Some of the best Korean Dramas released in 2020, be it ‘Crash Landing Over You,’ ‘It’s okay to not be okay,’ ‘Start-Up,’ or ‘Hospital Playlist,’ have their unforgettable stories and unique characters. These K-dramas got people hooked on them. These dramas featured big Hallyu stars like Hyun Bin, Bae Suzy, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Kim Soo Hyun. However, having only a Hallyu star as a cast member does not confirm the success of a series. Despite having famous Hallyu stars in the cast like Ji Chang Wook and Kim Ji Won, ‘Lovestruck in the City’ was not able to capture the hearts of kdrama fans.
The series shows the lives of 6 different people through an interview that is supposedly broadcasting on a platform. The love lives of 6 people are discussed while eventually revealing the connection between them all. The story moves back and forth in the past and present. Though the connection between the characters is easily understood, the timeline often switches up without clear boundaries. This leads to creating a mesh of timelines. There is no proper connectivity which makes viewers do the thinking to connect the dots instead of enjoying the plot.
All the couples and ex-couples have a history with each other, and there has been an attempt to show their history along with the present. The division of the stories is done unequally throughout the episodes, which makes it challenging to comprehend.
When a character lives a life, they have their happy moments and sad moments; they make mistakes, learn from them, and have a glow up. Some are good and turn evil over time and vice versa. Here, if there’s one character who really had a glow up that would be Yoon Sona or Lee Euno. Her is the only journey that goes from pitiful to joyous to evil to joyous again. Lee Euno glows up as a character towards the end. All the other characters have the same temperament throughout the series, with only a slight change in the end.
The series tried to show everyone’s side of the story but could not convey it successfully. The narrative seems incomplete and unconvincing. Choi Minho, yet another Hallyu superstar, appears in a supporting role, whose character looks like a filler between other characters’ discrete storylines. The lack of enough emotional depth makes the characters less relatable and less appealing.
Missing Essence of a K-Drama
A Korean Drama is about loving the main characters we root for; equally loving second leads whom we want justice for, deeply emotional scenes, heartwarming relationships other than the romantic ones, a fantastic soundtrack, and hour-long episodes that might have a look too long for a non-kdrama viewer. ‘Lovestruck in the City’ missed a lot of points from the list. The series is 17 episodes long, with one episode of 30-40 minutes each. Now, the duration cannot be used as a factor to judge a show, but it indeed makes a difference in how a story is presented.
The general Kdrama romance is slow-burn, delicate, somewhat cheesy, and less intimate. ‘Lovestruck in the City’ shows the romance that is fierce, erratic, and intimate. Most romantic kdramas barely have an intimate scene, let alone a kissing scene. This fairytale-like romance is what makes Kdramas addicting.
‘Lovestruck in the City’ talks openly about intimacy and also shows such scenes. It shows the problematic sides of the relationships. The short episode durations and open discourse on intimacy and hardships in the relationships of the modern world make it feel like a western web series. Despite creators’ efforts to portray a story with a different concept, Kdrama’s audience was not entirely impressed with it.
Lovestruck in the City is a 2020 South Korean Romantic Drama series directed by Park Shin Woo. It is streaming on Netflix.