Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy
Originally Aired on: KBS (Aug 18, 2014 to Oct 7, 2014)
Number of episodes: 16
Written by: Jung Hyun-Jung
Starring: Jung Yu-Mi, Eric Mun and Sung Joon
Han Yeo-reum (Jung Yu-mi) is a furniture designer whose dream is to make one-of-a-kind, organic pieces. For the past three years, she's been dating Nam Ha-jin (Sung Joon), a plastic surgeon with a sweet and gentle personality. But Yeo-reum's peaceful life and love life are shaken when her ex-boyfriend Kang Tae-ha (Eric Mun) suddenly reappears in her life.
The CEO of a successful interior design company, Tae-ha is a smart, confident man with a strong competitive edge who always gets what he wants. Meanwhile, Ha-jin comes across Ahn Ah-rim (Yoon Jin-yi), whom he recognizes as the girl he loved like a little sister when they were both children living in an orphanage. As she begins working with Tae-ha, Yeo-reum is forced to re-evaluate her romantic history, which sets her off on a search for true love. (Source: Wikipedia)
Han Yeo-Reum (Jung Yu-Mi)
Han Yeo-Reum is a sweet and petite young woman in her early 30's who has been heartbroken by Kang Tae-Ha, her ex-boyfriend whom she dated for about 5 years. Despite their love for one another and desire to make things last, their relationship becomes "old," full of miscommunication and unspoken pain. Viewers get a sense that Yeo-Reum was trying harder towards the end of their relationship. Since then, she has moved onto a new relationship with Nam Ha-Jin who seems sweeter, gentler and more sensitive to her needs than Kang Tae-Ha was. She loves Ha-Jin and wants to marry him, except she struggles to be truthful about her painful past (sudden death of her father) and be vulnerable in front of him.
Yeo-Reum in Korean literally means "summer," and as expected, she embodies traits that personify summer. She is sweet, warm and lovable, except she harbors unresolved pain much like a rainy day in summer.
NOTE: Jung Yu-Mi is known in South Korea as "pocket girl," a term describing petite and cute woman that men desire to carry in their pockets. Generally Korean men are known to like sweet, cute and petite women, thus the popular term aegyo (cute affection, sweet, baby-like). This of course, is a stereotype that doesn't apply to all Korean men.
Kang Tae-Ha (Eric Mun)
At the beginning of the story, viewers see a flashback of Tae-Ha and Yeo-Reum's relationship. Tae-Ha is just beginning his career as an interior designer and is therefore very busy and not always available for his girlfriend. We know that he really loved her, but perhaps lacked the maturity, sensitivity and consideration to understand his girlfriend's emotional needs.
As an interior designer, he is driven, ambitious and smart. He is a no-nonsense type of man who has a good head on his shoulders. We later learn that he never really dealt with his breakup with Yeo-Reum, and their reunion leads him to revisit their past and learn to love again, this time as an improved man.
Nam Ha Jin (Sung Joon)
Nam Ha Jin is a plastic surgeon who is sweet, gentle and an amazing boyfriend to Yeo-Reum. We know that he was adopted by his current mother, that he carries a painful past that involves a young girl whom he loved like a little sister (Ah Rim). He loves Yeo-Reum but is constantly searching for Ah Rim due to feelings of accountability and guilt. Ah Rim eventually resurfaces in his life (in the same way Tae-Ha resurfaces in Yeo-Reum's life) which complicates matters even more.
He can appear somewhat naive and overly trusting at times, and overlooks many "warning signs" that are present in Yeo-Reum and Tae-Ha's reunion. In the end however, Ha-Jin is a man who is selfless, loving and the perfect boyfriend/husband material. Viewers get a sense that he loves Yeo-Reum more, and is willing to sacrifice many things including his pride to win her love.
My Thoughts: A Story About Timing & Healing
Overall I found this drama to be enjoyable. It's not one of those super addictive stories with dramatic scenes and plot twists, but one that brings quiet awakening, lessons and stirs feelings of complex emotions that are commonly found in relationships.
As I watch more Korean dramas, I find myself enjoying this type more, because the storyline is more realistic and characters are much more believable. On the surface it seems like a typical "love triangle" plot but the writer does a good job in portraying subtle nuances and unspoken emotions that run deep between the lovers.
Essentially this is a story about TIMING- a story about two lovers who couldn't be together because their timing and feelings were off (which I believe, happens in many relationships), and readers are invited to see how their love plays out when they reunite many years later.
1. Yeo-Reum: "Is this love?" (Episode 2)
Yeo-Reum says this to Tae-Ha when they are on a trip (which turns out to be their last) and Tae-Ha seems inattentive and unfeeling. Tae-Ha replies, "Every other couple is like this. It's been five years already. How can love always be passionate?"
Yeo-Reum is hurt. She replies "This is too hard, I can't do this anymore. I'm the only one hurt, the only one waiting, the only one looking your way. I'm lonely even when we are together. Is this love? Why do you make me feel so pathetic? We began our relationship here, so let's end it here."
2. Tae-Ha: "Let's really break up" (Episode 10)
Tae-Ha is looking intently at his ex-girlfriend Yeo-Reum. He looks hurt, yet finally decides to come to a closure and let her go for once and for all.
"Let's really break up. Let's break up the right way. I didn't know why broke up, which is why I couldn't break up with you before. You hated me this entire time. When you hate someone, you're not really broken up. I want you to be happy. I'm glad I finally mean what I'm saying right now."
3. Ha-Jin: "I don't believe this is equal. You and my relationship." (Episode 12)
Ha-Jin wants to ask Yeo-Reum about Tae-Ha, exactly who he is and what happened between them. But he has a hard time speaking up and confronting her. He says,
"Do you know why I always keep things in during a fight? Because I'm afraid of losing you if I don't. So I always have to lose. Because if I don't lose, we will end up breaking up. Do you know how much I hate this feeling? Knowing that if I don't lose, we will end up breaking up...."
In conclusion, I would recommend this drama for those who like believable characters and realistic flow of emotions in a long-term relationship. It doesn't blow you away or present something so different or unique, but it does warm your heart with layers of complex emotions that most of us can relate to. Even the most passionate love becomes old, feelings get dull, and timing is everything. This is a perfect drama to watch while multitasking at home, one that doesn't require too much attention or energy but still presents quiet awakenings and feelings of nostalgia.
My rating: 7/10
For convincing characters, memorable lines and apt embodiment of real life relationships.