Choi Si Won, Jo Soo Hyang, Kdrama, kdramas, korean actors, Korean drama, Korean Movie, Korean Series, Korean TV series, Korean TV shows, Lee Da Hee, Lee Dae Hwi, Lee Joo Yeon, Love Is For Suckers, Park Yeon Woo, Song Jong Ho
Love Is For Suckers has been my weekly dose of feel-good-ness. ‘Friends to lovers’ is one of the most loved romance tropes and the drama employs it by using the backdrop of variety shows. The final product is a flawed but pleasing cocktail of more than one love stories.
The plot involves Goo Yeo Reum (Lee Da Hee), a variety show PD, who takes help from her long time best friend Park Jae Hoon (Choi Si Won), a plastic surgeon, to participate in her dating reality program. Their feelings grow from platonic to romantic once they start working together. We meet several people and their stories on this journey — the crew members and the participants of the variety show Kingdom Of Love.
Love Is For Suckers is an easy, feel-good ride. Its plot flows smoothly and the characters are endearing. Sure, there is some cringe and clichés, but it is still fun to watch. The drama coasts along breezily for first few episodes where it explores the friendship between long time friends Yeo Reum and Jae Hoon, and the relationship between colleagues Yeo Reum and Kang Chae Ri.
‘Friends To Lovers’ is a great trope as the foundation lies in friendship, trust and understanding. And knowing someone for so long that you don’t even realise when they become more than a friend to you — it’s exciting to watch. Yeo Reum and Jae Hoon have been friends since school days. As the show peels the layers one by one, we understand them more. It’s hinted that there might have been some low key feels involved but nothing too excessive for them to take notice. They are fun to watch together and gave me a lot of buzz. You can feel their candid and uninhibited connection.
I loved the frenemy relationship between soft hearted and righteous Yeo Rim, and cold hearted and practical Chae Ri. It was fun to see them lock horns but also accept each other’s opinions. Working together was a learning experience for both of them.
I also admire how the drama is not in a rush and focuses on characters’ expressions and quietness in a scene. The drama gives some warmth-filled moments, especially with the lead couple and their friends who own a restaurant. The drama has some beautiful introspective moments too. It is also a bit risqué in comparison to the usual shows from dramaland.
There is a track in the beginning involving Yeo Reum’s ex boyfriend Kim In Woo (Song Jong Ho) that thankfully ends soon. He is the typical clingy, annoying “ex” character. This track serves as the trigger for certain crucial events. This brings me to the point that disappointed me — the leads realise their feelings, to varying degrees, before entering the reality show and it was way too soon for me. This leads to protracted angst which results in fizzling of the spark that we saw in the beginning between our main couple. By the time they get together towards the end, you’re a bit exhausted and don’t feel that perfect “yes!” moment as a viewer.
Thankfully, there are ‘variety show’ characters and relationships that provide several moments that are enjoyable. I enjoyed the different scenarios they played for every episode of the show within the show. Certain moments are formulaic and cringeworthy too at times, but entertaining nevertheless. I do think the crew handled certain issues they had to face very poorly, be it the man who attacks the set or a contestant who gets depressed when she is ignored by everyone.
Another disappointment is second lead Han Ji Yeon (Lee Ju Yeon). She was introduced as a spunky, confident woman but as the drama progressed, she became excessively soppy and pathetic with her one sided love for Jae Hoon.
As Yeo Reum and Jae Hoon lose momentum with inordinate angst, Chef John Jang and webtoon artist Park Ji Wan are here to save the day. Their unexpected but delightful growing closeness is full of butterflies and giddiness. I LOVED THEM. His growth as a character is well done, and she is such a sweet, mature person. Park Yeon Woo and Son Hwa Ryung are amazing, individually and together.
Yeo Reum is a rootable character — thoughtful, pleasing, sometimes witty. I love how she is all heart and has so much perseverance. Lee Da Hee is in very good form and delivers an endearing performance. Park Ji Hoon started off as a funny, charming and cheaky person but I think the whole angsty broody arc made him more serious than I would have liked. But I love how he is such an understanding and considerate person. Choi Si Won is in solid form and effortlessly charming. The chemistry between the two actors is great and natural.
Kang Chae Ri is a strong character with her cold, pragmatic and mean attitude. One can see vulnerability too at times and her arc from start to finish is really good. Jo Soo Hyang delivers an impressive performance and steals the show. I also liked Yeo Rim’s camaraderie with her assistant Sang Woo. Among the contestants, Jang Goon is impressive with his cool nature.
An easy, surprisingly thoughtful and entertaining ride, sprinkled with classic romantic notes. But the prolonged angst dulls the experience a bit.
MY RATING: 8 out of 10