But more than the mood of romance is the emotive storytelling of humanity’s imperfections influenced by painful and traumatic events in life.
We have observed four types of human needs beautifully portrayed by four different characters in the series:
1. The fear of abandonment is the need for security.
“It’s okay to be alone from the start. You’d be used to it. But being alone after being with someone isn’t something I want to experience again.” – Choi Ung
Break-up hurts but Choi Ung’s pain goes deeper. Abandoned and left alone on the street by his father, it created a traumatic impact on his perspective on relationships.
“I love things that don’t change but people change or disappear over time. That’s why there are no people or time in my works,” he explained when asked about his drawings.
Life was even more miserable when another important person in his life, Kook Yeongsu, broke up with him. The event triggered his deep-rooted pain of abandonment, “Am I the easiest thing you have that you can throw away?”
Since then, he tried to hide his identity from the public and immersed himself in drawing buildings without people.
At the heart of Choi Ung’s fear of abandonment screams the need for security—the sense of feeling worthy as a person—that he is important, wanted, and needed.
“I guess I wanted to see you love me. I wanted to see you love only me,” Choi Ung expressed his feelings to Kook Yeongsu.
2. The act of avoidance is the need for protection.
“To avoid getting hurt, I hurt the people I loved. I disguised my low self-esteem with breakup.” – Kook Yeongsu
Bullied as a kid for living a life without parents and raised alone by her grandmother, Kook Yeongsu started building walls around her to protect herself from emotional threats.
Hence, she refused a life of social connection and immersed herself instead in studying hard to achieve a good job and get out of poverty.
Her brokenness also runs deep which stems from lack of parental attention. Since she never experienced the kind of love from a father that protects, she unconsciously tried to shelter life herself.
When she realized that her lover, Choi Ung, isn’t the protective type who will walk with her through hard times, she broke up with him. More so, she avoided the likelihood of being exposed in her vulnerability and insecurities.
Kook Yeongsu is a fighter and her act of avoidance is her weapon to shield her walls of confidence. But deeper than this emotional defense is the need for protection—the kind of love that defends her from the bullies and fights for her in times of needs.
3. One’s bottled-up emotion is the need to be heard.
“Having a crush on someone is hard at first. After a while, it gets even worse. Then it becomes unbearable. But after that, you get used to it. You get used to the pain that you eventually become numb. You get used to the heartache.” – Kim Jiung
Kim Jiung, the videographer, is the reserved type of person. Alone at home all his life, he got used to keep his emotions all to himself, which is called in psychology as the repressed or “bottled up emotions”.
This kind of emotion is often characterized by a sense of control, restraint, detachment, and non-expression. It has a defensive trait that hides or denies feelings instead of expressing them in the face of discomfort.
When Kim Jiung sobbed at the sight of peaches prepared by her absentee mother, it revealed the pain of neglect—of not being known and heard.
“She still doesn’t know that I’m allergic to peaches. Or is it that she doesn’t want to know?” he wondered.
Hence, he got used to life’s pain, emotional numbness, and heartaches when all he deeply needed is to be heard.
4. Amid fame is the pain of loneliness that screams the need to be truly loved and accepted.
“I’ve been working since I was young, so there are things that I can’t have that are normal to most people.” – NJ
Idol NJ represents what famous personalities experience on-screen and off-screen.
In the drama, she feeds the entertainment needs of the public but finds herself alone, unaccepted, and empty when the spotlights start to dim.
Her life of popularity is a life of media exposure and clickbait, which often leads to invasion of privacy.
She shared, “Fame always comes with a price. It’s because you’re now famous that people are spreading ridiculous rumors about you.”
But just like the rest of human being, no one lives a perfect life and image. More so, she shares with us humanity’s flaws and vulnerabilities.
Amid the intense pressures of fame is the pain of loneliness that screams her needs to be truly loved and accepted. Not as a celebrity, but as a person.
Copyright 2022. Myra Bansale for KORB Blog.
Synopsis: Years after filming a viral documentary in high school, two former lovers get pulled back in front of the camera and into each other’s lives.
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Choi Woo-shik, Kim Da-mi, Kim Sung-cheol, Roh Jeong-eui
Written by: Lee Na-eun
Directed by: Kim Yoon-jin
Date: December 6, 2021 – January 2022
Network: SBS, Netflix
Photo cover: sbsdrama.official