Showing posts with label Our Beloved Summer (Kdrama) 4.5 || 4.5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Our Beloved Summer (Kdrama) 4.5 || 4.5. Show all posts

26 January 2022

K Drama Review: Our Beloved Summer (2021) 4.5 || 4.5

I was looking forward to this drama. We loved Choi Woo Shik in Summer Vacation and we super loved Kim Da Mi in Itaewon Class. I knew right away that this show was going to be cuteness overload. 

When we started watching the show, I was concerned that Woo Shik's character was quite similar to his Parasite role and Da Mi's was so alike her Itaewon Class character. But I'm glad that the show proved me wrong and both actors offered me so much more than what I've seen previously. 


Our Beloved Summer tells the story of two high school classmates, Kook Yeon Su (Kim Da Mi), number 1 in their class, and Choi Ung (Choi Woo Shik), last in their class. A production company created a documentary featuring the two. Initially, they did nothing but bicker. Easy going Ung often got on the nerves of the eager beaver Yeon Su. However, by the time the shoot ended, they developed feelings for each other and they got into a long relationship. Unfortunately, Yeon Su was troubled by her family's issues and her personal demons that she decided to break up with Ung for good. Fast forward to several years later, their paths cross again for work. The production company also wanted to create another documentary since the old one was starting to trend again. The show takes us through how Ung and Yeon Su find their way back to each other as they courageously face their issues from the past. 

Choi Woo Shik as Choi Ung

Woo Shik was perfect as the low key, simple, and happy go lucky Ung. 

I loved how Ung was a very loving son and friend. Although people found him indifferent, he was actually  always there for the people who mattered. Ung was perfectly described by his fan and K Pop star NJ (Roh Jeong Eui). Ung appears easy going and funny but he actually has a serious and sincere side. 

I loved his relationship with his cute parents (Seo Jung Yeon of She Was Pretty, Descendants of the Sun, Something in the Rain, One Spring Night, Run On, Nevertheless, and Juror 8; and Park Won Sang). Never mind that he was adopted. He never resented it. And his parents loved him as their own. They gave him space and all they wanted was for him to be happy. 

I loved Ung's character development. When he got back together with Yeon Su, I saw him try his very best to show that he was earnest. He bravely faced grandma (Cha Mi Kyung of Juror 8, Itaewon Class, and Hospital Playlist). He exerted effort to be with Yeon Su and to always check on her. And how he asked the hard question of why they broke up, knowing that it was something they have to talk about if they are to move forward to avoid making the same mistake again. And how he kept reassuring Yeon Su that they would not break up anymore, which helped her finally bare her soul to Ung. 

Ung was absolutely selfless. Although he had troubles of his own, he still had the strength to comfort the people he loved, Yeon Su and Ji Ung (Kim Sung Cheol of Hospital Playlist, Prison Playbook, and Vincenzo) who were also going through tough times. 

This was definitely the best version of Woo Shik that I've seen. Yes, he was good in Parasite, but I was not so happy with him in Fight for My Way. I'm so glad that he was able to bounce back here. I loved all of Ung's different sides - quiet, moping, lazy, indifferent, easy going, serious, in love, and dramatic. I was surprised with his breakdown scenes in front of Yeon Su and his mother regarding his adoption. I didn't know Woo Shik had that in him. 

Kim Da Mi as Kook Yeon Su

Kim Da Mi was also perfect as the overachiever and selfish Yeon Su. 

Ung said it perfectly when he described Yeon Su as someone who's so guarded and distant that she tends to push you away but she would have moments when she'd pull you into her life and wow you. 

Just like Ung, I loved how Yeon Su evolved as a person. How she slowly let her guard down and allowed the people around her to see who she really is and comfort her. Like when she admitted to grandma that she was the one who broke up with Ung even if she still liked him. And how she admitted to Ung that she was in pain and she needed help when her grandma got sick. And the best part about Yeon Su was how she came to love and accept the life that she had. 

This was another stellar performance for Da Mi. I really hope she'd do more dramas because she's a really great actress. 

Ung and Yeon Su

I super loved Ung and Yeon Su. Woo Shik and Da Mi's chemistry was very apparent from the start. And it never went away - even when they broke up and were always bickering. Even their arguments looked cute. 

I also loved how after the awkward feelings settled in, they naturally gravitated towards each other like old times, as if they never broke up. I loved their tender moments together, especially when they opened up about their vulnerabilities. 

When they reunited, I really hoped that Yeon Su would be honest with Ung about her issues and insecurities so that Ung can work around them. After all, he has always been willing to bend backwards for her and I hoped she would finally let him do it. And I'm so glad that she didn't disappoint this time. 

I loved how Ung and Yeon Su both matured and how they worked hard to make their relationship work. After all, long distance relationships can work. Maybe not all the time. But it can. And I'm glad they gave it a try and they succeeded. 

Kim Sung Cheol as Ji Ung

I love the variety of roles that Kim Sung Cheol can play - a toughie prisoner in Prison Playbook and a gay crazy in love in Vincenzo. And he managed to show us another side here - the chill and quiet dude who's actually holding in a lot of pain in his heart. 

I admit that I was not so happy with Ji Ung moping around because of his one-sided love for Yeon Su. I felt that he unfairly put Ung and Yeon Su in difficult positions. But Ji Ung won me back with that moment in the hospital with his mom (Park Mi Hyun of Hometown Cha Cha Cha, D.P., Law School, and Record of Youth), where he told her that he can't forgive her yet but she should try to live longer in the off chance that he might forgive her in the future. 

Roh Jeong Eui as NJ

We loved NJ. I loved how the show gave us a glimpse of the difficult life that idols live. While it's a glamorous world, things tend to be lonely too because they need to deal with a lot of things on their own. And while she often got in the way of Ung and Yeon Su, you can't really hate her because she seemed so sincere towards Ung, until the end. 

We loved Roh Jeong Eui and we hope she'll get her very own drama next time.  


The best thing about this show was its realistic take on love. And how organic the relationships felt, including the issues and struggles that couples face. And the warmth Ung and Yeon Su exuded when they were together. And how their issues matured along with them. 

I loved the depiction of immature love - always wanting to break up over the pettiest issues. Girls expecting profound stuff while boys feel that being there and being loyal are enough. How these mismatched expectations lead to misunderstandings.  Like how Yeon Su wanted to hear Ung say that he loved her and he didn't want her gone. Although Ung never said those exact words, it was really obvious that he loved her - the way he looked at her and how he always stuck by her side were more than enough to show Yeon Su that Ung loved her. 

Like how Yeon Su said that she always broke up with Ung because he's the only one she can throw away. In truth, however, it was evident that she did it because Ung was her safe space. She knew she can always take it out on him because he will always understand and he will always be there waiting for her to return and things will be okay again. He accepted her for who she really was. At some point, unfortunately, Ung probably got tired of the vicious cycle too. 

I liked how the show made Yeon Su's struggles forgivable, and even relatable. Yes, her pride and insecurities got in the way. She might appear stuck up to others. But those were her defense mechanisms. She had to protect herself too and that was the only way she knew how to do it back then. 

And how an old love matures while some things will still remain the same. Like how despite the stuff they went through and how hurt Ung must have been with the things Yeon Su did, he still cared enough to ask her how she's been. And how Yeon Su was also concerned about Ung's sleep issues. 

And how they were braver now to face the problems they used to sweep under the rug. They knew they had to solve these issues together. 

I'm usually not a big fan of dramas where the couple makes things complicated by not being together even if they obviously still have feelings for each other. But I was totally fine with it here. I completely understood why Yeon Su broke up with Ung. She loved him so much that he didn't want to trouble him with her problems. She was scared that her sad life would be too much for him. She was young and she didn't know any better. What mattered most was that she learned from it. She gave him the chance to help her deal with her problems. 

Yes, there were times when I felt that the bickering and the confusing signs Yeon Su and Ung gave each other on their way to being together again were quite repetitive. (But I loved that episode where Yeon Su declared that she wanted to try being friends with Ung. Their scenes together were hilarious.). I was also not that happy with the third party stuff, especially Ji Ung's which sometimes slowed down the show. Yes, the show was still quite formulaic. But I still ended up loving it because it was cute. And it still managed to be refreshing because of the natural way the story and the characters progressed. 

I was concerned after watching the penultimate episode because there seemed to be too many things happening - Ung wanted to study overseas, he wanted Yeon Su with him,  Ung had a critic all of a sudden, Yeon Su's grandma was sick, and Ji Ung's mom was dying. I was scared that the focus on the main leads might get lost. 

But I'm happy to say that the show found its way back during the final episode. All the loose ends were tied - there's hope after all for Ji Ung and his mom, Ji Ung might have a happy ending with his colleague (Jeon Hye Won), Ung's manager (Ahn Dong Goo of The Silent Sea) and Yeon Su's bestfriend (Park Jin Joo of Lovestruck in the City, Encounter, and Hotel Del Luna) are together, Ung's at peace with both his biological and adoptive parents, Ung and NJ are happy to be friends, both Ung and Yeon Su got to do things they wanted, and Ung and Yeon Su got married. 

What I loved most about the ending was the emphasis on self-love. That it's perfectly fine to choose yourself. Ung and Yeon Su ran after their dreams. Yet they turned out fine and still very much in love with each other. 

Oppa says...4.5.

Noona says...4.5.