WARNING: this article may contain spoilers, you have been warned!
So it's very rare that I watch dramas as they air because the wait each week is too excruciating for me. However, with Just Between Lovers, I couldn't stop myself from watching it, this was a very serious addiction, I found myself on Viki as soon as a new episode was out, refreshing the page until it was fully subbed and I could watch it.
I don't know what I'm going to do now that it's over because I don't think there are any dramas to fill the big gaping hole this show has left in my heart.
Just Between Lovers is about how a horrible tragedy seriously affects the lives of not only the people involved but also the family and friends of those people. This drama is about a newly opened mall that collapses and kills and injures many people.
This is where our two main leads come into the picture, both of which were in the mall when it collapsed and ended up trapped.
Fast forward years later to when they are adults and alive, but whether they are living well is rather questionable in my books.
Lee Gang Doo played by Lee Jun Ho dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, but because of the injury he got during the collapse of the mall, he was unable to. Now he lives a life full of debt, living day by day, working construction site to construction site and relying on no one but himself as he has some serious trust issues.
Ha Moon Soo played by Won Jin Ah makes architecture models while assisting her mother with her bathhouse and hair salon. Though she doesn't have many memories of the mall collapsing, she holds a lot of guilt and suppressed feelings in her heart due to the death of her sister. Both of her parents have become shells of the people she once knew, and so she struggles through life one day at a time.
And so, of course, these two meet and so their story begins.
Why Watch This Show?
This is a very realistic story about those who survive and remembering those who didn't. It's about struggling through life even though every day feels like hell, or like life keeps knocking you down when you've just stood up. There are not very many dramas that can create the kind of emotional impact that this show does. In the show, the two main leads are creating a new memorial for the mall that collapsed, and there's a part that really resonated with me:
This part really made my heart hurt, she's saying that the memorial isn't there to comfort, but to remember the lives that were wrongfully taken from this world. It's there so they'll never forget and those mistakes that were made never get repeated in the future. Wow, said in so few words, yet the impact really hit me, and trust me this is just one of many powerful moments in this show.
As I was writing this article, I started thinking about all the characters in the show and I realized that all the actors did an amazing job. Not only the two main leads, but there were so many supporting characters that really brought this whole show to life.
Lee Jun Ho is really proving himself as an actor, I didn't think he could top his role in Chief Kim but I was wrong. Lee Kang Doo is a person that has struggled through life and rather than get a break, he has to continue to struggle. At times, it felt like his life had little to no happiness in it, yet he was still a genuinely good person. Where some would have used their circumstances as an excuse, he did not. Kang Doo is a very complex character and I'm so proud of Jun Ho for coming this far as an actor. I thought I loved him as much as I could but I was very very wrong.
Won Jin Ah did I really good job in this role. Ha Moon Soo wasn't someone quite as pitiful as Kang Doo, but she was pretty close to it if you look at her mental state. Emotions are not something to bottle up and she was keeping so many bad feelings of guilt about the death of her sister bottled up inside that at some point they were going to burst out of her. Her relationship with her parents wasn't necessarily bad, but at times you could feel the strain. I'm looking forward to the future dramas Won Jin Ah plans to act in, FIGHTING!
Not that there's anything wrong with Flower Boy Ramen Shop, just that you can really see how far he's come as an actor since then. Seo Joo Won is leading the project of the new buildings they are constructing on the area where the mall that collapsed once stood.
He struggles in a household he is not fully accepted in due to his mother having married into it, his father also killed himself after the mall collapsed as he blamed himself, AND he still has feelings for a woman who is now his step sister. All in all, that's a lot of stuff to show and express, Lee Ki Woo did a great job.
Oh Halmeoni, she was quite the character in this drama, the character's name was actually Jeong Sook Hee but I can only think of her as Halmeoni which means Grandma in Korean. She is a tough, seemingly fearless woman who always pushes others to be true to themselves as well as others.
She cares about those she loves with every fiber of her being but still has a great sense of humour and never stopped making me laugh. Na Moon Hee is such a gem, and she did an amazing job in this show.
There were so many amazing characters, like Kang Doo's close friend that he treated like a brother, Sang Man, whenever I see him I picture him with that goofy grin and calling Kang Doo hyung even though he was older than Kang Doo.
Wan Jin was Moon Soo's friend that had her own battles to face in life, like being in a wheelchair due to an unfortunate motorcycle accident. However, she's become incredibly strong and creates online webcomics while being hilarious at the same time, she was a great supporting character.
Of course, there were also Ha Moon Soo's parents that chose their own ways to cope through their pain, I really felt for this family that had to go through such a tragedy yet still live on.
This drama has already become one of my favourites and it only just finished airing. That's right folks, it is a fully completed drama, all episodes are available to watch.
DRAMA MARATHON ALERT!
So if I've piqued your interest even a little bit then please, do yourself a favour and watch this show.
Just don't forget a box of tissues, sorry not sorry.
Til next time! ~Cub