“The Lover” – Strangest, Funniest Drama Ever

I’m totally unfamiliar with Mnet, a pay TV channel in Korea, similar to HBO or Starz in the US. You have to pay additional money for these channels and the ratings system doesn’t work the way it does with normal channels. I think enough of us have seen dramas from Mnet’s sister channel – tvN, to know how the ratings work and what’s considered good.

I learned Mnet is a music and youth-oriented channel and this is the network that airs “M Countdown”, which I am familiar with (CN Blue’s Lee Jung-shin is a co-host). Yea…okay, I’m a CN Blue freak. *hee* Anyhoo, Mnet also aired “Monstar”, “Mimi”, and “Persevere, Goo Hae-Ra”, although 2 of those aired on tvN at the same time.

Now that I’ve bored everyone to death, I need to tell you guys about “The Lover”. I’ll start off by saying I’ve honestly never seen anything like it, not in any K-drama. It’s about 4 different couples who all live in the same apartment complex. I quickly figured out it’s kinda like “Seinfeld”: there’s not really a plot. It’s just a series of short clips peeking into the daily lives of these 4 mismatched couples. I was completely unprepared for what I was seeing, the first shocking laugh came at 2 minutes in.

Apartment 609 is Do-Si (Oh Jung Se) and Du-Ri (Ryu Hyun-Kyung), a couple in their 30’s, who have chosen to live together because they’re not sure about the future, career-wise or other. They’ve been dating for 5 years and living together for 2. Do-Si is 35 years old, a voice actor who is frequently unemployed. Du-Ri is 31 and she is an Internet reporter who also reviews products on her personal blog. And she smokes. *silence* What? A WOMAN smoking in a Korean drama?

The first clip with this couple had me laughing so hard, I had tears coming from my eyes. They’re watching TV when Do-Si suddenly slides over behind her, puts his arms around her…and starts squeezing her boobs. She tells him to let go, he does (but gets in one last squeeze before sliding back over). He then spends the next 15 minutes or so trying to get some, even humping her from behind in the kitchen – until she grabs his hair and then grabs his…OUCH and LMAO at the same time. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Later she wants to hold hands, saying “give it to me” (meaning his hand) but he actually tries to put his…crotch in her palm. The look on his face and her snort of laughter had me wondering what the hell I was watching, was this SNL? Du-Ri smiles happily, she likes just holding hands every now and then. Do-Si agrees and they cuddle up on the sofa together but it doesn’t take long before he reaches over to squeeze her boob again. ROFL

Apartment 610 is Man-Goo (Choi Yeo Jin) and Young-Joon (Jung Joon Young), a couple with a 12 year age difference. They’ve been dating for 2 years, living together for 1. Man-Goo is 33 and owns a shop, selling side dishes. Young-Joon is 21, a wanna-be rock guitarist of an unknown band who doesn’t even really know how to play a guitar. (LOL) The implication is he’s living with her because she has money, an apartment and a car.

Their first clip shows Young-Joon coming home and finding Man-Goo dancing to a music program on TV. He joins her but it’s not long before the phone rings, the people downstairs are complaining about the noise. Young-Joon apologizes, saying it’s because his Grandma is kinda fat and hangs up. She’s hurt, how could he say she’s fat? He just points to her figure, moving his hand up and down. She argues she’s not fat, it’s because he’s a stick. BWHAHAHA! I’d say that’s true of quite a few male idols.

She stomps to the bedroom, locks the door and flops on the bed, clearly annoyed. He chases, knocking on the door, calling her “Noona” and apologizes, sliding a note under the door. She reads his apology, calling him cute but then wonders if he’s always been this stupid because the note is full of misspellings. She goes to his social network account online and yep, sure enough – it’s also full of spelling errors with the biggest being his sign off: The And (instead of The End).

She laughs, calling it bullcrap and burns his note. OMO, she also smokes? Whoa, I always thought only men in Korea smoked! It’s even more hilarious because they’re censoring her cigarette, like they would a knife but I don’t think they did with Du-Ri? It must be more scandalous to show a woman smoking on Korean TV than it is to show a guy grabbing a woman’s boobs. Fascinating.

Apartment 709 is 21 year-old Joon-Jae (Lee Jae Joon) who lives alone. He used to live with his parents but they moved overseas, leaving him alone in the apartment. He barely makes a living by working part-time jobs so he eventually has to take a roommate.

The meddlesome apartment manager, Min-Jae wakes Joon-Jae up one morning to tell him a guy has come by to take a look at the apartment. Joon-Jae tells him to bring the guy over, throws on some clothes from the floor and is confronted with Takuya (Terada Takuya). This guy is 21 years old, he’s from Japan and traveling around the world on his own. The plus for Joon-Jae is that he believes Takuya speaks very little Korean but more importantly, he can pay 3 months rent up front.

When Takuya drops the handle of his suitcase, Joon-Jae leans forward to grab it at the same time Takuya does. Their hands touch, their eyes meet and there is suddenly some strange tension in the air. There is only one bed in this apartment so they end up sharing, which produces some cute cuddling scenes and make these two my favorite OTP. Hilarity ensues when Takuya uses the Japanese word “Jaji” (which means jersey) but means something entirely different in Korean.

Apartment 510 is the last couple, Hwan-Jong and Seol-Eun. They’re both in their 20’s and just moved in together 17 days ago. They got engaged after dating for 3 months. (OMO, not good). They basically don’t know anything about each other, even using honorifics when speaking to each other. The scheme with this couple is how much they’re hiding about their true selves from their partner and the lengths they’ll go to hide.

There is only one episode up so far, ViKi is subbing. I laughed my head off, I’ve truly never seen anything like this from Korean entertainment, it goes even farther than SNL. It’s slated for 12 episodes, with only one episode per week, on Thursdays so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t really expect any great, meaningful plot but it’s a fun ride!

Catch the latest episode at ViKi!


  • Frankie says:

    The lightsaber bedroom scene had me in stitches. It’s great to see Korean TV evolving into new areas.

    • tessieroo says:

      I know, right? Who knew glow-in-the-dark condoms could help during a blackout? O_O I loved the 12 yr-age gap couple, when he was exercising? OMG, I lost it.

  • juliesean says:

    For those who can’t watch viki in their region, you can catch it at dramacool.

  • sally_b says:

    Hi Tessieroo ~ ♥ Thanks for the recap/heads-up for this show …and also, what the …what? 【•】_【•】

    I just watched it at viki and..OMO —> it’s insanely funny and completely unexpected.

    The first couple with the horn-dog boyfriend (I liked him in Plus 9 Boys) had me in tears ~ he’s such an authentic slob-boyfriend. Right up to the point that his money-free present for her was ‘sex the way she likes it’…solidly inferring that he’s aware that he’s NOT been doing that on the regular. (facepalm)

    And the hmmmm..yaoi couple, though often hinted at in standard dramas, may be presented at another level —> we’ll have to wait and see.

    The Noona-couple is also intriguingly ambiguous and I must say, the saberlight scene had me saying outloud, “No way, no wayyyy…they’re really showing this?”

    The last couple may ramp up at some point, but at first viewing, I just find them annoying. (they could have been edited and the ensemble cast could still carry the show)

    Anyway ~ BIG Thanks! I’m hooked, it’s almost surreal, and I like that.

  • sally_b says:

    p.s. My inquisitive nature – the visual gag about the two Hot guys being wayyyyy taller than horn-dog, older-man. (actor Oh Jung Se)

    Oh Jung Se – 174cm = 5’7″
    Lee Jae-joon – 188cm = 6.1-2
    Takuya – 188cm

    so…yeah. It’s a legit gag. 🙂

    • tessieroo says:

      LOVE Oh Jung Se, he was awesome in “Mirae’s Choice” and “I Miss You” both. His movie creds are no joke.
      That’s exactly what I was saying watching this, no way! I think my mouth was open through the whole thing, I was stunned. (LOL)

  • Myra says:

    So you’ll be reviewing or recaping this ? Good 😀 Now I know a place where to share my thoughts on this funny drama!

    Thank you, I agree with what you said, with the comenters too.

    And the 35yo actor is good, it looks realistic, he’s comfortable and the woman too.

    However, I have a question: isn’t Joon-jae’s appartment the one he used to live in with his parents? Then why aren’t there any other beds??

    I already dislike the 510 couple…the girl I mean. She’s immature and selfish. It sounds fishy that they’re already living together after dating for 3 months and being already engaged. This couple is a prime example of the stories you get in TV variety show Hello Counselor lol

    • tessieroo says:

      Ohhhhh, I’m glad someone else picked up on that! But I realized Joon-Jay says he only has one bed, not necessarily only one bedROOM so maybe there are more rooms but his parents took their bed. I’m guessing. 😀

  • Renu says:

    Finally I got a new drama, after Kill Me, Heal Me and Sweden Laundry. Till now I was surviving on movies and variety shows. This drama is cool and funny. I am also waiting for Song Ji Hyo’s drama and Producer. 🙂

  • Like you, I was crying while LMFAO! I also had to write about it because I couldn’t believe no one was watching this and I’d never heard about it! There were so many scenes! The beginning, the exercise, the future BIL coming talking his holier than though stuff until Do-Si slipped her a wad of cash….from Du Ri’s wallet. The piece de resistance definitely was the Glow in the Dark condom!! I can see now there will be a run of that item!! Who knew!! A new light source! I was crying by that scene. The last couple, we will wait and see. Our 2 fellows? I’m really curious how far Mnet will go with that…real curious…

    • tessieroo says:

      LMAO, I just read your review, we both felt the same way! I don’t think I closed my mouth the entire time, couldn’t believe what I was seeing and laughed so hard, I was crying. And YES, the first few minutes, I was hooked! O_O
      I hope ep 2 is posted sometime today, this once a week is gonna kill me.

  • Mohammed says:


    The title of the recap is very fitting because the first ep was easy the funniest i have seen in any asian drama i have watched. I was crying out of laugther, had to paus the viewing in viki now and then. Took me over an hour to watch the ep because it was too funny.

    The humour was very strange, low,high and this is easily the boldest cable k-drama i have seen. It would never happen a drama like this on the 3 major networks…..

  • Dani says:

    I haven’t had time for watching much and drowning with my both uni and school at the same time. and how I miss being a couch potato binge watching Any Asian, but, since you recapping it, Tess, I would surely see it. Don’t know in which earth month that would be, but I will.
    I am still lurking for bubbly, no thinking j movies at the same time. Thanks for the recap, so, there’s gonna be same sex relationship in this Kdrama? yay! 😀

    • tessieroo says:

      Hey Dani!

      I found the movie version of Close Range Love (Kinkyori Renai) with Yamapi in it, it’s up at Drama Cool. 😀 *high-five* Just started watcing, so far really cute and Yamapi looks as hot as ever.

  • Sage says:

    This drama is completely ridiculous, and I love every second of it! I came for Choi Yeo Jin (loved her since I saw her first in Emergency Couple) and I stayed for the shenanigans. This is the drama I never knew I needed, but I am loving it!

  • sally_b says:

    Ok…watched episode 2 and now I KNOW this drama is messing with us. I wonder how many more \’easter eggs\’ are in each episode.

    I wonder if this is being explained anywhere, because it\’s just bizarre! ha! I looooovvve it.

    I\’ll try the message-board embed first, then the image link if that doesn\’t.



    • Myra says:

      Lol I didn’t notice it. You’re observant 🙂
      I can’t wait for the 2nd and 3rd eps to be reviewed here 🙂

  • Dbchen says:

    This would have totally slipped my radar but for this post. Really enjoying it and glad to find some place to discuss it

  • sally_b says:

    At last…episode 3 is out. (I’m only 8 minutes in and I’m CRYING) omg… Oh Jung Se (pervy Lover) should get an award – I haven’t laughed this hard at something on the monitor in ages.

    BTW, the pic link above^ with legs sticking out of the wardrobe – I’m going to speculate that young-lover-from-a non-famous-band has a sasaeng stalker.

    Looking forward to the next re-cap ~ (^-^*)ノ

  • Odessa says:

    I just started watching this one. I live in Korea, and trust me it’s actually super common to get engaged and married after only dating a few months. And engagements are often short! If couples meet through a matchmaker, that means they are serious about getting married within the year.

  • Save says:

    dos anyone know any other kdrama like The Lover that talks so openly about reality and is INSANELY funny and so relatable????

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