Love can hurt. Relationships can be hard. Break-ups can be messy. Yeon-soo and Choi Woong learn to navigate their reunion after five years of a difficult break-up, but it’s not as easy as they thought it would be. They thought they’ve moved on from their past, but the reunion causes them to pause and rethink everything. Have they really moved on? Have they healed from the pain caused by the break-up? Have they come to peace with their past? There are so many questions and not enough answers just yet.
Our Beloved Summer Episode 3: 10 Things I Hate About You
Choi Woong speaks to the camera in the present time and lists out ten reasons as to why he hates Yeon-soo. It’s August 31, 2011 and the two high school students are seated next to each other in class. Choi Woong points out how selfish Yeon-soo can be as evident when she refuses to share her notes with her classmates. Fast forward to college and she excludes her class partner from their project as if she worked on the project alone. Or how about on February 20, 2012 when Yeon-soo – 215 days into dating Choi Woong – shows no talent in any social skills. Yeon-soo is also incredibly competitive and she picks fights with everyone. Aaaaand she’s also really stubborn. Choi Woong notes that Yeon-soo is self-centered who has to do whatever she wants to do. Plus, she doesn’t have a sense of romance at all. And she only thinks about herself often.
However, as much as Choi Woong hates Yeon-soo, there were also reasons as to why he was in love with her. Compared to the tough exterior that she showed others, there was a softer and more gentle side that no one else knew about. She defended him from bullies, she carried him on his back on a date night where he was intoxicated, she threw a bunch of cherry blossom petals over his head because she initially didn’t want to go on a cherry blossom date. Yeon-soo always made it up to Choi Woong somehow and that was endearing to him.
But not all good things last and their relationship didn’t either. One of the primary things that Choi Woong didn’t like about Yeon-soo was how she made him feel so high and so happy only to be pushed off the cliff in the cruelest way possible. When the two broke up, Yeon-soo commented on how Choi Woong was the only thing that she could throw away. She had the tendency to abandon him when things got tough which Yeon-soo didn’t seem to care much about.
And so after their break-up, Choi Woong had a difficult time processing all of it. In the present, he lays down on the floor in his studio and recalls the conversation he had with Yeon-soo in the elevator. He closes his eyes upon revisiting the moment and takes a deep breath. Five years after the break-up and he’s still hurt.
Eun-ho and Sol-yi go at it against each other with Yeon-soo and Choi Woong’s high school documentary. They defend and protect their friend and try to one up the other. While Eun-ho is distracted with the fight and clap-backs, Choi Woong urges Eun-ho to find him more work. He has a lot on his mind and he wants to be busy. Sol-yi and Yeon-soo go for a walk in the neighborhood. Yeon-soo mentions about her reunion with Choi Woong which raises Sol-yi’s interest. They met again? How? What did it feel like to see him again? Yeon-soo stutters and claims that it was only for work-related purposes. She also adds how she didn’t feel anything after seeing Choi Woong again. Shortly afterwards, Yeon-soo receives a phone call from Ji-woong about the upcoming documentary.
NJ gushes about Choi Woong to her staff member while getting ready for her schedule. She postpones her filming for a few minutes to pick up a call from Choi Woong which she’s happy about. She’s delighted to hear that Choi Woong will take up her request of drawing one of her buildings and she’s even willing to clear up her schedule to meet with him to go over the project. Eun-ho is excited about the news. Anything related to NJ is great news for him.
First NJ, next is Ji-woong. He shows up at Choi Woong’s place and proposes that Choi Woong shoot another documentary with Yeon-soo. Of course, Choi Woong isn’t so happy about the ask. He’s not quite so ready to be affiliated with her again especially after the way they broke up. Even though he claims he’s over her, he doesn’t want to work with her. Choi Woong’s interest does perk up when Ji-woong communicates that he had already presented the idea to Yeon-soo. Wait, so what did Yeon-soo say? Did she react positively to the idea? Of course, she also felt similarly to Choi Woong and shut down any hopes. Choi Woong storms off to his room and refuses to change his stance on the documentary request, but Eun-ho and Ji-woong stay behind to chat a bit longer. It seems like Choi Woong is starting to act differently after reuniting with Yeon-soo and Eun-ho worries that Choi Woong could potentially return to his old habits if he develops feelings for Yeon-soo again.
So what are these bad habits? It all started back on June 20, 2016 when Choi Woong and Yeon-soo ended their relationship for good. He did all the things that Yeon-soo hated such as getting drunk and making a scene at night. Or buying things out of impulse while drunk. Or not going to school the day after a night of drinking. Or investing in stocks because it kept him distracted from thinking about the break-up. Choi Woong even exercised back then to keep himself healthy. But it seemed like no matter what he did, he looked miserable.
As a result of the break-up, Choi Woong’s interest in drawing began and that was how it all started. Could it be disastrous putting Choi Woong and Yeon-soo together again? Ji-woong stops by Choi Woong’s bedroom a few minutes later and finds him watching the high school documentary on his phone. Ji-woong doesn’t lose hope completely. There’s a chance Choi Woong and Yeon-soo could still work together on the documentary. Watching clips of the old one makes a big difference.
Yeon-soo also takes some time to watch clips of the high school documentary. Memories from that time runs through her mind and for a moment, she and Choi Woong revisits clips and footages from the documentary simultaneously. It also doesn’t help that there’s a bunch of positive comments about the documentary. Yeon-soo doesn’t think it’ll be such a big deal if they don’t do the new documentary together.
But the thing is.. she and Choi Woong kept on running into each other throughout the neighborhood. Whether it was after a small motorcycle incident involving Choi Woong, taking the same taxi, or even being at the grocery store, the interactions never ceased. It got so bad to the point where the both of them were picking up their groceries that had fallen out of the grocery bag outside of the grocery store together. Talk about fate, eh?
Choi Woong confronts Yeon-soo about their random interactions and encounters. She must be following him, right? She keeps following him around because she wants him to work on the project with her, right? Of course, Yeon-soo denies it all. Unlike what he thinks, she’s not following him around nor does she care about the collaboration any longer. They’ve already gotten other popular artist, Nu-Ah, to sign up for the Soen Shop project. Choi Woong doesn’t like the new person set to replace him. All Nu-Ah does is copy his style of drawing, she shouldn’t work with him. She’ll regret it. But Yeon-soo refuses to listen. She’s going to work with Nu-Ah.
Except it’s not that easy. Mr. Bang encourages Yeon-soo to stick with Go-Ah (AKA Choi Woong). They’ll do whatever it takes to get him on board, even if it means accommodating his financial needs and request. Yeon-soo can’t seem to catch a break, even from Choi Woong.
Ji-woong is busy meeting up with Yeon-soo to recruit her to do the documentary with Choi Woong. His co-worker, Chae-ran, and Mr. Park have a conversation about Ji-woong and it’s quite obvious that Chae-ran seems interested in Ji-woong. Ooh, someone has a crush on the producer. Hehe. Yeon-soo’s team get off of work early since Yeon-soo has left to meet up with Ji-woong. The female staff member, Ye-in, assumes that there must be something going with Yeon-soo and Mr. Jang, but the other two staff members, Myung-ho and Ji-woon, think otherwise. There’s no way Yeon-soo and Mr. Jang are hitting it off with each other. Lol.
In his meet-up with Yeon-soo, Ji-woong attempts to convince Yeon-soo to do the documentary with Choi Woong. They’d be a perfect match for this upcoming documentary focused on youth. Plus, one of the best things about filming a documentary is that certain moments and parts of your life are captured on camera and recorded forever as memories. Yeon-soo is well aware of that herself since she took part in a documentary at the young and naive age of 19. Wouldn’t she want to do it again? But Yeon-soo still isn’t opened to the idea. Plan A doesn’t work so Ji-woong goes with the second option. He has never failed to cast anyone before and he sure won’t fail this time.
Over some dinner with Eun-ho, Choi Woong feels a variety of emotions about Yeon-soo and the collaboration. He doesn’t want her to work with Nu-Ah, but he also doesn’t want to work with her for Ji-woong’s documentary. He wants her to beg him to work with her, but he knows she’s not going to. She’s acting as if she doesn’t care about him and that irritates him. But Choi Woong’s face and smile brightens up when he suddenly thinks of a grand idea for Eun-ho to help him execute. Choi Woong gets excited just at the thought of it and ponders why he didn’t think of this idea sooner. Uh-oh, what is it that he’s thinking about?
NJ returns home after a long work day and she grows impatient thinking about Choi Woong. She’s waited all day for his phone call, but has yet to receive any sort of communication from him. While scrolling through her SNS account, she comes across a photo of Eun-ho out at dinner with Choi Woong from that night. She ends up liking the photo before taking a look at one of Choi Woong’s drawings that she purchased from him.
While walking back home, Choi Woong once again comes across Yeon-soo. However, he doesn’t let her pass by so easily. He recalls memories from that night that they broke up and lists out the last and final reason as to why he hates her: she removed him from her life so easily. Too easily, he feels. He grabs Yeon-soo’s wrist and causes her to turn around to look at him, but no words are exchanged. Only a hurtful look from buzzed Choi Woong and a cold glance from Yeon-soo. Choi Woong lets go of Yeon-soo’s wrist and she continues to walk away from him — just like she did on that night five years ago.
The next morning, Yeon-soo walks into her office only to discover from her team that Go-oh has agreed to collaborate with them on the Soen Shop project. Wait, what? Choi Woong is going to work with them? Yeon-soo hurries over to Choi Woong’s place to confront him about the situation. Choi Woong’s busy checking Eun-ho’s SNS photo with 17,000 likes on it all thanks to NJ. Lol. When Choi Woong reunites with Yeon-soo outside of his house, he smirks at the sight of her irritated face expression.
He’s always been doing the opposite of what Yeon-soo prefers and he’s a follower of that same logic in the present. He’s willing to do the Soen Shop project if Yeon-soo films the documentary with him for a month. It’ll be a fair deal for the both of them; she’ll get what she wants and he will the same. She doesn’t want to do the documentary, but he does. It’s perfect. Choi Woong loves to see Yeon-soo suffer, just like how he loved seeing nine year old Ji-woong suffer when he got his sweet revenge on his friend. Choi Woong isn’t afraid to get hurt and be in pain if it means getting revenge. Revenge on Yeon-soo activated, indeed.
In a solo interview for the documentary, Yeon-soo claims that she didn’t necessarily feel anything about the break-up. However, it’s clear that the break-up did impact her. She took up jobs to be busy, distracted herself with studying, and lied about her real feelings when asked by Sol-yi. Yeon-soo claimed she was ok after the break-up, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. One night after getting home, Yeon-soo heads to the bathroom, locks the door, and turns on the faucet to drown out the noise of her crying. She wails and wails and cries her heart out. Yeon-soo, once again, claims in the present that she really was fine from the break-up and didn’t feel anything. She stays true to her character and pretends as if she wasn’t hurt by any of it.
Wow, this was my favorite episode so far out of the six episodes that I’ve watched for so many reasons. I wasn’t as sold on the drama with episodes one and two and then episode three swooped in and stole both my heart and interest. I really loved watching the first act of this episode where we learn from Choi Woong’s perspective the reasons why he hated and loved Yeon-soo. There were some characteristics and aspects to her personality that he wasn’t a big fan of. She’s selfish, competitive, self-centered, isn’t as romantic, and much more. But at the same time, she showed him sides to herself that no one else knew about, that no one else had access to or had seen before. Choi Woong loved Yeon-soo despite her shortcomings, mistakes, and faults and it was unconditional. He loved her for both the good and the bad and I loved the way the episode showed us this with Choi Woong’s list.
I really appreciate the insight, because one of the things I was the most curious about was Yeon-soo and Choi Woong’s relationship. I’m interested in watching them confront and address their complicated past and history with each other and make amends in the present, but I’m also curious as to what got them into this situation in the first place. I was so curious to see what the two were like as a couple and what exactly drove them apart.
Although we don’t get Yeon-soo’s side of the story just yet, I like that we’re getting those details bit by bit in other ways. Yeon-soo loved Choi Woong just as much as he loved her; she just loved him in a different way. It probably wasn’t the way that he wanted to be loved and the same thing could be said about Yeon-soo. She never got to hear him belt out the phrase ‘I like you’ to her like how she wanted. It was clear that the two struggled to be on the same page. That’s why the two struggled to communicate with each other. Their love language and communication styles were different. He was a romantic, she wasn’t. He wanted to be the reliable one who took her home on a night out while she was the competitive one who didn’t take up on his hints. Choi Woong and Yeon-soo were polar opposites, but they loved each other oh so much. They might not have been the greatest fit for each other, but the love was there. The love was there until it wasn’t and that’s what drove them apart. It drove them apart because the reasons were unknown. There was no explanation, there was no closure.
The beginning of this episode with the reasons was one of my favorite highlights, but the epilogue probably takes the cake for me in terms of favorite scenes from the episode. My goodness. Can we just take a moment to talk about that epilogue? The competitive and selfish and self-centered Yeon-soo who presented a tough exterior to everyone and pretended as if she was indifferent to everything isn’t so selfish and self-centered after all. She’s not always so tough after all. She does react differently to certain moments and situations in her life after all. Yeon-soo’s walls broke after her break-up with Choi Woong and she was just as hurt and devastated as he was. She just didn’t show it, but she was heart-broken.
I loved seeing this side of Yeon-soo. The side that she hides, the side where she’s vulnerable. There’s so much more to her than meets the eye. There were sides of her that she showed only to Choi Woong that no one else knew existed and then there was this side of her that Choi Woong didn’t know existed. Choi Woong didn’t know that Yeon-soo was hurt from the break-up too. He didn’t know that she cried her heart out after the end of their relationship too. Will it ever be a side that Choi Woong will know about? Will Yeon-soo ever be honest and truthful with him about how she really felt five years ago shortly after their break-up? Choi Woong isn’t necessarily entitled to this information if Yeon-soo doesn’t wish to share it with him, but I think it would be a stepping stone towards potentially repairing their relationship. It’s going to be uncomfortable for Yeon-soo, but they’ll both make it work if they really want it to.
I liked that things in the past ended up being connected and tied to the present. Choi Woong did things that he knew Yeon-soo hated after their break-up. Things haven’t changed much for him in the future. He committed to the documentary because he knew that Yeon-soo didn’t want to do it and because it’s the perfect revenge plan for him. I do think he brings up a valid point with his idea as well. They both get something out of it. She needs him for work; he needs her for more personal reasons. They both need each other and they’ll both gain something out of this collaboration. As we saw with the epilogue, Yeon-soo ended up agreeing to the documentary. Maybe Choi Woong and Yeon-soo can look back on this new documentary and smile thinking about it just like they did when they revisited footages from the high school one.
I really enjoyed watching the break-up scene in this episode. A part of it is all the angst, but Choi Woo-shik is also SO SO good (here I go again gushing over Choi Woo-shik. What’s new?!). I loved the parallels between the break-up and then the night where Choi Woong grabbed onto Yeon-soo’s wrist only to be met with a cold glance and the lonely sight of Yeon-soo’s back. It was like deja vu all over again; it was as there was a second break-up between the two even though there really wasn’t. In that moment, Choi Woong wanted to hear from Yeon-soo. He wanted a sign from her. He wanted her to showed that maybe, just maybe, she missed him just as much as he missed her. And when she didn’t express anything and stayed silent, he quickly let go because he knew that it was hopeless. Yeon-soo doesn’t feel the same way about him whether that was five years ago or in the present. Things have changed for them and that’s a new reality that Choi Woong is having a hard time grappling with.
Something I do hope the drama dives into a little bit more is the high school documentary and why it was such a big deal and so popular. There were multiple reasons mentioned in this episode as to why it was successful and relatable to many viewers, but I also didn’t quite get the hype. I think what would help is if the drama maybe showed us more of the high school documentary and actual footages from the video itself. I think that’d explain a little bit better why there’s this need for Yeon-soo and Choi Woong to do a follow-up documentary. I get that the high school documentary was great, but why? What exactly about the documentary compelled Ji-woong to want to take on a new project with the same two people? What did Yeon-soo and Choi Woong do specifically that got people gushing and smiling over them? I get it. The two of them are charming and funny, but a little bit of evidence would be nice. The high school documentary sort of serves as the catalyst to all of this anyways so it’s essential that we understand why it’s the driving force behind everything.
Episode three really enhanced my opinion and review of the drama. What was originally some dislike and hesitation towards the drama transformed into interest and even warmth. ‘Our Beloved Summer’ is definitely one that I had to warm up to and episode three did the trick for me. Here’s to hoping the rest of the drama stays just as charming and consistent throughout.
Extra photos from the episode~