All this 10 episode webdrama needed to fit in with the TV drama big guys was some more depth, a better ending, and a little polish. We Broke Up, based on the webcomic of the same name, is decently written, finely acted, and well directed but it’s short length and lack of background details kept me from being as emotionally invested in the characters lives as I wanted to be.
The plot is simple… While at a new semester party, Noh Woo-Ri’s friend hollers a challenge to all the new freshman guys – sing. Ji Won-Yeong immediately takes the stage and introduces the men up there with him. “We are The Band I Do Not Know!” About 20 seconds after the song starts Woo-Ri is mesmerized by the sound of Won-Yeong’s voice and she actually gets up and walks over to the little stage to stare at the man she has just fallen in love with. It’s not an unrequited love because, almost as quickly, Won-Yeong falls for Woo-Ri. Now we fast forward three years and the once happy couple has just broken up. But it’s not a clean break. You see, they both rent a room in the same house and because of financial reasons neither one of them can move out and, to make matters more complicated, neither one realizes they are still in love with each other.
Ji Won-Yeong is a young man with a clear career goal who knows what he wants out of life. He has a passion for music, writing and performing his own stuff with his band, and hopes for the day he can share his talent with the world. He loves Noh Woo-Ri but is too irritated with her to say so.
Not only does Woo-Ri still love Won-Yeong, she doesn’t really know how to go on without him. She spent the time they were together happily supporting his career goals and encouraging him and his band and now they have separated she’s at a loss with what she wants in life.
It’s one of those love/but I’ll pretend I hate you kind of storylines. Our main characters go on with their lives, without each other, wishing they were still together. So how long before they confess their true feelings and get back together? Ya know, I’m not sure. The ending is way too vague. One person may see it as them getting back together while another viewer may see the same ending as them going on without each other, cherishing wonderful memories of the time they shared. The writer may have a specific ending in mind, but for me, I wasn’t able to come to a definite conclusion. There is a color change at the end, but is it a color change to tell us it’s a memory or it’s reality? Just not sure. I tend to lean toward a memory because Woo-Ri is wearing the same thing she has on in the video Won-Yeong watches as he’s missing her earlier in the show. So, if I have to choose one I’ll go with… they don’t get back together, although I want them to.
I wish the writer had given the audience more time with Noh Woo-Ri and Ji Won-Yeong during their happy days as a couple before taking us to their break-up. We’re able to see how much they still love each other but we don’t “feel” their heartache. We haven’t been a part of their happiness so we’re not in on their feelings of loss. It puts the viewers on the outside looking in. In other words, to me, We Broke Up was nothing more than an entertaining webdrama.
Main female character Noh Woo-Ri is played by singer/actress/model Sandara Park. She was born in South Korea but moved to the Philippines when she was 10 years old. There she was discovered on a talent search TV show and became an actress. After being in several movies she moved back to Korea with the intention of continuing her acting career but, instead, debuted in the girl group 2NE1. From there, she went back to acting.
Kang Seung-Yoon, also known as Seungyoon, is a singer-songwriter and leader of the boy group Winner. He’s also proven himself a fine actor. At the K-Web Fest Awards he was presented with the Best Male Actor award for his portrayal as Ji Won-Yeong in We Broke Up.
I was happy to find there are a few surprise appearances on the show. Choi Ji-Woo is there when Won-Yeong and his band are discovered, Yoo In-Na plays a DJ on the radio show The Band I Do Not Know appears on, and Park Sang-Hyun (aka Thunder from the boy group MBLAQ) is in episode four. Hey, did you know he’s Sandara Park’s brother in real life?
We Broke Up has been a huge success with over 16 million views, being the fourth most viewed webdrama of 2015, and it is the first of its kind to be invited to be screened at the 21st Geneva International Film Festival. Congratulations!
With both leads in this show being singers in professional groups, We Broke Up‘s soundtrack is particularly good. The lively opening song, Two of Us, is a duet sung by Kang Seung-Yoon and Sandara Park, and the song that Ji Won-Yeong is singing when Noh Woo-Ri falls for him is Kang Seung-Yoon’s hit song Wild and Young. He also sings other songs during the show, as well.
The scenery is fairly ordinary with the time of year being early summer so the outdoor shots are pretty and green. I also liked the look of the inside of the house Won-Yeong and Woo-Ri rent.
If you can get past the vague ending and the quick jump from loving relationship to split, you wont regret the time you spend on We Broke Up.
Fun guest appearances
Not enough time spent in love