Meet Han Tae Joo, the 18 year-old student and successor to the TB Group. Blessed with a wealthy family, good looks and popularity, he has few worries. Kang Gook, his thoughtful childhood friend, is physically strong and is trained in different martial arts disciplines. Tae Joo is Kang Gook’s only friend. Tae Joo trusts Kang Gook and feels at ease around him. Tension erupts between them when a new female student, Hye Mi, shows interest in Kang Gook. As the two go on a date, Han Tae Joo becomes irritated, and soon after, long-suppressed emotions start surfacing. Could there be more to their platonic friendship? (Source: Shannon0l0 at MyDramaList) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Perfect soft angst.You know that perfect angst that rather than making you feel like you want to die, makes your heart flutter? That was it.
Truth to be told, it strongly felt like every fanfic ever came to life and... it works. Pinning over each other for years, longing and wanting the other, but never taking the step forward, protecting each other, making sure the other is not hurt. All the best tags we can find in fanfics are here too. While the story is extremely simple, the directing, editing, acting, ost... everything works in such a harmonious and perfect way, I fell for the show and died a few times waiting for the next episodes to air.
Some people wished it was longer, but I honestly disagree. With this type of plot it would be hard to make a good show, which wouldn't be a cheap fan service. The storytelling here was perfect. Not once was I confused about the plot or characters' motivations. They used the screen time efficiently and showed a cohesive story from the beginning till the end. I think extending this drama could ruin it.
Tae Joo and Kang Gook are nothing alike, but that's why they work so well together. Playful and flirty Tae Joo driving the stoic and collected Gook mad. The dynamics of them, the jealousy they tried to tame... That's the highlight of the show- amazing chemistry between Gi Chan and Eui Soo.
Usually I don't pay that much attention to ost, but the songs used here were truly amazing and fitting. If I noticed them, it means they were really good :)
So why not 10, if I loved it so much?
There were a few scenes where I was not completely convinced by Gi Chan's acting (like the talk with his dad in the last episode). At times I could not connect to the emotions he tried to convey. Since the cast was small and the plot was simple, it all relied on the acting skills of Gi Chan and Eui Soo. I believed every line Eui Soo said, but felt disconnected from the few delivered by Gi Chan. What's more, I wasn't the biggest fan of how they executed the last few scenes. Not to get into spoilers, I was happy with the content, but not crazy about how it was presented and structured.
That said, I would DEFINITELY recommend watching.
A Beautiful Story.. Loved itOMG, when I heard the there was going to be a Korean BL, I was a little skeptical because as we all know Korea is known for its hot and thriving BL industry ??? (sarcasm in case anyone doesn't get it).
But seriously, I was really shocked at the quality of it all, it was really awesome and really great and I loved every second of it.
Before we kick off, I would like to highlight If you are someone looking for like just skinship, then I don't think this is the series for you, if you want story, great acting, production etc, then this is for you.
Also please try to watch the series on Rakuten Viki to try and ramp up its popularity and make the show have good ratings.
Before I go into the review proper, I like to highlight (again) to anyone reading that it is the tiny moments in this show that makes it gold. Like the fact they sleep on the same bed, Koreans have bedding for the floor, so we kind of know they choose to sleep on the same bed. Another is the fact Gang Gook hated Tae Joo touching anybody else's ears (the weak spot attack❤️❤️). All those tiny moments really make the show kind of great because it's like builds up the chemistry between them but also the tension.
Now to the main review. This show was a simple 100 out of 10 for me, from the first episode, I loved the interactions, Gook always being there to protect Tae Joo.
We start off with the bullies chasing Tae and we start to see the type of relationship they have, they have grown up together and are kind of extensions of each other. Now the first place where I get to understand the depth of the relationship is where Tae's father slaps Gook, as a punishment to Tae, this kind of shows to me that his dad understands that Tae has deep feelings and care towards Gook because you wouldn't necessarily care about your bodyguards (Gu Jun Pyo ?, Boys over flowers says hi). So from that, I start to get their relationship.
The intimate scenes between them and I don't mean intimate in that way are so awesome, because there is an extra added level of unsaid words but they just both kind of know that they are there and the gay panic particularly on Gook's side was funny. Tae I feel wanted Gook to start dating because he felt it might take care of his feelings for Gook but as we see, that kind of backfired as Tae because it brought out his jealous side more. The girl I get is meant to make them realize how they felt about each but I wouldn't lie, I hated seeing her on my screen.
Then finally when they started to collide at mid-episode 4 and eventually, Tae told Gook to walk at the ending of episode 4, coupled with the Light Soundtrack playing in the background, I had a meltdown, cause I was thinking this is those type of shows that everything would not be resolved till the last episode but I was very happy that beginning episode 5, Tae went back for him, meaning he could not bear leaving Gook out in the cold like that. From there the relationship progressively got better and by ending episode 5, we had our almost kiss/kiss scene in episode 6???. The ending though kind of broke me, from Gook's gay panic to that ending of episode 6.
I don't like the Kim Pilhyeon, I mean they asked you to keep an eye on them, how does that lead to you having to report that you saw them kissing, like the chairman (Tae's dad) would never known if not for your big mouth, but I mean we should have all known that Tae would go to England from episode 1. I definitely was not a fan of his dad????
By the way, I was so confused by the ending of episode 7, like why was he working at the restaurant? But I like that they cleared that up, that it was kind of in the future
Episode 8 was so and so for me, I liked the way the fight was stationed, it wasn't like unrealistic that he beat like 10 guards at once but one or two at a time, made it more dramatic and real for me, with the music, it was cinematic.
But I mean I kind of liked the fact, that they still kept the reaction that a lot of South Koreans would have to having an LGBT kid. They didn't create this magical world where everyone (especially the parents) are all so accepting and always knew the kid was gay or something. I mean, it hurt us a bit but it was real.
Plus the fact when they finally got home, that Tae was asking why didn't Gook just accept his feelings earlier, "they didn't even get to do that" according to Tae, I felt is the most on brand thing with teenagers right now.
Can we appreciate the fact that they didn't spend a lot of the storyline with the girl intervening, they actually kept it BL. Like they didn't pull one over on us in the last few seconds. I mean it was also cool that they made Kim and Hyemi end up together, kind off made sense.
Overall, I really wished this had longer episodes and more episodes, there could be so much they could have explored with the high level of story telling and acting they had but this is still just perfect. Having a 2nd season wouldn't hurt but I doubt they would because it kind of had a good ending
I loved the extra layer of side comedy, He Mi's mother was the funniest because she was all of us, shipping Tae and Gook. Hyemi mother was everything, from shipping TaeGook to always shading Hyemi❤️❤️❤️ and even shading Pilhyeon that Gook was more handsome and mature. Then her crying made me laugh like a maniac
For the acting, OMG, the acting was soooooooooooo good, I loved the acting from the entire cast, it made it all so much more believable.
Finally the music ???... They have my heart in terms of soundtrack ❤️❤️❤️❤️. I absolutely loved the music in this, I mean the OST had like 4 songs (Light, See U, Looking at you and You) but I felt they used it so well, that it really brought out the moments more and made it all that more powerful
I really hope that WYEL is what kicks off Korean BL because no offense to other countries (Thailand ???) but the Koreans have shown they are simply better are making dramas than them, with creative stories, great production, and high quality, amazing acting and cinematography meant for gods. Imagine 20 episodes of Korean BL with 40 minutes running time.