Flash Review: Traces Of Love [Drama Special]

If you’re on the market for a quick spot of drama without more than a one-hour commitment, and if you enjoy the more realistic modern take on love and romance (vs. the popular Oppa-Candy kdrama tales that lean more urban legend), this little drama special could work for you.

Character vibe-wise, this also reminds me of 2018 Drama Special You Drive Me Crazy, so if you enjoyed that, I think there’s a good chance you’d like this one too.

PS: At MC‘s suggestion, I’ve also created a handy-dandy index of short drama things that I’ve reviewed, which you can check out here. This basically covers web dramas, drama specials, movies, and short dramas (which I’ve decided to define as dramas which are 10 episodes or less). I hope you guys find it useful! ❤️

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Ju Yeong (Lee Yoo Young) likes to think of herself as a strong, independent woman, but she secretly still pines for her ex-boyfriend Ji Sub (Lee Sang Yeob), whom she broke up with three years ago. One day, Ji Sub turns up as the new hire at her office, that she’s assigned to train.

STUFF I LIKED

1. Lee Sang Yeob’s personal charm was definitely a highlight of my watch. He’s got a slightly mussed, bed-head sort of appeal in this, and I just liked looking at him, heh. I also thought that his character Ji Sub was reasonably likable, even though Show keeps the details of his backstory vague for a good chunk of our story.

2. Show can be rather thought-provoking, in that it makes me think about context, and why people might do the things they do. It also reminds me that there’s often more to the story than what’s immediately on the surface – and that there are always two sides to every story. Not bad.

3. Show is quite prettily filmed. The office scenes are just ok, but the outdoor scenes tend to be extra warm and quite beautiful to look at.

4. The music is not intrusive, and when you do notice it, it’s very pleasant to the ear.

A better look at the endearingly slightly mussed bedhead. 😉

STUFF I LIKED LESS

1. This could well be a personal quirk, but I found that I didn’t take easily to Lee Yoo Young’s character. Ju Yeong does come across as rather curt and brusque to my eyes, and I often found myself feeling that she was unreasonable in her expectations of others. It didn’t help that the only other thing I’ve seen her in, is 2018 Drama Special You Drive Me Crazy, where I didn’t enjoy her character very much either.

On the upside, Ju Yeong does have a bit of a turnaround by the end of our story, so I wouldn’t count this as a deal-breaker.

2. We get a resolution-cum-happy ending, but I did feel like our dramatic tension resolved quite suddenly. A little more screen time, to build up better and more organically to our happy ending, would have been nice.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

I wasn’t entirely sure whether Show was planning to serve up a happy ending, since we spend most of our story with Ju Yeong trying to keep Ji Sub at arm’s length and refusing to talk with him about what had happened between them three years ago.

I thought Show’s misdirect with regards to Ju Yeong’s job was rather lame, in that I didn’t find it believable that Ju Yeong would get a promotion, after all the ruckus the rumors about her dating life had caused. Also, I thought the reconciliation between Ju Yeong and Ji Sub was rather rushed, and therefore not as believable or satisfying as I would have liked.

BUT, I do like the tone on which we end our story.

Ju Yeong and Ji Sub do (kind of) hash out what went wrong between them before, and so this gives me more satisfaction than, say, the ending of 2018’s Something in the Rain, where I’d felt like nothing had changed at the point where our OTP reconciles. The fact that Ju Yeong and Ji Sub do take some time to address what they feel they each did wrong, to contribute to their breakup, does help to mitigate the sudden left turn into Happyville that our main couple takes. Admittedly, it’s not as thorough of a hashing out as I would’ve liked, and they do kinda-sorta leave it hanging, a little bit, but because this is a one-hour story with limited screen time to spend, I’ll take what I can get.

Also, it was just rather nice to see our leads – ok, fine, mainly Lee Sang Yeob – smiling and happy, finally.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

A reasonably pleasant, quick take on the modern romance that leans a little simplistic, but has its thought-provoking moments.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

WHERE TO WATCH:

You can check out this little drama special on ViuViki or Kocowa. It’s episode 9 of KBS’s 2020 collection of drama shorts.

If you don’t have the Viki or Kocowa membership tier required, you can access it on Viu using Opera’s VPN hack, with your location set to Asia.

2 thoughts on “Flash Review: Traces Of Love [Drama Special]

  1. CarpControl

    YAYY!😍
    As someone who absolutely loved YDMC to bits and fell in love with LYY’s character (and her beautiful molten amber-hued eyes….are those lenses?)🥰
    I am super excited to watch this one. Jaunt was a touching episode on human connections, and these 1-hour episodes are god-sent for those looking to invest lesser time on shows, which also happen to be well-grounded in reality!🤞
    I think LYY has that air about her, that lets her portray these characters dealing with issues like being non-confrontational, non-committal and avoidant, quite realistically Sure, its a pain when people deal with their problems so….immaturely, and end up alienating others, in the process?… (she did this in ydmc as well!)
    But trust me, such people exist (despite not being very lovable) and I am happy with this representation! 😊

    I am also a lot more forgiving these days towards unlikeable leads, because that leaves me with an extra task to interpret why they are the way they are! 🙈
    Ps. I never thought you’d advertise the ‘vpn hack’ 🤣 Keep the awesome recs coming, KFG!💕

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Tee hee. I figured I might as well let people know about the Opera VPN hack upfront, since every time I post one of these things, I get asked where and how to watch. 😅

      Oh, I totally thought of you, when I was writing this review, CarpControl! I remember you said you loved You Drive Me Crazy, and this one vibes quite similarly, I think. I did manage to like this more than You Drive Me Crazy, so I guess that’s an improvement on my part? 😉 I know I’m one of the few people in the dramaverse who didn’t care for You Drive Me Crazy! 😆 And yes, LYY’s eyes are quite startling in how striking they are! Such a light brown hue that she almost looks otherworldly!

      I’m really glad to hear that you’re enjoying these quick reviews of drama shorts! I will definitely work to keep ’em coming! 😃

      Reply

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