“Call It Love” First Half Review [Episode 1 To 8]- A Triumph of Character Building And Development

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

Disney+ “Call It Love” is seriously one of the best surprises of 2023 thus far, in terms of writing that is. Lets talk about it!

In the premiere episodes review, I talked about liking it but being a bit careful about my excitement. I also discussed the color grading, which seems to have either slightly improved since then or that I’ve gotten used to it.

Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.

The script

“Call It Love” is penned by screenwriter Kim Ga Eun, who has no other credits to her name. Having this be her debut project is quite honestly impressive, this is an amazing start.

While at glance it might seem that “Call It Love” does not really move in a ‘fast’ pace but it does have a lot of things happening all at once that changes the trajectory of each character well beyond our expectations.

The base idea itself is super nice and well thought out. A woman fed up with her father ruining her entire family’s life trying to enact revenge on the wrong person. Only to find out he’s not horrible in the slightest and is actually ashamed of his mother’s behavior. She also finds out he wants to do well by them. He has been unintentionally doing so, which is so wholesome.

I did find the progression of the relationship to be a bit slow but understandably so. Its more so me being impatient rather than this being a writing issue.

I like the deep conversations the characters make, they go beyond just surface level ‘authenticity’ and the writing reminds me of screenwriter Park Hae-Young behind “My Liberation Notes,” of course, that screenwriter is on another level but I can easily picture screenwriter Kim Ga Eun becoming another woman who excels at slow-paced kdramas. I brought them up both in discussion because I can sense the dialogue is deep and carries weight. It makes sense above all else and makes you feel when the said characters experience a change in mood or perception of the other through it. Crafting such dialogue is not easy, you tend to want to ramble on without purpose writing for such dramas but screenwriter Kim Ga Eun does a good job not falling into these pitfalls.

I like how aware each character is of what they are, I find that refreshing. I like that Woo Joo knows what she’s doing is not a good thing but imagine being so fed up this is the route you decide to take. Imagine the frustration. I can understand her pain quite well and that sense of helplessness that washes over you that makes you act out.

This drama is rather character driven for the most part so lets discuss what makes it so special

The characters

Beyond the idea of the script, the writing for the characters is immaculate. I don’t know where to begin praising.

All the characters go beyond just your typical arc-types of whatever your base idea about them is. They’re all so wholesome in so many different ways its honestly quite impressive.

Woo Joo seems rather impulsive and irrational but you understand why she’s being so rude. Her flippant attitude towards Dong Jin goes beyond just writing conveniences to advance the plot, its more so life and his mother getting in the way.

Hye-Sung was the most pleasantly surprising among them all, she’s the character I like the most. I like the writing for all of the characters but that does not necessarily mean I like the characters themselves. Hye-Sung is so cute and wholesome, she’s also quite pitiful at times but marches on with her positive attitude that you wouldn’t think is possible considering all the hardships she’s been through. On first glance, she might seem ‘easy’ but her willingness to embrace love and chase after it is quite admirable in my opinion. She knows what she wants and she’ll do her best to get it.

Yoon Jun was another pleasant surprise. Initially, he was the character I was the most worried about, its only now that we’re finding out more about his upbringing and why he’s like that. I am very glad it never went in the direction I feared, a love triangle. I like him alongside Hye-Sung and wish to see them paired together eventually.

Dong Jin’s character is about what I expected in terms of writing to a tee but in a good way.

I like how every single character is written. I find myself just saying that out loud watching the drama. I also found myself becoming attached to them and becoming familiar enough with their body language and characteristics to know how a certain situation would affect them.

The chemistry

I like the chemistry between Sung Kyung and Young Kwang. I think they are perfectly suited for each other. They’re actually friends in real life and I can sense that through their performances.

Young Kwang also has good chemistry with Hee Yeon.

Quite honestly, its more so rare for me to find Sung Kyung not share good chemistry with any of her co-stars.

Sung Joon’s chemistry with Ye Won is so cute too.

The performances

I LIKE EVERYONE’s performance. The best and equally most irritating one is Nam Gi-Ae’s who plays the role of the evil step-mother. She usually plays nice roles so it was nice seeing her play such an insufferable character. She nailed it, I want to slap the character so hard. I can’t stand Hee Ja.

Young Kwang, again, gives an amazing performance. He’s perfectly suited for his character. I honestly think he’s one of the best most versatile model-turned-actors among his peers.

Sung Kyung also gives her best performance to date in my opinion. I always felt her range was limited, while this performance does not change my opinion completely, it does paint her in a different light than I am used to. I can see a lot of restrains in her body movements that I thought would not happen soon.

Sung Joon is amazing as per usual. He’s also a model-turned-actor and actually a good friend of Young Kwang in real life. He’s criminally underrated and I am glad he’s back to TV. He only came back in late 2022, and he’s been away since 2017. I always expected he’d find more success but I guess I was wrong. I hope with this role and his role in island, he can garner newer fans who would look forward to his next project.

Kim Ye-Won was pleasantly surprising with her performance here, she shines brightly and steals the spotlight on numerous occasions. I have been following her for some time and finally, she gets a character that can shine well opposite her peers.

There is also Hee Yeon, who is known as Hani, she’s from a kpop group called EXID. I know this group, they have a popular song that I can’t remember the name of. I did not know they had such a good actress among them, I am pleasantly surprised. I am also quite shocked she never pursued acting sooner more actively but I understand why no one gave her a chance then considering her group was not popular prior to that song.

Through her wiki, she started out in 2020 and has been taking it seriously. I can picture her having a very successful acting career. She’s very talented and if I hadn’t googled her to make sure, I wouldn’t have guessed she was an idol.

Hopes for future episodes

A part of me wants to see Min-Young and Choi Sun-Woo together, but I don’t think it’ll happen. I think it would be awkward considering he introduced her to his best friend. Not that I think Dong Jin would mind it.

And despite what most people want, I do not think Dong-Jin and Woo Joo should end up together unless some serious events happen.

They should not be together for various reasons. Had it been a different case where she didn’t know him or didn’t have that issue with his mother, of course, they should be married by the end of it. But, considering how she approached him to wreck his life and how she attempted to do it unsuccessfully. This will soon take a toll on the progress of their relationship.

When Dong Jin finds out, I am pretty sure he will struggle coming into terms with it and on many levels.

Also, not unless Dong Jin’s mother apologizes and gives back the house which she appears to have taken illegally, I think this situation will not blow over easily.

Woo joo still harbors bad feelings towards his mother and it would be a betrayal to her and her family to actually be with him even though he is not in any way like his mother.

Deep down inside I think they should be together but if the screenwriter follows with a realistic approach, I don’t think it’ll be an easy relationship ‘realistically speaking.’

I also hope they get back the house too.

I also want Yoon Jun and Hye-Sung to start dating, they’re so cute together.

If the drama keeps up that pace and writing throughout the 2nd half, it will be among the best of 2023 in my opinion.

Can’t wait to see future episodes.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~

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