Advent of an application that allows you to know each other’s feelings. A world where you can’t hide your love, is it a blessing or curse?
Love Alarm is based on a webtoon by Chon Kye-young, starring Kim So-Hyun (Jojo), Song Kang (Sun-oh), and Jung Ga-ram (Hye-young). We are introduced into a world where ‘I love you’ is replaced by a ring of a bell on the ‘Love Alarm Application’. Anyone who has installed the application may know if someone within a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for them.
Season 1 of the drama aired in 2019 and left fans with curiosity to see how this love triangle will end up. The most awaited Season 2 premiered on March 12 and relieved fans from the cliffhanger.
Summary: (Caution – Spoilers Ahead)
Love Alarm Season 2 is one of the most awaited Netflix sequels. It continues with the story of Jojo, Sun-Ho, and Hye-Young whose lives are still very much dictated by the mobile application.
To begin with, Season 2 made a total switch when it came to the male lead. As Season 1 heavily indicated that Sun-ho was the male lead and there was more to their story post cliffhanger. On the other hand, Jojo is on a quest to find out how she truly feels and in order to do so, she must find the developer who helped her raise a shield on her Love Alarm app.
Recap of Season 1:
The adventures of Love Alarm is relayed by Jojo who is an orphan and currently trying to settle her parents’ debts towards her aunt and cousin Park Gul-mi (Go Min-si). Hye-young is a student and coworker who has a crush on her but never really approaches her about the matter. He even denies having feelings for her when asked by his model best friend Sun-oh.
Jojo and Sun-oh bond over their broken families and start dating after ringing each other’s Love Alarm. After a series of events (including the one where Hye-young’s feelings for her are revealed) and an accident later she breaks it off with Sun-ho (reasons unknown something to do with her own insecurities and memories of her family’s demise).
Fast forward to 4 years later, Love Alarm 2.0 is set to launch. Duk-Gu (Lee Jae Eung), the anonymous developer of the app, helps Jojo enable a shield, preventing her from ringing anyone else’s love alarm that ultimately allows her to conceal her feelings. The end of Season 1 leaves us wondering what is next in store for our love triangle here.
Breakdown of Season 2:
Jojo is scared to dive into her heart, but then aren’t we all? She is now dating Hye-young who is persistent as ever to let her know he loves her. Despite him saying it doesn’t matter if Jojo rings his Love Alarm it’s pretty evident that he holds contrasting emotions. Hye-young is also the reason why Jojo wishes to get rid of the shield.
Sun-ho is trying to get over Jojo but is constantly failing. He is seen dating Kim She Yun (Yook Jo) who knows that he doesn’t have feelings for her, but still decides to stay by him. He confronts Jojo after overhearing her conversation regarding taking down the shield with Brian Cheon (Ki Do Hoon), the new face of Love Alarm.
Meanwhile, Duk-gu is recovering from his fall and once again comes to aid Jojo, who’s been trying to get hold of him. Since he can’t help her get rid of the shield he gives her a spear, which can let her willingly ring anyone’s love alarm.
On the sidelines, the advanced version of Love Alarm 2.0 shows not only the people you love but also the possibilities of people you can love in the future. Gul-mi is failing at promoting her online fashion brand but constantly keeps trying various antics to make it through. Duk-gu even after being rejected by her still helps her out by revealing that Gul-mi was indeed the inspiration of the founding developer behind creating the now famous app.
Jojo after running a marathon at Jeju to clear all the heaviness from her heart, freeing herself from all the self-imposed burdens of her family’s choice, meets Hye-young waiting for her at the finish line.
Interesting elements from the drama would be the Love Alarm app itself, storytelling with the use of illustrations from The ringing world was quite fascinating and the actors played their part well. It is also visually pleasing, but you can’t help wanting a more elaborate plot.
I would have loved it if they explored the intricacies of the whole murder scene and Jojo’s reason for breaking up with Sun-ho.
None of the characters really stood out or showed significant growth or quality that will make you fall in love with them; they all seemed too insecure and too dependent.
Season 2 lacked the zest that was present in season 1. More times than one it becomes less engaging, which probably has to do with the slow pacing of the drama. With zero hilarious moments just pure melancholy throughout even in the supposedly joyous moments.
Love Alarm app despite being part of a fantasy romance webtoon is a perfect example of how the media dictates our insecurities and leaves us with self doubt and need for constant validation.
Moral of the story we all have free will and need not seek assurance from an application. Algorithms may be accurate, but you make your own choices and write your own story.
Would you like to live in a world where Love Alarm exists in reality?
Photo Courtesy: Netflix