Jasmine Khan, Delhi
I have just finished binge-watching ‘Love Alarm’, a latest (well not-so latest, it was released in 2019), K-Drama based on a webtoon of the same name, offered by Netflix, and I am still pleasantly surprised by how different the format and concept of this show is as compared to a lot of K-Dramas.
Unlike a regular 16-22 episodes, this drama expresses a plethora of emotions: love, hate, tragedy, grief, suspense; and a roller-coaster of events in just 8 episodes and before you even realize there is a major cliffhanger (no spoilers here), that leave you impatiently waiting for a season 2 to find out what will happen next. Well the good news is, season 2 is already expected to be released in August 2020 on Netflix. Have a look at the trailer!
Within few minutes into the series, it will be clear to the audience that it is not just an ordinary high school love story between the lead pair Kim Jo-jo (played by Kim So-hyun) and Hwang Sun-oh (played by Song Kang), along with a second lead Lee Hye-yeong (played by Jung Ga-ram). Rather, it rules out the possibilities of conventional ways of falling in love in the present-day world and highlights how people let an app called ‘Love Alarm’ decide for the users whether someone has a romantic feeling for them or they have a romantic feeling for someone or not within a vicinity of 10-meters.
The show is quick to reveal the disruptive nature of this technology and its impact on society, when this viral app created by a mysterious developer, pretty much decides the course of direction of the characters’ lives, their desirability, popularity, and the consequences of harboring relationships based on it. Over the run of the series, I realized that with everyone’s lives revolving around the Love Alarm, the app itself is one of the central characters of the story.
Even though the series is set up in present-day, a flashback narrative of four years, reveals about Jo-jo who is a high school-orphan working hard to pay off her parents’ debt while struggling with a resurfacing traumatic past and finds assurance and strength when she meets Sun-ho, who has his own share of struggles and history of a neglected childhood, despite being the most popular boy in high school coming from an influential and wealthy family. The second male-lead Hye-yeong, who is also the best friend of Sun-ho, on the other hand, secretly admires Jo-jo for years but lacks the courage to tell her directly. Whereas, Sun-ho takes the lead in pursuing a relationship with Jo-jo after the Love Alarm turns ‘ON’ for both of them, implying a mutual liking for each other.
Years later, we get to know a lot has changed, and the app which was once responsible for bringing the couple together is the reason behind tearing them apart. However, the popularity of Love Alarm has only grown larger since then, despite attracting serious repercussions acting as an eye-opener. The series makes you wonder about the extent to which people depend on technology to overcome their loneliness and rejection. With hanging suspense over the identity of the developer and startling revelation on the update of the app, the show is sure to capture the interest and attention of the audience when one of the characters takes an unexpected decision which leaves the future of their relationship in uncertainty.
Not to forget, the series has an amazing visual appeal thanks to the graphic designers of the show, who have depicted the functions of the app as well as its surrounding environment in the most captivating and aesthetic manner. Certain scenes of the show sweep off the viewer’s imagination with the intricate details of the technology on which the entire story is based upon.
Bonus: Watch out this show for an undeniable charm of Song Kang and his amazing chemistry with adorable So-hyun. Both of them have done justice in portraying the complexities of their characters, yet have executed their emotions and love story brilliantly! DO WATCH IT ON NETFLIX!