I whipped through Lovestruck in the City in only two days! Why?… Because it was engaging, original, and just plain good.
While Park Jae-Won is on his dream vacation – a month of surfing and living in a trailer – he meets a young woman named Yoon Seon-A and instantly falls head over heels for her. She is carefree, outgoing, adventurous, passionate and he loves everything about her. Luckily, she is also extremely attracted to him and sparks begin to fly at a phenomenal speed. Although they know almost nothing about each other, in an impromptu wedding ceremony, the two are married (without registering it legally) and begin, what promises to be, a wonderful life together. But things come to an unexpected halt when a serious problem at work calls the happy groom back to Seoul. Planning to meet at a certain place and time, the new couple part ways at the airport but the scheduled reunion never comes to fruition and a year later Jae-Won, still wearing his wedding ring, finds it impossible to give up searching for the woman he so dearly loves.
Choi Kyung-Joon and Sun Rin-Yi’s relationship, which was strong enough to weather a quick break up, has been going strong for five years now. Although they don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, they respect each other’s feelings, which puts conflicts between the two at a bare minimum. They appear to be blissfully happy but Rin-Yi’s frugal way of life and lack of ambition is proving to be difficult for financially successful Kyung-Joon to understand.
Kang Geon and Oh Sun-Young’s initial meeting was anything but normal. Although the two hit it off, their relationship proved to be a precarious one, with Sun-Young’s insecurities eventually making the entire thing collapse. She has dated many guys since then but still has yet to put her feelings for Kang Geon behind her. He, on the other hand, completely stopped seeing women after their breakup.
Thirty-two-year-old architect, Park Jae-Won is a team leader in his father’s company. He is a dedicated, hardworking man who would prefer to push back a deadline than present a building model that is anything less than perfect. Love is not a trivial matter to Jae-Won. He sincerely gives his heart fully to the woman he loves.
Because of two back-to-back tragedies that crushed her self-esteem, 29-year-old Lee Eun-Oh is convinced there is something majorly wrong with her. In an attempt to like herself, she adopts a new name and masquerades as the kind of person she thinks others would enjoy being around. Eun-Oh’s profession is in marketing.
Architect Choi Kyung-Joon is employed at his uncle’s company, working directly under his older cousin, Park Jae-Won. As a young boy, he fell for one of his classmates before moving to a different school. Years later, he ran into her and they have been in a relationship now for five years.
Although to others, 29-year-old Sun Rin-Yi’s life may appear to be unstable and difficult, she is extremely happy with the decisions she has made that have gotten her to this point in her life. She works several part-time jobs, simply living paycheck to paycheck. She struggles financially but her life is exactly what she desires.
It has been two years since 29-year-old Kang Geon was in a serious relationship. Having been part of a best friends trio since kindergarten, he, Eun-Oh, and Rin-Yi are inseparable. In fact, he is even Eun-Oh’s roommate. Geon is a writer, who has been published in magazines, but is currently unemployed and working on his first novel.
Oh Sun-Young is a 30-year-old high school gym teacher. Although her personality makes her strong and independent, she feels lonely most of the time. She enjoys being in a romantic relationship but has never felt secure in her partner’s feelings. Subsequently, she is in and out of relationships on a continuous basis.
I’ve written a bit about Ji Chang-Wook, the actor who plays Park Jae-Won, in my The K2 review so if you’re interested in reading a bit about this excellent actor, you can head over there.
For a little information about Kim Ji-Won, whose character is Lee Eun-Oh, you can click on my review of Fight My Way.
This drama’s filming style reminded me a lot of Producer’s in that it is made to resemble an interview kind of documentary. Characters speak to the camera (us) and after a while, they learn about who each of the other interviewees are. At first, it made the love stories seem disingenuous but I soon got over that feeling and learned to enjoy the character’s willingness to personally share information with me.
Lovestruck in the City is a brand new webdrama consisting of 17 half-hour episodes. It had originally been planned for only 16 but they decided to extend it by one in order to give Officer Oh Dong-Sik (who is played by Shinee’s Choi Min-Ho) a personal life. I not only thought that was unnecessary but also out of place. I love Choi Min-Ho but unless his character is going to be a major player in the next drama (if there is one), episode 17 really didn’t need to be there.
I read that this “short-form drama,” is the first in a “multi-part series.” Now, I don’t know if that means these same characters will be back in a Lovestruck in the City part two or if there will be new characters and new plots in other dramas – like the season-themed Endless Love Series (Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata, Spring Waltz, and Summer Scent). The drama ends in a way that there could be a part two but there doesn’t have to be. (Speaking of sequels, has anyone heard if a Queen of Mystery part three is in the making, yet? The story didn’t end so I’ve been anxiously awaiting another installment for quite some time.)
Mentioning just a handful of the drama’s songs – my personal favorite, Let Me Love You, performed by Yurisangja, has beautiful harmony that accentuates an already lovely melody and the soft acoustic guitar accompaniment serves to make the harmony stand out even more. The Reason, sung by Seungkwan of Seventeen, is my favorite ballad. His voice is perfect for that song – richly toned lower notes and smoothly toned higher ones. Janet Suhh sings three different songs on the soundtrack – Days to Remember, Where Do I Go?, and So I Sing – all soft ballads, none of which I cared for. Her voice is too whispery and childlike for my liking. Issac Hong makes the sexy-sounding Kiss Me Kiss Me really slick, singing in English without the slightest hint of an accent. Hello My Beach performed by Rolling Stars, also sung in English, is a loud, fast-paced song with a rock-n-roll element to it.
Yang Yang beach is a wonderfully fun place for Jae-Won and Seon-A’s blossoming relationship to unfold. The tiny camper, the ramen stand, and the surfing shop emphasize the minimalist, happy-go-lucky atmosphere there. One extra fun thing about the drama is that we get to see Ji Chang-Wook and Kim Ji-Won actually surfing. Oh, it’s really them, alright. Not just headshots with fans blowing their hair, but actual full-body, close-up shots. It’s awesome!
Lovestruck in the City had me hooked, anxious to discover what had happened in these characters’ past and what was going to happen in their future. Wonderful actors/actresses, enjoyable characters, and three distinctly romantic storylines make this drama a must-see for Kdrama fans.
Likable, realistic characters
Interesting love stories
Good chemistry between characters
Unnecessary last episode