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Second To Last Love (Korean Drama) - AsianWiki
 

Second to Last Love / 끝에서 두번째 사랑


Director: Choi Young hoon
Writer: Choi Yoon Jeong

 

Main Cast:
Ji Jin Hee as Go Sang Sik - a Level 5 civic official and head of Woori City’s Regional Tourism
Kim Hee Ae as Kang Min Ju - an executive producer at SBC Broadcasting
Kwak Si Yang as Park Joon Woo - lives with Go Sang Sik and his family as GSS’ little brother

 

Supporting Cast:

Jung Soo Young as Go Sang Hee - GSS’ little sister who has a husband and son
Kim Seul Gi as Go Mi Rye - GSS’ baby sister, webtoon writer who eventually goes to work for SBC as a writer
Lee Su Min as Go Ye Ji - GSS’ daughter
Kim Kwon as Cha Soo Hyuk - a Level 7 civic official who works with GSS
Seo Jeong Yeon as Goo Tae Yeon - KMJ’s friend who is single and a writing teacher
Kim Na Yeong as Shin Ae Kyung - KMJ’s friend who is divorced and unknowingly becomes involved with Go Sang Hee’s husband


Background and Comment about the English Title:
K-dramas will sometimes make interesting choices for their English titles, but the English title for this drama is actually very confusing and possibly misleading. The Korean title translates to “In the End, a Second Love” which speaks directly to what the drama is about, namely 2 people who have both lost their true loves, but who go on to find each other and fall in love when they had basically thought not to love again.


This drama is a remake of a J-dorama called Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi which has been translated to English as My Second Last Love. I think that’s a better English title frankly, even though I don’t have any opinions about the translation of that title since I don’t speak Japanese.


This drama is an adult love story, and a bit of a throwback to older k-dramas.


Summary:
Kang Min Ju and Go Sang Sik are both in their 40’s and un-partnered due to the deaths of their loved ones. Min Ju had been about to get married when her fiancee died in a work accident. Sang Sik had been happily married and expecting their first child when his wife had a complication with her pregnancy, ultimately dying while delivering their daughter.


Min Ju had remained single since the death of her fiancee, focusing on her work rather than forming any new relationships. Sang Sik is also alone as a widower, having resolved to focus on his daughter and family instead. He lives in his home with his daughter Ye Jin, his younger sister and her family, their younger baby sister, and a young man whom he considers to be a younger brother.


Like any good romance, MJ and SS are at odds when they meet, however, they are thrown together a number of times by coincidence and through their work. Also by coincidence, MJ moves into the house next door to SS and his family in their township when she decides to move out of Seoul for somewhere smaller and less hectic. They slowly come to appreciate each other over time and form a friendship.


This friendship does become romantic, but there are numerous obstacles in their way. For one, Joon Woo becomes interested in MJ and asks her out. They date for awhile, but eventually MJ realizes that she’s trying too hard to be in a relationship with JW, so they separate, but remain as friends.  There is also some history between SS and MJ that neither was aware of, namely that MJ’s fiancee had been working with SS when the fiancee died. SS had tried to save him, but failed, and thus carried the guilt of that with him. That accident also had the knock on effect that SS is late to meet his wife as he was supposed to that day, and it is while she was waiting for him that she has her accident that leads to her death.


SS’ family are also initially opposed to SS and MJ dating. However, they come around, and eventually, MJ and SS confess their feelings for each other. However, MJ’s family is then opposed to MJ marrying a man who already has a daughter.


There are some side stories of note, namely MJ’s friend Goo Tae Yeon who would like to be in a relationship but not having much luck going on blind dates finally meeting up with Cha Soo Hyuk who used to be a student of hers and who used to have a crush on her. Also, MJ’s other friend unknowingly gets involved with SS’s sister’s husband, though it never crosses into a full blown affair.


Review:
This drama focuses on finding love later in one’s life. Even though for both MJ and SS, they find their second true loves in each other, the other side stories explore finding love whether it’s within an existing relationship which develops problems or trying to find a first love or even a love between people who are so close that they don’t even realize that they love each other.  It explores the stories with a range of very relatable emotions, frequently taking a wryly humorous tone as it looks at the situations and reactions of each character, but always conveying a sincerity in its emotions rather than being played for effect.


As a drama about relationships, it works very well, mostly because of the amazing cast.  Consisting mostly of veterans, they are the ones who convey the sincerity that is required for each character to be empathetic no matter how flawed they might be.  This drama is also not a makjang fest full of histrionics. Rather, it’s a drama about people living their lives, trying to do their best, and recognizing love when it comes to them.


The story itself is not the most original, with many echos of older romantic dramas, but because it’s executed so well and because the characters make you care about them, it’s worth taking a look. It’s actually worth a repeat watch even for the realistic and yet healing way it shows the relationships in various stages. Even when a love doesn’t work out, the people move on, living and making the best of it rather than swearing to make everyone miserable.


Ratings:
Story 7
Cast 9
Production Value 7
Re-watch Value 9

 

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