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One Spring Night
4 people found this review helpful

by minj99

12 days ago
32 of 32 episodes seen
Overall 8.5
Story 10.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
Viewers will be quick to compare this drama to “Something in the Rain”, which shares the same Director, Writer, and Male Lead, and they would be at no fault for doing so. Like SitR, One Spring Night utilizes a slow pace to portray the relationship between the main leads. However, the pacing and characters of OSN are superior to SitR because of their steadiness. I recommend this drama to all kdrama watchers and promise that you will also slowly and steadily fall in love with the leads episode by episode till the very end.

I will be honest and say the story outline is similar to SitR, focusing on a relationship that is heavily critiqued by the leads’ friends and family. I believe there are 2 key differentiators which are the strength of the supporting stories and the methodical pace of character development. The supporting cast gets a fair amount of development throughout the drama, and they, themselves, change instead of folding into 2D one directional characters. This actually adds to the “slowness” of the drama as precious time is diverted away from the main leads.

However, I do not find fault in the slow pace. I admit the 16 (32 halves) episode format changes the standard for pace, but I also believe that there is a range of acceptable pace in kdrama. I find bigger fault when the writer/director strays away from the slow pace to try to close certain plot points or make characters behave erratically, which OSN does not suffer from. If anything, OSN is not shy in leaving interactions with little explanation and limited expose/monologue.

This may make it harder for viewers to buy into the relationship between the main leads, but I thoroughly enjoyed the romance that resembled something out of real life rather than a kdrama. One lead doesn’t have to save the other or be connected via childhood past to develop feelings for one another. OSN is the closest example of a life-like relationship in a Korean drama; any more and it would be no fun as a drama (you know you’re trying to escape reality watching kdramas).

I applaud the director/screenwriter for running it back by producing such a comparable drama within one year. They improved on all areas of the plot from SitR and remained true to their style instead of bending to every criticism levied at SitR, which I still ranked at 7.5. I look forward to their next projects with a small longing for something more different.

Let’s begin by looking at the Male Lead since, again, it's easy to compare to SitR. Jung Hae In’s acting is markedly improved from SitR. This may be due to his growth as an actor, the improved writing of OSN, the chemistry with the cast, more trust from the director, or some combination of all of the above. He displayed a wide range of thoughts and emotions throughout the drama, and I was especially impressed with his acting when facing the second Male Lead.

Similar compliments can be said for the Female Lead, Lee Jung In. And her chemistry with the male actor was amazing. The biggest evidence of this being how electric the dialogue between the 2 felt; Their conversations conveyed more chemistry than any of their skinship scenes. The acting of the 2 main leads really complimented the direction of the drama, which heavily focused on interactions rather than monologues.

The supporting cast also performed admirably. For example, seeing the FL’s mother in OSN can be quite a shock after watching SitR (or vice versa), but she still nailed both roles and truly deserved to be part of this cast. The FL’s sisters were also great and their acting really conveyed how their characters were shaped by their shared upbringing (and I have a soft spot for “sismance”).

Funnily enough, even a good chunk of the OST is sung by the artist who contributed to SitR, Rachael Yamagata. Although English in Korean media is improved, it does not compare to having a native English speaker. This should significantly improve the drama viewing experience for international viewers given that some subbers do not sub Korean lyrics.

The actual music works very well with the story and pace. I thought each of the songs in the OST carried tension, even the “happy” song. This tension is well utilized because the story does not have the outrageously tense moments of a thriller or typical melo, so the combination of the story and song was important in conveying conflict and emotional resolution.

Rewatch Value:
There is a high rewatch value for this drama given that it covers a multitude of nuanced issues. Even as a native Korean speaker, I plan to go back and rewatch the drama to better understand and enjoy the conversations and chemistries between all the characters.

The next episode previews were the worst part of this show, so I look forward to not having to deal with them now that it is fully aired.
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