Summer Strike is a South Korean television drama starring Im Si-wan and Seolhyun as the main leads. It has a total of 12 episodes and is based on a webtoon,originally named as Summer Strike written by Joo-Young-hyun.
Summer Strike is based on the lives of Ahn Dae-beom and Yeo-reum mainly. After losing her mother and being dumped by her boyfriend, Yeo-reum, stuck in a small job and the hectic city life of Seoul, decides to leave her home and settle in a small seaside village called Agnok. Having no job and being short on money leads to her facing extreme difficulties in finding housing and managing her life. There she meets Dae-beom, who later serves as the drama's love interest. From there, the story follows Yeo-reum as she relocates to the small village, encounters challenges she didn't anticipate, and ultimately discovers her true self after losing everything she had.
All my K-Drama babies gather in, we are in for a special ride for this one. When I first watched the trailer of Summer Strike, I thought it was going to be just a short, light-hearted drama set during Summer but as they say, never judge a book by its cover, and was I shocked. The revelations in the first episode only had me bawling my eyes out under my blanket. This drama was like a sad hug of reality which was oddly comforting and kept giving you subtle reminders of the fine line between fiction and what's real.
1. The slow development of Yeo-reum and Dae-Beom's relationship had me rolling in my bed with my stomach flooded with butterflies. With all of the drama's serious events, the sweet little story of Yeo-reum and Dae-Beom was well executed. The side characters of Kim Bom, Jae-Hoon, Ji-Young, Sun-min, and grandma Young-sook were just the perfect additions, and you slowly grew to love them as the story moved on.
2. My favorite part of watching Summer Strike was how it was so personal yet it felt like you were watching a stranger's life fall apart and come together again while relating to the events of the series. The drama had me hooked from the first episode, and it was just a harsh indication of how painful and hard living a normal life can be.
3. I saw a lot of myself in the character of Yeo-reum, the young and complicated lady trying to fit in with the daily hustles of life and trying to have it all while losing herself in the midst of it.
4. Summer Strike, for all of its flaws, stayed true to itself. The growing pains of being an adult and losing your loved ones and being alone and watching your life turn black and white from a rainbow as you grow up felt like a sad warm hug to me.
5. Even though it was heartbreaking to watch the events go down in the series, it was oddly comforting. Never hard enough to make you want to turn it off and call it a day, but soft enough to remind you that this is what life is and that's how you grow; sometimes it's harder for one than the other, but it's so different yet the same at the same time.
SPOILER ALERT!!Skip to the last paragraph if you don't want the plot spoiled.;)
1. Rushed end and too many sub-plots: Even though I enjoyed Summer Strike, it is difficult to deny that the story that began with Yeo-reum and her miserable life beautifully expanded into more and more complicated subplots with the side characters, and even though it was well written, it felt rushed to the end and the story was paced up, especially in the last two episodes to wrap it up in 12 episodes.
This is a persistent problem I see with a lot of ongoing dramas these days. The duration is cut short to 12 episodes, and the story, which develops slowly and beautifully, is brought to a tragic and rushed end.
2. The fast pace of the last two episodes killed the slow comforting vibes of the drama and how we saw things fall into place slowly and beautifully throughout it all.
3. The story which was branched so much just couldn't be wrapped in such a short run. At one point, it felt like there was too much going on and even though the story narrowed down to the main plot of Sunah Billiard Hall and the mysterious killing of Dae-beom's mother and sister, it took something away from the original essence of the story.
4. Yeo-reum found a new start and eventually settled in with her new life which was the whole plot for the drama in the beginning but on the flip side, the revelation of Dae-Beom's past and the whole up-turn the story took in the middle was kind of hard to catch upon and might even felt unnecessary at some points. This in turn brings me to the same point again of the climax being extremely rushed and complicated and taking away from the simplicity of the drama.
The Final Verdict
Generally, I would have given Summer Strike a solid 3.7 on a scale of 1-5, leaning mostly towards the 4, but because I personally related so much to it as an individual, I would rate it a 4 instead, and as I previously stated, despite all of its flaws, Summer Strike is lovable, and oddly enough, you don't feel so alone and empty once it ends. It satisfies you despite the fact that it could have been better, but some dramas are more personal to you than others, and this is entirely my personal opinion.
I appreciated Summer Strike's simplicity and rawness, as well as how it differed from the usual fluffy romantic k-dramas. Summer Strike adds to the never-ending list of Seaside Traumatizing summer dramas we've seen this year, which has become a genre in its own right.
So, if you have the time and want to go on an emotional roller coaster, I highly recommend watching Summer Strike, especially if you liked Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.
Have you already watched Summer Strike or do you plan on watching it? What are your reviews? Drop a comment and I would love to have a discussion about it!