Hello and greetings to all watchers, potential-watchers, and skeptics including E.L.Fs, tvN drama fans, 5urprise fans, and more! Did you catch the first episode of new Saturday-Sunday drama 'Revolutionary Love' (also 'Byun Hyuk's Love') this past weekend? Or are you testing out the waters first before you decide whether or not this new drama will be worth your time? Whatever the case, let's head right in and try to puzzle out what this new series has in store.
A briefing of the 3 main characters:
Byun Hyuk (played by Super Junior's Siwon)
A 3rd-generation chaebol and the second son of president Kang (the head of a huge enterprise called Kang Soo Group). Raised in all the fluff that comes with being rich and privileged with next to no knowledge of what real society, the one the rest of us commoners live in, is like.
Baek Jun (played by Kang So Ra)
A headstrong girl who lives off of multiple part time jobs. Something that happened with her father in the past has her refusing to find "stable" work in a salaried career field. She's a capable worker in whatever she's doing, and basically doesn't take anyone's shit, a.k.a customers who abuse their powers over the people servicing them.
Kwon Jae Hoon (played by Gong Myung)
A salaryman of Kang Soo Group in charge of keeping Byun Hyuk in check, as well as managing Kang Soo Group's media-related issues. Grew up more or less as Byun Hyuk's slave friend because his father works as a driver for president Kang.
Intermission: here's a poem about my feelings...
Now, to clarify the obvious: another chaebol story about a guy from riches and a girl from rags and their pitiful love story with water thrown in people's faces and whatnots? No no, this is actually not the case with 'Revolutionary Love'! I think viewers will come to realize not long into the first episode that this drama is actually a quirky story about three friends. The Korean title, 'Byun Hyuk's Love', incorrectly suggests that the whole story will revolve around the chaebol Byun Hyuk, so it's a good thing that the English title takes the literal translation of the Korean word "byunhyuk", a noun which means "revolution".
Y'all, the bromance in this drama bout to be gewwdddd.
Basically, when we break down the characters, we see three relatable, likable, and very different people and where they currently stand in the society called "Hell Joseon" (combining "hell" + the historical name for Korea, "Joseon"). Byun Hyuk is the outsider to the social norms of Korea's labor and employment conditions, but not in an evil or antagonistic way; more simply ignorant. Baek Jun is the woman in favor of changing and rebuking current labor and employment systems, advocating rights for the middle class. Kwon Jae Hoon is the complex one of the three; he is the prime example of someone bound by today's systems, obeying even incorrect practices without question.
Throw them into one story, and what we get to is see a little bit of the generic, chaebol drama, some light shed on a big current issue in Korea (customers mistreating employees and abusing their right to be "king"), and then there's bound to be some romance, some bromance, the financial struggles of being a youth, the ridiculous poetic tendencies of an empty-headed chaebol… A lot of unique elements coming together to ultimately show how three very different people grow, change, and adapt according to their own thoughts, beliefs, and motives.
The moment you realize how bad second male lead syndrome is gonna be in a drama = when his pretty little behind is getting whooped with a baseball bat.
In conclusion, the first episode of 'Revolutionary Love' left me laughing at Siwon's stupid but cute antics, feeling a tiny pang of that heart-wrenching sympathy for the 2nd male lead (already..? There's been like two seconds of romance tho..?), and just wanting to watch more in general. It's still in its introductory stage, but so far, it's off to a great start, especially for those who prefer lighthearted rom-coms while munching on snacks, like me. I will keep the scoring of the plot and pacing at moderate for now, but the chemistry between Siwon, Kang So Ra, and Gong Myung has been lovely. Wonder what's in store for episode 2?