‘Love to Hate You’ series review: Tae Yoo and Kim Ok Bin lead another formulaic K-drama

Still from 'Love to Hate You'.

Still from ‘Love to Hate You’. | Photo credit: Netflix

It’s been well established by many shows over the years that if Koreans decide to make a tropey, feel-good K-drama, the formula can rarely fail. This is the same formula that the manufacturers Love to hate you Also committed to pursuing perfection. Enemies to lovers? Check. Contractual relations? Check. Opposites attract? Check. The mostly brooding male lead waiting to be turned into a no-nonsense boyfriend? Check.

Netflix’s latest short rom-com Love to hate you Can be formulaic, but also manages to refreshingly push the boundaries in many respects, which elevates the show. There is nothing cute about the way our leads, actor Nam Kang Ho (Teo Yoo) and lawyer Yeo Mi Ran (Kim Ok Bin) meet. Mi-Ran overhears Kang-Ho while he’s in the middle of a hot summer – trash-talking his female co-star. The superstar may be the ideal charmer on screen and to the general public but in reality, cannot stand women, believing them all to be manipulative and untrustworthy.

Love to Hate You (Korean)

Cast: Kim Ok-bin, Teo-yu, Kim Ji-hoon, Go Won-hee

Abstract: Sparks fly in this story of opposites attracting, when an actor and a famous lawyer are forced to date each other.

Director: Kim Jong Kwon

the author: Choi Soo-young

Episodes: 10

Mi-Ran meanwhile is a worthy competitor. The charming lawyer, who is also a martial arts expert, doesn’t take the punches lying down from the rude, sexist men she encounters. Her experiences with ex-boyfriends who often turned out to be cheaters, and growing up in a household headed by her patriarchal father, meant that she was on guard and with most of the antagonists. Repulsed by the idea of ​​love. Sex takes no time in sparks flying through the many ridiculous, yet mostly entertaining situations in which they find themselves.

Sticking to the tropes that come with the genre, Love to hate you Tries to explore some interesting themes through Mi-Ran’s professional life (she joins a law firm where she is the first female lawyer hired) and personal life. She and Choi Soo-Jin (Kim Sung-Ryung), an aging actress embroiled in her own divorce dispute, are among the show’s more interesting characters. They are strong women, even going against the tide in their everyday lives, and face the constant scrutiny of a society that is quick to judge and label women.

The show’s funniest moments aren’t just thanks to the chemistry between the leads, but the highly entertaining bromance between Kang-ho and his best friend and manager Do Won-joon (a very charming and affable Kim Ji-hoon). Won-joon is torn between being a good friend and manager to Kang-ho, dealing with his fame and its many complications. In a show that devotes a huge amount of screen time to the entertainment industry, characters like Won-joon and Soo-jin stand out. after the The flower of evil And Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic AreaIt’s a clear departure for Ji-hoon and he’s just as effective on screen.

While Teo Yoo is brooding and charming as befits his character, Ok Bin shines and overshadows most of his co-stars, including him. He has a character that often veers into caricature territory and yet, his energy and screen presence come through. A show like this demands nothing less than perfect chemistry, and the leads don’t fall short – from people to the heights of a sleazy, whirlwind romance to take each other through their evolution as a couple. It’s a shame we have to wait until the end of the show to see their more vulnerable and conversational sides.

In many of its original shows in Korean, Netflix is ​​working with an 8 to 12 episode format. Love to hate youHis willingness to look beyond the familiar premise also becomes one of his flaws. At ten episodes, the show escapes the proverbial 11-episode K-drama shortfall, but the decent pacing makes up for the often haphazard and chaotic writing, especially toward the end. In the rush to wrap things up with the final episodes, we’re left wanting more of the leads’ relationship, and the exciting themes the show has to passionately unravel. Leads have emotional scars that fuel their initial mistrust of the opposite sex, and little time is spent on it as it grows.

With the release of less breezy, rom-coms over the past few years, there’s a lot to like about a simple, breezy watch like Love to hate youespecially given that the only other contemporary romance that’s all the rage is currently streaming. A crash course in romance. Fantasy shows, sitcoms, and revenge thrillers aside, sometimes the heart just wants a good old-fashioned romance that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and where you believe that everything is fine. The ending is fine.

Love to Hate You is currently streaming on Netflix.

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