Exploring Korean Drama: All About My Romance

all about my romance featured image

In this era of bitter political division, one television show has come along to heal our wounds and unite all sides: All About My Romance.  Yes, it’s just a sappy kdrama, but it speaks to the soul of anyone frustrated with the constant petty, childish infighting that seems like a hallmark of politics, and it answers that with ridiculous fluff.  If a member of a conservative majority party started dating a member of a tiny progressive third party, and sent her giant heart eyes during sessions the way that Kim Soo Young does for Noh Min Young, I might actually watch C-SPAN.  And love every minute of it.

All About My Romance is set in the Korean National Assembly, which is their government’s legislative branch.  Kim Soo Young is a member of the fictional Great Korea Party, or GKP, the conservative party that holds a majority.  The Progressive Party holds the next largest number of seats, and with only two seats, the Green Justice Party is one of the smallest in the National Assembly.  Noh Min Young sits in one of these.

all about my romance reverse wrist grab

Early series highlight: the woman’s the one doing the wrist-grabbing and dragging.

Early promos for All About My Romance made it look like it’d be a political romcom with the two leads constantly bashing heads over their differing political opinions.  That’s not the case at all, and it couldn’t be better for the show.  Specific political issues are rarely addressed, and when Soo Young and Min Young bicker, it’s more often over manners or specific incidents rather than ideological differences.  That’s a smart move for a couple of reasons, most prominent being it’d be harder to believe that the couple has a lasting future if they differed too strongly on issues about which they’re passionate.

Instead, Min Young is the immediately passionate one.  She’s a fiery supporter for her causes.  She’s made a name for herself/based her platform on refusing to compromise, and even lambasting the majority for what she perceives is an endemic lack of morality.  Then we have Soo Young, who in the drama’s opening scene is established as his party’s wild card.  Yes, he’s a member of the GKP, but he does and thinks what he wants.  He believes that the true problem with his profession is the unwillingness of politicians to cross party lines, compromise, and cooperate for the sake of the nation.

Soo Young’s beliefs, and his refusal to always kowtow to the party line, have made him an outcast in the GKP, and the years he’s spent as such have made him jaded and bitter, and exacerbated his natural arrogance.  He won’t hold his tongue for the sake of making nice, which seems counter to his central argument.  But that’s because he knows nothing he proposes will actually happen, that no one will listen to what he says for any reason other than to refute it and call him arrogant, so he’s settled into his role as the cynical, cantankerous black sheep of the GKP.

That’s why his attraction to Min Young is so obvious and instantaneous.  At first he’s just drawn to her idealism and enthusiasm, to her commitment to doing what she believes is right, no matter how difficult.  It’s not hard to imagine that he’s chasing after what he’s lost himself.  That makes him seem creepy, like he’s an older man only interested in a younger woman to feel young again himself.  But Soo Young loves Min Young in her totality: her hot temper, her intelligence, her occasional lack of professionalism, her passion, and her persuasiveness.

all about my romance realistic piggyback

Also wonderful is the realistic depiction of a piggy back ride.

The couple starts their serious flirtation early, which always makes me happy with kdramas.  The only thing that perplexed me was Min Young’s initial hesitance: not that she wasn’t interested, but that she thought it would cause a scandal if she dated Soo Young.  Over and over again others give her advice: if she were a normal person, she could date whomever she wants, no matter how much their political beliefs might supposedly differ from hers.  But given her position, she can’t.

I just didn’t understand it.  Would it really be that big of a scandal in Congress if two single members started dating each other, no matter to which parties they belonged?  As I stated above, I think it would be fun at best, and uninteresting at worst.  However, Min Young’s opposition doesn’t come from the establishment or reigning political party, but from her own supporters.

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