Dear M

Name: Dear M
Writer/director: Lee Seul/ Park Jin Woo & Seo Joo Wan
Date: June 2022
Number of episodes: 12
Genre: Romance, Life, Youth, Campus Life
Based on book/manga?: No

Why did I press play? The scandal surrounding Ma Joo Ah brought this drama to my attention, and after the delayed release, I was keen to check it out.

Thoughts and observations:
This is a decent little Korean college drama, and snuggled nicely into the “easy to watch” category: there is little overacting and nothing is overly intense.

There are various streams of the plots that all lead to the main river of the plot. This way of storytelling allows for a basic plot to be interesting, because it’s all about how different characters reach the same point. This story mainly revolves around eight main characters, six of whom become couples (one is already a couple at the beginning). All the characters are in an unpopular photography elective, and the class becomes energetic after an anonymous post in the class’s chatroom. From then on there is always the overarching question: who posted the autumn love congestion, and who is their respective crush. Those who have recently formed a crush, are more invested than others – hoping that perhaps their feelings are returned. 

What’s good: 

The heart and the warmth of the drama comes from three things

  1. Cha Mi Ho, he is a wonderful character and Jeong Jae Hyun brings what could have been a 2 dimensional character to life. His small expressions, how he carries himself, his way of expression emotions all makes sense for his character and situation. His presence makes you feel relaxed as a viewer, and without him this drama would fall flat. It’s impressive that this is Jeong Jae Hyun’s acting debut. 
  2. Gil Mok Jin (played by Lee Jin Hyuk) is a more subtle character but also one of the backbones of the story. His passion for cleanliness is so endearing, and he even bragged about how he was the best at folding linen in the military, and how he washes his bedsheets every Sunday for pleasure. 
  3. The comadre between the three male leads, and their dorm shenanigans, and how natural they are. 
  • The graphics that say the time each morning adds a nice modern touch, it’s not completely necessary, but fun and adds college vibes. 
  • The ending is priceless! Even if you decided to drop the drama, make sure to check out the final scene of the drama.

What’s bad
The main weaknesses are the female characters and actresses. 

  • It feels like Park Hye, who played Ma Joo Ah, didn’t put a lot of effort into this role, like it was perhaps just another job to her. There is no real sincerity in how Joo Ah is portrayed. 

  • I think Roh Jeong Eui who played Seo Ji Min did her best, she just has a long way to go in terms of improving her acting, diversity of expression, and getting more experience. Her personality and how she acts is basically identical to her character in “Suddenly This Summer”. Copy and paste really. How the character was written with that “to perfect to be true” vibe, made her endearing and unrelatable. 

  • Roo Ah – totally despicable, and her manipulation, and diabolical behavior was a little too dramatic and out of sync with the rest of the story. This plot could have been toned down, or changed completely and the story would still be engaging. Eventually I forwarded any scene with her in it.

Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Ma Joo Ah played by Park Hye Soo (female lead) – old friends
Cha Min Ho played by Jeong Jae Hyun (male lead) – old friends
Seo Ji Min played by Roh Jeong Eui – cheerleader/already campus couple.
Park Ha Neul played by Bae Hyun Sung – campus couple
Gil Mok Jin played by Lee Jin Hyuk – clean guy
Hwang Bo Young played by Woo Da Vi – grumpy girl

Theme: Enjoy college and the relationships that can be made there.

What’s it good for: When you’re in the mood for something easy, but with a bit a of substance and quality.

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