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.
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…
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.
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?
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