K-Drama Review: “The Third Charm” Drifts To A Brave Picture Of The Pain That Comes When Loving Someone

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True love realizations spin the web of emotional and realistic lessons depicted in jTBC’s The Third Charm.

Tracing the romantic journey of Joon Young and Young Jae in The Third Charm provided a few retrospective love messages that would leave the viewers stop for a while to savor the felicity and agony of being in love.

The Third Charm

Title: The Third Charm
Distributor: jTBC
Theme: Romance, Drama
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 28 Sept 2018 – 16 Nov 2018
Main Leads: Seo Kang Joon, Esom
Highlights: Emotionally Satisfying Narrative, Clear Conflict & Trajectory
Overall Rating:
Re-watch Value:
Related Dramas: Discovery of Love, Beloved Eun Dong

The Third Charm

Unlike most romantic stories which do not allow a detailed growth on a character’s love perspective, the series took its strength by showing the character development of the love pairing together, and when they were apart from each other.

Traversing the buildup and peak of their romance until its eventual fallout, has made the audience feel like invisible friends, who still hope that their beautiful romance will be given another chance.

The Third Charm

Quick Plot Roundup

That one person you can never forget spins the story of The Third Charm. Joon Young and Young Jae became each other’s first and one great love after sharing romance and memories in their 20’s.

Although they are day and night in terms of their personalities, the two have found ways to compromise. Inevitably though, arguments and miscommunications worsen those small gaps in their relationship eventually leading to their breakup.

Joon Young who appears to be the side of the relationship that loves more leaves the police force while nursing his broken heart. Eventually he finds love again and a new career as a chef.

Set to marry his new woman, he encounters his first love, whom he thought he already forgot — and is caught in a dilemma of how it is breaking his heart to see his old flame unhappy and broken.

See Also: K-Drama Mid-Series Check: “The Third Charm” Keeps The Magic Rolling Through Relatable Love Story


Emotionally Satisfying Love Narrative

Aside from a healthy dose of heart-fluttering moments viewers received from The Third Charm, the series deftly painted a genuine representation of romantic relationship through the varying perspective and maturity of the lead couple.

Clear on its focus of traipsing the highs and lows of the love couple’s journey, you would certainly hope for the best that could happen to them, on the pretext that you have followed what they’ve been through, what wrong choices and judgments they have made, and what really makes them happy, but have to let go because of pride, and failing to reconcile it.

This drama honestly contrived a picture of how love can break a person — and how that same love could make him whole again.

Clear conflict & Trajectory

Comforting with its lyrical screenplay, The Third Charm steadily worked on its main conflict that circled to limn the phases which the love pairing had to thread. In all those chapters of their lives, different setbacks were placed to challenge the “fated love” premise.

Starting off on bright notes and lively intervals before getting serious in grasping that love is not always a bed of roses, it culminated to a painful nudge that would make you stare blankly somewhere because you could not argue to accept that love has a limitless definition, that most of the time hurts.

Seo Kang Joon and Esom

In my next life, I want to marry someone like Joon Young. *chuckles

I would gladly give the “Best K-Drama Boyfriend” award to Seo Kang Joon for the myriad of emotions he showed in his portrayal of a man, who can never forget the first woman he ever loved.

From cute to heartbreaking scenes, Seo pulled off most of the poignant moments in the narrative, which is usually a task for the female lead in the series. That rare case turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it made the drama connection to its audience more affecting.

Esom, on her part, did a great job as well, especially in making us understand her indecisiveness, even with an almost perfect boyfriend. Her solemn acceptance that she lost an important “solace” in her life meant that she had to pick up her broken pieces because the man who could do it did not deserve to do it for her anymore.

The Third Charm

Drama Ending Thoughts

I would be lying to say that I didn’t hope for the love birds to be back together being in love and happy. But you see, the courageous writing of the conclusion was fair to give a closure befitting to the three people involved in the last harrowing problem of the story. It was what a rational person could have done when prompted with the same scenario of being asked to marry someone he is only half-heartedly devoted. At any rate we get, that Young Jae and Joon Young were still in love, a kind of love that gives strength to each other, and who knows might need another fated encounter.

Witnessing how the romance blossomed twice between them in different stages of their lives, with varying mental state, made me appreciate how the writer prepared my heart and mind to accept the disheartening impossibility of a third chance for them.

Having a happy ending does not measure how great a love can be. Joon Young choosing to break his engagement, but not getting back together with Young Jae, was a fitting ending to send off the characters and the message of the story with dignity. That is loving yourself first before you can commit to love somebody.

Watching the last four episodes at wee hours of the night was not a good decision because the waning moments of the series made me a bawling mess, feeling the tough spot the hero had to go through. Trap between a love he did not deserve and his own memories that he could not even control.

The Third Charm


Almost all the love stories I enjoyed this year are from jTBC, that I want to stamp them with five stars for doing a great job.

The Third Charm is reminiscent of the feel I had with heartwarming romance drama Because This Is My First Life, in the sense that the love lessons cut deep to people who have experienced the anguish that always comes with heartfelt adoration we feel for someone.

In a sea of Korean romantic dramas, it is rare to find an unfeigned love story. Most often than not, avid followers can already predict the flow of the narrative. Hence, going an extra mile with a simple love premise is already a feat hard to accomplish.

The Third Charm is one of my personal favorites among the love stories I’ve seen this year.

All photos retrieved from jTBC.

Fans can watch it on VIU.

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About the writer

abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting watching K-Dramas as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.

Favorite Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and City Hunter