Love Is For Suckers (2022)

Drama: Love is for Suckers (얼어죽을 연애따위)
Network: ENA
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 5 – December 1, 2022
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00
Language: Korean

Plot: A story of a guy and a girl who have been best friends for years but at one time or the other had feelings for each other but never at the right timing. Girl asks guy to be part of her reality dating show after one of the contestants drop out. Will love finally find the two or will they forever be just friends?

Main Cast:
Choi Siwon – Park Jae Hoon
Lee Dahee – Gu Yeo Reum
Jo Soo Hyang – Kang Chae Ri
Lee Ju Yeon – Han Ji Yeon
Park Yeon Woo – Chef John Jang
Son Hwa Ryeong – Park Jiwan

I was really looking forward to the friends-to-lovers story (which is one of my fave tropes). Eps 1-6 were so great – they showed how much of good friends they are. Jae Hoon is the annoyingly funny but supportive guy best friend, while Yeo Reum is the charming and friendly girl best friend. They’ve been friends since college and they’ve seen each other through heart breaks (mostly Yeo Reum), grief (Jae Hoon’s father dying) and career changes (Jae Hoon’s a surgeon, Yeo Reum’s a show PD). We get a lot of flashbacks when they were young (although the leads playing their younger selves was not a good idea – they look too tall and too old to play kids).

Their relationship starts to change when Yeo Reum’s a–hole ex-fiance comes back to Korea and wants to get back with Yeo Reum. Yeo Reum, who doesn’t want to be lonely/alone anymore decided to accept her ex-fiance’s proposal (despite Jae Hoon’s disagreement and their almost-kiss) and starts planning for her wedding. Unfortunately, jerks never change because apparently, he got a girl pregnant from a one night stand and Yeo Reum finds out on the wedding day. Good thing the girl told her before the wedding started so Yeo Reum was still able to walk away.

The drama then takes us to the second part of the story which is filming Kingdom of Love. After Yeo Reum’s last show was dropped, she was forced to join as co-PD of the hit reality dating show. The filming of the first episode was the day after her wedding and despite her personal feelings, she threw herself to work because she didn’t want to face her feelings. She has always butted heads with Chae Ri, who is the main PD, and one of the contestants had to drop out prior to the first filming. Yeo Reum then asked Jae Hoon to join the show as a replacement. Jae Hoon, who has been in love with Yeo Reum for years, decided to join not only to help her keep her job, but to stay close to her.

While this was all happening, Jae Hoon previously was set up with a pretty girl named Ji Yeon. Their first date was terrible, Jae Hoon was a jerk (because he didn’t want to go in the first place) but Ji Yeon told him off and that kind of impressed Jae Hoon, but not enough to be interested (he’s too in love with Yeo Reum to look at anyone else). Jae Hoon apologized and Ji Yeon fell in love (I still don’t know why). Despite her attempts, Jae Hoon firmly told her he likes someone else and that was it. Or so he thought, because guess who’s one of the contestants of KoL too? Yup, it’s Jiyeon!

The drama started getting disappointing because of Kingdom of Love, which was executed badly. The show is a mess, the contestants were mostly boring, I probably won’t watch it if it were real.

I love the pairing of Siwon and Dahee, they were both gorgeous and had great chemistry together. Too bad the FL character was not written very well. She was so frustrating, I was half wishing they just stay friends, or that Jae Hoon end up with Jiyeon (although that’s also not a happy ending i want), or Jae Hoon finding someone else who deserves his feelings more. C’mon Yeo Reum, Jae Hoon is handsome, sweet, funny, very supportive and likes you the way you are, why do you not see him as a man and keep on going out with stupid jerks?? I did get that Yeo Reum just came out from a traumatic non-wedding disaster so she’s not ready to fall in love again, but telling Jae Hoon, she just wants to be friends, then asking him to do her a favor and kiss Jiyeon on TV was terrible behavior. If I were Jae Hoon I would have left the show. Yeo Reum also started feeling jealous when Jae Hoon started paying attention to Jiyeon. If Yeo Reum likes him but is confused, she could have said, “JH, I’m not rejecting you now, but let me finish KoL first and give me some space, let’s talk again after the show wraps up.” I think JH would have handled it better.

But then Jae Hoon was also confusing and kept leading on both females. But what can he do if Yeo Reum keeps rejecting him and Ji Yeon keeps telling him she likes him? In real life, any guy or girl who wants to move on may probably try to accept another person’s feelings or try to get to know the other person too, but if the one you love calls you, you will go to them.

Speaking of Jiyeon, she is a nice girl but she kept crying like a little girl who can’t have what she wants and begging a guy to love her, it was sad to see her look pathetic when she can find someone else who deserves her more. I didn’t like how Jiyeon also felt like the victim “I like you, I’ve made so many efforts but why can’t you love me back?” (Girl it doesn’t work that way). Plus, Jae Hoon was upfront from the very start, “he likes someone else, he doesn’t like you, but we’re in this show, we can pretend to like each other so you dont look stupid in public.” I do agree, that half way, Jae Hoon told her he will try to get to know her and move on but she shouldn’t have accepted being a rebound. Plus what does she really like about Jae Hoon? Does she even know him well to think she can match whatever history Jae Hoon has with Yeo Reum? And Jiyeon telling Yeo Reum to stay away from Jae Hoon like it’s her right. I did like that Jiyeon got a happy open-ending. A guy approaches her at the gallery telling her that he likes her (super loved KwonYul’s cameo here).

The unexpected pairing of Chef John and Jiwan is prolly what kept the viewers like me staying until the end. Their love story was more fascinating than the main leads. I didn’t expect Chef John to get the best growth in the drama. He was a jerk at the start, even dating and rejecting Yeo Reum, but then he meets Jiwan and his real, nice, country boy self came out. With Jiwan he didn’t need to pretend he was some hotshot chef. He looked so happy whenever Jiwan complimented his food or finished everything he cooked for her (compared to the pretty but vain girl but couldn’t eat his food for fear of getting fat). Jiwan is also super nice and sweet and didn’t deserve to be hurt by the other contestant.

For a show that was so messy in the second half, they were still able to have a good ending where all the stories were neatly tied up except one – wth was the scene in very beginning where the contestants were in wedding gowns?

Rating: 7.5


Search: WWW (2019)


Drama: Search: WWW (검색어를 입력하세요: WWW)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 5 – July 25, 2019
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:30
This drama tells story of three beautiful, successful and strong female directors in the web portal industry: Bae Ta-Mi, Cha Hyeon and Song Ga-Gyeong, as they compete to be the best web portal company and balance their professional and personal lives.
Main Cast
Lim Soo-Jung – Bae Ta-Mi
Lee Da-hee – Cha Hyeon
Jeon Hye Jin – Song Ga-Gyeong
Jang Ki Yong – Park Morgan
Lee Jae Wook – Seol Ji Hwan
Ji Seung Hyun – Oh Jin Woo
Wow! I loved this show so much I binged watched in just 4 days. I was blown away with everything and can’t think of anything I didn’t like.
Web portal vs Government
This topic of this drama was very timely and important since more and more users are depending on web portals to get real time information. I didn’t realize that’s how these web portal companies work and how powerful they can be with all the information they have. Reminds of the recent Facebook issue and all the discussions on political agendas and fake news that is being experienced around the world. Interested to hear more about real time keyword search and how web portals can actually delete these keywords if needed. I love that the drama showed various sides of the story, there is no right or wrong way, and we need to learn to consider all options and that big companies have the responsibility to manage the information, esp if it will have a significant affect to the people. I also liked the working style of Barro vs Unicon. While I liked that Unicon is more traditional, I liked Barro for being more open and where each individual’s opinions are considered. I also would love having a boss like Brian and maybe Tammy – they are good people to learn from. As for the evil mother-in-law, I have always seem to watch the actress play pitiful characters so was surprised to see her be so effective at being cruel and manipulative. So glad she got what she deserved at the end.
Women empowerment
I love that the story focused on three very different but equally confident, successful and gorgeous career women. Society has always demanded that when women reach a certain age and status in life, women should be married with children and if you’re single, it seems that there is something wrong with you — like you are too career focused or too intimidating and that you have such high standards. There is nothing wrong with aiming high and not wanting to be married and have children. Each one has different choices in life and there is no life that is more fulfilling or worth it than the other. I liked what Tammy said to Morgan — why is it that when a women decides that she doesn’t want to marry, she has to explain her reasons and it’s considered as abnormal? This is so true. I’m not sure who started this whole, “you have to be married with kids or else you’re not a woman or not fulfilled” thinking but this has to stop since it just puts pressure on women, which does not happen to men. Not that I’m saying that being a married career women is wrong either – in fact I admire these women and I have a lot of friends who juggle career and family and do it so well. I just mean that single women can also thrive and be happy with or without a love life and no one should belittle them for not wanting to reach their dreams and career goals.  Likewise, I loved the support/friendship that these women have with each other. They may argue/fight/disagree but these women check each other when one is crossing the line, comfort each other when one is down and support each other when necessary.
I also love that their personal (love) lives were secondary to the story. It’s nice to see that they have good support and interests outside of work. Tammy, Ga Gyeong and Hyeon’s romances were all different but I also love them.
Tammy and Morgan’s relationship was the most realistic and relatable. They tackle the usual issues about the age gap, differing values and I was happy to see it “resolved” in the end. I agree with Morgan, it’s too early to think about the future and the end and they should instead focus on the present. But my practical and mature self agrees with Tammy, why start something when you know it’s going to end? Why go through the heartache? Life is so short, if not being with each other is just not making you happy, then why not just be happy together? Even if years from now their relationship ends, it will not be useless because they would have had many wonderful memories and moments together and that is something you can never get back. As each person grows older and people’s habits and likes change over time, maybe Morgan will realize he doesn’t need marriage to be happy or maybe Tammy may realize marriage may not be so bad at all. They won’t be sacrificing anything if their opinions change naturally.
Hyeon and Ji Hwan’s relationship is the total opposite of Tammy and Morgan. I felt it was too childish/unrealistic/fantasy-ish but I don’t mind. I thought they were too cute. It was like every fan girl noona’s dream to meet and fall in love with their favorite Korean actor/kpop idol, even though they are younger (haha. PSJ or CSW for me!). Hyeon is fed up with all the cheaters and Ji Hwan is such a pure soul/puppy and they are perfect for each other. I love that Hyeon looks so fierce at work but so giggly and girly when she’s with Ji Hwan. The same way that Tammy may be tough and independent at work but becomes a cute lady and dependent when she’s with Morgan.
Ga Gyeong and Jin woo’s relationship was the saddest, yet one i’m most optimistic for. Theirs was a marriage of convenience and they were almost strangers for 10 years. And when they both took a stand and divorced, it was only then we saw a glimpse / glimmer of hope that maybe, when you take out KU Group, Unicon, and the pressures and just put them together in one room, maybe they can start over just as a man and a woman. I didn’t expect that Ga Gyeong will resign from Unicon but I think it was the best decision she has made — she finally got her wish to disappear and live her own life. most especially away from her parents (who I nominate as worst parents of the decade!!)
And everything else!
The fashion (I loved all of their power suits!!), their makeup (Hyeon’s lips, Tami’s hair, Ga Gyeong’s eyes), the cars, the soundtrack, the shots. New “oppas” to add to my endless collection – Jang Ki Yong and Lee Jae Wook.
Overall, I would say this is one of the best dramas I watched all year and I’m glad I’m closing the year with such a great feeling!
Rating: 9/10