Just Between Lovers Kdrama Review
Just Between Lovers Kdrama tell the story of two survivors of a tragic event that changed their lives forever. It’s about two people finding solace with each other, from whom only them can understand the depth of pain and guilt each person feels from having survived. It’s about finding the will to carry on loving and how love can transform you and fill you with hope.
*minor minor spoilers ahead*
I’m terrible at writing drama plots/summary. I have this mashed up pictures in my mind of the events that happened in the drama that I feel like I have to include them all. Anyway – back to the review. This drama is a melodrama that honestly kept me binge watching it. I watched this in a dark winter season which intensified the depressing quality of the drama. But along with that is the light that falls through the cracks in it – through our couple who you wouldn’t have thought possible to have that in them.
BUT – it was only when they were together that this power to conquer their own demons was possible. Apart – they trudge through life because they had to but together, they have a will to carry on. This drama really gave me a different perspective and pulled me into a completely different world altogether. It’s like being in your own world and suddenly, you get something like this that reminds you that there are people out there suffering everyday from a tragic event. It opened up my mind and made me think of those people and become aware that for some, the world as we know it seem endlessly dark for them.
The storyline was well-crafted and made these broken characters believable – with so much tragic experiences to endure. At the same time they were also relatable. The feeling of hopelessness and living without purpose was something a lot of people could relate to. I was stuck to my screen because of how the characters seem to be in such precarious situation where nothing would ever seem to get better and it makes you reflect about your life and how it actually isn’t so bad.
I was rooting for our couple from the start to the beginning. Back up with a storyline so believable – our characters were also solidly written and real. Though they’ve gone through something so bad – there was that sense of a normalcy in them. Their living situations and their family – makes them experience what it’s like to have a broken family, not enough money to foot bills and working so hard but still not enough.
I was so impressed by the main characters – 2 PM’s Jun Ho and new actress, Won Jin Ah. Can you believe that Won Jin Ah managed to defeat about 120 other auditionees for this role? I feel like it’s getting rarer and rarer these days to have an audition for a main role. They seem mostly handpicked a lot of the times and Won Jin Ah is a proof that auditions are still worth the hassle. She captured her character perfectly. The seriousness in her face always betray the numbness she feels inside. For someone so small she was so capable of a lot. Having survived that tragedy where she lost her sister too, she had to carry on living with the sense of guilt inside. And if that still wasn’t enough, her parents separated and her mother became a drunkard. She had to step in to care for her mum (despite her mum working still) even when she wasn’t fully okay herself.
Her expressions were always spot on and I actually get depressed from watching her on the screen. She mirrored her character so much but at the same time behind that was the fierce determination to carry on. Probably stemming from the fact that her parents couldn’t provide that sense of comfort for her therefore she had to draw it up from within herself.
This was actually Jun Ho’s first ever major lead role and what a performance. He lost his dad in the accident and had major rehab for his injured leg. Before the tragedy, they were just your normal family with being a football player as his childhood dream. The innocence and the hopes for a good life disappeared and it was visible through how he lived his life just how much he’ll never be the same. Jun Ho as Lee Kang Doo was so believable – I could feel the hardship escalated by the fact he’s always got his severe injury reminding him of what he’s lost. I was always able to sympathise with him whenever he was in pain and he portrayed perfectly just how much of a broken man he was inside. He didn’t care anymore but it was evident he was a lovely person still by how many people loved him. The people around him really made me feel warm and cozy inside. It gave me a sense of comfort knowing that despite how hard his life was, there were genuine people out there who truly cared for his well being.
And the romance. It was sweet and the build up gradual and smooth. I lived for seeing them being all sweet and caring for each other. It felt desperate at times when they were together because for them, being together felt much like a cocoon from the world. The moment that they’re apart bolsters them back into the harsh reality and the never-ending problem they faced. Their love story is one of the most poignant ones that I vividly remember the feelings I felt whilst watching them.
This was a melodrama that was so depressing to watch yet it was also full of hope. You have to give it to the casting directors with how well everyone suited their roles. The characters and actors were unforgettable. There was nothing explosive or grandeur in the drama, but each episode was a buildup to the next and it’s this buildup that made this drama leave a mark on its viewers.
I’ve become Kang Ha Na’s fan as well after this. Her character was not exactly of a villain so bad you’d want to hate her. But she was independent and strong minded. She’s a picture of a person who carries on regardless of how hard life becomes. I was always rooting for her and Lee Ki Woo to end up together. The people around Kang Doo, especially Ma Ri( Yoon Se Ah) and Na Moon Hee (Jeong Seok Hee) were one of the characters that stood out. Ma Ri was a club owner and has a history with Kang Doo that goes way back – and the amount of love (sisterly love, which was so obvious and lovely to witness) is unique to this drama. Grandma Na Moon Hee was the adult Kang Doo needed in his life.
The people around him provided a sense of comfort to his otherwise depressing one. You get a sense of keen closeness that was genuine and I kept wanting to see more of it.
Overall, II’m happy and relieved by the end. I think I couldn’t take it if it went down a sadder note. There’s that pungent taste of reality that stayed, reminding us that life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to. But Kang Doo and Moon Soo’s love for each other reinstates the feeling that being together can help you face battles head on. It doesn’t get easy but you get better with fighting those demons.
The execution, the music and the overall tone of the drama was perfect. Whenever I remember it, I’m being transported back to when I was watching it. I was completely into it and the characters’ journey to moving on with their lives as best they could. It sends the message that although you won’t always forget the past, you can and should move on from it. After all, the living has to go on living. And in a different perspective, it might even be the best tribute you could ever give to the ones that passed on – live.
Just Between Lovers Kdrama – Fave scene
I loved this drama so much, from beginning to end but this particular scene is still so vivid in my mind.The scene in ep 13 was about what could’ve been if the accident didn’t happen. And it was just so… sad. It really made the sense of loss and what could’ve been sting a bit more which leaves a bittersweet note.
I found this article at Soompi and this scene happened to be Lee Ki Woo’s favourite scene also.
Lee Ki Woo said, “There were many memorable scenes, but the scene where Kang Doo’s hopes became reality was memorable. Kang Doo who became a soccer player, Moon Soo who became an art director, and Ju Won and Yoo Jin who were in love and working as architects. All of these things could’ve been possible if the accident hadn’t occurred, and it made me sad.”
I feel like that scene really summed up what this whole drama is about – about lost hope and dreams, and an ordinary life. Seeing that made me really sad and also wish that that was their reality instead. 🙁
I cannot find the longer version 🙁
Just Between Lovers Kdrama OST
I’m going to leave you with this OST that I think perfectly captured the overall mood of this fantastic drama. Hearing this OST playing in the background along with the scenes made them all the more poignant and really evoked sadness and a sense of helpless longing from the viewers. You wish they could be comforted somehow in the midst of their tragic filled life. Depressing but oh so addicting.
And just because I can’t leave you with only one…
AND I forgot to add in JunHo’s one- it’s beautiful too. The last one I promise (again, one of the dramas which have a beautiful collection of OSTs)
Overall I loved watching Just Between Lovers Kdrama. It’s a perfect melodrama that balanced off the romance so well. A unique take on the genre that still managed to end things on a positive note – I love that. Last year I had a great start to my drama year with this one and its safe to say that the best dramas I’ve watched were aired in the beginning of last year so my expectations for the rest were pretty up high. Did it live up to expectation though?
A little update – The past two weeks have been hectic hence the late update. This week was tiring and it just felt like there’s not enough time to do everything, which I’m sure everyone can relate to.
But before you go let me leave you with this sweet pictorial shoot of our couple: