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Love Alarm (S1) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Updated: Jan 10, 2020



Cellphone app Joalarm is created. If someone likes you and they are within 10 meters of you, the alarm for the app rings. The app also shows how many people like you, but the app doesn't reveal specific details on who likes you. Kim Jo Jo is a high school student. She is pretty and smart. She seems like a cheerful person, but her parents died when she was young. Since the death of her parents, Kim Jo Jo has lived with her aunt's family. Living there is not easy for Kim Jo Jo. She doesn't download the app Joalarm as her phone isn’t new enough. Meanwhile, Hwang Sun Oh is a popular male student at the same high school where Kim Jo Jo attends. He is the son of a wealthy family, but he is not loved by his parents. His best friend Lee Hee Yeong also attends the same high school. Hwang Sun Oh notices that his best friend Lee Hye Yeong likes Kim Jo Jo. Hwang Sun Oh wants to know if his friend really likes her, so he kisses her.


Feelings: First Episode

I wasn't sure the vibe of the show yet. It was definitely interesting and I like the cast, but I was getting some lowkey Black Mirror vibes for some reason. So obviously that intrigued me and I attribute those feelings to the alternative reality where everyone uses an advanced dating app called Joalarm. Joalarm has some futuristic mechanisms that does not exist today so there was this feeling of uncanny familiarity. That and the way the show begins and ends each episode as if it was a movie, and the incorporated graphics to enhance the understanding of the app's range. I definitely didn't need to decide if I was going to proceed, I was excited to see how it all unfolded.


Characters


So-Hyun Kim as Kim Jojo

This is actress is poppin' right now! She is so pretty with long hair! The character's outer demeanor was resolute despite her life experiences yet there is an uncertainty in her face - at first. As the season progressed, it was very clear that this girl was suffering from PTSD and disconnecting from new human connections. The fact that this girl has gone through the things she went through and the people in her life still treat her with such utter unkindness is so awful to watch (because there are people like that in real life). She had no one rooting for her, besides Hye Young who only sees the surface and is borderline stalking her, she's all alone in the world. I just wanted to jump through the TV and be her friend. She was just going through the motions tormented by her past. I felt like she was just doing things because she was supposed to be, like having a boyfriend etc. So when this unexpected gaze from a stranger (Sun Oh) holds an undeniable allure and she finds herself taken aback when they meet again, it was very sweet. Because despite trauma, love can be the sweetest thing, and can break through the toughest emotional barriers.


Song Kang as Hwang Sun Oh

I noticed this actor in The Liar and His Lover, and I was like where has this handsome devil been? He's soooo handsome and a good actor. Well here he is front and center! The character wastes no time pursuing Jojo and I liked that because it progressed the story much quicker than anticipated. He asks Hye Young permission, which is admirable, but as his bff, he should of known it might cause a rift between them because his boy was clearly crushin'. But when provoked, Hye Young did not make a move and he even denied his feelings, so Sun Oh goes full steam ahead because why not. The love he develops for Jojo has a desperate undertone like a sort of puppy-dog love, where it's really intense but still sincere. He put all his feelings on the table and her coldness makes him chase her but for the first time he feels deeply toward a girl who puts down her walls for him and he cherishes that. He's also not an asshole rich kid and that's because even though his parents don't love him, he still gets warmth and love from Hye Young's mother and Hye Young. He's the opposite of Kim Jojo who did not have those channels of warmth growing up, so he's open to things that feel real, whereas she rejects them.


Jung Ga Ram as Lee Hye Young

I was on the fence about this character because I didn't like that he watched Jojo from afar, to the point where he's literally a couple feet away but not saying anything. Like dude, ya'll go to the same school, just be like "hey". But I get it, he was making sure she got on the bus, and respecting she had a boyfriend blah blah blah, but it annoyed me for some reason. Like his love was honest but also calculating, whereas Sun Oh's was the complete opposite. He was waiting for life to open up a opportunity for him and not just taking it. I think he realized he messed up denying feelings for Jojo when Sun Oh asked permission to pursue her thinking he wasn't serious but didn't think that they'd gravitate towards each other the way they did. Still he respected his friendship and stayed silent until time gave him an opening. But at that point, I feel like there was too many serious feelings involved and he should of recognized that his opportunity would be tainted. I find it not cool that he could risk his closest friendship for a crush on girl that yes - he liked first, but who ended up liking his boy first. That's weird and at that point, you gotta take that L son. I will say though that when he put on a suit, it really upped his attractiveness.



Post Feelings: Finishing the Series

I really liked it! It was like an ongoing Black Mirror episode. I didn't anticipate the characters actions, which is new. The element of the futuristic app gave it a unique vibe that is not usually present in romance dramas and it stayed fresh throughout the season. The love triangle was stimulating and unpredictable and the main couple had great chemistry. Acting, set, graphics, were all excellent. I think the show does a great job touching on passing moments that should of stayed a passing moment but because of the app it becomes an unnatural connection. And the music was new, different, and most importantly - non-repetitive! Thank god!!





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