K-Drama Review: ‘Crash Course in Romance’ Is a Quality Drama Created by a Veteran Cast and Crew

crash course in romance review

Edited by Seo Hae Lan
Translated by Yu Jin Kim

crash course in romance review
Credit: tvN

Jeon Do Yeon is back with a new romantic comedy series. Co-starring with her is Jung Kyung Ho, who has been stealing hearts with his exceptional acting performance. Adding to the star-studded cast, the series is penned and helmed by rom-com masters High School King of Savvy writer Yang Hee Seung and Oh My Ghost producer Yoo Jae Won. The highly anticipated show, Crash Course in Romance, is currently living up to the hype, proving to be the masterpiece created by the dream team of rom-com drama creators.

A former national handball player named Nam Haeng Sun (played by Jun Do Yeon) lives with her adopted daughter Hae Yi (Roh Yoon Seo) and her autistic younger brother Jae Woo (Oh Eui Shik) by running a well-known home-style cooking store in a small town. One day, Hae Yi asks Haeng Sun to send her to a private math academy as she experiences difficulty catching up in class. She specifically wants to go to the academy run by Choi Chi Yeol (Jung Kyung Ho), the most well-known private math teacher in South Korea. Chi Yeol is a very passionate instructor who puts his heart and soul into his daily teaching tasks. He suffers from mild eating and sleeping disorder caused by his hectic schedule. Haeng Sun and Chi Yeol don’t start off with the best first impression of each other, but as they continue to meet, he slowly realizes that he needs her nutritious homemade dishes to function better. Therefore, the two eventually sign a contract to mutually help each other.

Familiarity is what comes to mind first when watching Crash Course in Romance. We’ve read and seen numerous love stories in novels, movies and dramas, so it could’ve been risky if not done right. Fortunately, the show differentiates itself from other romantic shows by introducing characters and their relationship dynamics in a relatable way. Haeng Sun and Chi Yeol meet as a parent and a math instructor, in which the initiative within the relationship could change at any time. Plus, the two constantly bump into each other in a series of coincidences that connect to the two most important things Koreans value in their lives: “meals” and “education.” The drama warm-heartedly portrays how the two find and fall in love with each other in the course of living their eventful lives. Of course, the drama shows a good amount of screen time on the dark side of the Korean educational system and finding the culprit behind the mysterious iron ball attack, but its main story still revolves heavily around the romance of the two protagonists.

Private education bridges Haeng Sun and Chi Yeol and adds a sense of reality to the drama. The fictional district called “Nokeunro” is packed with helicopter moms who would do everything for their children’s college acceptance. Living in such an environment, Haeng Sun also ends up being one of the “passionate moms” despite having full trust in her daughter’s capabilities. Chi Yeol is the top math instructor in the country, but he feels lonely and worn out due to the ridiculous workload he faces daily. Although he doesn’t have the time to take care of himself, he still has to encourage his students to study hard even when their friend gets into a serious accident. The drama candidly shows the dark reality of the South Korean educational system without roasting or criticizing the culture itself.

crash course in romance review
Credit: tvN

Crash Course in Romance best shows how actors’ performances in romantic comedies enhance the quality of the play. Starring in a rom-com 17 years after the 2005 drama Lovers in Prague, Jeon Do Yeon nailed the cheerful mother character who works hard to make a living. Jung Kyung Ho brilliantly plays the passionate math instructor who needs the love and warmth of others. The stars have been showing fantastic chemistry in each episode, from their screwball comedy-style quarrels to the incredible portrayal of the changes in their emotions. Despite playing a small part in the show,  Lee Bong RyunKim Sun Young, and Jang Young Nam also pulled off their roles, making the show more immersive. Moreover, those who played the high school students refreshed the drama with their unique charms. The love triangle between Hae Yi, Sun Jae (Lee Chae Min) and Gun Hoo (Lee Min Jae) is currently garnering as much attention as the romance between Haeng Sun and Chi Yeol.

Those who are used to watching rom-coms will already know where the plot is heading. Haeng Sun and Chi Yeol will fall in love after a series of adorable hiccups and events where they realize their feelings for each other. They will suffer from groundless rumors being sprouted among the parents and dangerous incidents related to Chi Yeol, but the story will eventually finish with a happy ending. Whichever direction the story goes, I hope the drama will keep the warmth, love and its attention toward the reality in its story. (8/10)


Editor Seo Hae Lan: I’m not picky and like all genres. I am in constant search of a balance between criticism and a fan’s heart.


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186 Points
  • Thank you for making such fun and wholesome family centered tv series. I enjoy watching Korean movies and series as I learn about the Korean culture. Not to mention the food – love banchan!!!

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