A new conflict is introduced in the final episode of “Our Beloved Summer” but this isn’t at all surprising. It’s just the same old pattern at this point, where the backstory has to be constructed out of nowhere to facilitate a new plot because screenwriter Lee Na-eun-I so quickly lost interest in all of the preceding ones. In this case, Woong and Yeon-soo are left pondering career choices and whether they want to separate to make those dreams happen.
It is not, I hope, too much of a spoiler to note that they of course reunite and get married at the end. The drama did end a week ago, after all. I’ve had trouble motivating myself to watch “Our Beloved Summer” With much consistency simply because the drama’s continuity just doesn’t seem all that important. I described Woong and Yeon-soo as having dreams in the first paragraph but honestly the script is so incredibly vague about what its two lead characters actually want exposition of their career goals was a legitimate surprise.
I still don’t really understand why Woong wanted to go to school. He’s already an established artist with a strong enough professional reputation that he has gallery exhibitions, corporate sponsorship deals, and celebrities buying his work. Maybe Woong could go off to learn new techniques and genres, but there’s been so little exposition about Woong’s own work I honestly have no idea why he even draws buildings at all.
Yeon-soo is even worse. We find out in flashback that apparently Yeon-soo had always wanted to join a large corporation, working at a coffee shop in the meantime. Yeon-soo was so deadset in this dream she didn’t even want to accept a competitive offer to work at a smaller corporation. Given how insecure Yeon-soo is I don’t know what to make of this nitpicking. I’m similarly sure not sure how to interpret her apprehension about being alone given that Yeon-soo is almost always alone.
There’s even less to write about the secondary characters. NJ retires from being an idol because…it was stressing her out, I guess, although as far as I could tell she was fine with the rigours of the work. It was the complete lack of friends that was causing NJ’s depression. And Ji-woong…acknowledges that his mother’s sick, but doesn’t really forgive her? This is what “Our Beloved Summer” has left me with. Storylines so vague I’m not even sure how they ended.
Review by William Schwartz
“Our Beloved Summer” is directed by Kim Yoon-jin-Iwritten by Lee Na-eun-Iand features Choi Wooshik, Kim Da-mi, Kim Sung-cheol, Roh Jeong-eui, Ahn Dong-goo, Park Won-sang. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2021/12/06~2022/01/25, Mon, Tue 22:00 on SBS.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema’s travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea’s public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
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