There are times, when you do everything right in a relationship, and yet, love might walk out on you, leaving only a crippling heartache and a whole lot of questions behind. The ‘why?’ is never easy. Director Hwang Da Seul and team tell one such break-up tale in the 2022 Korean series ‘To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories’.
Actors Son Woo Hyun and Kim Kang Min reprise their roles as lead pair Seo Joon and Ji Woo respectively. While season one of this series felt too rushed, the sequel moves at a slightly more relaxed place, even though things start sad – Ji Woo ghosts Seo Joon after dating him for a year and disappears without a trace. It takes almost a year for Seo Joon to track Ji Woo down so that he can ask him ‘what went wrong?’. The series tries to untangle their failed relationship and if they would get a second shot, all this while Seo Joon is facing problems in his acting career and Ji Woo is struggling to run an Italian restaurant in a rural village.
Quite frankly, I was expecting some sort of a nefarious villain, or some dramatic twist behind the break-up, but in a pleasant surprise, the reason is a lot more personal, simple yet complex at the same time. Woo Hyun is lovable and charming as the persistent Seo Joon, who continues to wear his feelings on his sleeves, speaking his mind, leaving no scope for any misunderstanding. Kang Min nails his part as the grumpy but cute Ji Woo who prefers to bottle up all his feelings and alienate those who care for him. He is not an easy man to be in a relationship with, but viewers get some flashbacks to understand why he is the way he is. Unlike some series, where a protagonist is made to do terrible things and those actions are defended through some sort of ‘childhood trauma’ excuse, Ji Woo doesn’t do anything evil, he just pushes himself away from others to save himself from getting hurt.
Spread over 10 episodes, season Two felt more engaging than the first one, not only because the characters are familiar, but Son Woon Hyu and Kim Kang Min are a lot more comfortable around each other, their chemistry as the lead pair is adorable in the romantic moments of the story. The cinematography was clean, simple and aesthetically pleasing. Despite the man character Seo Joon being a popular actor, viewers don’t get flashy or over the top scenes displaying wealth or celebrity culture. Thankfully, even the make-up department goes easy on the actors, so they don’t look like caked-up idols gearing up for a dance show. The focus remains largely on the emotional aspects, and the script is a lot more well thought out.
Despite its serious theme of heartbreak, there’s ample subtle humor peppered throughout the runtime to make this cold romance feel more like a summer breeze. Jeon Jae Yeong as Seo Joon’s talent+crisis manager Pil Hyun is amusing as the one who has to constantly handle things when they get out of hand. New additions Jang Hee Won and child actor Lee Ji Yun play Ji Woo’s new neighbors and their mother-daughter sub-plot is seamlessly woven into the primary story.
While there are a few plot-holes, a wholesome sweet climactic episode 10 might wash of any sort of complains most viewers will have. Son Woo Hyun and Kim Kang Min are freaking adorable together, like two sweet dumplings dishing out some super-cute romantic moments in the end. Someone should give them another series to star in as the lead couple. It’s a 7.5/10 from me.
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