Just Between Lovers, Episode 8

TL;DR: You know, I was really happy for about ten minutes, and then everything went wrong.

This episode really drove home the fact that Kang-doo is very lonely, despite having a widespread network of people who care for him on various levels. He has the medicine seller, Ma-ri, Sang-man, Jae-young, and now Moon-soo who all find themselves concerned about his welfare, even if he wants to keep a bit of distance between all of them. This episode was a small turning point of sorts, where Kang-doo finally allowed himself to be vulnerable in front of Moon-soo. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 8”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 7

TL;DR: I was so ready to stab Joo-won in this episode. *eyes him but sheathes knife*

First of all, I’m really happy that Moon-soo and Kang-doo opened up to one another about part of their connection to the mall collapse. Neither of them have said that they were there, but now at least they both know they lost loved ones in it, and I am all about love interests bonding over shared trauma. Even if they’re still keeping each other at a distance. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 7”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 6

TL;DR: This episode actually made me swoon twice, and yet I also had a big NOPE moment, too. Well, I guess I can’t get everything I want all the time.

There are so many great things happening between Moon-soo and Kang-doo right now, and chief among them is their mutual concern for one another. When Moon-soo couldn’t reach him all day, she was so worried about him she checked up on him at home. And why was she looking for him in the first place? So they could visit the ossuary together, and so she could apologize for letting him find that woman’s body all on his own. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 6”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 5

TL;DR: I honestly didn’t expect this plot point to resurface, so I am equally delighted and horrified.

But first, let us take a moment to admire the pace at which Moon-soo and Kang-doo are developing feelings for one another. I love that they are spending so much time together and in doing so, learning more about each other and allowing themselves to be vulnerable in front of the other. Working together allows them to find things to admire in one another and even be concerned about one another. Sometimes, they even get annoyed with one another (see: Kang-doo’s terrible backseat driving). Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 5”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 4

TL;DR: Savor this cute stage while you can. This is a melo, after all.

Right now our leads are in the getting-to-know-you phase, and it’s adorable. Moon-soo is delightfully curious about Kang-doo and who he is, while he is piecing together the clues that say she is the girl who was trapped with him in the collapse. But most importantly, when Kang-doo pointed out that Moon-soo’s determination to satisfy her curiosity in spite of his own feelings was a form of violence, she apologized. Now the two of them are falling into a pattern where they’ll ask questions—and then let it go if the other doesn’t want to answer. That will make their eventual opening up to each other all the sweeter, because that will be an unequivocal demonstration of trust. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 4”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 3

TL;DR: Our leads are getting so close to figuring out their shared trauma and yet they are so far away.

I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited that our leads are inching closer to the truth about their shared trauma. It feels like each time we have a flashback about the building collapse, we learn more about what happened to Moon-soo and Kang-doo. This time we find out they actually came face-to-face underground. The question now becomes, just how much of that does Moon-soo remember? Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 3”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 2

TL;DR: I was not expecting them to all be in such close proximity so quickly.

Oh, Moon-soo. With every episode, she breaks my heart more. She has a tighter leash on her trauma than Kang-doo, but we got to see more of her breaking points this episode, from flashbacks at the construction site to her literally screaming in fear over her mother. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 2”

Just Between Lovers, Episode 1

TL;DR: It is quiet and sad and a little desperate, and I love it.

This was a great debut episode that expertly set up my expectations for the show. There will be melodrama, yes, but it will be the muted sort, told in silences and self-destructive choices, not in overdramatic flailing or with a frenetic pace. The show isn’t afraid to let a scene breathe or to focus on small gestures to tell the story, and it peels back its characters’ layers to show just how one great tragedy has rippled through their lives. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 1”

4 hopes for Just Between Lovers

Winter has put me in a mood, one that I think would be well-suited for a melodrama. I’m crossing my fingers that Just Between Lovers will be precisely what I need to bring a bit of warmth into these below-freezing days. I’m unfamiliar with most of the cast and haven’t watched any of screenwriter Yoo Bo-ra’s work, though I do remember enjoying director Kim Jin-won’s stint on Nice Guy. Since I just heard about this drama a few days ago, my expectations are fairly low. Still, I have expectations—four, to be precise—that I would like to have fulfilled.

  1. Kang-doo is not an asshole to Moon-soo. He can be a jerk to basically everyone else, but this drama is being sold to me as a show in which two very wounded people find healing in one another, and for me, that means there are lines into asshole-ish-ness that he cannot ever cross. He can be prickly and emotionally distant, but I’ll be watching him closely for any sign of abusive behavior toward her. The minute he crosses my boundaries, I will be gone.
  2. Kang-doo actually has something of substance to offer Moon-soo. In a similar vein, I need Kang-doo to hold up his end of the relationship with Moon-soo. I don’t want this to be yet another story where a woman cares for and does all of the emotional labor to prove she is good enough for a mediocre man. I want to look at him and go yes, she needs you, not she can pick a guy at random and do better.
  3. Moon-soo gets to have relationships with other women. Family, friends, coworkers, neighbors—I feel like I’ve been starving lately for women interacting with each other in the media I consume. I’d really love it if there were at least one good friendship, pretty please. Will it be greedy if I ask for her to have two significant women in her life besides the dead sister?
  4. Moon-soo is respected at her work. I would just like to see a lady in a professional setting who isn’t second-guessed all the time. Let her do the thing you hired her to do and just get out of her way, all right?

Will you be watching Just Between Lovers? If so, what are your hopes for it? Let me know!