I guess I can’t resist a series starring Hwang Jung-eum.
Title: To All The Guys Who Loved Me / That Guy Is The Guy (literal title) / Men Are Men
Main Cast: Hwang Jung-eum, Yoon Hyun-min, Seo Ji-hoon
Writer: Lee Eun-young (previous series: Sweden Laundry)
PD: Choi Yoon-suk (previous series: Queen of Mystery 2)
Timeslot: Monday and Tuesday / 22:00H
Genre: Romance Comedy
Webtoon producer Seo Hyun-ju vows to not get married but she got tangled up with two men: her childhood friend and webtoon artist Park Do-gyeom and Pharmaceutical CEO Hwang Ji-woo. On top of that, she keeps on getting dreams of a faceless man and their lives together.
Major trope: Reincarnation Romance
I quite enjoyed watching the first two episodes of To All The Guys Who Loved Me much more than I expected to. The premiere week’s episodes focused on introducing our female lead – Seo Hyun-ju (Hwang Jung-eum) and added some glimpses to the two male leads – Hwang Ji-woo (Yoo Hyun-min) and Park Do-gyeom (Seo Ji-hoon). But the plot, basing it on the first two episodes’ narration style, will definitely revolve heavily around Hyun-ju.
I wasn’t actually planning on watching this while it’s currently airing but I guess I can’t resist a Hwang Jung-eum series. Even though she always gets the optimistic overzealous female leads, there’s no denying that her rom-coms are always entertaining to watch. Jung-eum can drop those punch lines in time and act those ridiculous and unrealistic scenes without being cringey. The premiere week also managed to give us some preview of her relationship dynamic with her childhood friend and contender number one: Park Do-gyeom.
The last time I saw Seo Ji-hoon was at a cat café with his brooding stares and sad second lead lines. Here in the world of To All The Guys Who Loved Me (this title is a mouthful tbh), he’s playing a totally different character; making a 180-degree transformation. Do-gyeom has no time to be broody and quiet. Here, he’s always cheerful and boisterous. Do-gyeom was a top webtoon artist, who I assume grew up with Hyun-ju since he treats her parents like his own. He’s always there for Hyun-ju even if that means playing ludicrous personas to help her escape a blind date. They clearly established the noona-dongsaeng relationship between the two that I wonder how and what would trigger them to see each other in a new light. Maybe it would be the entry of contender number two: Hwang Ji-woo.
Hwang Ji-woo’s character introduction is the vaguest among the three. He’s definitely the guy in Hyun-ju’s dreams/past lives but how come he seemingly has those memories intact. Is he immortal or he was just always reborn carrying the memories from his past lives? Anyway, without that context, he is somewhat Hyun-ju’s stalker. There’s no getting around that fact. He orchestrated his encounters with Hyun-ju and I agree with Do-gyeom that he is really suspicious. I badly want to know his reasons ASAP because my mind is starting to judge him as stalker-ish and creepy. But I guess, it’ll change soon because he and Do-gyeom will live under one roof and I’m liking this twist using the cohabitation trope.
TATGWLM started on the right note. They’re sticking to their genre but with promises of new twists in the coming episodes. This is definitely for rom-com lovers out there but if that’s not your usual tea, then there’s still no harm checking this one out.
[Image credit: 1]