodes were dropped at once since I needed sonething to watch this weekend. And I enjoyed binge watching this drama more than I expected. It was not perfect by any means but I ended liking the main couple. Kang Ho and Won Jun's friendship is my fave. Their episode 1 scene caught my attention and loved it a lot. I watched this show for Yoo Teo and came away liking him and Kim Ji Hoon's hair more.

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The best thing for me: The affectionate guy friendship as it's something you rarely see in K-dramas, especially in terms of physical affection. The male lead also works better for me than the female lead because his relationships feel deeper and more grounded. By contrast, I think that MR's relationships with her roommate and her parents are underdeveloped as hell and do very little to further establish her character. It already felt OOC that such an independent-minded woman lived so long with her parents, why not involve them more in the fake relationship?

In my opinion, the drama delivers one, two (or three) clichés too many considering its short runtime and the half-baked way it manages to actually utilize these clichés. For example, I wish there was more to MR's physical prowess or her past as a hobby vigilante. Or just the way she two-timed her ex. If any of that bit her in the ass related to the public perception of her relationship with KH, that might be interesting at least.

I also don't think that the show delivers on what it promised in its title and the promos as there's no actually exciting enemies-to-lovers material happening here. Sure, it started all well and good when she tripped him, but from then on, it only went downhill. If I felt the sparks between our two leads, I might be more sympathetic but so far, it's just an okay, mixed bag full of superficial clichés with little heart or humor in it. At least not enough for it to stand out positively in any way.

Still 4 episodes to go. Not sure they can save this.

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I rarely binge but fell headfirst into this and finished in two days, so thanks @daebakgrits for the recap. I knew some watchers would get their boxers in a twist over the numerous examples of misogyny, gender discrimination and socially acceptable behavior that demeans women and girls. Just one example: a law firm that never hired a woman and made its money covering up scandals for their bro-clients. Some of it was low-hanging fruit {the obnoxious drunks] but as you pointed out, the shear frequency of sexist encounters is stunning. If calling a shovel a shovel is "Westernization" then I'm all for it.
Meanwhile this was a fun and enjoyable rom-com, complete with all the usual tropes but done in a lighthearted manner. That the female leads were supportive of each other and not silly gits was refreshing. Loved the mute director whose minions were mind readers and the mane of glory deserves a shout out too!

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Ha ha. Boxers in a twist. Perfect. IMHO the most egregious example of Westernization was all that Subway PPL...
The drama itself had its pluses and minuses, but overall good fun and a rom-com palate cleanser after TIoL.

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Overall, a very enjoyable watch! 10 episodes went by quickly!

This show was fun! Enjoyed it!
l liked how mature the leads were. Their romance was well done (I liked that their relationship progressed even prior the contract relationship started). Also, and I am glad they showed scenes of couple after they got together. It’s good to see a couple actually wanting to spend time and enjoying their physical intimacy. They had great chemistry!

And they talked!! I loved how they both accepted they like each other in their own way.
Even when the scandal broke they did their best to talk about it and work on their relationship.

Didn’t like ep 10 much. I wish they didn’t have to justify why she dated 100 men. There shouldn’t be a need for ‘reason’.

Overall a very enjoyable show!

Need Kim Ji-Hoon’s hair care products and routine !

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This was DELIGHTFUL, lol. My friend and I laughed so much in this drama. It was ridiculous and absurd. Gender tropes were switched for the most part. It was just so very much fun. Usually Netflix kdrama fare is really dark, but this was really fun. Loved it.

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First of all, judged strictly on rom-com terms, this was tropey and predictable, but also light with some funny scenes, and the leads were well played and generally sympathetic, after the usual early arrogance/unlikeable behavior, shown as usual to be the result of trauma. I especially enjoyed the comic performance of Kim Ok-bin--that maniacal gleam she got in her eyes when her character was about to do something out-of-bounds was really funny. The show had love triangles, and some noble idiocy, but they weren't painfully prolonged. So considered just in terms of the rom-com format, not at all original, but fun, enjoyable, and as I and others can affirm, eminently bingeable.

As far as its gender politics, when the show started, I was really worried that because the FL so obviously exemplified exaggerated stereotypical macho traits---cavalier promiscuity, fighting skills, toughness, drinking, good at games--she even was better than her male counterparts at funny "drag" karaoke--that the show would ridicule her, or use her to say "see--this is what feminism gets you--a man-woman." But in the end, it didn't. Not only did she remain a sympathetic character, it didn't have her awaken to the need of being softly "feminine” side at the end. She cried in the reconciliation scene, but it was because she didn't want to break up, not because she had an awakening that she needed to be submissively “feminine.” So that was good. Also, the show made it clear that Mi-Ran was not a model that all women should follow, but rather a very unique character, and her tendency to beat guys up, while used too much for comic effect for my tastes, was held up as a characteristic that her friends tried to change-- as the ending showed. (For me, as usual, I would have liked a really traditional happy romance ending. I would have loved to see scenes of her getting enraged by, and comically reversing marriage rituals!)

What was bad as a pro-gender equality message is exactly what @daebakgrits and others alluded to--it needed to flesh out all the other women characters more, especially the Mom's circumstance, and perhaps have some funny scenes with them, that would show the range of sexism and responses to it. This would have alleviated the obvious criticism of the show as a social message comedy, that in this day and age, just reversing stereotypical male/female traits can expose the blatant sexism that still remains, but really doesn't get at the more hidden, but still infuriating assumptions that prevail even in supposed enlightened circles.

Of course, I am writing from the U.S., where in some ways we are more advanced--the culture industries, at least, pay lip service to gender equality, which is partly what enrages conservatives (as the first comment here shows, even on this Dramabeans.) In other ways, of course, we still need a rom-com wakeup, and a more complex treatment of sexism could have been just as pointedly funny. But I have no...

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no problem taking the show as it is--not a classic or great rom-com--just a fun one that can be easily binged. I'm not going to take it to task for its failures in social commentary!

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Yes, I was thinking that this wouldn't actually be a progressive female character by western standards because of the emphasis that she was "not like other girls," but I recognize that this is progressive for Korea.

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I might be alone in this, but I could not get past the first 1 1/2 episodes. This did not feel like a Kdrama, but like a Western drama with Korean actors.

I found the "all men are misogynists/sleep around/are unprofessional or drunk all the time"-stereotypes plain boring.

As a woman, it bugs me that sleeping around and bad behaviour are described as THE hallmarks of an independent/assertive woman. Especially, since there are enough feisty female characters in K-Drama-Land to prove the opposite (e.g. Lee Ha Nee's characters in Fiery Priest and One the Woman or Oh Yeon Seo in My Sassy Girl).

I love KDramas, because they are so different from Western shows. I would be really sad to see them going down the road that makes Western shows increasingly unbearable to watch.

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Well done: unfortunately in the West the tendency is to represent "rude, promiscuous and masculinized women" as "strong women".

If I have to think of strong female figures represented in TV series, I think of something like Mother (Korea), My Mister (Korea), The Story of Xing Fu (China) or Love Like The Galaxy (China). In the East they still produce beautiful classic stories, as they did in the West up to 20 years ago.

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I binged it and loved it. It is like a breath of fresh air..

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Really love kim ok bin in this. Seriously surprise she is not awkward and excel during intimacy between couple. Really wish she can doing more romance roles.

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I am glad I added this to my watchlist. It's a breezy watch despite some loopholes. But my ultimate fave scene was when Gangho was throwing tantrums and kicked his slippers. The face he made when he saw that one of the slippers hit something was so epic! GOD! He and Jihoon are the epitome of sexy men in their 40s!! Sooooo soooo swoony🥰😍😍😍

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I LOVED this drama. It was exactly what I needed because it seems like lately everything in drama land is so heavy. Finally, no serial murders!
While I liked Mi-ran, tbh, I had a bit of a problem with her in the beginning. I understand why she felt the need to right so many wrongs, but I felt like she enjoyed the violence a little too much.
I really enjoyed the bromance between Gango-ho and Won-joon, and yes, that scene from Ep 1 had me in stitches. When they were at the first meeting with the director and giving each other looks because they knew what the other was thinking, I was like, yes! That's what close friends do. Plus, it does not hurt that Teo Yoo and Kim Ji-hoon are smokin' hot.
Another thing I appreciated is for the most part, these characters had common sense. Maybe because the drama only has 10 episodes, but issues were not dragged out over several episodes. I liked that Gang-ho quickly surmised that Min-ra was the one who tripped him. That he figured out that bratty actress was the one who started the rumor. And he knew that Se-na had told Mi-ran she still had feelings for him. IMO, most Kdrama characters are written with a complete lack of common sense or situational awareness. I'm sure it's to add complexity to the plot, but it can get annoying.
One more thing about Mi-ran: I think this drama accurately portrayed how a woman can let her guard down with a man who loves and respects her. It's not that women necessarily want to be defensive, but sometimes we feel we have no choice. I'm talking about when she finally put her dukes down and showed her softer side. I could appreciate that.
Finally, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the romance. Episode 9 had me squeeing and blushing. My cats looked at me like mom has lost her mind. But I'm going to watch that episode again and again to my heart's content.

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Came here to say the exact same things you said about binged this one based on the review here and love the romance, they have amazing chemistry together!

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This drama was my guilty pleasure. It was full of trophies, but i still somehow enjoyed the it? Mediocre overall.
I skipped all the scenes of second couple and lawyer stuff from the halfway
FL and her friend bothered me sometimes. why is FL so feminist, why is she breaking laws when she`s lawyer (discussing client`s secrets with her friend when she has non disclosure agreement, stalking ML, breaking security camera etc) and her best friend, Why is she so into her friend`s business. You guys are in your 30s and handle your own love lives. I lost all my interest in her when she goes to Won Joon about her friend`s contract....
But interactions and chemistry of main leads kept me engaged. I laughed out loud during their fighting training and understand why ML fell for FL.
It`s my first time seeing Yoo Teo. He really sold this character. Kim Ok Bin is great actress too, she was charming. But she really over-acted some scenes it was too corny

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Anyone else feel like Yoo Teo (ML) looks slightly like a Hyun Bin of MOA era? I have seen Yoo Teo in Seoul Searching and had a crush on him since then! I barely remember him in Chocolate and Vagabond (not two of my favorites, which might be the reason why), so it's good to see him in a lead role in a K-drama now! I admit it - I binged it just for him! :P

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From certain angles and certain expressions, I kept getting Lee Jae-Wook vibes. But I can see why you think he resembles Hyun Bin.

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He's got an interesting personal life, too. I mean just from google searches. Respect there

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I saw it a few times, I think he has dimples?
I kept wondering, where has this actor been? He was completely convincing and charming.

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Oh, I remember him in The School Nurse Files! I thought he was great in that. I couldn't figure out where I'd seen him before.

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More than the men vs women angle, what struck me most here is the behavior of fans towards their idols and their romantic partners. It's almost always the woman that has to suffer quietly. Yes, the male idol will likely experience "cancel culture" but it is the woman who bears the brunt of shame, humiliation, ridicule, even invasion of privacy, especially if she's the non-celebrity, hence, no agency to protect her.

The line of one fan president in the series, where she said that Miran will leave Kang-Ho eventually but his fans will be with him forever, is nothing short of being out of touch with reality and bordering on being a sasaeng. Idols are humans, too, and look for love. Fans discouraging and preventing their idols to have a love life is just ridiculous. And unfortunately, this happens in real life.

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That line bugged me so much! Like are you for real crazy?? Fans are not gonna last forever; they outgrow the love, get busy with their own lives and will definitely forget a star that goes inactive… pheww

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I binge-watched this and was completely hooked. I thought the two characters were so well-defined and there was great conflict.

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I enjoyed most of the story, despite the initial extreme cheesiness 😬 but the ending conflict really bugged me, along with the fan/anti-fan reactions. Probably because both are solid representations of what happens in the real world.

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I enjoyed the show and it made me feel things i haven't felt in a long time but one thing I was super disappointed about was the way they handled the second leads storyline cuz imma be honest, i didn't feel anything for them. I really wished they were more fleshed out.

If they had met within the first couple of episodes and built up their relationship from there, the confession at the end wouldve been believable but they met midway through, had weird meetings then boom confession (where was the chemistry? the tension?? the longing???) it looked to me that Won-jun did not want to be in a relationship.
dont get me started on that awful public confession (kdrama land needs to do away with public confessions it kills the romantic nature of it) it gave me war flashbacks to BP where the second leads (that I loved sm) got a roadside proposal :/

aside from that i enjoyed the rest of the show. Yoo Teo as Kang-Ho was a good casting choice, he really made me giggle with his mannerism & confessions esp that hotel room scene GOSH.
I felt that it was more realistic with its themes such as MR and her beliefs especially with marriage (they have got to stop pushing FLs into marrying so damn fast PLEASE) plus the love & sex themes as well (lets be honest a lot of guys do just hit it and leave these days)

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Loved the second leads. They were both cute. The extreme fan situation is a little hard for me to follow since everywhere I’ve lived, celebrities have an extensive love life. Liked the drama though. And the scene where he is romancing the ex and his expression changes instantly when the director yells “Cut” and he drops her like a hot potato was side splitting. The English translation was pretty hard to follow

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I enjoyed this show very much! I was surprised, because I thought from the summary that it would be uncomfortable. I thought it was going to some kind of "taming of the shrew" situation, but Netflix promoted the show with excerpts on Youtube and pulled me in! I think the key was that the two lead characters were very likable. Teo Yoo is one of those actors who can look like a totally different person when he's frowning or smiling. I loved the part where Miran finally was able to say "I love you," to him. He melted her heart by being a decent person and she made it possible for him to relax by being honest and true to herself.

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I just wanted to say (sorry:)) How terrible this drama is! I thought Netflix has a higher standart. Everything and everybody is so annoying. I ve never a dislike a female lead that much in KD land! Actually first time I dislikeed a female lead 😁. They call that romantic comedy!

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