This article will mainly talk about my frustrations with the Korean drama, More Than Friends. This post contains spoilers so don’t tell me you weren’t warned!
As mentioned in my previous post, I finished watching Vincenzo, and a month after I still haven’t gotten over it. Here’s my review if you want to check out. So while I was browsing Netflix, I wanted to watch something light and fun after that nerve-wracking hit series. Then I stumbled upon More Than Friends, liked its teaser, and decided to watch it.
More Than Friends tells a story about Kyung Woo Yeon (Shin Ye-eun) who had a long-term crush on her high school friend Lee Soo (Ong Seong-wu). Overwhelmed by her affection towards him, she confessed her feelings before Lee Soo left for US and got friend-zoned. As if the rejection was not enough to let go of her feelings, Kyung Woo Yeon was still caught on a one-sided love a decade later.
Despite having a lot of ex-boyfriends, she still couldn’t let go of the “curse” until she eventually realized that she no longer had feelings for Lee Soo and had to move forward. There, she met a young CEO, Oh Joon Soo (Kim Dong Joon) — a perfect man who tried to help her forget his undying love for her friend, Lee Soo.
As Woo Yeon and Joon Soo’s relationship grew, Lee Soo couldn’t bear losing his friend to another guy. Lee Soo realized his affection towards Woo Yeon and confessed to her his true feelings. Hence, Woo Yeon was stuck between two men vying for her love.
To set things straight, I only watched More Than Friends until Episode 7. Episode 6 was unbearable and I tried giving it the benefit of the doubt by watching the next episode and that’s it. I stopped.
I watched it without reading any reviews online and later on I found out that many viewers didn’t really like how the story went. It could’ve been a feel-good series but some elements are just off for me, and I mainly hate how the character lead (Woo Yeon) processed her feelings.
It’s not actually that this Kdrama had a pretty common trope. I’ve seen series with love triangle plots but they turned out great like Start Up, School 2015, Love Alarm, etc. More Than Friends had a lot of potentials but for some reason, the scriptwriting, acting, and overall storytelling made it… really bad. I feel like the storyline was dragging and the characters lacked chemistry.
Let’s talk about Lee Soo. He’s basically the campus crush who had the typical traumatic past with his parents. His parents got divorced when he was young and this caused him to become a handsome, standoffish male lead. I’m not sure if the writer really intended to make him a jerk, but Lee Soo for sure was a controlling, vain, and toxic guy.
First of all, why would he act like a boyfriend and stay close with a woman he said he didn’t even like? I hope men (or women) realize it’s not cool to confuse people who have feelings for them. Lee Soo made it even harder for Woo Yeon to let go of the past, and it looked like the guy was enjoying the play. And then, all of a sudden, when she finally had the guts to love another man, he confessed his feelings like nothing happened in the past decade. Sounds problematic to me.
I saw comments online saying Lee Soo’s character shifted in the later episodes but seven episodes were enough for me to know where the story was going.
Alright, I would say I kind of had a second lead syndrome with More Than Friends. Oh Joon Soo was everything a woman could ask for—a total opposite of Lee Soo. He openly accepted the fact that Woo Yeon wasn’t over yet with her past feelings and helped her pursue her dreams. He’s obviously a second choice. He’s a gentleman that the female lead didn’t deserve. The fact that he put himself in a situation where he’s more likely to lose, I’m amazed at how brave his character was. But then, it’s a drama. Nice guys never win the girl in a love-triangle-troped Kdrama!
Anyway, the specific reason why I stopped watching More Than Friends is because of Woo Yeon. I’m sorry but I really found her character stupid. I couldn’t grasp the idea of how after multiple bad experiences and cold treatments from Lee Soo, she still couldn’t see that she deserved more than this puppy love. Maybe it’s something personal for me but I hate people who are so blinded they cannot see that they’re better off without the people that cannot treat them right.
She tried to date Joon So, for a change, but you would know her affection for Lee Soo still lingered. She believed it was gone but, no, she was still lowkey head over heels. Despite all the good things Joon Soo had done for her.
There was a scene where I really got frustrated. It was Woo Yeon’s birthday and she had to decide whether to go with Joon Soo (who asked her our first) or Lee Soo (who said he will stop pursuing her if she decides to date Joon Soo that night). Obviously, she went to see Lee Soo and found out he’s nowhere in Namsan Tower. She went home alone, saw Joon Soo waiting for her, hugged him, and immediately decided to date him? After she rejected him to be her date the same day?
I’m completely baffled at her decision-making.
While this drama had more frustrating scenes than good ones, I would say I appreciated more the side story of Woo Yeon’s friend, Young Hee. Her story with her long-time boyfriend Hyun Jae hit me right in the feels. I thought their story was worth watching.
Like I said, More Than Friends could have been a remarkable drama if not for bad writing and lack of chemistry. I don’t think I would ever try finishing it. And, it’s 2021, let’s stop picking problematic men over nice ones. It’s for our own sake!