Love Rain

Love Rain has been on my radar for a while. I’ve been hearing mix reviews about the drama so I was a little hesitant to watch it right after it was finished airing in Korea. Also, I’m not in the mood to watch anything. It’s nearing the end of the year and I’m behind on some Reading Challenges I joined this year. I’m trying to catch up on my reading so that’s another reason I’m not into drama series lately.

Aisha, a fellow K-Drama addict (it’s obvious with her name, right?), who is crazy for Jang Geun Suk insisted that I should see this. I finally gave in and watched it last weekend. The experience was nostalgic. It reminded me the reason why I love watching Asian dramas and why I so wanted to learn their language.

Type Her 사랑비 / Love Rain

KBS2, 20 Episodes
Broadcast Period 3/26/12 – 5/29/12
Romance, Melodrama

Watched in November, 2012

Love is sometimes happiness and sometimes it is sadness. It rains in moments of happiness as well as in moments of grief. In the rain, someone feels happiness and others cry in loneliness and old memories.

“Love Rain” depicts a 1970′s pure love and a love from the present day at the same time. It shows how the offspring of a previous ill-fated couple, who met in the 1970’s, managed to meet and fall in love. [1]Seo In Ha (Jang Geun Suk) and Kim Yoon Hee (Yoona), an art student and a shy beauty, met and fell in love with each other during college in the 1970’s but unfortunately their love was fated to never be. [2]

Now in the present 21st century, Seo In Ha’s son, Seo Joon (Jang Geun Suk) (a liberal photographer) meets and falls in love with Kim Yoon Hee’s daughter, Kim Ha Na (Yoona), a cheerful and energetic girl who’s personality is different from her mother’s. Will their love for each other keep them together or will they have to face the same fate as their parents? [3]

Director: Yoon Suk Ho
Screenwriter: Oh Soo Yun

Cast: Jang Geun Suk, Im Yoon Ah, Kim Si Hoo, Son Eun Seo, Seo In Guk, Hwang Bo Ra, Jeong Jun Yeong, Lee Min Sook, Kim Young Kwang, Oh Seung Yoon

One of the reasons why I didn’t immediately watch Love Rain is because of its 1970’s era. The first few episodes are really slow and dragging. Moreover, it’s hard to make viewers appreciate it because the target audiences of K-dramas today are mostly teens and young adult. I even had difficulty connecting with the characters in the 1970’s because I’m not familiar with Korea’s culture during that period. What I appreciate in this era was its cinematography. A lot of the beautiful shots of this drama came from the first 4 episodes (check Love Sear’s review for some awesome photos from the drama in this era). I may not know how Korea is in the 70’s but I have a feeling they captured the actuality of this time.

In Ha & Yoon Hee (Source: Gian05)

The cast in 1970’s (Source: Sarangbi)

The 2012 plot has the typical formula in K-drama now a days. It was only different because of the family issue they incorporated in the story (I didn’t finish watching the movie The Classic so I don’t know up to what extent they had similarities). Seo Joon and Han Na’s relationship was light and funny but it gets dramatic later in the series when their family’s connection were discovered. On the other hand, the love between In Ha and Yoon Hee was poignant and selfless. A love that great deserves a happy ending. But then, there are circumstances that one cannot disregard especially if it’s the happiness of the people you loved the most.

What I didn’t like in the drama is the bitchiness of Hye Jung and the insistent badgering of Mi Ho. I hate super villains, as in over the top, selfish villains. I had enough of that in Filipino dramas. It worked for some time but when the selfishness that’s eating Hye Jung became really impossible, I just want it to end. It’s not helping the plot. They stretched the story up to 20 episodes. It would have worked better if they cut it earlier and ended the drama in 16 episodes. Another thing that weren’t given consideration were the secondary characters, most them are flat. It won’t be bad if they didn’t focus too much with the two couples, yes? They had it in 20 episodes, if they plan to make this series that long they should have at least gave a little effort with the supporting cast.

Hye Jung (2012) (Source: Love Rain)

Lee Sun Ho, one of the supporting characters in 2012. He’s one example of the one-dimensional characters in the story that could have made a difference if given the chance to evolve. (Source: Love Rain)

I was impressed with how well JGK and YoonA played their two roles. They were able to show the difference in the characters and set it apart. You can easily pin point who’s from who without tracing any similarities in their attitudes or mannerisms in their acting.

I was surprised to know that Im YoonA is a member of Girl’s Generation. It’s no wonder I didn’t know because I’m not a fan of K-Pop groups. I listen to Korean songs and I like several singers and power vocal groups but I’m more into ballad than mainstream pop music. I honestly never thought of her as a singer first before an actress because she acts well. Yes, it was a little cutesy here and there but if the scene requires her to act mature, hurt or whatever serious emotion she has to portray, she delivers it—without frills. Just the right emotion needed in the scene. As I’ve said before, not all singers transitioning to acting ends up good. There are few artists who perform well in both worlds. YoonA is lucky to be one of them.

1970’s In Ha & Yoon Hee + 2012 picture of Han Na & Joon (Source: Gian05)

Jang Geun Suk isn’t new to rock-star, prince-like roles. That is why I find his performance as the young In Ha very refreshing. I get to see a different side of his acting. He can play serious roles without the usual heavy looks and is mainly focus in his emotions. I don’t have anything to say to this boy, he can act. Though it would be better if he try to get serious roles in the future.

I like the Geun Suk-YoonA tandem. They look cute together. However, they’re too skinny. YoonA should gain a little weight for her to have the right curves in the right places. The scene in which she was only wearing a man’s polo shirt was gawky. Her legs were too thin! (I’m very tempted to post a photo of this scene but I want you to watch it instead. Hahaha.) While Guen Suk still carries the looks of your dashing boy-next-door, building his body and developing those muscles wouldn’t hurt. This might help in loosing his gay-ish aura. I’d still swoon over him even if he looks lame but I would really, really love it if he bulk up a bit.

Amazing: I’m mesmerized.

Worthy of my praise.

Love Rain is not for everyone. I understand that many viewers think that the plot didn’t work. I’m giving it 4.5 Kiss Marks for the reason that I simply enjoyed watching it. I admit that there are parts I didn’t like and some are dragging, but then if I go beyond that and see what it really has to offer, it boils down to one thing—it’s a love story. I’m a simple-minded person but with all the dramas I watched and all the contemporary novels I read, I don’t get touched easily—I had that in Love Rain. I felt the pain, the loss, the love. It touched my heart—and that’s what I watch Korean dramas for.

Other Reviews:
Vicky’s Writing
My Korean Husband
Love Sears

1-4 Wikipedia, Korean Drama
Photo Credit: Gian, JKS, Korean Drama, Sarangbi, Love Rain

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7 thoughts on “Love Rain

  1. Once Upon A Time says:

    thanks for your review. i agree with you that Love Rain is not for everyone. some of my friends complained that the first few episodes were boring and draggy, but i felt that their love scenes in the 70’s era were one of the best filmed in this entire drama. i liked the fact that it was slow-paced too, in contrast to the modern era. it shows how much love evolves during the length of time.

  2. Steve says:

    I agree. Something about this drama just kept touching my heart. Some parts were corny and silly but in the end, the love story part was just touching. The actor who played Seo Inha and Seo Jun did a fantastic job in the dual roles and the actress who played Yoon Hee and Ha Na was just so cute. I can’t explain it but this story was really enjoyable. I’m thinking of getting the DVD set.

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