“SOMETHING IN THE RAIN” TEACHES HOW NOT TO LOVE SOMEONE
This show is polarizing.
In thinking about barriers to relationships and what’s considered taboo, age gap is one that crosses cultures and languages. What is a 4 year gap when the love you feel is healthy, overwhelming and passionate? In Something in the Rain, a Korean Drama also known as [밥 잘 사주는 예쁜 누나] “Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food” and “Pretty Sister Who Treats Me to Meals,” viewers are asked to consider this gap along with a person’s history as insurmountable challenges. In the series, family background, societal status and being filial to your parents contribute to creating a huge impasse which two lovers have to cross, seemingly to no end.
In this Drama House production, Yoon Jin-ah (Son Ye-jin) a 35-year-old franchisee associate supervisor of a big coffee company is shocked when she sees Seo Joon-hee (Jung Hae In) a friend of her younger brother after over 3 years of his stay in the U.S. When he first sees her from afar and then recognizes that it’s her, her beauty strikes him and he wonders if she has always been this pretty and if he’d missed it all along. So he pursues her and despite her initially rejection, she finally succumbs to her feelings and begins a long tumultuous relationship with him.
Honestly, at a first glance, Something in the Rain seems promising because the love that Seo Joon-hee has in his eyes when looking at his Noona is so sweet and contagious. Despite her shallow presence of maturity and success (she was quite vapid and lacking) through his eyes, I and in turn viewers will be able to see the potential and spark in Yoon. This of course is a mark of how natural and believable both Son and Jung were at their respective roles. Still, it’s important to note, that even though Yoon is the main character of the show, Seo is actually much more likeable (Ok, I confess. He’s a dream.) So it’s hard to stomach the mistreatment he endures throughout the show.
In fact, all the characters in Something in the Rain are frustrating but the most impactful character is Yoon’s mother (Hae-yeon Gil) with her monstrous presence. She creates the conflict both in the series and within the relationship of Yoon and Seo. She doesn’t believe that Seo is good enough for her daughter and she’s very adamant about expressing her distress about the relationship. In her eyes, Yoon has earned many strikes, first in seeing a man who she had safely assumed to be a family friend without any real threat to her ambitions, then again in doing so in secret (without her express consent); so she is harsh in her effort to break down any confidence and foundation built in their relationship.
Yet, the real tragedy in this series has to be Yoon. Despite the slow pacing and conflicting moments within the story that force you to keep watching as she fails and disappoints again and again, like the series, the despondency she excites, creeps so insidiously. At first, she seems promising when she is rash to commit to loving Seo, but throughout the series, she constantly takes every opportunity to fail him and us. She fails him when she takes his love for granted and begins a relationship with his father without his knowledge or consent and despite his feelings; likewise, in breaking up with Seo in front of her parents out of a desire to please her mother. She does so still, when she uses the excuse of wanting to endure pain and scorn in the name of strength instead of leaving with Seo for a fresh start.
It seems Kim Eun, the writer of Something in the Rain, would have us believe that their love is healthy and enduring based off of the ending of the series, however the conclusion only proved how destructive Yoon is to Seo because of her inability to love properly and to listen. The fact that the Seo is able to draw affection away from Yoon in earning the role which is most relatable and likeable is actually a mark of a problem in the writing. As the primary character, the audience should always have some form of affection for Yoon. Yet, because she contradicts herself at the expense of Seo repeatedly and remains inconsistent with her love for Seo, she provokes anger. A perfect example of this is when she provoked him by going against his wishes regarding a sensitive relationship of his and then, proceeded to gaslight him about whether he had the right to his reaction.
Being that Yoon is the main focus and first character introduced in Something in the Rain, her likability directly affects the story, tone, and shapes how themes such as social cast, and even abuse in the work place is received. She isn’t likeable because she’s selfish, lazy, and passive which is a sharp contrast to Seo’s calm, considerate, and charming personality. This imbalance within how affection and consideration is given, in their relationship creates a dissonance throughout the series that leaves a bitter after taste. Yoon forces feelings of dejection and displeasure in what could have been a seamless love story despite their challenges. Her passiveness, thoughtlessness and bad judgement make the series uncomfortable to watch; it’s almost a painful chore.
In this series, silence is a tool which is often used to communicate the degree of stress in an atmosphere, but it’s ineffective in creating the emphatic feeling it’s meant to achieve. Instead it’s overused and it yields to a more pronounced feeling of frustration about the story and Yoon’s behaviour. Similarly, the same songs are used tirelessly and especially in moments that do not match the tone; which as it happens, compliments Yoon’s displeasing nature. Because of the series’ failing in character development, music usage and ultimately screenplay, it feels lacking. The lingering question which you might be thinking about after watching is, how much should a person have to endure?