Edited by Kim Won Hee
Translated by Yu Jin Kim
Yoo In Na, the renowned queen of romantic comedies, has returned with a new romantic comedy-drama titled True to Love. She joins forces with Yoon Hyun Min, who has impressed viewers with his versatile acting in romantic comedies. The drama is produced by the same team behind Mad for Each Other and revolves around the journey of Deborah, a relationship coach, and Soo Hyuk, a publishing planner, as they collaborate to create a book on romance.
Yoo In Na sizzles as Yeon Bo Ra, a relationship coach and influencer who goes by the name “Deborah.” Her love advice is legendary, and her books always fly off the shelves. Bo Ra confidently believes that dating is all about strategy, but what happens when her own love life falls apart? Despite her conviction that her relationship with Noh Joo Wan (played by Chansung) will end happily ever after, he fails to propose. Frustrated and impatient, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, just as she’s about to make a move, she catches him kissing another woman in his car.
Lee Soo Hyuk (played by Yoon Hyun Min) is the competent vice president and publishing planner at a publishing company called Jinri. He despises empty formalities in dating and believes actions speak louder than words. Despite dating his girlfriend for four years, he has never given her a gift or said “I love you” or “Let’s go out.” After reading Deborah’s book, Soo Hyuk is inspired to finally express his feelings to his girlfriend. However, she ends up breaking up with him after receiving comments from Deborah, feeling drained from the relationship.
The story of Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk, who have opposite views on love and weave between work and romance, may seem appealing at first glance, but the drama fails to capture that appeal properly. For example, the scenes where Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk converse don’t have a good flow in their dialogue, making their chemistry feel lacking. Instead, the character of Bo Ra shows her unique charm better in scenes where she gives dating advice on a radio broadcast or pours out her inner thoughts on stage at a party, especially in the scenes where she speaks alone.
Additionally, the characters surrounding the main leads make it difficult for viewers to sympathize with the show. Bo Ra’s younger sister, Yeon Bo Mi (Kim Ye Ji), acts shamelessly by secretly wearing her sister’s clothes and then ruining them. She also constantly meddles and throws tantrums. Hang Sang Jin (Joo Sang Wook), the CEO of the publishing company where Soo Hyuk works, goes on dates with women whose names he doesn’t even bother to remember after his divorce. Although he claims to value words and communication in the workplace, he arbitrarily reorganizes the office and bosses around his employees. As a result, despite the appearance of a new character named Bang Woo Ri (Hong Hwa Yeon) who has a high chance of forming a romantic relationship with Sang Jin, the story’s flow doesn’t seem very attractive to viewers.
Despite the show’s flaws, the acting performances of the actors are what captivate the audience. Yoon Hyun Min effectively portrays his character, who may appear harsh and indifferent on the outside but is warm and considerate on the inside. He skillfully conveys the emotions of a man who cannot let go of his unrequited love until the very end. Hwang Chan Sung, who plays the arrogant womanizer, Noh Joo Wan, and Park So Jin, who portrays Bora’s loyal friend, both deliver natural and flawless performances. Among them, Yoo In Na shines the brightest as she portrays the lead character, Yeon Bo Ra. From confidently giving love advice to displaying her self-destructive tendencies in moments of grief, Yoo In Na’s various acting skills captivate the audience and hold their attention.
As of episode 4, Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk’s romance has only just begun. Will they undergo a transformation and ultimately seize their true love? Viewers are eagerly anticipating what captivating stories will unfold in the upcoming episodes. (5/10)
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.