Drama: Love is for Suckers (얼어죽을 연애따위)
Release Date: October 5 – December 1, 2022
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00
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?
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?