Tuesday, February 7, 2023

KDrama Review: Love is For Suckers

Long before I became a fan of BTS, I was also a fan of the K-Pop boy band Super Junior. Specifically, I was a fan of one of the members, Siwon Choi, who is also an actor. I’ve seen him in a couple of K-Dramas, and I was a fan of his role in the show She Was Pretty. He wasn’t the lead in that one, but I think he stood out so well that I was rooting for his character to get the girl in the end. I know he had other shows where he eventually became the lead (and got the girl) but Love is for Suckers is the first time that I watched him in a lead role.

Love is for Suckers has a common trope: best friends who should be more, and could be more, if only they both did not hold back at that one moment when the timing was right. It’s about them dancing around the situation until they, as expected in any rom-com, finally get together in the end. I hope that doesn’t spoil the show for anyone, not that anyone expects anything other than a happy-ever-after for a romance like this. I’ll try my best not to go into too much detail to avoid spoiling it for those interested in watching it.

This is a show that has a lot going on: there is drama from the background stories of both lead characters, the drama from the stories of the supporting characters, and of course, the actual love story that is the center of this series. I know it seems a bit much for 16 episodes, but the stories are spaced in such a way that they are each given time to develop without overwhelming the viewer. I also must add that they did a good job with this ensemble cast. The story lines given and the character development presented made me root for certain characters and feel for them (although sometimes it was not in a positive way).

The main setting of this series is on the set of a reality/dating show that reminded me a bit of the US show UnREAL, where the producer of the show also got involved with one of the male contestants of the dating game. In this one the female lead (Yeoreum) played by Lee Dahee is the producer while the male lead (Jaehoon) played by Siwon is part of the cast, roped in by his best friend at the last minute when they had a cast member drop out just as they were about to start the show. It’s interesting to note that in real life, Dahee is also involved in a similar show as one of the hosts of Singles Inferno, where she is joined by another Super Junior member Kyuhuyun and two other celebrities.

Love is for Suckers may have been about the leads, but I found myself drawn to the supporting characters more in this show. I loved seeing singer Daehwi in his role as Sangwoo, an assistant producer. I found myself smiling every time he was on screen because he is such a likable character in this series. He also reminds me so much of BTS’ Jimin, his looks keep making me think of a younger Jimin. I was also a big fan of the storyline of Park Jiwan, a webtoon writer whom Yeoreum fought to have on the show.  

As much as I wanted to be a big fan of the lead characters, it was hard for me to do. This reminded me of my review of Soundtrack #1 because the lead actors are both good, but for me, there was something missing chemistry-wise between them. They meshed well, but I did not feel a spark seeing them together. 

I enjoyed watching this show from start to finish. I was home sick when I binged this because I had nothing else to do but stay in bed and this was a huge comfort for me. I fell for the characters and found myself invested in everyone’s story. Unlike other K-Dramas I’ve seen, this one also has a very good ending. It was not rushed, and it was also not dragging or forced just because it was supposed to end. They wrapped it up nicely using the theme of the show and gave a resolution to every plotline that was presented. The little cameo at the end from Kwon Yul, who is an actor from some older K-Dramas that I loved (My Fair Lady and Lie to Me), was also a favorite moment for me.

Love is for Suckers is available on Amazon Prime. Go see it if you like K-Dramas and rom-coms!


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