An Almost Perfect But Ruined Show: Temperature of Love / Sarangui Ondo (사랑의 온도) (2017)

Temperature Of Love 1

Temperature of Love got off to a good start with quite unexpected plots and mature narratives. Though it didn’t hook me right away, the show slightly caught me off guard. Too bad, somehow, somewhere along the way, it took a sad turn and dragged me to boredomhood.

Watching the show feels like watching a chef with good ingredients at hands ruins an almost perfect dish by keep adding unnecessary spices, making it an appetising looking dish but is somewhat hard to swallow. Not because it is not delicious per se, but you just can’t quite fathom how you feel about the taste. It really is such a waste because the drama does bring something new to the table, which mainly comes from its intriguing conversations. I especially appreciate the writer’s consistence to stand on the grey area morality ground by refusing to conform to the existing K-drama norms, from the beginning all the way to the end. I really think that it could’ve been small screen’s take on the likes of “Before Sunset”. I also think it’s a waste of impressive performances by Yang Se Jong (who caught my attention earlier that year with his dual role in “Duel”) and Kim Jae Wook (who stole the show in “Voice” as a serial killer). The male characters are poorly written, but the female characters even have it worse.

Temperature of Love is one those rare K-dramas which portrays mature (romantic and non-romantic) relationships between adults who respect and put faith in each other, even if it means that some decisions would cost them ‘losing’ their loved ones, be it friend or lover. In the sea of ridiculous misunderstandings and unequal power relations between lovers, friends and families often present in K-dramas, I find this approach is praiseworthy. But I just can’t help feeling frustrated because it is executed really poorly. Though these characters seem confident enough to put their love on a test or have a huge amount of trust towards their counterparts, they still look wobbly insisting to skate on a thin ice. This part is painful to watch. It is also uncomfortable to see some characters’ determination to chase the objects of their affection resulted in them crossing the line of respecting other people’s relationships, despite the effort is being done fair and square. And this part is pitiful to watch.

Some part of the show is still intriguing to watch, if you could endure the long drag.


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