Love Alarm Season 2: A Review
March 27, 2021
On August 22nd, 2019, the full 8-episode first season of the Korean romance drama “Love Alarm” premiered as Netflix’s first original South Korean series. Originally based on a Daum webtoon, the series takes place in a world where there’s a mobile app called ‘Love Alarm’ that tells someone how many people within a 10-meter radius love them. The app is somehow connected to the user’s heart, meaning that it knows the person’s true feelings even if they don’t know themselves. If someone steps into a 10-meter radius of their crush, their crush will automatically get a notification that tells them there is a person nearby who has feelings for them. When someone gets one of those notifications, it’s said that someone else ‘rang’ their alarm.
The series follows a high school girl named Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun), who has lived with her aunt and cousin ever since her parents passed away in a traumatic incident when Jo-jo was younger. She meets Hwang Sun-oh (Song Kang), a popular model who notices her after Sun-oh sees how his best friend, Lee Hye-yeong (Jung Ga-ram), likes her.
After ending the first season on a cliffhanger, fans of the series waited more than a year for the second season to come out, and finally, on March 12th, 2021, all six episodes of the second season were released on Netflix. The Season 2 trailer was not that appealing to me, but I still wanted to watch it to see who Jo-jo would end up with. Some have commented that Season 2 was so different from Season 1 that it almost felt like an entirely new drama. While there was a significant amount of negative feedback, the writers successfully provided a complete and heartwarming conclusion for the series.
Like the first season, the second season went pretty quickly; parts of the plot that could have been much more developed were only brushed over briefly. However, the series did put forward an important notion that extends well beyond the plot: a new look at social media statuses and how reliance on technology can really impact people’s lives both positively and negatively.
**Season 2 Spoilers Ahead**
In my opinion, the chemistry between Kim Jo-jo and Lee Hye-yeong felt a little forced, especially in the beginning. While Jo-jo wasn’t sure about how she felt towards the two main male leads, it did feel like she only really tried to like Hye-yeong because she felt bad not being able to ring his alarm on the app. On the other hand, while the connection between Sun-oh and Jo-jo was more lively and fun to watch, I think Jo-jo’s relationship with Hye-yeong was the better choice. This is primarily due to the way Hye-yeong actually understands Jo-jo and supports her, rather than desperately holds onto liking her as Sun-oh does. A clear example of this was when Sun-oh shows up at Jo-jo’s university unannounced, drawing attention to Jo-jo because of how well-known and popular Sun-oh is. Because of this, people started talking behind Jo-jo’s back and spreading bad rumors. Upon hearing about what happened, instead of turning to Jo-jo and assuming something bad about her, Hye-yeong is concerned and realizes how badly Jo-jo could be hurting from the situation.
After the criminal who followed Jo-jo’s drawings got arrested, it was completely understandable and justified that Jo-jo started to feel defeated, blaming everything on herself. However, although her transition from being completely devastated to wanting to heal herself emotionally was clearly shown, it felt a little rushed. If the series could’ve spent more time on Jo-jo’s healing process, the ending would’ve impacted me more than it did. Although it went fast, the actual plot of the ending wrapped both of the seasons up in a nice way. When Jo-jo met up with Sun-oh, they were able to wrap up their past in a bittersweet way, but it made way for the two of them to grow. I loved how Sun-oh was finally able to move on from Jo-jo and be able to treat his girlfriend, Lee Yuk-jo (Kim Si-eun) the way that she deserved to be treated. It was also really heartwarming to see Jo-jo’s cousin Park Gul-mi (Go Min-si) start to care for Jo-jo and also to reconcile with Cheon Duk-gu (Lee Jae-eung). My favorite character of the two seasons was Duk-Gu because of how pure his heart was. He really understood how his app Love Alarm affected people’s relationships and how people like Jo-jo and Hye-yeong were able to form such a connection without it.
As for a third season, I hope it focuses more on the side characters and their relationships, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing it!