Flash Review: When You Love Yourself 2 [Web Drama]

After enjoying Season 1 of this little show so much (review is here!), I just had to check out Season 2. Especially when I realized that Season 2 (10 episodes of 10 minutes each) features many of the same characters and cast.

All in all, Season 2 shares a lot of Season 1’s traits, but still manages to feel like its own thing.

Even though it’s Season 1 that stole my heart more, I’m still glad that I got to spend more time with these characters, for another season. 🥰

Psst: Link to watch is at the end of the review!

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

This is a continuation of the joys, struggles and foibles of our characters from Season 1.

We still get an ensemble sort of story, and while self-love and self-acceptance is still one of the themes this season, it feels like the thematic sphere has broadened, and now we’re exploring  the general idea of being true to yourself.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS

Here are a couple of things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of your watch:

1. Our cast of characters has expanded.

With our characters moving up a grade and making new friends, there are more characters in our drama world this season. Because of this, I sometimes found it a little hard to remember who was who. 😅

The good news, though, is, it didn’t really matter so much when I didn’t remember or wasn’t sure, and also, it didn’t take me all that long to get a handle on our new characters either.

2. This season feels relatively more scattered than Season 1. 

Show still uses the ensemble approach, and flits from one character’s point of view to another, just like Season 1.

However, because there are simply more characters for Show to juggle, I did feel this season was less tight than Season 1.

3. There is some insensitive behavior on display.

As with Season 1, there are insensitive and rude kids in our drama world, who basically make life at least somewhat miserable for our main characters, at least some of the time.

Also, as with Season 1, the nastiness isn’t allowed to go on for too long, and the nasty kids get called out for their bad behavior.

4. There is a bit more angst, this season.

This is organic to the story, in the sense that it’s natural for our happy lovebirds from Season 1 to encounter various obstacles and difficulties, in the course of their relationship.

While this makes for a less breezy watch than Season 1, Show still uses a light touch, so the angst doesn’t actually last very long.

The upside to this, though, is that..

5. This season has more emotional heft.

Because this season allows for more angst, I find that the emotional payoff feels more substantial than what we get in Season 1.

That’s not a bad trade-off, all in all.

STUFF I LIKED

1. Kim Chul Min as Seon Ho and Han Se Jin / Laun as Ju Hyuk

In Season 1, I was all about Jung Min Kyu as Min Jae, but unfortunately, this season, Min Jae takes a slight backseat, as a character.

However, in exchange, we get more screen time with Ju Hyuk, and we’re also introduced to new character Seon Ho.

On a shallow note, I couldn’t help but be quite taken by the way Kim Chul Min reminds me of Yeon Jeong Hun, particularly in Lie After Lie. I also feel like Han Se Jin / Laun in this, vibes like Song Joong Ki in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

No lie; watching the two of them, and comparing them to Yeon Jeong Hun and Song Joong Ki in my head, gave me a fun little thrill.

Yes, it’s the little things like this that amuse me. 😁

2. Our circle of concern has expanded.

Even though I already really liked the emphasis on self-love and self-acceptance last season, this season actually manages to feel more inclusive, because it expands our circle of concern.

We get to explore different nuances of struggle, among our cast of characters, and different shades of insecurity.

[SPOILER ALERT]

One of the arcs that I found particularly interesting, was the exploration of the friendship between Soo Rin (Sat Byeol) and Yu Mi (Shin Se Hwi).

At first, it was easy to hate Yu Mi, once we realize that she’s actively sabotaging her friends. And while it doesn’t excuse her behavior, her context, of deep insecurity, does help to humanize her. I thought it was quite a poignant beat, when she says in voiceover that she hates herself.

Also, even though it leans simplistic for Soo Rin to make up with Yu Mi so quickly after all that Yu Mi’s done, I appreciated Soo Rin’s train of thought.

Instead of piling all the blame on Yu Mi, Soo Ri stops to think too, about how she herself hasn’t managed to notice Yu Mi’s inner struggles and pain, even after all these years of friendship.

I liked the idea of them starting their friendship on a fresh slate.

[END SPOILER]

3. We get to see our two lovelines grow in maturity.

Even though it is a bit of a bummer to see our two cute couples from Season 1 go through some struggles and misunderstandings this season, I appreciate that this means that we get to see them grow.

After all, them accepting their feelings for each other is just the beginning. Beyond that, there are the daily obstacles and misunderstandings that they need to get through, while keeping their relationship intact.

Despite it feeling less thrilling to watch than their initial courtship in Season 1, I liked the feeling of growing with them, in Season 2.

4. Bae In Hyuk’s cameo

Bae In Hyuk’s got a cameo in this, as Joo Yi’s (Kim Ye Ron) crush from middle school.

He doesn’t appear for long, and his character’s even a bit of a jerk, but I have a fondness for Bae In Hyuk, particularly after watching Kiss Goblin, so I still got a bit of a kick out of seeing him on my screen.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

One of our main final arcs is about Seon Ho and his crush, and I really like how Show handles this.

As it turns out, the cool and cute person whom he likes, isn’t Soo Rin, but Ju Hyuk. And, we also learn that Seon Ho had been bullied for his same-sex attraction, back in middle school as well.

Poor Seon Ho. I can see why his first instinct is to run away, when he overhears those boys talking trash about him and the rumor that he likes boys.

I’m glad, though, that our gang is quick to speak up for him, and let those other boys know in no uncertain terms, that it is, 1, not a big deal that Seon Ho likes boys, and 2, that our gang will not let them off, if they talk trash about Seon Ho again.

I really like this reflexive protectiveness around Seon Ho, I have to say.

What I like most about how this arc is wrapped up, is that we get that lovely, honest conversation between Seon Ho and Ju Hyuk.

Even though I knew in my gut, that Ju Hyuk wouldn’t think badly of Seon Ho for liking him, and I believed that Ju Hyuk would make it seem normal and natural for Seon Ho to do so, I was legit blown away by how Ju Hyuk goes and makes it even better than both of these things.

I love how Ju Hyuk tells Seon Ho that he’s actually thankful for Seon Ho’s affection; that Seon Ho makes him feel like a cooler, better person, even though he thinks of himself as nothing special.

Guh. That’s so lovely and sweet, isn’t it? He not only makes it “not weird” that Seon Ho likes him, he treats it as something special and meaningful, that motivates him to be a better person.

Gosh. I luff Ju Hyuk. I really do. 😍

And, I love the way Ju Hyuk tells Seon Ho that it’s just too bad that he likes Gu Seul (Lee Gu Seul) sooo much right now, that there just isn’t room for anyone else.

Aw. I love how Ju Hyuk makes it about the room in his heart, rather than anything to do with Seon Ho being a guy. He’s so sweet that way.

In the end, we get a little highlight reel of our various characters taking steps to be true to themselves, and it’s really quite heartening to see.

In particular, I like Soo Rin’s closing voiceover, which acts as a parting shot to us, the audience:

“In this moment, do you love yourself the way you are?”

I also love that in the end, Show dedicates itself, in closing, “To those who are special, for being different.”

That’s such an affirming, uplifting note to leave us with.

Thank you, Show, for the light, gentle yet meaningful lessons, and also, for the reminder to love ourselves for who we are. 🥰

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Works out to be nicely comforting and uplifting, overall.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

WHERE TO WATCH:

You can check out this little series on YouTube, right here:

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Kay
Kay
1 month ago

I think I may have to check out the first season of this show. Sounds very nice 🙂