One thing about Drama Specials, they’re always good hearty stuff, if not, qualitatively better than what we have on TV right now – most definetely. More humanistic, real and heartfelt. With more exquisite and focused direction, and most importantly, GOOD MUSIC. That’s the good thing yeah. The bad thing – it’s so short, too short that I end up crying craving wanting for more T___T. And I can’t freaking do anything about it! It was better with Like A Fairytale and Medley of Youth because they were 4-parters and I had time to part ways, but here Yeon Woo’s Summer, arrghhhhh, it was one heck of a fine piece, I loved it just as much as LaF and would rate it just about the same, but too short and I craved. ;/ I craved hard for so much more.
Don’t get me wrong, the ending was perfection in its own lil unique way, and made me smile so wide I couldn’t keep my mouth shut for hours until I slept. The beauty in it was that it didn’t attempt to show us what happened, but merely gave us what and how Yeon Woo felt. And I felt was very apt, given how the story is crafted for and titled after her character. 1 hour and I felt I’ve been with Yeon Woo, by her side, and have known her since forever.
I don’t and am not kidding here, this drama is so sweeeeeeeet your teeth will decay of cavities, trust me. Of course it’s not without tears and angst, you know K-drama haha. But yeshhh, you’ve got to watch this to believe how unbelievably endearing and warm this it is, a look into Yeon Woo’s summer, and her experience with the people she meets along the way. The premise isn’t very original, you’d have probably have seen this a few several times on TV. But the execution is so smooth and grounded you forget you’re actually watching something, but experiencing it.
Yeon Woo’s Summer is also a story about knowing who you are, where you are in your life, experiencing love, and about being yourself when in love. So many things are highlighted in 1 hour, from Yeon Woo’s realisation about how inferior she feels about herself, and to her wavering self-esteem when faced with the stark realisation that life is not always that simple. It is an introspective and articulate piece about exploring life ups and downs through experiences and people you meet, making you ponder about what really makes you happy. It’s that meaningful.
And the acting by Han Ye Ri as Yeon Woo is freaking fantastic, with such overwhelming charm and groundedness in her delivery. She nails cuteness without going over, and can cry like a champ. And her voice is so sweet and pure even I get cavities listening to her talk! I love how sweet and untainted she sounds, and how she doesn’t try overdo anything with it. She’s not conventional pretty or good looking in my eyes and to the Korean drama standards but I love how she works with her facial expressions, fitting them into the natural charm of hers. She’s soooo good, that she has now become a girl crush of mine. I’m gonna watch whatever I can get of her.
She also has really cute chemistry with rookie actor Han Joo Wan (whom you can probably recognize from King’s Family as player Sangnam), who isn’t all that bad an actor himself. It’s not the most intense or swoony romance ever, but just right, sweet and affecting enough to get me all swooooony shipping them puppy rainbows, despite reality. Both actors sync in perfect harmony and you the feels just overwhelm you when you see them interact. How I wish they had more time together, right, I wanted MOREEEE!
The best thing about this show apart from both Hans, the gorgeous score and direction. The combination is lovely, never overdone, over emphasised nor intrusive. Especially the part where Yeon Woo hums a tune playing her guitar, genuinely one of the purest and loveliest humming I’ve ever heard in a drama. Simple but soothing, and just about the type of music that you need in K-drama world! Not overplayed and hammed up K-pop music uhhhh.
Trust me, WATCH and you will LOVE THIS. I cannot think of a reason why anyone would NOT.
And just so you already didn’t know, this was written by Yoo Bo Ra, one of Secret‘s co-writers (thanks to heads-up by cynkdf). ;P
My Rating: 8/10
credits: KBS World Youtube / pictures as tagged