K-Drama Review: ‘When My Love Blooms’ Even the Cliches Come Alive with Exquisite Production

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun


Credit: tvN

When My Love Blooms is a traditional melodrama that tells the story of those who have been granted a rare opportunity to start over their lost love. Even hearing the synopsis, you can tell the story is filled with cliches. To say it frankly, it is obvious and lacks any freshness. However, When My Love Blooms proves that even cliches can be made into a good work, depending on the production.

Like Architecture 101 (2012), When My Love Blooms relieves the drama’s weakness with the passionate performances of four actors who played the same role at different times. Yoo Ji Tae and Lee Bo Young, who play the main characters’ current days, perfectly portray the characters who are confused by all the emotions they buried in the past brought alive after encountering their past love. They add weight to the drama by expressing various emotions of the main characters through fine acting. Park Jin Young and Jeon So Nee, who play the college days of the roles, also further enhanced regretful feelings about the current situation where they are now standing opposite of each other, with their youthful and fresh performances.

Credit: tvN

The development that goes back and forth from the past to the present is also enjoyable. When something happens, the main characters are lost in thought for a while. And that moment, past episodes related to the present unfold. For example, when Jae Hyun watches the film Love Letter (1995), he recalls the time when he watched it with Ji Soo in the past. With such development, the empty space in the story is put together like a puzzle, doubling the fondness of memories. In particular, the critical reason behind their breakup is hidden somewhere in their school days, raising questions about how they will connect with the present.

Like the title, When My Love Blooms puts a lot of effort into the details of background and music. It flawlessly depicts a romantic atmosphere, such as an unfrequented train station on a snowy night or a school campus full of spring freshness. It also allows the viewers to recall memories with movies and objects that excite nostalgia for the 90s. In addition, the music played when the two main characters gaze into each other’s eyes lets out the heartrending mood, raising the level of immersion.

It’s been a long time since there was a drama that presented such heartbreaking lines. The lines that the two main characters, who missed each other for so long but met too late, share as they resent the lapse of time certainly touches the hearts’ of the viewers. With Yoo Ji Tae and Lee Bo Young’s keen affection, the intensity of the emotions only gets stronger. Also, a poem shown at the end of each episode expresses their feelings, leaving a long lingering impression.

Credit: tvN

When My Love Blooms tried hard to avoid cliche by putting careful work into each scene and line, yet it did failed to go beyond the limits of the material. The story of a successful protagonist helping his ex-lover, who lives an unhappy life, only hovers around the obvious melodrama formula. The setting that crosses past and the present did show a positive effect on the drama’s immersion in the beginning. However, as the frequency of going back and forth increases, such a setting is only interrupting the development. Recently, even the parts that are not important to the overall story were mixed in with the episodes from the past, making the story drag. For When My Love Blooms, which aired the 10th episode, to show a higher level of completion, it needs to understand how the key lies in using such a double-edged sword setting effectively.

Now, When My Love Blooms is heading towards the end as the secret of why they split up has been revealed. Will they say another heartbreaking farewell, or will they be able to bloom their love, like the title, attention is focused. Either way, I wish that the delicate production of the early stage that drew exclamations and the actors’ passionate performances to continue till the end, delivering us the finale of a beautiful drama.

Verdict: To say that the drama is filled with cliches, delicate production certainly touches our hearts (7/10)

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