Since childhood, Cha Si Won has realised that only people with good looks will grow to be popular, and he has made it a personal goal to achieve popularity by maintaining a strict personal regime and adopting a pleasant personality. As he starts his first year in college, Cha Si Won is confident that he will be one of the most popular people on campus. That is until he meets another guy called Hyeong Da Un, who appears to also have perfect looks, gets straight A’s, comes from a rich family, and even has a great personality. Cha Si Won's confidence in himself is shaken as he finds himself crossing paths with Hyeong Da Un time and time again. College life no longer appears as easy as it seems. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Who Can Define Popularity?" (인기는 무언가 잘못되었다?) by Tak Bon (拓本). Edit Translation
Where to Watch Blueming
Cast & Credits
Intimate, empathetic and observant slice-of-life storyThe simplicity of "Blueming" really enabled the show to focus on more serious topics such as insecurities, loneliness, and self-doubts. It's simple, raw and the dialogues are written with such authenticity that it makes it really easy to relate to the characters. It was refreshing to see how mundane their struggles were, and I loved how this show "normalized" pain. Not only that, but it doesn't judge its characters for the feelings they have. Quite a few of us might have felt that our pain isn't worth mentioning and I like how it acknowledges that no matter what you're going through, your feelings are valid. I also appreciate how they didn't give us the usual perfect main leads, instead the characters and dialogues are written with such empathy that it made the story feel genuine.
The romance is quite uneventful and I think the story benefits greatly from it. There aren't any grand gestures or declarations, instead you can see them slowly opening up to each other. It's clear they found someone they can be vulnerable with and not fear being judged. I thought their bond and the growing trust was realistically portrayed, proving you don't need a full-length show to convincingly build up a relationship.
Fitting for a story about film students, the cinematography is beautiful. It utilizes lighting and shadows to create atmospheric shots that added an artistic feel to the show. Moreover, it was rather clever that they used filming techniques they talked about in class during one of the episodes. Both lead actors seemed pretty comfortable in their roles and managed to portray the awkwardness and growing attraction quite well. The performances were rather understated, which was fitting for the story. The little touches between them and their body language felt natural and intimate. Once again, the simplicity of it all made it feel realistic and authentic.
"Blueming" is a subtle and quiet depiction of everyday struggles that will tug on your heartstrings. Some dialogues felt so familiar, and I think that's why the story resonated with me. It's a story that lingers in your thoughts, and some conversations were so well-written I could write an essay about it. It may not be perfect in all aspects, but it manages to observantly tell a story of mundane struggles in an engaging and touching way.
FULLY BLOOMEDI have to commend the show for showing us that short series doesnt have to feel rushed. With 11 episodes of about 12 minutes each, the series was beautifully developed and delivered with just the right pacing.
I loved that almost all scenes (and characters) felt important with minimal fillers, sprinkled with just the right amount of cuteness, sillyness, adult kissing (and lovemaking) and a few obligatory shirtless trap scenes.
It also doesnt hurt that we got two very good looking and capable leads. Im not sure if it was intentional but the awkward acting of Jo Kyuk Joon somehow worked for his mysterious emo character, and Kang Eun Bin is like a younger Kim Min Jae, and i mean it in a good way.
On the other side, the series reminded me of the anxieties i felt while watching all other beauty transformation series that tried to deal with leaving an old life behind and trying to live with a somewhat fake beautiful identity to get acceptance - only this time, we see it from a guy's point of view. Or are we?
Cha Si Won can be played by a male or female actor without needing to change any of the script. The series was trying to say love is love and it has no gender, by emitting (or ignoring) any mention of homosexuality. However that for me was the weakness of the show - because in reality, same sex relationship isnt all rainbows and butterflies, and it could have added another layer to the love story of SiWon and Da Un. There are so many BL series nowadays who prefer to take this route and to be frank, it acts as a double edge sword that can sometimes work but sometimes can undermine serious gender issues and over romanticize the idea of an unconditional love.
The fact that they showed the mother feeling scandalized by being portrayed as a bad mother and yet has no concern about having a kid being in a same sex relationship, may prove to be a little too unrealistic and unrepresentative of the situation on the ground.
To be honest, what we have here is a shortened watery version of My ID is Gangnam Beauty.
Would i reccommend? Yes, definitely.