Our Beloved Summer is a South Korean romantic comedy television series. Billed as “Studio N’s first original series”, it is directed by Kim Yoon-jin with screenplay by Lee Na-eun, starring Choi Woo-shik, Kim Da-mi, Kim Sung-cheol and Roh Jeong-eui. The series is a coming-of-age story about a former couple who are forced to come together again when a documentary they shot in high school goes viral. It premiered on SBS TV on December 6, 2021, and aired on Mondays and Tuesdays at 22:00 (KST) till January 25, 2022. It is available for streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis

Choi Ung (Choi Woo-Sik) and Kook Yeon-Su (Kim Da-Mi) broke up 5 years ago. A documentary they filmed during their high school days becomes popular. They don’t want to, but they have to stand in front of the camera.

Choi Ung seems naive and a free spirited man, but he wants to have something for the the first time in his life. For that, he shows what he holds in his mind. Kook Yeon-Su aimed to become the top student at her school, but she is now an adult who lives fiercely, adapting to her reality.

  • Drama: Our Beloved Summer / That Year We (literal title)
  • Revised romanization: Geu Hae Woorineun
  • Hangul: 그 해 우리는
  • Director: Kim Yoon-Jin
  • Writer: Lee Na-Eun
  • Network: SBS
  • Episodes: 16
  • Release Date: December 6, 2021 – January 25, 2022
  • Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

Review: by physics223 (link)

Honestly, I have ambivalent thoughts about Our Beloved Summer, because I felt that Yeon-su got off too lightly. She was just lucky that Ung is an extremely forbearing person who truly loved her. I’m not quite fond of imbalanced relationships, and think that her inability to communicate in a long-term relationship is a massive red flag.

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I would have, frankly, chosen NJ were I in Ung’s position. The earlier episodes were more exciting for me seeing NJ come to terms, slowly and surely, with her affection for Ung. When they shafted her for the sake of the main couple, I felt a bit irritated because she didn’t deserve the love she wantonly threw away five years ago. It came to the point that I wanted Ji-ung to see Chae-ran’s effort and Ung to end up with NJ. It also vexed me that NJ was only used as a plot device with not as much development as Ji-ung, even though she was a bright character.

I felt schadenfreude for Yeon-su’s desperation and anxiety during her friendship stage with Ung, especially because she saw what she should have had been doing with NJ. Despite her tight schedule, NJ would always make time for Ung and consistently gave the effort to boost him up.

It was a bit of a letdown for me to not see Yeon-su own up to her own misdeeds in the past (because her grandmother did it for her), although Episode 15 was refreshing because she vocalized and admitted her own fault. I guess I wished to see more effort from her, especially because NJ, in contrast, was more reciprocative of Ung’s kindness.

The series’s acting is excellent, and the time jumps were also well-done. It’s just that hinging a series on a toxic lead left a sour taste in my mouth, because it was so imbalanced against Ung. Contrast this to recent, well-written romantic comedies like Mad for Each Other, where both leads, despite THEIR mental disorders, make huge efforts to go beyond themselves for each other.

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Da-li and the Cocky Prince, on the other hand, is also something that I feel has a healthier dynamic. I particularly loved one scene late in the series where Da-li empathizes with Moo-hak’s plight and does everything in her power to protect him, too.

I think that an important element in romantic love is to go all the way: this was manifested even in a series like My Mister, where both leads were willing to silently go the distance for each other even without the other’s knowledge. So the final episode of OBS left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth because Ung was willing to sacrifice for Yeon-su, but she wasn’t willing to do the same for him.

She’s very fortunate to have a man like Ung love him.

5/5 - (1 vote)

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