Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
The internet joke – “It was horrible being with you, so let’s never meet again” – is the perfect sentence describing the two main characters of Our Beloved Summer. Kook Yeon Soo is at the top of her class. Choi Woong is at the bottom of his class. Though these two had bad first impressions of each other, they ended up becoming an item after filming a documentary together. But after five years of dating, they broke up, leaving only resentment and hatred towards each other.
Adapted from a webtoon of the same name, Our Beloved Summer tells the story of two people who became each other’s “ex I don’t want to meet again” reuniting for a business. Kim Dami and Choi Woo Shik, who unfold the “lovers reunited” romance, made headlines for their reunion after The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion and their refreshing chemistry makes the viewers’ hearts flutter. Let’s take a look at the charms of Our Beloved Summer that have captivated viewers from the start.
Kim Dami and Choi Woo Shik’s “Temperature of Romance”
The first thing about Our Beloved Summer that catches the eye is the cast. The charms of Kim Dami and Choi Woo Shik, who radiate youthful energy, fill up the screen, and the chemistry between the two naturally leads the story. The top student and a lazy student’s bickering chemistry and the storyline that shows how the table has been turned between the two years later are also absorbing. The way the characters develop feelings for each other while constantly bickering in high school goes well with the two actors’ adorable charms. At the present time, when they reunite after five years, they go back and forth between affection and hatred, giving a big laugh and empathy with their prickly words and actions. The subtle emotions that flow between the two characters are so realistic that it makes us wonder about the story they’ll tell now that they find themselves in a different situation.
Images and Spaces Full of Refreshing Summer Vibe
Our Beloved Summer emphasizes the images of summer. Thanks to this, the play’s overall atmosphere is full of freshness and greenness. But these images are not limited to simple “sensuous” effects. The two main characters falling in love and growing together are combined with the seasonal meaning, adding persuasion to the drama’s message.
The mise-en-scène, which effectively uses buildings and paintings commonly seen in everyday life, also stands out. Choi Woong, who liked to draw pictures with specific buildings as his models, gained a reputation as a successful artist. Our Beloved Summer heightens the affectionate mood of the story by including the memories the two characters share in the pictures drawn by Choi Woong. Choi Woong’s painting is not just a material to emphasize the protagonist’s success but also comes as an important symbol of the play. Seasonal images and mise-en-scène, more elaborate than other works, doubles the drama’s refreshing charm and naturally conveys the psychology and emotions of the characters, completing the captivating story.
Present and Past Connected Through Documentary
With the documentary Kook Yeon Soo and Choi Wooing in high school in the center, Our Beloved Summer tells two stories – the present and the past. The documentary in the series summons the memories of first love through the schooldays of Kook and Choi and serves as an opportunity for the two to spend time together after their breakup. When the documentary filmed ten years ago becomes a hot topic, the two sit in front of the camera again for the sequel. This documentary is also a crucial device that directly shows the change of heart of the two who are now exes. It deliberately compares the conflicts in the present with the beautiful memories of the past and delicately accents the changes in the two characters’ emotions. In particular, the lingering affection towards each other, which they have not yet been able to shake off, is veiledly revealed, evoking mixed feelings.
Each episode’s subtitles that parody the titles of famous romance movies also draw attention. From “I Know What You Did Last Summer” in episode one to “The Boy, or the Girl, We Liked Then” (You Are the Apple of My Eye) in episode 4, these subtitles foretell the story to be presented in each episode and amplify curiosity. In episode four, when asked how the two started dating, they both answered that they were asked out first. And this shows that the subtitle is the core and important message of the episode. This format will continue until the show is over, so predicting the subtitles in advance will be fun for viewers who like romance movies.
It’s too early to write an overall review since only four episodes have aired so far. But I feel like I’ve met a youth romance drama that I’m satisfied with for the first time in a while. The much-anticipated reunion of Kim Dami and Choi Woo Shik draws both laughter and sadness, and you can feel the youthful energy just by indulging yourself in the story full of summer vibe. In addition, the reason Choi Woong had a falling out with his rival artist Nu Ah, the fact that Ji Woong seemed to have feelings for Yeon Soo, and above all, the reason Kook Yeon Soo and Choi Woong broke up are still under a veil, raising expectations for the coming episodes. Suppose the remaining episodes are also carried out the same way. In that case, I believe Our Beloved Summer will end as a drama that conveys the sweetness of love and the freshness of youth at the same time.
Verdict: “A Midsummer’s Romance” created with the youthful energy of Kim Dami and Choi Woo Shik (7/10)
Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.
Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.