28 September 2020

K Drama Review: Love Alarm (2019)

Oppa was checking out lists of top dramas from 2019. He wanted to watch Love Alarm because he said it was a huge hit. When he first discussed the plot with me, I admit that I was quite hesitant to watch it because I'm not a huge fan of fantasy/sci-fi stuff. But if people loved it, then there must be something good about it. 

Story

Love Alarm.jpg

Love Alarm tells the story of an app with the same name, which can sync with your heart. If you and the person you love come within a 10-meter radius of each other, that other person's love alarm will ring to alert him/her that someone within that distance loves him/her. 

Facts About Song Kang From Netflix's Love Alarm | HYPEBAE

The main character of the story is Kim Jo Jo (Kim So Hyun), an orphan who lived with her aunt and her cousin. She's a high school student. At the start of the show, she was in a relationship with another classmate but they broke up eventually. She then dated Hwang Sun Oh (Song Kang), a newcomer in the school. Sun Oh's a model and is from a rich family. 

Lee Hye Young (Jung Ga Ram) is Sun Oh's best friend. He's the son of the housekeeper of Sun Oh's family. He goes to the same school as Jo Jo and Sun Oh. Hye Young and Jo Jo work in the same restaurant and Hye Young has this huge crush on Jo Jo. However, when his best friend revealed that he also liked Jo Jo, Hye Young gave way. 

Jo Jo had a very sad life and it seemed as if Sun Oh was going to be her happy pill. Unfortunately, they got into an accident during a school trip in Jeju Island. After that incident, Jo Jo decided to break up with Sun Oh because she felt she was bringing misfortune to his life. And while she was still in love with him, she could no longer ring his love alarm because the app's developer, Duk Gu (Lee Jae Eung), gave her a shield that would prevent the app from syncing with how her heart feels. Although Sun Oh refused to believe Jo Jo, he had no choice but to respect her decision, especially since she no longer rang his love alarm. 

Love Alarm' needs a season 2 to answer who Kim Jojo chooses between  Hye-young and Sun-oh and how it will affect the besties | MEAWW

Fast forward to four years later, Sun Oh is now in a relationship with another girl. Jo Jo is still living a miserable life. And Hye Young is about to start his internship. Hye Young finally had the guts to pursue Jo Jo, who is willing to give him a chance. The final episode ends with the three of them within a 10-meter radius of each other. Jo Jo is in the middle and she gets two love alarms from the two guys. 

Review

Love Alarm is a very short drama. It only had eight episodes, with each episode running for only 40 to 50 minutes. It's definitely very easy to watch. 

love alarm – Unnie to the Rescue

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of unrealistic stories. I just cannot fully grasp the concept of a phone app that can detect how I feel. However, if you can go beyond that fantasy/sci-fi storyline, you'll find that the story is actually good and entertaining. I even found myself enjoying some of the cool graphics such as the circles that show who's within a 10-meter radius. 

I would have to admit though that I found the pilot episode quite underwhelming. I was already wary of the concept and it didn't help that the first episode was not that impressive. For a drama that only had eight episodes, I was expecting more. Fortunately, things got better. 

Love Alarm (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb

We love Kim So Hyun. She reminds us so much of Go Ara. And she's a great actress too. I loved how she portrayed Jo Jo. Her eyes spoke so much of the suffering she's gone through in her young life. And despite that, she still remained positive and cheerful. She has a very charming smile. And I totally loved how she appeared unbothered about the gossips they spread about her. She was fine being alone although I'm sure she felt lonely too. We were so impressed with her that we're planning to watch another Kim So Hyun drama. 

K-Drama Review Of Love Alarm

In the beginning, I was rooting for Hye Young. I felt so bad for him for giving way to his friend and for being contented with loving Jo Jo from afar. I loved how after all those years, he still loved Jo Jo. You'd have to admire his patience and persistence. He was willing to be with Jo Jo even if he knew that the love was only going to be one-way/one-sided. That's how huge his love was for Jo Jo. So, yes, it was easy to pick Hye Young as the underdog. However, there's just something about Sun Oh. :D

K-Drama Review Of Love Alarm

Initially, I found Sun Oh obnoxious for still pursuing Jo Jo even if it was so obvious that Hye Young liked her. I was wondering if he really like Jo Jo or he was just being competitive. But the succeeding episodes revealed Sun Oh's good heart and I began to grow fond of him too. I am now a Song Kang fan. :) My heart cried for him, especially when it was revealed that Jo Jo was the one who dumped him. Jo Jo said it perfectly. She took away Sun Oh's smile. And that was just heartbreaking. 

One reason why I loved Sun Oh was because he had such great chemistry with Jo Jo. They looked so cute together. Theirs was a love story that would bring back all memories of young love, that time when everyone was just so clingy, needy, jealous, physical, etc. Despite his background where lots of people would ring his love alarm, I loved how Sun Oh remained down to earth, especially when it came to Jo Jo. His love was so pure and real. When Jo Jo was breaking up with him, he even told her he was willing to change whatever it was that he did wrong. That humility is very, very rare to find in men. 

Aside from young love memories, this show would also bring back high school memories - when people just wanted to conform to avoid mean kids and bullies. While he's not that physically appealing, I also grew fond of Duk Gu. I felt so bad for him whenever he got humiliated and rejected. And he was a real friend to Jo Jo. 

Another thing that I loved about Love Alarm was how inclusive it was. It was possible to ring the love alarm of someone with the same gender as was seen in Hye Young's case where his guy classmate was able to ring his love alarm. And I loved how Hye Young was cool with it. I've mentioned before that K dramas tend to be conservative when it comes to this issue and I'm always pleasantly surprised when I watch a drama that treats LGBTQ relationships respectfully. 

At first glance, Jo Jo's reason for breaking up with Sun Oh would appear absurd, which is very common in K dramas. However, if you look deeper into it, you'll realize that what Jo Jo did was totally understandable - she was young and she had a very traumatic past. She was afraid of hurting the person she loved the most, the way she probably blamed herself for what happened to her parents. She wanted to keep her distance to shield Sun Oh from all that pain, even if it hurt her so much. I was glad that the show did not come up with predictable conflicts like the rich guy's parents being against the relationship with the poor girl or the rich guy was weirded out by the circumstances of the death of Jo Jo's parents. I loved how despite it being a fantasy/sci-fi story, Love Alarm tried its best to keep things real when it came to the relationships in the show. 

However, what I don't quite agree with is how Jo Jo still refused to acknowledge what she really felt even after being apart from Sun Oh for a long time. I'm sure she's matured enough to know that her life is totally separate from his and she's not to blame for any misfortune that might come his way. It was so obvious that they still loved each other and I can't understand why she still refused to be with him. 

I'm fine with the very hanging ending because it's confirmed that we're getting a second season. I believe they're done filming and it was supposed to air last month but they had to postpone it to next year due to the pandemic. 

Over all, I enjoyed the show. I was able to overcome all of my initial concerns and I ended up loving this drama. Although I'm quite wary of how the story will end due to the spoilers, I am still looking forward to the second season. I'm curious about what happened to Duk Gu. And I want to see how the love triangle's relationships will be resolved. 

Oppa says...4.4.

Noona says...4.

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