In this age of the millennial, love is a language spoken in a very different manner than it was even 6 years ago. Love now is swiping left or right and finding someone compatible, it is giving details regarding hobbies and thoughts in order to meet someone who thinks on the same line, also it is finding someone who lives within a certain distance to date pseudo-naturally, etc. So we are the age of Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Hinge, Happn, etc, etc, etc.
I am not at all against these dating applications. They are great to make friends, to hook-up, or even get into a long-term relationship. It has given people a mode of communication, expression, and even independent choice. In few words, it is absolutely liberating.
Now, Korean dramas and K-pop are something that most people adore. I don’t just adore, I just not only binge on them, I absolutely obsess over them. I literally jump from one Korean drama to the other on finishing. I have binged on almost all Korean dramas since college. I have spent sleepless nights watching Boys Over Flowers, Heirs, Playful Kiss, The Legend of the Blue Sea, Uncontrollably Fond, Descendants of the Sun and the list goes on.
Thus, it was no surprise that I have waited since the Netflix original Love Alarm was announced. It looked fresh and definitely promised something different.
Watch the trailer here:
- Written By: Lee Ah-yeon, Seo Bo-ra, and Kim Sae-bom
- Directed B: Lee Na-jung
- Starring: Kim So-hyun as Kim Jo jo
- Jung Ga-ram as Lee Hye Yeong
- Song Kang as Hwang Sun-oh
The series by the end actually left me on a cliffhanger. I remember uttering a soft ‘No! Oh! No! Don’t end’ by the last few minutes of the 8th episode. Now, I almost can’t wait for the next season to take over the globe again. I want it more!
Love Alarm like most of the South Korean dramas like Playful Kiss, Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs, Personal Taste, Rich Boy Poor Girl, etc. deals with the school love drama. Love Alarm does succeed in showing the innocent love that often spark between teenagers. The affection that Kim Jojo and Sun-oh hold for each other will never fail but bring a smile on your face. You will find crying with Sun-oh and actually cursing Kim Jojo’s past and actions that follow as a repercussion. But disclaimer! If you are not into a cheesy, mushy, and teary genre in general, then the beginning might turn you off a little. But Hey! You might not regret very much if you decide to go on, given to the vibes that this or most of the Korean dramas have and give.
All the three characters have their own individual selves that they are fighting with. What saves them from the everyday pain, embarrassment, and teenage trauma is the pure affection that they have. However, the main aspect of this entire series is just not that there is love between two people, and that there is an obvious love triangle between the three main characters, but how they confirm to it. Yes, you have guessed it right, it is a dating application called Love Alarm. The application sets in all the complications of competitiveness, fear, jealousy, and enmity apart from blaring your love with the alarm.
Just like all the applications that we use in our smartphones these days which have their own pros and cons, so does Love Alarm. It actually made me think about how accountable you always have to be towards your partner about your feelings. There will be a constant fear of perhaps not living up to the necessity of constantly and purely loving someone always. Also, an alarm deciding if you actually love the other person seems pretty dangerous and questionable. Lastly, the complexity it brings to the mind of the teenagers whose Alarm is never rung by the person they like but by someone they dislike, and the extent they go to make it happen the way they want it.
The series does raise all these questions. It does not fail to show the pros and cons of the applications by displaying it in the ups and downs of the characters and their feelings. Whose Love Alarm rings for whom, what inner devils does the three main characters fight, and how this has an impact on their relationship, is what you will find out on watching it.
The plot though is nothing very exceptional, the story-telling sucks the viewers into the lives of the three characters. I personally loved the character Sun-oh. Song Kang has done an exceptional job in portraying the helplessness of love that Sun-oh goes through. From coming together of the two lovers and then falling apart to disputes in friendships and family, this series has it all covered up.
The direction and the cinematography is actually gripping. You will find yourself walking in the autumn spread of Seoul. The shots are so vibrant and catchy that it makes your heart almost flutter.
I liked how the series managed to grasp the attention of a huge population all over the globe with its fresh approach. The way the dating application works is shown in a pretty visual manner. There is not too much of visual effects, but the indication that is brought about every time the application goes off on someone liking the other is pretty brilliant. The crafting is superb. The radius of the love ring between two people, the thumping of the heart on the phone screen when the alarm goes off, and the tone of the alarm, everything is bound to arrest your attention. Yes, many aspects of the series is away from reality and futuristic, but it does raise a lot of questions on the present age love scenario.
Korean songs play a key role in all the dramas. My favourite tracks have been from The Heirs, Uncontrollably Fond and Descendants of the Sun. This series has good soundtracks too, but they are not as great as many others that are heard in the Korean dramas.
So, those who love cheesy, feel-good, sweet and romantic Korean dramas or dramas in general, definitely go for it. Those who are not into this genre, may try this to feel good and actually give a chance to something light-hearted.
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So, what you waiting for? Let your last week of August be rung by some Love Alarm!