Introducing “Hogu’s Love”

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This is Kang Ho Gu.

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Ho Gu (Choi Woo Shik) is 24 years old and works as an assistant for his friends, Kim Tae Hee (Choi Jae Hwan) and Shin Chung Jae (Lee Si Un). He also helps out at his father’s comic book store. He’s romantic, sensitive, and thoughtful… but he’s never had a girlfriend before.

The term “hogu” in Korean means pushover. Fitting to his name, Ho Gu has a tendency to do anything for the girl he’s interested in and eventually losing the girl to some rich, professional man. In the midst of pondering over the nature of dating, he’s reunited with his high school classmate and crush, Do Do Hee.

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This is Do Do Hee.

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Do Hee (UEE) is a national swimmer who can only get second place. It’s rather a complex even though she’s the one who earns all the endorsements, shoots the commercials, and becomes rich and famous. She’s beautiful, generally cold, and doesn’t have friends. She’s also extremely competitive and scary.

Ho Gu recognizes her on the street, but Do Hee recognizes him when she’s checking out comic books at Ho Gu’s father’s store. They finally acknowledge each other at their high school class reunion.

The night goes on, and just as they’re about to say good bye – potentially forever – Do Hee says that she wants to see the ocean.

This is Kang Ho Kyung.

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Ho Kyung (Lee Soo Kyung) is Ho Gu’s little sister. She “plays the field” and is an expert when it comes to relationships and love… or rather, that’s how she’s portrayed. According to her (and her parents), the fact that Do Hee told Ho Gu that she wants to go to the ocean is a “green light,” a sign that she’s interested in him.

Fortunately, Ho Gu brings up the courage to not let her go home and take her to the ocean instead. (The family rejoices in the fact that their oldest son is finally spending the night out.) They confiscate cigarettes and alcohol from two students (special appearances!) and Do Hee has two gulps of the soju before she’s… gone.

The night ends with Ho Gu’s first kiss.

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Except, you must wake up from all of your dreams. Do Hee tells Ho Gu that she needs surgery, lies that it’s for hemorrhoids, gives him her most recent silver medal, and disappears for months. She does not send a single text in return and only promises to meet on Christmas day. When Ho Gu finally runs into her on the subway, he finds out that Do Hee is actually pregnant.

This is Byun Kang Chul.

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Kang Chul (Im Seulong) is Do Hee’s ex-boyfriend and number one suspect for the father of the baby, which means they had to have been together until very recently (although the drama made it sound like they had broken up in high school). He’s a top lawyer, a workaholic, and a bit of an oddball so far.

Do Hee was planning on having an abortion (which was why she drank that night), but she gets to the clinic and decides to keep the baby instead. And this is where we’re left at the end of the second episode.

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So many questions! Did she tell Kang Chul? Is he going to take responsibility? (It is even his baby? I’m assuming so, but the drama hasn’t said it outright yet.) How is Ho Gu going to respond? Where to go from here?

“Hogu’s Love” does include some heavy topics, but overall it’s a light pleasure to watch. Choi Woo Shik is lovable and precious as Ho Gu, who fights against the modern Korean idea of dating with his romantic, movie-like ideas about love. The characters are relatable, the plot is dramatic, and the tone of the whole thing is very cute. It’s a breath of relief after finishing its preceding series, “Valid Love.” I’m looking forward to the next episode!