I Love You (사랑해)

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With school starting again and am concurrently working two jobs, I doubt I can post that often or even write longer posts. But I recently finished this drama and I still want to get my thoughts out there.

This drama is a great example why we should not judge a drama based on first impression or first episode (does this mean I have to go back and watch Style? Oh, the horrors). I dismissed this drama on its first two episodes, they were well executed but a little dull and uneventful. I also wasn’t very moved by the main coupling of Ahn Jaewook and Seo Jihye. They looked mismatched and awkward. A couple of times I tried to sit through episode 3 and 4 and failed miserably. Tho the reviews for I Love You is generally okay, none of them have been so very fabulous that I just have to see this drama badly.

But again, thanks to Drama Fever who posted the whole 16 episodes of I Love You not too long ago, I was flipping mindlessly through episode 6, but then got hooked somewhere.

I Love You is such a delightful and funny drama. It’s about love and relationship, simple as that. The relationships are portrayed in a more realistic light, but it surprisingly can keep its light and fluffy vibe. There’s no question whether A would end up with B, or perhaps A used to be C’s boyfriend but C’s mother does not approve of A. It’s just about people and their respective relationships.

To start with, Na Younghee and Suk Chulsoo meet and begin to date casually. When Younghee gets pregnant after a drunken night together, Chulsoo finds it hard to cope with the thought that he now has to marry her. Younghee’s sister, Na Jinhee have been married with Do Minho and her marriage is not in the best shape. She then learns that he has been seeing other women under the pretense of ‘business outings’. Minho’s neighbour, Park Byungho is in a similar situation as Chulsoo as he finds out that his girlfriend, Lee Younghee, gets pregnant and demands to be married. She even goes as far as suing him for not owning up to his promise to marry her.

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There’s no evil stepmother, no evil plotting done to destroy another person, basically, no big plot twists happen. The story is nothing surprising or groundbreaking, but its charm is all in the execution.

I thought it was smart that instead of the usual 4 main leads, we have 6. Things would have gotten really boring if it focuses mainly about 4 people. This way, we have more stories to tell to fit the 16 episode bill. I felt that Triple wanted to achieve this, but the mundane story failed to hold up. Despite the meh-ness I felt in the first few episodes, not once did I get bored watching the rest of I Love You. And this is quite an amazing feat for someone who has such a short attention span as me.

What I like about these 6 characters is that they are not flawless angels, but they can appeal to your emotion and sympathy. They are not dictated to behave a certain way and continue to show different sides of themselves. And each character have their own qualities that distinct them from the others. Following that comparison with Triple, to me, this is a huge differing factor between I Love You and Triple. All the 6 main characters of Triple range from irritating to annoying. Save for a few moderately likable ones, the other are just grating my nerves. Not so with I Love You. There are times when I do get annoyed with Byungho being such an ass or Jinhee being a stubborn coward, but at the end of the day, I cheer and root for them.

Also, sometimes in these kinds of drama, you pick your favourites. Some main characters you like, some you prefer to skip. Here, I enjoy each and every character. Never did I have an urge to skip this person or couple’s scenes. I liked them all.

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It might also have something to do with the acting. As for Ahn Jaewook and Gong Hyungjin (he’s gonna be in Pursuing Servant!!!! Excited!), no questions asked. They are just awesome. They glide into their characters seemingly effortlessly. Their characters feel natural and true to life. Seo Jihye is super underrated, imo. Her Younghee is very kind, cute, and just beautiful inside out. SJH plays it with such a heart that instead of coming off pretentious or prudish, you just root for her. Jo Miryung and Park Hyeyoung are also great. However, the biggest surprise for me is Hwanhee, most notably known as (almost now) old skool Kpop crooner from Fly to the Sky.

My only exposure to Hwanhee is his brief appearance in We Got Married with Hwayobi. I’ve known about FTTS, but have never heard any of their songs. Only heard that he a)has a strong voice and b)got a nose job (looks a lot better now actually). So I was pleasantly surprised that his acting is definitely not bad at all. Certainly a whole cut above most singer-turned-actors. And he only had one other acting job before, so I was immensely satisfied with his acting in I Love You. He’s got good, solid acting helped with great screen presence.

I Love You is a wonderful drama. It’s lighthearted, but not superficial. It’s lovable, but not boring. This is the kind of drama that you can take your time watching it. It plays more on character and relationship development instead of plot and storylines. It’s not the kind that you rush to see what happens next and have to watch right away. So I think it’s a perfect drama to sneak your rare spare time watching it in the school year. I totally recommend this drama, watching it was such a fun ride.

And if you can’t tell, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stills. They are so so cute.

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