Byun Hyuk is a son from a wealthy family who runs a large company. He lives a happy life without any specific goals. He is confident around women and he is also naive, with a warm heart. Byun Hyuk begins to live in a studio in a poor area. He hides his background. Baek Joon lives in the same area. She works part-time jobs to make ends meet. Baek Joon graduated from a good university, but she was unable to land a job at a company and started taking part-time jobs. She is positive and full of justice, but her life changes when Byun Hyuk appears. Edit Translation
Where to Watch Revolutionary Love
Cast & Credits
Not your usual RomCom, yet a love triangle on top of a socially critical labour dispute missionThe protagonist's name "Byeon Hyeok" means "revolution". The wordy title "Revolutionary Love" already hints that this is about a Romance. But this title also contains the second plot line: the love that leads him to revolution - to resistance and struggle for the rights of irregular workers in the company of a powerful Jaebeol. One way or another, Byeon Hyeok is at the center of events - as the eldest son of Jaebeol of the Gangsu Group, who is in love and choses the barricades (and new ways) within the corporate culture of his father's business group.
Basically, the topic of such a labor dispute is rather socially critical and highly explosive, because there is practically no legal representation for the irregular part-time workers in South Korea. The number of non-regular employees is four times higher than among the other OECD member states. Employment relationship is not well protected. There is no union representation. Irregular employees usually only receive about half the wages of a permanent employee. The time limit is barely a year. Since the Asian crisis, this form of employment has proven to be cost-saving and convenient for small and large companies, so that it has been retained on a large scale to this day. "Revolutionary Love" cleverly focuses on this aspect of the South Korean working world as this critical topic is sort of camouflaged with a lot of slapstick and speed on the humorous note ... and of course there is the romance...
The role of Byeon Hyeok is a showpiece for Choi Si-won, who, with his wide array of physical, wordless visual grimaces and gestures, softens the actually frustrating labour dimension by Korean standards to a level that makes it accessible to the masses on public cable TV (and 'permissible' for the powerful). At the same time, Choi Si-won has the necessary sincerity to also show his sensitive side and create space for the closeness of a romantic relationship. In contrast to the comedic character of Byeon Hyeok is his 'friend' Kwon Jae-hoon, whose leitmotif ´seriousness´ can hardly be surpassed. In between, the head of the "revolution" whirls: the street smart Baek Joon.
"Revolutionary Love" is a KDrama that is often underestimated by Western viewers in its ambitious socio-critical and labour policy claims. It knows how to touch with the protagonists' love triangle despite the labour dispute mission. Yet, be aware, it is not your usual RomCom.
My biggest problem with this drama wasn't the blatant lack of chemistry amongst the three leads (I would've been content with the romantic storyline being dropped all together), but rather how uneventful and contrite everything felt. I felt like the writer expected the viewers of this drama to be imbeciles like it's character and thus tried to throw together a bunch of cliches and call it a functioning story. It moved so slowly while also managing to feel extremely repetitive. I felt like I gained nothing from the sixteen episodes that I watched.
I believe its hard to criticize acting objectively, especially when you have a bias towards a certain actor. I was disappointed by the extremely weak performances of our leads. I do genuinely believe its not entirely their fault, but the characters felt so one dimensional that no amount of sad music in the background could evoke any kind of emotion from me. I was a fan of Choi Si Won in She Was Pretty and looked forward to this being his project fresh out of the military, I'm not sure if its because he's out of wack due to his scandal amongst other things, but I was left so underwhelmed. Then we have Kang So Ra, whom I first watched in Doctor Stranger and never felt like she was lacking in anything, however her character here always had her walking around with a question mark on her face that I wonder if the directors note was to always look confused.. Gong Myung, I had never seen before (I never made it long enough in Bride of Habaek to see his character) and with him I can say that I can see potential in his acting, but as for the character here? Always looking like a sad wounded puppy and that's it. The secondary characters seemed like they were just doing the bare minimum. Side note: Lee Jae Joon literally plays one of two characters: the painstakingly sweet guy or the vengeful evil guy.. kind of a one dimensional actor it seems.
Now I wouldn't say this was the worst drama I've ever watched and its not particularly terrible, its just aggravating, plain and goes around in a circle. The only thing I enjoyed was the OST and that the main leads were good looking. I would never rewatch this unless someone is offering me a million dollars to do so. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless you're a huge fan of the leads and even then it might still be difficult to get through.