When My Love Blooms (2020) poster
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,181 users
# of Watchers: 16,439
Reviews: 32 users
Ranked #3429
Popularity #967
Watchers 5,181

Twenty years ago, Yoon Ji Soo and Han Jae Hyun fell head over heels in love during their college days. Ji Soo, a freshman at the music college, unexpectedly captivated the popular and determined law school student, Jae Hyun. Their first love was a beautiful whirlwind, but, like many first loves, it eventually faded away. Now in their forties, Ji Soo is a single mother working hard to make ends meet, while Jae Hyun is a successful and ambitious businessman driven by wealth and honor. He's a far cry from the headstrong young man Ji Soo once knew. However, fate reunites them, and Ji Soo recognizes him instantly. Given a second chance at love, they must navigate the vast gulf of years and experiences that separate them. Can they rekindle a flame that once burned so brightly? (Source: MyDramaList) Edit Translation

  • English
  • Русский
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Apr 25, 2020 - Jun 14, 2020
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: tvN
  • Duration: 60 min.
  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 5,181 users)
  • Ranked: #3429
  • Popularity: #967
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch When My Love Blooms

Netflix
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Free (sub)

Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
unterwegsimkoreanischenD
42 people found this review helpful
Apr 24, 2022
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
This review may contain spoilers

Good stuff. Complex. Powerful at times. Yet you better don´t set the primary focus on the romance.


No idea why the international title is what it is... so beware! If you're expecting a love story here, you'll get one, but certainly not in the way you thought it would. With their motifs and soft focus, the posters for the KDrama also promise more heartbreak of the shallow kind than the story does justice to.

The original title "The most beautiful moment in life - the moment when life becomes a flower" describes the moment in which life (not love) acquires meaning, beauty, direction, form and can blossom. And here we are closer to the topic. The two protagonists have been in love with each other since their student days in the 90s. Yes. But it has grown through their attitude to life, the meaning they give to their own lives, through their principles and quite specifically through the class struggle, the union struggle, the demonstrations for more democracy. By boldly standing up for what they believe in, life is transformed into a (bright, fragrant, inspiring) flower.

To reduce life and its beauty to love would not be enough. But love is definitely part of it - just like water or the sun - to let these flowers (which can/want to be a person's life) grow. This flower reveals its inherent beauty in the creative expression of what is important to you, what you stand for, what you believe in.

In that sense, Yoon Ji-soo's seedling came to life after she met Han Yaeh-hyun during his pro-democracy and workers' rights protests. Ji-soo's enthusiasm for Yaeh-hyun's cause didn't go unnoticed for him either.

-------------- SIDE NOTE: --- Early unionists, political protest and rebellion against injustice ---
We are learning about South Korean democracy movement when it was still in its infancy. During the decades of the dictatorship, conservative politicians skillfully exploited the fear of the communist north and consistently interpreted or pursued any commitment to workers' rights as a communist threat. Strikes and demonstrations were always uncompromisingly dispersed and participants and leaders sentenced to prison terms. Even recently, in the last 5 years, trade unionists, fighting for workers' rights, have been and continue to be arrested for "offences against public order". In the case of convictions of corporate bosses/Jaebeol, a pardon usually follows quickly. Unionists, however, always have to serve their long sentences. Recently, for example, the KCTU chairman Han Sang-gyun was sentenced to three years in prison during an organized mass rally for workers' rights (2016) and Jang Ok-gi from the construction workers' union was imprisoned for a protest march for higher pensions for non-permanent construction workers (2017).
---------------

So the context of this love story is quite serious. And the KDrama cleverly wraps and links this 'seriousness' around the love plot of the two protagonists. The story is told in time leaps between then and now. It tells how Ji-soo's father (head of the district attorney's office) opposes the young love, it tells about Yaeh-hyun's father's unsuccessful struggle for worker´s rights, about Jaebeol Jang Sang, into whose family Yaeh-hyun marries, and about the unscrupulous intrigues of father and daughter, as well as the elite family of lawyers that Ji-soo married into. It tells of the intolerable arrogance of the wealthy towards the lower-income classes, which continues in the form of bullying among their children. It tells of courageous class struggle and rebellion against injustice. It tells of the almost hopeless struggle for one's own rights in the face of powerful opponents. And that it's never too late to let the flower of your life bloom.

So, should you watch it? Yes, it´s good stuff. Complex. Powerful at times. But don´t set the primary focus on the romance. Otherwise you might be a bit disappointed.

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Completed
minj99
26 people found this review helpful
Jun 14, 2020
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.0

Slow-burning, often-overlooked drama of 2020

When My Love Blooms also went under my radar with its melodramatic tone and emphasis on flashbacks. However, WMLB is not so overtly melodramatic, especially in comparison to other kdramas. And, the way flashbacks are incorporated into the story is ambitious and novel. The major weakness of WMLB is that it takes too long to show its main merit and charm.

By committing to longer flashbacks, the drama tells two intertwined stories that make it challenging to buy-in to either. In the beginning, it feels as though we are watching two sets of characters, and it takes the better half of the series to believe that they are the same “people”. This drama needs a longer runway to fully capture its audience, so do not judge on the first 2 or 4 episodes.

Story:
With the concurrent telling of past and present, When My Love Bloom’s plot is surprisingly tight. Flashbacks are not shown just to explain a specific present event, rather they are given their own fully fleshed out story. Splitting time between flashbacks and present does take away from the development of the main plotline, especially because it is hard to believe, at first, that the past and present characters are really one another.

Acting:
Lee Bo Young and Yoo Ji Tae are what I first noticed from their respective 2013 and 2014 hits. I Hear Your Voice and Healer are both considered kdrama classics, and seeing the two leads in 2020 is a treat. No more needs to be said.

Their past counterparts Jeon So Nee and Park Jin Young also deserve praise. Within their storyline, their chemistry and performance are strong. The only minor criticism is that the two pairs could have better aligned their mannerisms because it may have helped bridge the disconnect between them. Still, I prefer the way the past and present are shown in WMLB over the usual where one pair of actors pretends to be 20 in one scene and 40 in another.

Music:
Music is a key point throughout the drama, from the use of 90’s music to the Female Lead’s piano background. The blend of oldies and classical with the more familiar sounds of kdrama ballad/OST is appreciated. But like the story, When My Love Bloom’s novel approach does not quite break away from the typical kdrama mold.

Rewatch Value:
Even though the drama exceeds expectations, it is hard to promise a rewatch. I hesitate to call it slow paced. It is more that there are two stories that could each be a standalone show. By the time the two “stories” fully connect, When My Love Bloom is already at its end. The finale’s lasting impression is that WMLB fails to stand out even with its novel storytelling and directing.

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Details

  • Drama: When My Love Blooms
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Apr 25, 2020 - Jun 14, 2020
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: tvN
  • Duration: 60 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 5,181 users)
  • Ranked: #3429
  • Popularity: #967
  • Watchers: 16,439

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