Summer Strike | Series Review

“This really is enough. I still haven’t figured out how I should live my life, but this is good enough. I shall live.”

When someone reads this ending quote from the drama’s heroine, one would think that Summer Strike is a healing, slice-of-life drama about a burned-out city slave who seeks solace in a small seaside town. But man, we were all deceived by the calming teasers and stills! Not that I’m complaining because I still liked the drama despite the unexpected turn of events, but admittedly, this was not what I looked forward to watching.

The drama was more of a murder mystery than healing. It’s just set in the countryside, but nothing is relaxing here. I feel like we were all walking on eggshells for every episode because our leads could get attacked at any moment. Funny how the finale still preached about finding happiness even in the little things when all we did was hold our breaths for the entire series because of unnecessary deaths and violence.

Speaking of unnecessary deaths, I feel like one death should be enough to keep the plot running and the two others were just pure misery porn. I felt bad for Bom (Shin Eun-soo), Ha-neul (Shin Ki-joon), and Yeo-reum (Kim Seolhyun) for losing the only maternal figure that we have in the drama. I mean…. Even the manner of death was brutal and unexplained. It’s awful. There were so many things happening offscreen, and the audience was left to interpret the events themselves. It felt rushed and sorry, borderline lazy writing. I wanted to like this drama so badly that I feel robbed! 😦

Aside from Yeo-reum, Bom, Dae-beom (Im Si-wan), Jae-hoon (Bang Jae-min), and Grandma (Kim Hye-jung), everyone else was either forgettable or unlikeable. There was no sense of community at all, even though I know they tried to show it. Maybe because the plot was too dark for its own good, but honestly, I dread all the scenes with the supporting characters. Ji-young (Park Ye-young) stood out to be the most annoying side chick this year. She controlled Dae-beom in the guise of “taking care” of him. Ji-young was not concerned about him at all. She just wants him to be by her side for her own sake, even if it costs him his mental stability.

But the main characters? Ah, they have all my love! Watching two introverts slowly getting to know each other was enough for me to finish this drama. Yeo-reum and Dae-beom’s blossoming romance was a breath of fresh air in this chaotic town. And their cute “dates” at the library?! Ugh, my heart!!! I never thought fixing damaged books and organizing bookshelves could be this cute! Their summer romance deserved another season without the messy killings in the backdrop!

Im Si-wan and Seolhyun both gave justice to their roles despite the odds. Dae-beom is such a complex character – a genius with PTSD who lives with his past wounds while other people constantly give him unsolicited advice (looking at you Ji-young!) on what he should do with his life. When Yeo-reum entered his life, he became a much better person. He became happy. And I love that for him.

Yeo-reum, on the other hand, saved herself from her own misery. Despite everything that happened in the cursed billiard hall, Yeo-reum rebuilt her life and met great individuals who truly cared for her. My favorite part of the series was when she perfectly defined happiness and equated it to contentment. Yeo-reum found her peace in Angok, and it was enough.

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