Call It Love

Call It Love

Revenge turns into healing in this melancholy slow burn romance

7.5

TV Show

South Korea
Korean
Drama
2023
KIM JI-YEON, LEE GWANG-YOUNG
Hani, Kim Ye-won, Kim Young-kwang
66 min

TLDR

Now, if they could just remove that pink filter…

What it's about

After her father dies, Shim Woo-joo gets kicked out of her family home by her father’s mistress. She hopes for revenge through the mistress’ son, but she starts to develop feelings for Han Dong-jin the more she gets to know him.

The take

Romantic melodramas are expected in plenty of Korean shows, but Call It Love still feels surprisingly unexpected. The premise feels like a modern day Cinderella story, except the leading lady here, Shim Woo-joo (Lee Sung-kyung), takes nothing from nobody, not without planning corporate revenge. That being said, the show doesn’t unfold into a corporate sitcom, a crime thriller, or romcom. Instead, the series takes on a more melancholy slice-of-life approach, as it turns out the intended target Han Dong-jin (Kim Young-hwang) is just as hurt and lonely as she is. And as they get to know each other despite the cold, empty frames they inhabit, and despite the pain they’ve both been through, it’s amazing how surprising their healing feels, if you can handle the show’s slow pace to get there.

What stands out

With the premise alone, it’s clear that Call It Love has a melodramatic, Cinderella-esque plotline, except the father’s mistress never acts as a stepmother, and the mistress has a son. But what’s surprising is that Call It Love doesn’t totally blame said mistress. She might act in certain dubious ways, but she’s not the root of all evil. If anything, the series mostly blames the father for causing pain to the family, and it’s what makes this drama shine. Call It Love doesn’t use infidelity just to manufacture emotion– it acknowledges how a parent’s infidelity shifts their children’s lives irreparably, and to do that, Call It Love takes the important step of recognizing the father’s part in that shift.

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