Early Access: Love All Play Episode 1

Hi everyone!

Thanks for enjoying my episode 1 notes on Bloody Heart. Today, I thought I’d share my episode 1 notes on Love All Play, because I’m having fun with it, and I was wondering if you’d like to join me? 🤗

These are my episode 1 notes, exactly as they appear on Patreon, ie, without screenshots (I’m saving those for the actual review).

I hope you all enjoy, and I hope you’ll consider joining us over on Patreon, for the rest of the discussions! ❤️

Episode notes:

E1. Ooh. I like this one, and right away too. It might be too early to say, but.. I have a pretty darn good feeling about this one.

I’ve never thought of myself as being into sports shows, but.. I’ve really enjoyed the various sports-themed shows I’ve tried out in the last couple of years – like Stove League, Racket Boys, As One and Twenty Five, Twenty One – so maybe I ought to formally acknowledge that I might actually really like sports-themed shows. 😁

Mostly, it’s to do with how the people factor is woven into the sports-themed narrative.

Underdogs striving to make good; people overcoming differences to embrace a common goal, and each other; people working hard for their dreams; people helping one another and just standing in solidarity with one another; we tend to get lots of this type of thing in sports-themed shows, and I hafta say, I really like that.

It feels like we will get more of this category of themes in this one, but at the same time, this story does feel different enough, to feel like it’s its own thing. I don’t feel like I’m just watching a rehash of the same ideas, if you know what I mean.

There’s still an element of freshness, to my eyes. But of course, it’s completely possible that that freshness comes from the fact that I’m relatively new to sports-themed shows and haven’t seen enough of them, to become jaded with the tropes. 😅

For a start, I am enjoying Park Ju Hyun very well in this role.

For context, I am actually pretty neutral towards her as an actress. I liked her well enough in A Piece of Your Mind, but liked her less, in Zombie Detective.

And because her role in Zombie Detective was bigger than her role in A Piece of Your Mind, I did approach this one with a touch of trepidation. Like, what if I didn’t like her here?

I needn’t have worried, because so far, I find her character Tae Yang perfectly watchable and solidly engaging.

I’m very curious to know the truth of what went down 3 years ago, that had caused a gifted Olympic hopeful like her, to run away to a seaside hweh (sashimi) restaurant to hide, while learning how to slice fish.

To my eyes, it seems pretty clear that she’s being wrongly accused of bribery, since, like she says, she doesn’t have the money to bribe anyone anyway. And it seems that her silence is to protect someone by the name of Jun Young, whom we only see in flashback.

I can’t figure out what might have happened, to have caused everyone to turn against Tae Yang, especially Young Sim, who had used to like Tae Yang so much, and who’s outright declaring war against her now, and even getting kind of violent with Tae Yang, for doing her laundry for her.

But for now, I do feel rather sorry for Tae Yang, for being treated so coldly by everyone. She’s literally an instant outcast, from the moment she joins the Yunis team. That can’t be fun.

On the other side of things, I am really enjoying Chae Jong Hyeop as our male lead Tae Joon. So far, he feels pitch perfect as Tae Joon, and I feel like he’s inhabiting Tae Joon’s skin in a very natural, believable, “I’m just like this” sort of manner, which is great.

I really like Tae Joon right away. I mean, he’s really good at badminton, but he’s not enslaved to it.

When his doubles partner gets hurt and tries to push on to finish the match, egged on by everyone else, Tae Joon only seems to hesitate a moment, before he coolly forfeits the match, so that his doubles partner can’t play on, and risk permanent injury.

His words to his doubles partner, “Let’s not throw down our lives for a sport,” are very wise ones.

There’s something very appealing to me, about the way Tae Yang’s so solidly good at badminton, and yet holds it at a distance so easily.

I feel like many people get attached to things that they do well, and allow themselves to be defined by that thing that they do well, but Tae Yang isn’t that way at all.

Instead, he actively questions himself about whether he’s enjoying himself, and asks himself whether he wants to keep on playing, after so many years.

It might look cavalier and irresponsible on the surface, but I actually really like how he holds badminton in his heart with such a loose hand. He realizes that it’s just not something he wants to do anymore, and just.. quits.

The way he announces that he’s retiring, is pretty dang cool as well. He’s clean-cut and decisive about it, and even gives his racket to Tae Yang, without any sign of regret or uncertainty. I find that decisive quality decidedly appealing. 🤩

Of course, his pre-existing affection for Tae Yang is very enjoyable as well.

The childhood connection is kind of tropey, but I do like the idea that he’d literally been the one to discover her talent for badminton, and in so doing, had changed her life.

Because he’d spoken up so earnestly about her giftedness, she’d gone from random orphan to Olympic hopeful. That’s quite something.

I rather like how they’re reconnecting in the present.

First, that run-in at the punching game machine, where she pretends not to recognize him, and where he gives her his racket.

And then, there’s the second run-in where he goes for a coach interview, with none other than her personal coach, who’s like a father to her.

The way they talk over food, and break the ice, is really very pleasant to see. I like how they’re kinda like friends already, even though they aren’t quite, really.

And I especially liked the bit where Tae Joon gets Tae Yang to play with him in the water fountain. Yes, it’s reckless, and yes, it’s rather cliched, but the fact is, they have fun, and she walks away smiling, and that feels precious.

Plus, they do look really cute, playing together in the water like that.

The side characters in this drama world are interesting enough, even though I don’t yet actively like any of them.

Jung Hwan, acting all snooty because he’s on the national team, but actually trying to hide the fact that he needs therapy before he can compete again, is an interesting case.

He’s mean to Tae Yang, and he also threatens to quit the team if the coach forces him to do anything he doesn’t want to do. He’s established himself as quite the difficult prick, right away.

I feel like Tae Joon’s arrival is going to shake things up for Jung Hwan in a significant way, especially since Tae Joon holds that unofficial record of 493 km/hr.

My fangirl heart is very taken by the fact that the only reason Tae Joon’s accepting the offer by Yunis, to play for them, is because he wants to spend more time with Tae Yang.

I don’t know; there’s just something quite swoony about the idea that he doesn’t actually have much interest in continuing to play competitively, but is willing to change his mind, because he’s that keen to spend time with her.

And, there’s also something so badass about the fact that he casually manages to knock over that can on the court, which everyone else on the Sunis team had failed to do – and he does it with literally just one hand. Wow. 🤩

I’d imagined that we’d end the episode with the coach introducing Tae Joon to the team, thereby surprising Tae Yang, but I much prefer what Show does instead, which is to have Tae Joon seek out Tae Yang, to tell her the news himself.

He’s so matter-of-fact, yet quite earnest and swoony at the same time, as he explains to her that he’d changed his mind about retiring, because Sunis had offered him a lot of money – and because he thinks it’d be fun, it it’s going to be with her.

As our episode closes on this scene, with a really breezy, rousing song that I am immediately digging, I find that I really am looking forward to seeing what happens next, as Tae Joon’s arrival disrupts the team dynamics as it’s sure to. Fun!

*This show is being covered on the Ultimate Early Access (US$25) Tier on Patreon*

To view episode 1 notes in Patreon, along with everyone’s comments, you can go here!

You can find my Patreon page here, where episodes 1 through 7 notes are already available. Just look for the tag “Love All Play” or click here.

Episode 8 notes will be out on Sunday, 5 June 2022! I hope you’ll consider joining us!

It’ll be a way to have fun, and support me at the same time? ❤️

PS: For more information on what the Patreon experience is like, you might like to check out my Patreon update post for June, which you can find here!

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1 year ago

Thanks for the episode notes! I’m still undecided on this one, so I will be keeping an eye on it 🙂

1 year ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Thanks for the heads up as I am going more for lighter fare at the moment. Will still keep it on the maybe later list though 🙂

1 year ago

I have dropped this, but only because I am enjoying a whole range of other shows, much more. It’s a solid outing 😊

1 year ago

I just finished ep. 14 and I must say LAP might be one of my all time favourites.