Korean drama 'One Spring Night' season 1 episode 1 review: Lee Jung-In finds herself torn between spark and stability
'One Spring Night' is one of the many Korean romantic dramas coming to Netflix that brings with it a fresh draft of air. While it is a romantic drama, the series doesn't fall victim to the characteristics of the genre that make it redundant.
'One Spring Night' follows Lee Jung-In (played by Han Ji-min), who is known for her role in 'Yi San', 'Familiar Wife', and 'The Light in Your Eyes', a librarian who believes in appreciating the little things in life. She has been with her boyfriend Kwon Ki-Seok (played by Kim Joon-Han) for a while now. He not only comes from a wealthy family but also has a steady job as the department head at a bank. In addition, there is literally no reason why he would be, in theory, a bad match for Lee Jung-In.
But here is the catch: while the relationship has been going on for a while now, Jung-In doesn't feel complete when with him. In the first episode, she is also cribbing about her relationship with her friend, who notes that Jung-In doesn't even say 'I love you' when getting off the phone with Ki-Seok. Jung-In also adds that so many of their conversations are mundane and long-term relationships are the worst because partners fail to express affection.
It is evident that Jung-In is not entirely content in her relationship with Ki-Seok. This doesn't mean that she is looking out for other suitors (considering how their parents are practically waiting on them to tie the knot), but that she can't help but feel like this is not 'the one' for her.
In a coincidental turn of events, Jung-In meets Yu Ji-ho, a well-mannered pharmacist played by Jung Hae-In, who goes after what he desires without thinking twice. Their chance – and extremely awkward – meeting has Jung-In in a dilemma. She might not have completely fallen in love with him while forgetting her long association with Ki-Seok, but she now begins to nurture a doubt in her heart – which will set the tone for the coming episodes.
Directed by Ahn Pan Suk, 'One Spring Night' makes for wholesome viewing. It promises a realistic and self-aware approach to love and companionship. The roughly hour-long episodes of 'One Spring Night' are seamless and steers away from stereotypes. It is wary of being preachy and perhaps that is where the beauty of the show lies.