I accidently came across this drama and I liked the premise so I had to watch it right away. This review has moderate spoilers. So I do mention things that happen in the first episode and early on but no big reveals and no big spoilers are mentioned.
So the drama follows three women, Jin Joo, Han Joo and Eun Jeong. They are best friends from University/College and they are in their 30s.
Jin Joo is a writer, Han Joo works in film production and Eun Jeong is a documentary maker.
Through out the series we watch as Jin Joo and Han Joo make gains in their careers. Jin Joo gets a job on a kdrama when she’s still a rookie and Han Joo makes steady gains in her job in the production department.
However with Eun Jeong we see the opposite. She does struggle at first in a misogynistic working environment but then she quits and her first documentary is a huge success and she’s an overnight millionaire. She also meets the love of her life making the docu. However we see her life turn to crap. She doesn’t lose her riches per se but she does lose her love. So her journey on the show is her healing from the lose of a loved one.
It is moving, it is painful and I was the most invested in her story. I wanted her to get help and to truly heal.
Her character’s storyline highlighted how even women who appear tough and like they have it all together need help too and need a good support system to get them through hard times. No one is Superman or Wonder Woman (although both superheroes also need help a lot of the time).
In terms of love for Jin Joo and Han Joo, I had mixed feelings.
Jin Joo at the start of the series has just left a seven year long toxic relationship.
She stayed with him for seven years? I couldn’t fathom it especially when their relationship started to deteriorate pretty early on. It was disturbing.
But through out the series we see the development of her relationship with kdrama director Beom Soo. They were so weird together and truly understood each other and could be themselves… it was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed watching the progress especially as they played no games.
Han Joo however irritated me. Her first relationship with Seung Hyo was not her fault. She got played and he… *muffled screaming* he needed to get punched! He was such a douche bag!! Honestly, rage inducing.
So she gets a baby from that guy and we start the series with her child being around eight years old. She’s a single mom so I wondered how her love story would play out especially as she didn’t date in all those eight years.
I’ll just say this, it was so frustrating.
So yeah the three women live together but have very different lives, experiences and personalities.
They were not the only highlight of the show however. This drama had one of the best, strongest, supporting cast.
Eun Jeong’s brother, Hyo Bong, was the sweetest and honestly his sister’s saviour. He’s pretty musical and fits into the drama’s theme of all the characters being from the producing, TV/documentary/media world.
He is also gay and has a boyfriend, Moon Soo, who appears on screen. They actually appear together, on screen! I can tell you that I have never seen that before! True they don’t hold hands or show any couple skin ship nor do they kiss but the fact that he actually has an onscreen boyfriend is a big step.
In Reply 1997 it’s alluded that Joon Hee gets a boyfriend but they don’t show him, he just drives off in a mystery car. Also most of the plot he pines after Yoon Jae.
In At Eighteen it’s the same in that Oh Je spends most of the time crushing for the main character but he doesn’t get a romantic interest that likes him back, at all.
In Love Alarm they tackle the struggles of being gay and the dangers gay teens can face but they don’t show a couple get together and be happy.
So this is the first kdrama that I’ve watched that has had this happen and on screen! So I was pretty excited.
Apart from Hyo Bong and Moon Soo there are other very good, well fleshed out, characters like So Min (who I thought I would hate but ended up loving), Jae Hoon (who is Han Joo’s intern and gave me a head ache), Ah Rang (who was helpful in helping to heal Eun Jeong’s mental health), Min Joon (loved him- no complaints), Hye Jeong (melodramatic but you can’t stay mad at her for too long when she provides so much comedy), Da Mi (I actually didn’t like her, she wasn’t that nice of a person), Dang Gi (a loveable sweetheart) and the CEO (great comedy duo with Dang Gi and Hye Jeong).
Oh yeah and there’s also Jin Joo’s ex who was also a director of kdramas but a rookie one and he really looked like Ye Sung to me. He was annoying though.
So with all those characters I felt like they were actual people. They weren’t perfect, they had flaws but their flaws were not overexaggerated.
They also looked normal. With kdramas the actors normally feel too pretty, too polished like they’re about to go on a runway but with these characters they dressed and looked more like an average joe and I liked that.
The least fleshed out character was unfortunately Han Joo’s son. They had him being a brat throughout the whole series and they never really resolved that or explained it. Han Joo’s makes her assumptions but it’s not validated. So his storyline ends up going nowhere.
Moving on, they had an interesting filming style with a lot of POV shots and interesting use of flash backs and out of the box advertising methods. It was meta and self-aware as a series, making it fun to watch. It also felt very ‘slice of life’, and I find ‘slice of life’ peaceful so I enjoyed watching it. It was interesting enough to keep me watching and didn’t have to resort to using dramatic cliff hangers that give me heart attacks.
It was also really funny. There were so many scenes that had me cracking up in the dead of the night. Then other scenes that were genius and funny in a different way, for example the Oppa scene. I just loved how Han Joo schooled them! It was sad that she had to do it but she really schooled them.
Oh yeah it had realistic kissing scenes, with heat! I mean I’ve seen realistic kissing scenes in kdrama before but the sizzle in this drama, oooh! I loved it! It came from my favourite couple and I shan’t reveal who but I loved them so much and they deserve the world!
Some cons, I didn’t like the last episode. It felt rushed and disjointed, it was too meta. In the other episodes the meta elements were very well done but in the last episode it was lazily done.
They could have ended it at episode fifteen.
Also some of the characters they had end up together at the end was like, “What?” And the characters that didn’t end up together was an even bigger “What?!?!”
It felt rushed so I wonder if they were planning a season two but got rejected and so had to rethink.
Also the toxic relationship that Jae Hoon had was so frustrating… it was painful to watch. I get that real people be doing that but ugh, so painful.
Other than that though it was a very solid drama and I would 100% recommend it. The pros vastly outweigh the cons.
If the last episode had been good I would have definitely given it a five out of five but alas it wasn’t so four out of five.