Hellokpop K-Drama Picks: Stories That Celebrate Taking A Chance On Love Again
There is a well-known saying, “first love never dies.” For many fans of Korean dramas, believing in love at first sight may be crucial when you hope for your own love story.
But what if after a traumatic relationship, one’s heart shudders at the thought of finding love again? They might be in that place of believing that maybe love is not for them.
Many memorable K-dramas have given hope to those who thought love would never come again. Second chances come even after a problematic divorce, or even the death of a former loved one. But hope lies in the horizon at the end of every K-drama.
So in our continuation of our month-long celebration of love this February, here are Korean dramas with themes of finding love again or giving an old flame a second chance.
Han Ye Seul stars as Hye Rim, a fortune teller who uses her keen insight and intelligence to be able to “tell fortunes”. As a divorced woman, Hye Rim would rather concentrate on earning money for her daughter. Until one day, she meets Dr Choi Soo-Hyun, a psychologist whose aim is to prove that there is no true love. Coming from his trauma of being abandoned by his mom, he wants to prove that all women aren’t capable of true love. Hilarity ensues as Soo Hyun enlists the help of Hye Rim to take part in his experiment, only to disprove his theory when he falls in love with her instead.
Throughout the drama, Hye Rim’s friend and sister will be discouraging her. Since she was divorced with a daughter, they believed she should settle on “any man who came along”. In their opinion, no man will want to date a divorced woman. Hye Rim’s sweet surprise from life comes in the form of Soo Hyun, an eligible bachelor with charming good looks.
I loved this drama because it didn’t romanticize the reality of divorce. Instead, it gave hope because Hye Rim might have been disappointed by her previous marriage, her heart was always ripe for romance as she’s seen from movies.
Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) and Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) work together in the Emergency Room as interns years after their divorce. Agreeing to keep their past a secret, the couple tries to go on their separate paths but keep getting involved in each other’s affairs. Pretty soon, Chang Min realizes he’s still in love with his ex-wife. He just has to convince Jin Hee that she’s in love with him too.
Come and Hug Me
Separated by tragedy, childhood sweethearts Chae Do Jin (Jang Ki Yong) and Han Jae Yi (Jin Ki Joo) are given a second chance for their love. However, before getting their happy ending, they have to endure many hardships first. Most importantly, they live under the ominous shadow of Do Jin’s father Yoon Hee Jae (Heo Jun Ho).
I loved this drama because the romance was there – but it was low-key. However, it was done in such a way that even if it wasn’t blatantly described nor given a lot of attention, the couple did a great job in portraying the right emotions. The suspense derived from the threat of Do Jin’s dad was always there, but they still tried to live a normal life together. I am still glad that in the end, they got their happy ending.
I am such a fan of second chance romances. Whether it is about getting back together or finding another person to love, I’m down with it. There is something endearing about couples learning from their mistakes. I applaud those, despite getting hurt and heartbroken, who are still eager and willing to try.
Alone In Love
Yoo Eun Ho (Sohn Ye JIn) and Lee Dong Jin (Kam Woo Sung) are superb in this drama. Their story is such a beautiful and realistic depiction of love and marriage. Though divorced, these two continue to meet and hang out at the same places which they go as a couple. They bicker and act like most couples do. Their actions make their friends and relatives wonder about the real reason they have to break up. The two even set each other up on dates even though it is clear they are not happy.
Although the drama centered on the main characters’ hesitation to give in to their feelings, it never felt dragging. Both feared that if they gave to their feelings, it would end up the same way. As later revealed, it was the death of their child which triggered their separation.
Sohn Ye Jin delivered her character’s strengths and weaknesses. You can feel how the events affected her emotionally and mentally. The same goes for Kam Woo Sung and the supporting characters. I learned from this drama is that love means having the courage to take the steps to move forward. Love is about letting go of past hurts. It also makes it possible to create new memories with the same person.
My Secret Hotel (2014 – tvN)
Yoo In Na plays a wedding planner in this romantic comedy drama. Her character, Nam Sang Hyo, marries Goo Hae Young (Jin Yi Han) in Las Vegas. They are madly in love, but their marriage only lasts for 100 days. Because it happened and ended in such a short period, they were unable to register their marriage. They go their separate ways only to reunite seven years later. Sang Hyo learns of her ex-husband’s impeding marriage and it is happening in the same hotel she works for. Another kicker is that she is the one going to plan for his wedding.
People may have varying opinions regarding this drama as a whole. The great chemistry between Yoo In Na and Jim Yi Han overshadows the plot holes and everything less desirable. And of course, they got back together in the end, which was the best thing that happened in the story.
Go Back Couple (2017) (KBS2)
This drama is able to depict the trials, sad realities and the best things about marriage. Life threw a lot of curve balls towards Choi Ban Do (Son Ho Joon) and Ma Jin Joo (Jang Na Ra). They first came into their marriage starry-eyed and in love. Although their love was a given, they did not anticipate the challenges that are bundled in married life. Their lack of communication and changed priorities created the rift in their relationship. Thanks to a bizarre twist, they got a chance to go back to the time when their love story started. They relived that part of their lives. Eventually, they realized that they are meant to be together.
I love how this drama started and ended. I was with the characters all throughout and when Jang Na Ra cried, I cried with her. As a viewer, I felt most happy when they reconciled and saw that they actually need each other. And that they could be happy together, despite of the challenges.
Worlds Within (2008) (KBS2)
Set in TV drama world, the lead couple are both working as production directors. It does not have quirky plots but it uses clever humor through Song Hye Kyo and Hyun’s Bin portrayal of a workplace couple struggling to give and receive the best love possible. Without so much embellishment, the plain yet heartfelt emotions of the couple rediscovering their love for each other in varied ways shows what a normal relationship should be – messy, uncertain, forbearing.
Discovery of Love (2014) (KBS2)
Discovery of Love walks on the unconventional path of presenting the love story between estranged couple and how they are able to realize that their love is true even then, and even years after.
The heart breaking dialogues during those “if you only did that” scenes ripped me apart as a viewer due to its painful truth. Given the situations and dilemmas raised in the story line, it is really how a normal person would have thrown words at his lost love; who presents himself again just when you thought you are done and over him.
It gives a painful reminiscing of how after losing a cherished love, it makes us contemplate on how a lost love is a reminder of how beautiful things can change painfully in a moment, and there will be no way for you to prepare. Hitting all the realistic elements of what it really takes to be in a relationship is the best part of the love triangle in this roller coaster romantic ride.
The series digs on the root of love problems in a coherent world – the strength to let go of a half-baked love and the choice to be in a not so perfect but true love.