Soulmate is a 2006 Korean series that focuses on the lives of 8 characters as they traverse on the dating scene of today’s Seoul. Tagged as a sitcom, I’d have to say that it’s more like a light-hearted mini drama. The synopses I’ve seen on the internet say that it’s somewhat a combination of Friends and Sex and the City, but because I hardly ever watched those two series (I can already hear a lot of people saying what–you haven’t watched it?!?!), I can’t say if it’s anything like the abovementioned American series.
I’ve wanted to watch this series ever since it was on DramaFever’s new titles, but always stopped myself from doing so because I was too immersed with the dramas I was watching. For some reason, I tried watching episode 1 and I was pleasantly surprised. Soulmate is different from the many Korean dramas I’ve watched before. It’s got a refreshing style of storytelling, and the music is just absolutely stunning, you’re sure to love the selections.
Lee Soo Gyeong and Choi Philip
The first episode starts with snippets of every character’s love life. Lee Soo Gyeong and Choi Philip have been together for the past five years and they’re still into each other. However, during one train ride home, Philip goes down on his knee and proposes to Soo Gyeong with a ring she doesn’t like, with all the other commuters gawking at them and taking pictures of them, with Philip nervously stuttering through the entire proposal. We hear Soo Gyeong’s thoughts through the entire ordeal, telling herself how embarrassing the proposal is, how she hated that he picked the subway out of all places to propose to her, and how horrible the ring looked, among other things–it’s quite funny, really. Throughout the series we get to see how even long-term relationships have their ups and downs, and how the one you’ve loved for so long may end up not being the one for you.
Shin Dong Wook and Hong Yu Jin
We get to another side of the city where Shin Dong Wook and Hong Yu Jin meet for the first time in a formal blind date. It’s really quite funny how Yu Jin uses formal language that you really don’t often hear in casual conversation in Korea. The pair start off awkwardly but they end up going into a serious relationship where Yu Jin tries hard to make the relationship with Dong Wook work, and where playboy Dong Wook starts to think that he has finally met the woman for him and tries to make it work just as hard as Yu Jin does. The question remains: are they really for each other…or not?
Ryohei and Min Ae
Inside a fitness center starts the third story, where Japanese model Ryohei goes and is flocked by all the girls inside. Playgirl Min Ae sees him and chooses him as her next target, seducing him and getting all the other girls red with jealousy. These two lead an odd relationship, with Min Ae seducing a number of men, living only for the moment and Ryohei being by Min Ae’s side, supporting the girl he likes amidst her many flings and the men who want her by their side.
These three couples (and another one that doesn’t really come up until the latter episodes) face the tribulations of dating and loving, as well as the hardships of relationships and the eventual realization that the one you’re with isn’t really the one for you. The series also stacks up with tips and techniques (10 ways to know…, How to’s, etc.) that you would normally find in magazines, and it’s really amusing to see them try these tips out in real life, and how the techniques literally backfire and cause even more damage in the relationship.
I really liked this series. It’s lighthearted and funny so you really don’t have to have a box of tissues ready (unlike the usual Korean drama). The comic reliefs are really comedic and you’re bound to laugh really hard at some of their attempts. What I liked the most, I think, is the script. Some of the lines are just witty and thought-provoking, or touching and heartwrenchingly sad.
Another thing I liked is the soundtrack. The series uses mostly English songs, which is quite a surprise since you don’t normally hear a lot of English songs played on Korean dramas. The use of the soundtrack is marvelous, and the guys in charge of the music selected songs that fit the scene so it enhances every shot and makes the viewer feel what someone is supposed to feel in that particular scene.
Here’s a fan-made music video of C’mon Through by Lasse Lindh. It’s one of the main soundtracks used in the series and is included in Soulmate’s official soundtrack. Note that the music video contains scenes from the drama itself, so if you’re planning on watching it, I suggest you skip out on watching this video. ^^
The downside (and somewhat the upside as well) of the series is that it comprises of only 12 episodes. Pretty short, huh? I finished watching the series in three days, which is an upside since I really don’t have the time to watch a very long series right now. It being a 12-episode series is quite the downside, as well–it left me asking for more. They made a really good ending for the series, though: it isn’t your average cheesy ending where boy and girl kiss as the sun sets on the horizon, nor does it have a sad, you-gotta-cry-your-heart-out ending, either. It leaves you happy and content since you know what’s bound to happen to the characters even after the credits roll, but it also leaves you wanting to see exactly how the “happily ever after” goes. I’m not trying to spoil anything for future viewers so I’ll just leave it as vague as it is. 😄 Bottomline: the ending is really good.
I’ve got nothing but good things to say about this series, so I hope it’s obvious that I loved it and I really want others to watch it. You can watch Soulmate in DramaFever or CrunchyRoll–they’re both legit video streamers of Korean dramas. DramaFever’s pretty new and accepts users on an invitation basis–you can register and wait for them to give you an invite, or you can also leave a comment (an e-mail address is required) and I can send you an invite that’ll give you instant access to it. Do note that DramaFever is only available to US residents and CrunchyRoll videos aren’t accessible in all countries. ^^