First Impression: Call It Love

Drama Profile

Title: Call It Love
Main Cast: Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Young-kwang
Writer: Kim Ga-eun
PD: Lee Gwang-young, Kim Ji-yeon
Timeslot: Wednesdays 17:00
Network: Disney+
Episodes: 16
Genre: Healing, Melodrama, Revenge

Plot Synopsis: A story about two individuals who understand each other and transform gradually due to their harsh reality. Sim Woo-joo’s father’s affair and death lead to her being kicked out by her father’s mistress, and in her quest for revenge, she approaches the mistress’ son Han Dong-jin. As they get to know each other, Sim Woo-joo falls in love with him.

Grumpy’s First Impression

In the world of K-dramas, revenge is a common theme that drives the plot forward. It often involves a character seeking justice against an abusive family or someone who has wronged them. However, in some cases, revenge can take an unexpected turn, leading the characters down a different path. Call It Love follows the intertwined lives of Sim Woo-joo (Lee Sung-kyung) and Han Dong-jin (Kim Young-kwang), exploring themes of love, loss, and revenge.

Sim Woo-joo is a tough cookie who is one of three siblings living together in their childhood home after their father abandoned the family for his mistress. She dropped out of school and works at a pharmacy to support her family. After discovering her father’s passing, Woo-joo arrives uninvited at his funeral, driven by a profound sense of anger and betrayal. There, she encounters her father’s mistress Ma Hee-ja (Nam Ki-ae), who inherited the house that Woo-joo and her siblings live in. Worse, Hee-ja has already sold the property, leaving the siblings just one week to move out.

The siblings move in with their pharmacist friend Yoon Joon (Sung Joon), but Woo-joo has ulterior motives. She wants revenge on Hee-ja’s son, Han Dong-jin (Kim Young-kwang), the CEO of a company that organizes trade fairs. Woo-joo believes that Dong-jin got his hands on the money from the sale of their childhood home.

Woo-joo leaves her job at Joon’s pharmacy and penetrates Dong-jin’s company as a part-time office assistant. She tries to probe him, but she’s not very good at it. Dong-jin is pretty calm when he catches her trying to find out where he lives. I find it funny that Woo-joo’s attempt at revenge always ends up in flames this early on. Woo-joo also seems to have a misunderstanding of Dong-jin’s seemingly comfortable lifestyle while she is working with him. She observes from the sidelines, listening to office gossip to get more intel against her target. But just as she was getting started on her revenge, an anonymous email was sent to their suppliers about embezzlement and fraud. Being the shady new girl in the company, everyone, even Dong-jin, suspected her. Dong-jin accuses her of being an industry spy and ultimately fires her. In their last meeting outside a grocery store, a drunk Woo-joo denies the accusations and swears that she is not getting manipulated by other people easily. I guess the story takes a swift turn from being a revenge series to a melodrama at this moment. No matter how much Woo-joo tries to seek revenge, she’s not fit for it.

The cinematography of the series is incredibly atmospheric, with overly saturated pinks and desolate landscapes that perfectly capture the bleakness of the world. Both main characters are deeply flawed and struggle to cope with their own grief, adding to the overwhelming sense of hopelessness that pervades the company. Slow, pensive music also contributes to the melancholic atmosphere, helping to create a sense of emotional depth and introspection.

I like how the cinematography could incorporate shots that emphasize the isolation and loneliness of both Woo-joo and Dong-jin, highlighting the emotional distance between Dong-jin and his mother, and the Sim siblings’ difficulty in connecting with other people.

The series is unrelentingly dark and heavy, but it’s also incredibly interesting. I like the writing so far, and the performances of Lee Sung-kyung and Kim Young-kwang are top-notch. While it’s certainly not for everyone, those drawn to stories that explore the darker aspects of the human psyche will probably enjoy Call It Love. I am intrigued by how the drama will explore the intricacies of family relationships. The story is not just about a young woman seeking revenge against her father’s mistress and her son; it’s also about the complex web of emotions and connections that bind families together, even in the face of betrayal and heartbreak. As the premise promises, Woo-joo will eventually fall in love with Dong-jin, adding a layer of complexity to the story. I can’t help but look forward to the forbidden love that is about to unfold.

Woo-joo’s internal struggle as she tries to reconcile her feelings for Dong-jin with her desire for revenge may find her torn between her sense of duty to her family and her growing affection for the very person she set out to destroy. The relationship between the two characters would also be fraught with tension and conflict, given their histories and the circumstances that brought them together. They would need to navigate their feelings for each other while dealing with the fallout of their families’ past mistakes.

If handled well, Woo-joo and Dong-jin’s romance could add depth and nuance to the story, elevating it beyond a simple tale of revenge. It would also provide an opportunity to explore the complexities of human relationships, the transformative power of love, and the difficult choices that people sometimes have to make.

G Alley

☂️ I just hope Joon would not turn out to be the annoying K-drama second lead guy because I want to ship him with Woo-joo’s unnie Sim Hye-sung (Kim Ye-won).

☂️ Am I the only one who likes the pink color grading in this drama?

☂️ Can’t wait to see how Dong-jin’s ex Kang Min-young’s (Ahn Hee-yeon) comeback plays out! But certainly, I’m not ecstatic to see her still hung up on him after she left him alone and struggling.

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