Love All Play is yet another hole in the water of Disney + which, despite its determination to carve out a slice of the Korean drama market, has so far only collected bankruptcies: first with the controversy around Snowdrop (which has the sin of having also been a boring drama), then with the embarrassment of an ugly one Rookie Copschildish and poorly acted.
To accumulate Rookie Cops and the recent Love All Play there are a young cast, a light tone but with sudden and above all dramatic turns deficient screenplays which made both dramas really disappointing.
Yet the first eight episodes of Love All Play had made us fall in love
Yes, because the drama in its first half had presented itself very good. Coming after that masterpiece it was Twenty Five e Twenty One who had left us with the desire for sport and young but profound stories, Love All Play he presented himself as the little brother more light and carefree.
And in fact, the first half of the drama allowed itself to be watched with great pleasure, especially thanks to two good and close-knit protagonists (a really bright and adorable Chae Jong Hyeop) who held the drama on their backs. Above all thanks to a strong understanding and the birth of a fresh and sincere first love, free of big worries and plot intricacies. And then the badmintona very popular sport in Korea and practically unknown to us, promised to balance the romantic plot by giving it rhythm and energy.
True, some aspects of the plot left something to be desired from the start. With teammates excessively bully and adults to slap every time they opened their mouths, but for eight delicious episodes Love All Play it was that drama cheerful and particularly adorable able to give us a smile and a cuddle at the end of a long day.
Blame the lack of psychological insights
It doesn’t help that no character faces any path of maturation throughout the story. Joon Young it is the stereotype of the resentful and vindictive female character: the villain without any depth. We are never told what she did in the three years she vanished and what she made her decide to come home out of the blue. Her behavior is so unstable and hateful that it is impossible to understand how so many people have admired and adored her in the past.
There is no real resolution between her and Jung Hwan, nor between her and her brother who has always felt crushed by her bulky figure of a splendid champion. And what’s worse is that all of her grudge vanishes into thin air without any explanation, just because we have to come to a happy ending.
The same Tae Joon, who had made himself loved so much for his kindness and maturity, never gets real personal revenge. At the service of all and unrealistically too generous and understanding, he accepts every conflict with the patience of a saint, never trying to affirm his value and his needs with determination.
And then there is badminton
Okay, maybe badminton may not be the most exciting sport in the world (but every sport can be if told well), but in this story it is certainly relegated. on background in an unforgivable way. Love All Play it is a story of young athletes who rediscover a passion for sport and competition, yet we practically never see them play.
First of all, there is no way to clearly understand whether Yunis is a serious team or a discard team. So much so that the drama does not even try to exploit the classic plot of the losers who have to fight to regain the victory. The same “twins” Park never manage to prove that they are really talented athletes because they spend half of the drama injured or in the throes of existential crises and any excuse is good not to play.
The idea of having the two protagonists play together in an unlikely as well as thwarted mixed double, which looked so promising, never materializes. So much so that not even in the last episode we have the satisfaction of seeing them play together properly.
And it doesn’t help that directing is never able to enhance exchanges in the field and create of real tension during the rare games.
A disappointment that does not end in the end
Tae Yang continues to plead forgiveness of all until the last episode. As well as Tae Joon continues to beg respect and affection he has always wanted. Both should, for their inner well-being, have their own emotional independence from the childish, selfish and mean adults who populate this drama. Seeking and finding strength and determination in oneself. But unfortunately this it never happens.
Also the injury of the protagonist in the last few episodes appears as a stretch to create further and unnecessary drama. Everything is resolved when the Tae Joon does roll down the stairs the protagonist who, confirming her role as a martyr, finally obtains the much desired forgiveness. A resolution forced as much as ridiculous.
The ending obviously resolves any conflict because it has to be. Crowning Jung Hwan as the most successful character in all of history. But it comes down to it tired and sore from a script that is advanced without any balance and consistency. A big disappointment for a drama that, while not having the ambitions or the substance to be unforgettable, could still have carved out its niche in our hearts.