Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 3/5
Sometimes in the entertainment world, you can’t help but feel sorry for prominent actors or actresses stuck in a mediocre or underwhelming series. Park Min-Young is one such example, and after the objectively bad Forecasting Love and Weather last year, she’s back with… another objectively bad series in Love in Contract. Although bad may be a tad on the harsh side.
Love in Contract is not a bad show per-se but it’s also not particularly inspiring or original either. It’s a series that embraces every single cliché and trope in K-drama land to the point where everything feels stale and bland.
It’s no surprise that the ratings while this was airing were dwindling every week and that much is especially evident during the finale. Of course, if this is your first K-drama offering then you’ll find lots to like but for anyone who has even watched a single romantic K-series, there’s nothing here to really whet the appetite.
This pill is particularly hard to swallow because on paper, Love in Contract has a lot going for it. With its quirky, talented cast, the story centers on Choi Sang-Eun (played by Park Min-Young), an attractive woman with talent and charm. Working as a contract marriage master, her job is essentially to help clients navigate a perfect single life by pretending to be their wife.
After 5 years with her most reliable client, Ji-Ho (played by Ko Kyoung-Pyo), things soon pick up to the next level when Ji-Ho’s colleagues and boss at work want to get to know him more personally. But given Ji-Ho has serious social anxiety and is very introverted, it’s up to Sang-Eun and Ji-Ho’s therapist to help him through this.
Complicating matters further is Hae-Jin (Kim Jae-Young), a brash and popular actor who hires Sang-Eun on the days she’s not pretending to be married to Ji-Ho. Naturally, this causes friction between the two men and a love triangle ensues. Who will come out the victor?
That plot may sound simplistic but we’ve seen from projects in the past that a slightly creative spin on this formula can work really well. True Beauty is one such example and that was as formulaic as can be!
There is a separate subplot here involving Sang-Eun’s past and a mysterious corporation but it’s pretty forgettable in truth and most of the plot is actually wrapped up way before the end of the show.
Love in Contract’s simplicity is ultimately its downfall, which is a shame because the series does have a few stand oiut moments. The early episodes are great, the comedy is pretty good and the acting all round is on the money. The romance and chemistry between the two leads is pretty compelling, while Gwang-Nam’s separate storyline about his sexuality is a really interesting angle that’s unfortunately not explored as thoroughly as it could have been.
If you know anything about K-dramas, you will have figured this one out long before the halfway point of the series. Love in Contract is not a series to remember and unfortunately its formulaic, fragile story makes for a rather bland and forgettable watch.
Verdict - 5/10