K-Drama Review: “When My Love Blooms”

K-Drama Review: “When My Love Blooms” traces an epic love story across two timelines

When My Love Blooms showcases a fated romance spanning years, one that endures every challenge thrown its way

When My Love Blooms could be a tender melodrama that chronicles the challenges a relationship may encounter when faced with troubling circumstances. The drama compares the romance between two vibrant university students, and their feelings towards each other after a coincidental reunion years later. Comparing the present to the past, When My Love Blooms makes a convincing argument that though time may weather the loved one holds for an additional person, sometimes, it cannot completely erase it.

  • Title: When My Love Blooms
  • Network: tvN
  • Theme: Melodrama, romance, political drama
  • Length: 16 episodes
  • Broadcast date: 25 April 2020 – 14 June 2020
  • Main leads: Yoo Ji Tae | Lee Bo Young | Park Jinyoung | Jeon So Nee
  • Highlights: Charismatic leads | Unique romance
  • Drawbacks: Too unrealistic | Underdeveloped characters
  • Overall rating: 3.5/5
  • Re-watch value: 3/5

Quick plot round up

Han Jae Hyun (Park Jinyoung) and Yoon Ji Soo (Jeon So Nee), first meet on their university campus. Jae Hyun may be a radical educatee that participates in many student rallies. Ji Soo maybe a music major, who walks past one in every of the scholar demonstrations Jae Hyun leads. However, things turn hectic when the scholars clash with the campus police.

Amidst tear gas and Molotov cocktails, Ji Soo struggles to induce safety when Jae Hyun involves her rescue.

Enamored by the headstrong and handsome student, Ji Soo eagerly visits other student demonstrations in hopes of meeting him another time. After successfully tracking Jae Hyun down, Ji Soo admits her desire thus far him. Moreover, the pair cutely realized their many commonalities, from life beliefs to movie interests, to literature and music tastes. As a result, the couple falls in intense, deep love with each other.

The drama flashes forward years later. As adults, Jae Hyun (Yoo Ji Tae) and Ji Soo (Lee Bo Young) aren’t any longer together. After a bitter parting, neither received full closure and yearnfully reminisce on their old flame. Jae Hyun has just finished a brief stint in jail for embezzlement and stock manipulation and resumes his role as head of a grocery corporation. Meanwhile, Ji Soo could be a single mother who works a bunch of part-time jobs to form ends meet.

However, the 2 are soon reunited when their sons get into a fight at their school. The pair are summoned to debate the problem and meet for the primary time since their parting. When My Love Blooms contrasts Jae Hyun and Ji Soo’s grand story as university students, to their re-kindling romance as adults.


Charismatic leads

With its compelling dual timeline, When My Love Blooms relied heavily on its main cast to drive the plot. Furthermore, as a romantic melodrama, the show needed strong actors capable of conveying the complex range of emotions the characters experience because the plot progresses. Park Jinyoung and Jeon So Nee because the younger leads, and Yoo Ji Tae and Lee Bo Young because the older leads did so brilliantly.

Known for his prior actions in other dramas like his Psychometric, GOT7’s Park Jinyoung displayed his extensive acting direct When My Love Blooms. Portraying the noble and stubborn Jae Hyun, Jinyoung evoked the character’s stoic nature well. Additionally, his natural boyish charm highlighted Jae Hyun’s more secretive, playful side well. Overall, Jinyoung was a superbly fitting choice for the role and made the drama more enjoyable along with his sincere portrayal of the character.

While Jae Hyun was arguably the lead in their relationship, Jeon So Nee’s performance because the young Ji Soo made her character shine. As Ji Soo’s natural tendency was to follow Jae Hyun’s lead, the character could have easily fallen into the background because of her submissive nature. However, Jeon So Nee took Ji Soo’s lovable charms and placed them within the spotlight. Evoking both Ji Soo’s contagious happiness in addition to her heart-wrenching moments of sadness, Jeon So Nee was truly a standout within the show.

The older Jae Hyun was less captivating than his younger counterpart. Embittered by his experiences as a company businessman with a greedy father-in-law, the adult Jae Hyun is totally different than how he wont to be. Despite this, Yoo Ji Tae still captivates audiences in his role, displaying Jae Hyun’s internal moral turmoil convincingly. Moreover, he manages to exude a wordless, wistful looking for the past which makes the story more believable.

Lastly, Lee Bo Young because the older Ji Soo follows Jeon So Nee’s portrayal even as brilliantly. Charismatic even in her quieter moments, Lee Bo Young displays Ji Soo’s older, pensive self beautifully. Still exuding Ji Soo’s playful charm, the actor manages to capture the character’s growth and evolution since her young adulthood. Additionally, her scenes as a mother are equal parts heartwarming and galvanizing.

Unique romance

The drama’s strongest suit should be its unique romance. The plot is constructed entirely off of following Jae Hyun and Ji Soo’s relationship throughout time. As such, When My Love Blooms establishes a captivating couple.

While Jae Hyun may be a student protester from humble means, Ji Soo is that the daughter of 1 of the highest prosecutors in Seoul. Despite their differences, the 2 realize they’re more alike than not. Bonding over common interests and their similar policy-making, Jae Hyun and Ji Soo begin an obsessive relationship.

Though the drama follows their love into adulthood once they reunite, the couple’s younger storyline bears the burden to make a romance worth missing. With Park Jinyoung and Jeon So Nee’s amazing chemistry, additionally, as beautiful script-writing, the drama makes the viewers root for the couple as adults too.


Too unrealistic

While it’s clear that the lives of its two main characters are intertwined, the connections are often too unrealistic. As When My Love Blooms progresses, the conflicts become a series of unfortunate events that appear too unbelievable.

Jae Hyun’s wife, Jang Seo Kyeong (Park Si Yeon), finally ends up owning the very building that adult Ji Soo moves into. the corporate Ji Soo has been protesting seems to be the one Jae Hyun manages along with his father-in-law. Viewers know Ji Soo’s father had a hand in Jae Hyun’s father’s suicide. Through these connections, the drama makes a particular argument that the 2 were fated to be in each other’s lives.

However, because the coincidences continue and grow wilder throughout the drama, it makes for an exhausting and unbelievable watch. The conflicts don’t seem natural, but rather a particular intention of the showrunners to create Jae Hyun and Ji Soo’s adult relationship struggle. This glaring obviousness distracts from the otherwise well-written story.

Underdeveloped characters

While its main characters were intriguing, its secondary characters needed some more work. specifically, Jae Hyun’s father-in-law seemed too stereotypical. Motivated by greed and his company, his entire purpose was to form Jae Hyun’s life difficult.

Additionally, the drama didn’t elaborate on Ji Soo’s ex-husband Lee Se Hoon (Kim Young Hoon). His obsession along with her bordered on the stalker level and he faced little repercussion for his behavior. Furthermore, the drama failed to explain his sudden personality change, nor the explanation why the couple married in the first place.

With these underdeveloped characters, it seemed that the villains were evil for the sake of being evil, instead of having intentions behind their actions.

When My Love Blooms afterthoughts and proposals

When My Love Blooms served a sweet romance between two very different students. It thoughtfully explored how time affects relationships and changes people. Through the characters’ struggles, the show attempts to point out that life often serves poor circumstances that individuals simply cannot control. However, with its happy ending, the drama still provides hope that things will figure out within the end.

This drama would suit anyone who enjoys a mix of past and present. Its themes of affection, life, and family provided a heartwarming watch. Meanwhile, its conflict added enough suspense to stay the plot moving well.

With its dual storyline, viewers truly feel as if they need to travel through time with the show’s beloved pairing.

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