Edited by Kim Won Hee
Translated Kim Yoo Hyang
*The following article contains spoilers.
As Kim So Hyun, Jung Ga Ram, and Song Kang play the lead characters, the second season for Netflix’s original Love Alarm came out on March 12th. The first season finished as Jo Jo headed to the Love Alarm venue to get rid of the shield that she set up to prevent exposing her from feelings. She faced Sun Oh, who was with his girlfriend, Yuk Jo, and Hye Young, who was still dedicated to Jo Jo. In what way will the story between the three continue?
In season 2, an upgraded version of the Love Alarm system emerges. The previous Love Alarm rang when someone within a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for them. The newly released Love Alarm 2.0 includes a feature where it notifies users of those who are likely to have romantic feelings for them. After gaining its popularity through students’ word of mouth, Love Alarm becomes necessary in living this world. Everyone uses the app for granted. They get used to starting a relationship after checking whether the alarm rings rather than expressing their feelings through words and actions.
With the new trend going on, Jo Jo and Hye Young’s relationship is the most notable. While suffering from verbal abuse at home throughout her school days, Jo Jo spends happy times meeting Sun Oh. However, she constantly finds herself feeling insecure. She also goes through incredible pain with unfortunate incidents and accidents happening one after another. Therefore, Jo Jo uses a shield not to hurt anyone or get hurt; she completely locks her heart up not to show her feelings. Hye Young buries his feelings in his heart and respects Jo Jo’s choice. He’s the one who offers a hand and cheers her up when she’s going through tough times. Hence, Jo Jo starts opening her heart to Hye Young as he understands how she feels. He has always put her before anyone else and always been kind and considerate.
Apart from what Jo Jo is going through, the second season will also reveal Hye Young’s pains. The kind-hearted and amiable character has a father who is serving time in prison as a criminal. His father searches for his family after he pushed them away, not with remorse nor guilt, but for an early release. Hye Young wonders if he’s also the same kind of person as his father.
In the process, Jo Jo and Hye Young’s dynamics turn the tables from the first season. While Hye Young recognized how lonely Jo Jo was, this time Jo Jo is the one to offer help after seeing Hye Young’s pain. The two become each other’s savior and support each other at the loneliest and lowest point in their lives. Both help one another so that they can move on. Though Jo Jo cannot ring Hye Young’s Love Alarm because of the shield, Hye Young rings Jo Jo’s throughout the day with his words and actions. Jo Jo, at times, is confused by what her real feelings are behind the shield. Despite all, she develops a strong affection for Hye Young.
The love triangle comes to an end as Jo Jo gets together with Hye Young. How come did it work out with Hye Young, but not Sun Oh? The answer seems to lie within the moment Sun Oh visited Jo Jo at her school. Sun Oh is a figure popular enough to be on the top of Love Alarm’s Badge Club. As Jo Jo’s Love Alarm went off when he entered her class, she overhears disapproving voices. She also receives public attention with videos circulating online. As Hye Young heard of the incident, he takes it up to Sun Oh, saying, “Jo Jo fears the people’s gazes.” Sun Oh also shouts back, “I went to her expecting to lose everything.”
Like their lines, Sun Oh has always been prioritizing his feelings over Jo Jo’s. On the other hand, Hye Young goes into situations after considering how Jo Jo would feel in them. The plot leans towards Jo Jo and Hye Young, as it becomes clear who prioritizes themselves and the other.
The second season received responses from disappointed fans who hoped for Jo Jo and Sun Oh to be together. Apart from the love triangle, the plot does give an impression that it was rushed by the end of the series. The show had to unfold the stories of Gul Mi, Duk Gu, and Brian Cheon, the app developer of Love Alarm 2.0, within short episodes. Nonetheless, Jo Jo and Hye Young’s relationship presents viewers with a heart-fluttering romance that is both realistic and fantasy-like. The growth of Jo Jo after she revived from shutting herself out is remarkable, as she comes to terms with her pains. It seems hard to hope for another season, but I hope everyone stays happy, including Sun Oh, who started to change after reflecting on himself and Yuk Jo.
Verdict: A happy ending for viewers who cheered on for Jo Jo and Hye Young’s love. (6/10)
Edited by Kim Won Hee: I am a person who needs more than 24 hours in a day because there are so many things I love. I am amassing various genres in the jewelry box in my heart.