Timeless Love and Art – Our Beloved Summer Ep 1 & 2 Review

How did the Worst Student Choi Wong and Top of Class Yeon Su end up dating? This is a review and discussion for Episode 1 & 2 of Our Beloved Summer on Netflix.

I’m going to be honest, I was not expecting to like these first two episodes as much as I did.  

If I’m being frank, I almost counted on not enjoying them. 

It has nothing to do with the actors, either. Honestly, it was more about the genre, and that terribly slow preview trailer on Netflix. 

The genre was being sold as a “RomCom” (which I personally hate) and the teaser trailer just showed two teenagers eating lunch. Suddenly, one squirts ketchup on the other’s shirt, while the other one pitifully apologizes.  

Does that sound like a fun and interesting drama to watch if we’re going on that alone? 

Even my mother, who is now a connoisseur of fine Asian dramas, wasn’t sold after watching a few minutes of the first episode. And she was able to sit through Chocolate! Arguably the worst Korean Drama I’ve had the general misfortune of not even finishing due to the poor writing and overall quality of production. 

But, as my mother and I both really enjoyed Itaewon Class, and watched The Witch:Part 1. the Subversion where actors Kim Da Mi and Choi Woo Shik starred opposite each other, I had to give their new drama together Our Beloved Summer a go. 

Especially since while watching The Witch movie, it was really hard to gauge if the two had any on-screen chemistry or not. As Kim Da Mi’s character Koo Ja Yun literally murders every other single member of the cast before the film ends.  

And that’s not even a spoiler, I’m just being honest and trying to illustrate a point that it wasn’t enough to see if the two had chemistry between them. 

Even now with two episodes under my belt, I can’t tell if the two actors have chemistry or not. I also fear that Kim Da Mi may be typecast, as in: 

Itaewon Class she played a sociopath 

The Witch:Part 1. the Subversion she played a sociopath who escaped from a government lab 

And now in Our Beloved Summer she is playing an uptight, overworked, and possibly alcoholic sociopath who may be revealed to have a heart of gold. 

Hopefully I am just imagining things, and she doesn’t have the Lee Min-Ho syndrome of playing-the-same-role-in-every-single-drama-while-looking-dead-inside sort of thing going on.  

This is not to say that I don’t like Kim Da Mi as an actress, I actually do. I’ve become a fan of her work, and want to see her succeed.  

But scenes like when she is pretending to be drunk, cradling an umbrella kind of took me out of the moment and made me question if there is a valid reason why she might be typecast in the future. Or why she has been previously stuck against two strong, experienced male leads -Park Seo Joon, and now Choi Woo Shik. 

Kim Da Mi giving the performance of a lifetime - featuring an umbrella as her central prop. Our Beloved Summer Ep 2
Kim Da Mi giving the performance of a lifetime – featuring an umbrella as her central prop. Our Beloved Summer Ep 2

Maybe I’m being too harsh. After all, other than that film I hadn’t personally seen anything Choi Woo Shik has been in since Rooftop Prince – and I loved that drama back in the day. 

[Wow. That just made me realize how long I’ve been watching kdrama. I started during the (First U.S.?) Korean Wave with Boys Over Flowers. …That was really 12 years ago, huh? Wild.] 

Anywho, enough prattling about the lead actors – let’s get into this story! 

I find the premise for this drama very interesting.  

Some of Choi Wong's artwork being featured in Our Beloved Summer
Some of Choi Wong’s artwork being featured in Our Beloved Summer

Basically, a production company decided to make a month-long documentary about the best and worst student at a high school. At the time it doesn’t get much buzz, and years later begins to go viral with the younger generation.  

Yeon Su is a very competitive, and studious student edging on arrogance. In their high school days, she frequently put down, demeaned, and belittled Choi Wong.  

Despite all of this, ten years later the roles seem to be reversed – as Choi Wong, who wanted a quiet life is now a famous artist and Yeon Su works at a company where she is continually demeaned and insulted by her clients. 

There was also this really great sequence of Yeon Su continually calling Choi Wong pathetic, only for Yeon Su to be called “pathetic” multiple times by her client at the start of the series. I consider it great because the arrogant student who (seemingly) thought about nothing but grades and status is virtually a nobody in the real world. 

No one cares about how many awards you won while in high school – people only want to know what you can do for them.  

And…it seems Yeon Su learned that the hard way. 

Then there is a possible love triangle plot being thrown into the mix between Yeon Su and her equally “mean” client Park Chi Sung who is her doppelganger in every way, and both Yeon Su and Choi Wong’s friend Kim Ji Wong who may have a long-time crush on Yeon Su. 

Also, can I mention that I hate how differently the character names are translated between platforms? Netflix has one name for the characters, and then mydramalist has another.  

I never know which one to use until I learn them without having to continually refer to the website or rewatch parts on Netflix to make sure I’m talking about the right person. 

But anywho, tell me your thoughts. 

Just Ji Wong watching hours of footage and continually rewinding scenes that prominently feature his platonic buddy, Yeon Su. From Our Beloved Summer Ep 1
Just Ji Wong watching hours of footage and continually rewinding scenes that prominently feature his platonic buddy, Yeon Su. From Our Beloved Summer Ep 1

Do you think Kim Da Mi might be typecast later on in her acting career? 

Are you hyped that 10cm is doing the OST for this drama?  

(By chance, I came across ‘rebirth’ online many years ago and have been a distant 10cm and K-indie fan ever since) 

What did you think of NJ, the pop idol borderline-stalking Choi Wong? 

다음 에피소드: The Sweetness of Youth 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more weekly Our Beloved Summer kdrama recaps and discussion!   

Simply Saranghae Korean Finger Heart Classic Tees are now over on the shop! Click here for more styles~
Simply Saranghae Korean Finger Heart Classic Tees are now over on the shop! Click here for more styles~

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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 “Timeless Love and Art – Our Beloved Summer Ep 1 & 2 Review”

    1. ^ I agree, I hope the real artist for the drawings in Our Beloved Summer gets recognition. I have been trying to look for the artist’s name as well.


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