Love & Wish
러브 앤 위시
KakaoTV Web Drama (2021-22) 9 Episodes
Student Romance
Grade: B+ (Writing), Grade: A (Acting)
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA
(Some Spoilers)

I often like to watch shorter Korean dramas while waiting for the next episodes to arrive for my currently watching, ongoing, longer series. Most Korean dramas broadcast two new episodes per week, back to back, and it can be hard to wait another week to see how the stories will develop. So in the interim I recommend searching for shorter dramas to watch to pass the time. Sometimes you can actually find real gems, such as this one, Love & Wish (2021-22). Often newbie actors are featured in the shorter dramas, and it's nice to see some fresh faces. Both leading lady Choi Ye Bin and lead actor Choi Young Jae (from Boy Idol group GOT7) were new to me but they were both excellent in their roles.

For this one, I was delighted to see a young actor named Yoo Jae Sang pop up, whom I had loved in the unforgettable 2017 Korean film 404 Not Found. He was more like second male lead here, but he is superb at acting! He's going places, that kid! Keep an eye out for him.

The Story:

Pretty high school student Son Da Eun (Choi Ye Bin) moves with her two adult sisters from Seoul to Incheon and soon makes nice friends at her new school, including attentive male student Na Yoo Il (Yoo Jae Sang) who quickly develops a crush on her, and two female friends, In Na Ra (Han Joo Yeon) and Jang Han Na (Jo Yeo Ui), plus a funny male friend named Lee Chi Nam (Hong Seong Min). One of her sisters is an especially over-protective type named Son Da Mi (Kim Sa Hee) who is a prosecutor, and the other, Son Da In (Kim So Ra) a businesswoman. They expect their youngest sister to achieve and she does work hard, becoming valedictorian and class president. Other students frequently ask her advice on personal and academic matters. She is well liked and trusted.

Son Da Eun secretly hopes to find a special boyfriend who will grow to love her for her perky self. On the first day at her new apartment she happened to see a handsome boy in the elevator and is immediately transfixed by him. Turns out he will soon be attending her high school as well, and even in the same home room class. She learns his name is Kim Seung Hyu (Choi Young Jae) and that he never smiles and is quite the standoffish type. Nevertheless, she keeps putting herself in his way during school and after school whenever she can, flirting with him, and even asking him point blank to be her boyfriend. At first he seems annoyed with her but over time he softens because she is so kind, and he even helps her when one of her sisters falls ill. In turn she, as the better student, helps tutor him so he can get better grades and pass the college entrance examination. Finally, he even kisses her, and she is in seventh heaven.

But there are dark clouds on the horizon. A school bully named Kim Ho Jun (Kim Song) and his groupies try out their threats of violence against Seung Hyu and Da Eun, and when Da Eun's other friends try to intervene he threatens them too. During one altercation Da Eun's prosecutor sister intervenes and causes Ho Jun and his gang to back off, but this is only a temporary respite.

Flashbacks into Da Eun's life at her old high school show us that she had had to deal with high school bullies before, and they had targeted her best male friend at that school named Do Mi Rae (Kim Joon Ho, excellent performance!). It got so bad that Mi Rae had committed suicide. Now history seemed to be repeating itself at her new school, and Da Eun even ends up in the hospital after another altercation with Ho Jun's gang. Seung Hyu is also beaten up rather badly as well. Da Eun's prosecutor sister comes up with a secret plan to get even with the bully Ho Jun. Will it work?

There really isn't much new or noteworthy in the script of this short drama, but it's the performances that will keep you watching. At only nine episodes, less than 30 minutes long each, you can finish the drama in half a day. If you like high school dramas with an attractive cast then do put Love & Wish on your K-drama queue. They also shortened all the episodes and made one film out of the story but I wouldn't bother with that: you want the full drama instead so you don't miss any nuances in the story. You can watch the series on Viki. Enjoy.