Title: Summer Strike / I Don’t Want To Do Anything (literal title)
Main Cast: Seolhyun, Im Si-wan
Writer: Joo Young-hyun (webtoon), Hong Moon-pyo, Lee Yoon-jung (The Lies Within, Coffee Prince)
PD: Lee Yoon-jung (The Lies Within, Coffee Prince), Hong Moon-pyo
Timeslot: Monday and Tuesday / 21:20 (KST)
Network: ENA, Genie TV, Seezn
Genre: Healing, Melodrama
Plot Synopsis: A tired corporate worker leaves the demanding life in the city and starts a new life in a seaside town.
Grumpy’s First Impression
Ahh, a healing drama to save us all from burnout. Summer Strike came at the right time when all of us are feeling the year-end fatigue! I don’t mind if it’s a trope that’s been used over and over again because we can never get tired of watching corporate slaves redeeming their lives and getting much-needed rest in the countryside.
We meet our heroine Lee Yeo-reum (Seolhyun) at her lowest. She lets her team walk all over her at work. She’s been living a repetitive work routine for over four years. Her immediate superior is a toxic jerk while her teammate is a credit grabber. I hate watching a pushover damsel in distress because it triggers me, and Yeo-reum is no exception. Yeo-reum is the type of person who would rather take the stairs instead of wait in line for the escalator. She’s someone who’s always in a hurry but is still always two steps behind.
And then we met her boyfriend Jae-dong (Jang Sung-bum) for six years. I am not surprised they lasted that long given Yeo-reum’s personality, but we were just given a glimpse of the tail-end of their relationship. The boyfriend was exasperated by Yeo-reum’s regular monologue about her victim mentality. And we could see that the boyfriend seems uninterested anymore. I have to give it to him though because he kept hearing the same cycle of office politics almost always. I liked that he managed to talk some sense into Yeo-reum. While her team is guilty of bullying, she also needs to learn how to protect herself against them. The lack of trying from her end is also part of the problem. But instead of reflecting on what he said, our girl deduced that maybe Jae-dong didn’t find her attractive anymore and that she shouldn’t have gone to him that night to whine. 😭 I can’t even defend her when the guy asked to break up via text.
To complete the trifecta of misery in Yeo-reum’s life, we also witnessed her mom’s tragic death in the pilot episode. Yeo-reum didn’t even manage to say goodbye properly to her mom became she died on the spot in an accident. Our poor heroine’s life changed overnight while she was on the verge of losing herself already. I’m trying to read if her ex-boyfriend is an asshole, but based on their scenes at the mom’s wake, he seemed decent and comforting. Just a bit indifferent, but this is normal for exes, right? They are not really together anymore, so why act lovey-dovey?
The work burnout, break-up, and mom’s death all led Yeo-reum to wake up into her monotonous life in Seoul. She quit her job, sold her things, and fit her essentials into one backpack to start fresh in the countryside! Ah, this buildup was my favorite part of the episode. 🥺 Yeo-reum decides to renew her relationship with herself. She will now dedicate her time to rebuilding her life without the chaos of Seoul.
The real story begins now that she found a new place to stay. She leased an entire building for a year! The property is a bit shady, but she doesn’t mind. I’m excited to witness her transformation and how she will navigate this new life in this small town.
We also get to meet her love interest, An Dae-beom (Im Si-wan), an interesting character who works at the public library. There’s not much info about Dae-beom yet, but I’m curious about his daily life in Angok, too. He almost got me when he started giving notes to Yeo-reum, which made her think that he was mute! I wonder what his deal is?? Why is he incapable of speaking with strangers when he’s having a perfectly normal conversation with his co-worker? And why does Im Si-wan always runs in his dramas? JK.
I hope this drama doesn’t disappoint because I liked the first two episodes so much! It’s a good balance of mystery, a good backstory, and potential character development. I can also sense a strong bond in this small seaside town – signature K-Drama style of heartwarming side characters that make the drama more colorful. Also, a librarian as a male lead? Definitely 10 out of 10!