K-Drama Premiere: “When My Love Blooms” Depicts Bittersweet Emotions Of Young Love And Harsher Reality of Adult Life

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Reuniting with someone is not always a blessing as it can be a reminder of a past we are trying so hard to forget.

When My Love Blooms showed how life can be unfair sometimes. One moment you are young and experiencing a lot of things for the first time without really caring about consequences. However, before you even know it that moment is gone. The next thing you know years have passed and you are dealing with so much.

When My Love Blooms

Pilot Week Rating:

Han Jae Hyun just got out of prison after four years for stock manipulation and embezzling while Ji Soo has struggles of her own. The opening scene where the two characters are in the middle of a chaotic road, complete with smoke and debris surrounding them, perhaps is a just illustration and a foreshadowing of their lives.

Starring Yoo Ji Tae and Lee Bo Young, When My Love Blooms is taking viewers to a trip down memory lane when life is simple. At the same time letting the audience know that the road isn’t always paved smoothly and evenly.

Pilot week recap

First Meeting

After getting out of prison, Han Jae Hyun (Yoo Ji Tae) instructs his Secretary to drive him to the office right away. Meanwhile, Yoon Ji Soo (Lee Bo Young) is waiting to cross the street after buying bottles of water for the protesters gathering outside Hyung Sung Group’s building. A distant memory flashes as she recalls the same scenario back in 1993.

A college Yoon Ji Soo sees a group of student rallyists facing off with the authorities when violence erupts. She is caught in the middle as students throw Molotov cocktails and water bombs.As the students run off in different directions, another student grabs her hand and leads her to a safe place.

Seeing her bleeding hand, the student removes the handkerchief that covers his face and warps it around Ji Soo’s wound. After making sure she is okay, the young man leaves her without introducing himself. After that fateful meeting, Yoon Ji Soo finds herself looking for him to the point she frequents student gatherings hoping to get a glimpse of him.

The Near Miss

Back in the present, Han Jae Hyun’s car almost hit Ji Soo as she crosses the street. Jae Hyun is unable to see her face as she is busy picking up the scattered bottles of water. His assistant admonishes her as she pulls the last bottled water underneath the car.

A group of protesters welcome Han Jae Hyun the moment he arrives at the office building. His father-in-law says to take some time off and when he gets back, he will be in charge of the supermarket chain. The same branch of the business that is facing the anger of the protesters.

Ji Soo is sitting at home with her lights out and browsing TV channels when, Love Letter, an old movie comes on screen. At the same time, Jae Hyun is also watching the same film at his private theater room. Another flashback shows Ji Soo and Jae Hyun watching the movie together after securing the only VHS copy of the film.

At present time, Jae Hyun is at a hotel meeting with a contact who shows him photos of his wife out with another man. He hears a familiar piano piece echoes through the hotel lounge and tries to get a glimpse of the player. Ji Soo, who happens to be moonlighting as piano player at the hotel, just left her seat the exact moment Jae Hyun turns around looking for the mysterious pianist.

The School Incident

Ji Soo’s son, Young Min is studying at an International Middle School through a full scholarship. With her son at the top of his class, the mothers decide to make Ji Soo the head of their committee without knowing of her circumstances.

Unbeknownst to her, Young Min is suffering from bullying, as the wealthy kids make fun of him and calling him the “smart pauper”. Having enough of the ridicule, Young Min throws a chair to one of his classmates. Though not severely injured, the kid demands to have him taken to a hospital.

The school calls Ji Soo to advise her of the situation. Jae Hyun also receives a call from his wife informing him that their son is hurt. He arrives at the school first and have a conversation with the school’s administrator when Ji Soo comes in. Hearing her voice and after a confirmation that she is indeed Ji Soo, Jae Hyun walks out of the office without her knowing of his identity.

Jae Hyun, seizing the opportunity to reveal himself to Ji Soo, tells his Secretary that he will not be coming that night as there is heavy snow in the area. He silently follows Ji Soo as she heads to the train station.

As bad luck would have it, she misses the last train back to Seoul. Thinking on how to proceed and where to stay, she gets the shock of her life when Jae Hyun finally speaks up.

Poignant and Unexpected Reunion

Ji Soo easily recognizes Jae Hyun and could not help but feel emotional. Jae Hyun convinces Ji Soo to tag along with him as he is familiar with rural areas.

They manage to find a bed and breakfast where they stay the night in two separate rooms. The next morning, the old lady invites them to have breakfast and gently pries into their relationship. Jae Hyun tells the lady that they are friends.

After a shared awkward moment, Ji Soo tells Jae Hyun to stop bringing up the past and to just treat her like a junior so she will not feel uncomfortable. They part ways and Jae Hyun instruct Secretary Kang to find information on Ji Soo.

The Secretary finds out that Ji Soo is divorced and in-between jobs. Apart from her struggles, he also learns that Ji Soo is part of the Hyung Sung Group’s protesters.

Jae Hyun’s wife discovers that he prevented the formation of the School Violence Committee and gets angry. She personally visits the school without Jae Hyun’s knowledge and demands on having Young Min punished. Ji Soo receives a call regarding the new situation and rushes to go to Young Min’s school.

Ji Soo and Seo Kyeong meet at the School administrator’s office. Jae Hyun’s wife continues to want punishment for Young Min as Ji Soo apologizes.

Ji Soo goes down on her knees and begs for forgiveness and leniency. Jae Hyun arrives and feels horrified upon seeing Ji Soo. She angrily tells her to get up, calling her by her full name which surprises Seo Kyeong.

When My Love Blooms Pilot week afterthoughts

When My Love Blooms definitely tugged at the hearts of viewers especially those who have experience the beauty of first love that did not last. As people grow older, and as they say wiser, we tend to remember the pain but mostly how good it made us feel.

Not all first love stories are successful just like the case of Han Jae Hyun and Yoon Ji Soo. And as viewers we are still in the dark on the reason of their falling out.

When My Love Blooms

I like how the flashback scenes laid the groundwork for the main characters’ relationship. It is interesting to know that Jae Hyun and Ji Soo changed so much, as life happened. He was quite the rebel in his college days while Ji Soo was the more carefree one.

It seems that Jae Hyun is now the one pursuing Ji Soo and despite his association with the kind of people he protested against during his student days, he is not completely oblivious to any wrongdoings.

Money may have corrupted him and tarnished his idealism, but he still has that rebellious streak in him. Perhaps revenge against his in-laws is a factor but after learning Ji Soo is involve, Jae Hyun will have more reason to carry out his plans.

This drama also has some good music in it. That piano piece evokes nostalgia and such a perfect accompaniment in remembering past memories. When Jang Hye Jin’s voice starts to come out singing “The Season Like You”, it stirs a lot of emotions.

The lyrics and melody are heart-rending you could not help but feel and reminisce. The second OST with GOT7’s Young Jae and Choi Jung Yoon is as beautiful as well.

When My Love Blooms captured that heart-fluttering moments of experiencing love for the first time. The drama also portrayed the changes that happened as the characters aged and moved on with their lives. It is quite clear that life has done a number of things to Han Jae Hyun and Yoon Ji Soo.

It also seems that the memories of the past are the ones motivate them to live their lives. Now it is up to the both of them whether they will let it influence their present and future.

There are still a lot of things to uncover as the story progresses in When My Love Blooms. This makes me so eager to find out what motivates each character and to see the development. Episodes air on tvN on Saturday and Sunday at 9PM KST. Fans can also catch the drama on Viu.

Images from tvN Facebook Page

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