One Spring Night on Highlighting Society’s Influence on Love and Relationships
One Spring Night is MBC’s latest drama starring Jung Haein and Han Jimin. The drama follows the love story of two people looking to build a relationship with the critical eye of society around them.
One Spring Night: Synopsis
Lee Jeongin (Han Jimin) is a librarian. She has been in a four-year relationship with Kwon Kiseok (Kim Junhan) who is from a well-off family with a good job as a banker. Jeongin meets Yoo Jiho (Jung Haein), a pharmacist who works at a neighborhood near her friend’s place. She goes in to ask for hangover medication but does not have money to pay for it. She promises to pay later and asks Jiho for his phone number to prove that she would come back.
Jeongin eventually goes back to pay for the medication and through a series of encounters, she and Jiho agree to become friends. There is an underlying attraction between them but Jeongin makes it clear that she is already seeing someone. Jiho also shares that he is a single father.
Kiseok brings up the subject of marriage to Jeongin but she has an indifferent reaction to the proposal. She asks for time to think about the situation and soon realizes that her feelings for Kisoek have changed. She therefore hopes to end things with him in favor of starting a new relationship with Jiho.
Jeongin is the middle child in the family and has two sisters; the older one is Lee Seoin (Im Sungeon) and the younger one is Lee Jaein (Joo Minkyung). Seoin is a renowned TV reporter married to Nam Sihoon (Lee Moosaeng), a dentist who owns a dental hospital. He is also abusive husband so Seoin is trying to get divorced from him. The youngest, Jaein, returns home after failing to finish her studies abroad. She stays with Jeongin to keep her parents from finding out about her return.
One Spring Night is written by Kim Eun and directed by Ahn Panseok, the same minds behind Something in the Rain. Watching the first couple of episodes, the drama feels like a reboot of Something in the Rain, but that misconception soon changes as it continues. The only thing the two shows have in common is their ability to confront societal ideals and how they deal with unconventional situations in modern day relationships.
How much of an influence should society’s perceptions and ideals have on relationships? One Spring Night highlights this situation through Jeongin and Jiho. Seeing as Jeongin is already in a relationship, she should not be seeing another man in a romantic capacity. The situation is further complicated by Jiho who is a single father. He raises his son with the help of his parents after the child’s mother left him. He therefore keeps to himself and does not date until he meets Jeongin. Both their situations make it hard for them to pursue their relationship based on what everyone around them will think of it.
Jeongin is stuck in a relationship that she no longer wants to be in, but surprisingly is unable to get out of. She breaks up with Kiseok but he does not give any importance to her words; it is amusing to see him continue to make wedding plans without the consent of his supposed bride. This raises the question of how seriously a woman’s words are taken and one cannot help but wonder what kind of a marriage this would turn out to be, if it were allowed to happen. Seoin, Jeongin’s older sister, also suffers with the pressure of societal ideals. Working as a reporter, her public image is important and getting a divorce is tantamount to soiling that image. She is keen on getting separated from her husband and therefore has to choose to sacrifice her career just to get the divorce.
The biggest highlight of One Spring Night is its strong female characters, an unfortunate rarity in K-Dramas. Jeongin is unfazed in the face of trouble or an impossible situation and tackles things head on. This was one of her most endearing characteristics. She refuses to be told how she should live her life, when she should marry, whom she should marry, and this makes her a hero in the drama. Her sisters showed strength of character as well, as Seoin fights to get divorced from her abusive husband even with the disapproval from her father.
The drama however fails to focus on the issues that the lead couple have within their own relationship. They were busy fighting off everyone around them and never quite worked on resolving their own issues. Things were tidied over without any real confrontation. This however proves that they trust in their decision to be together and look past their minor issues, hence does not take away from the core theme of the show. The drama was keen on showing to what capacity we should let societal ideals dictate how we choose to live our lives, stressing that, in the end, your own happiness is what truly matters.