Is Revolutionary Love Worth Watching?

This is a spoiler free review for the kdrama series Revolutionary Love, which can be viewed on Netflix.

So, I finished watching this series yesterday morning after binging it together with my mom. I wanted to see what others had thought of the storyline, and was extremely surprised to find out that most people hated this drama? 

The way people talk make it seem as if this drama killed their dog, stole their lunch money, and called them a loser in less than 16 episodes. 

I don’t really get it. 

Revolutionary Love [Byun Hyuk’s Love, 변혁의 사랑] is a 2017 Romantic Comedy series. It stars lead actor Choi Shi Won from the kpop group Super Junior, and the lovely actress Kang Sora known for her acclaimed role in Misaeng: Incomplete Life.  

(Note – we’ll come back to this.) 

The series centers around rich playboy Byun Hyuk, who is the second son of a large food conglomerate named ‘Gangsu’ in Korea. His life changes when he has continued fateful encounters with the pretty serial part-timer Baek Jun.  

Through the pull of a possible fate that ties them together, Byun Hyuk ends up trying to turn his life around, and bring the friends he made along the way with him to the top. 

But of course, life is not that simple. 

It turns out that everyone in Byun Hyuk’s life is not as they seem. 

Where the people he trusted the most hated him, and the ones he shies away from may have buried feelings of loyalty toward the young master. 

From there, the series follows Byun Hyuk being influenced by Baek Jun’s “revolutionary” ideas on how Korean Corporate Culture should impact his family’s company.  

Byuk frequently headbutts with his old-fashioned father, and tyrant brother who combined, send a chill throughout the entire employment staff from the top executives all the way down to the cleaning staff. 

Oh, there’s also a second main lead in Kwon Je Hoon who is the childhood friend of Baek Jun, and essentially the ‘whipping boy’ for the conglomerate family.   

(Kwon’s presence creates the semblance of a love triangle that seemingly never pans out, which may be one reason fans were so disappointed while watching this.) 

There’s also the female lead’s friend who does not add much to the story, and a cop that is relevant in the first two episodes of the series. Only to be extremely irrelevant and misplaced until the last four episodes of the story – which honestly could have still happened without his timely intervention. 

But please, don’t take my criticism of the characters as disdain. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. 

If you have been reading my reviews for some time, you would know that I’m not a huge fan of romantic comedy. To be quite honest, I went into this series blind – my mom chose it after completing another 60+ episode Cdrama on a whim. I just happened to be nearby and decided to watch it with her. 

I thought the female lead, and the male lead’s brother looked familiar. Only just now I looked it up and realized Kang Sora appeared in (the incredible) Misaeng, and Lee Jae Yoon being the doctor from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Given Revolutionary Love’s focus on Korean Corporate Culture and “those with the power” changing things, I can see why the title and let alone lack of concrete romance traditionally found in this genre could be off-putting to some people.  

But, just because the main leads aren’t making googly eyes at each other every single episode – we throw the whole drama away? 

I thought it portrayed a very realistic situation of a female lead who is more focused on taking care of herself, and dealing with her past trauma to immediately get into a relationship. It was great that the male lead initially only did the things he did to impress the FL, and then actually saw and realized what a sorry state the employees of the Gangsu company were in. 

Yes, Baek Jun was in the ML’s ear the entire time, but a change did happen. 

A revolution, if you will. 

As with all good revolutions though, you have to have a gameplan for the “what happens next” situation. 

Which is where this drama fails, in my humble opinion. 

The most natural progression of romance in the story by two characters who literally have zero impact on the overall drama series. Revolutionary Love Ep 12
The most natural progression of romance in the story by two characters who literally have zero impact on the overall drama series. Revolutionary Love Ep 12

So obviously no spoilers, but I did not like how the messages, themes, and positive momentum towards change were thrown out in less than 30 minutes in the final episode of the series. 

The second main lead finally overcomes issues and trauma he was dealing with for over 11 years, only to be told to go back to work after barely a week a rest. And it’s not the ML who forces him to go back, but a character who should have understood his plight, and feelings toward the company in question. 

The female lead finally decides what she wants to do with her life after much thought, and it is ruined by the inclusion of someone else on her journey of self-discovery.  

Which made me wonder why a certain character was so insecure that they could not allow her to heal, and discover herself and the world for the first time without worrying about how to make it day by day in a cruel world. 

And then finally, the main lead essentially reverts back to his former self in an effort to pursue a loftier goal than he initially had – which honestly disappointed me. 

Yes, I am speaking in riddles here…but if you are going to start a revolution, you have to finish it. It is not enough to replace the players on the chess board, and assume that the game will run smoothly on autopilot. 

Those gripes aside, I think it’s a wonderful series if you don’t go into it with too many preconceived notions. 

And there is comedy – ranging from dark humor to Scooby Doo-like antics to take away from the serious nature of the topics being discussed and portrayed in the drama series. 

Oh, in addition to all of the product placement, but I don’t know if that was supposed to be intentionally funny… 

He almost looks embarrassed about munching on Subway product placement instead of pretending to type up a business expense report. Lol. Revolutionary Love Ep 11
He almost looks embarrassed about munching on Subway product placement instead of pretending to type up a business expense report. Lol. Revolutionary Love Ep 11

So, is Revolutionary Love worth watching? 

Yes, it is. And you should check it out one day when you have some free time. It’s not for everyone, and you might need a very open mind to really take in the daily struggles of corporate life.  

And to consider where a ‘revolutionary’ romance would fall within those circumstances. 

Mundane office life at its finest. Revolutionary Love Ep 11
Mundane office life at its finest. Revolutionary Love Ep 11

What were your first impressions of the kdrama Revolutionary Love?  

Why do you think most people disliked the series?  

Should you drop a kdrama series before the plot even begins to unfold? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Kdrama Reviews

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☆ In Asian Spaces  

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

4 thoughts on “Is Revolutionary Love Worth Watching?”

  1. I just started watching the series and I’m in the 5th episode now and I was shocked when I wanted to see what the blogs said about this series. Because; everyone made very bad comments and I continue to watch the series because of the inspiration I got with this blog. Thanks 🙂
    first impression was that the show was awesome 🙂 because it’s good for me to see people struggling
    I think the general comment about the series was that the female lead actress was not loved.
    I never leave a show I started without finishing it.
    TV series in South Korea, that is, the ones I come across are 16-20 episodes. I live in Turkey and there are even 600 episodes of TV series here. So it’s not that hard to finish a Korean drama 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww I’m glad I could help out! I agree, it seems the comments online were very hostile because the leads didn’t get that close, but it’s still a good show regardless!

      Wow, 600 episodes? Yes, kdrama most not seem like much compared to that ☺

      Like

  2. Revolutionary Love was a good series but way to long. This series should have been only ten episodes not sixteen. This is a movie about what Americans call, boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl and somehow girl can’t seem to decide who she wants. The father and brother were extremely abusive toward staff verbally and physically as well as their own son and brother. The oldest brother and father were involved in extortion, tax fraud and kidnapping. The oldest son wanted his own brother killed but didn’t serve any time even tough the father was convicted. The oldest brother didn’t learn his lesson but yet he was allowed to return to work for the company. I hope they don’t have another series because I won’t watch this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand and agree with all of that. It was also sort of odd that Byun Hyuk just left with his brother still at the company, but figured he thought since he hired good people everything would be fine. Even though good people can become corrupt…

      Like

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