Episode 1 of Love To Hate You starts with Mi-ran, a carefree young woman, walking around the streets. There, she finds that a guy is trying to steal from a drunk who is passed out on the street. Mi-ran beats the guy up and helps the drunk man from being burglarized. Mi-ran’s friend, Na-eun is on the subway when she sees a video of Mi-ran on the local news.
The man is being interviewed about the burglary and wonders if he was really saved by a girl. She calls Mi-ran up to ask what she was up to but it turns out that Mi-ran is busy hooking up with someone. Mi-ran dismisses her friend and asks the guy she is with to continue but the man seems put off by her.
As Mi-ran and the guy leave the room, they run into Mi-ran’s boyfriend. Turns out, Mi-ran’s boyfriend was with another woman and was cheating on her as well. Mi-ran seems to be calm about the incident and breaks things off with the guy. The episode moves to Actor Kang-ho winning an award.
At the show, the actor thanks his best friend and the owner of the label her works at – Won-jun. Kang-ho calls the man his soulmate and the two men celebrate the big win that night over drinks. Meanwhile, the next day, Mi-ran writes a letter to her mother informing her that she will be moving out of her parent’s house and living on her own.
Mi-ran has saved up to repay her father for paying her law school fees now that she is working as a lawyer. Mi-ran’s mother is upset that her only daughter is moving out but her father seems to be a misogynist who is not satisfied with her achievements. She warns her father against hurting or yelling at her mother but things do not register with the old man.
At the police station, Mi-ran is with her client, a young man who was conned by a few gangsters into taking out a car loan. Mi-ran tries her best to help the man out but the man is agitated by the incident and wants to kill the men that did this to him.
At the same time, Kang-ho is filming a film and he seems averse to the female lead. Won-jun and Kang-ho have a conversation about his aversion to women who act coy. He helps Kang-ho practice his kiss scene before he has to do it with the actress.
Kang-ho’s manager catches the two in a compromising position but the two clarify that they were just rehearsing. The manager states that the main lead had thrown a tantrum which delayed the filming by another day. Mi-ran is back at her law firm when she learns that her client is going to attack the men that conned him.
She asks her colleague to send the cops over and rushes to help her client. The maker of the show asks Kang-ho to try and talk to the lead actress and convince her to restart working. Despite his aversion to her, Kang-ho goes to the green room to convince the bratty actress.
Won-jun does not approve of the idea because he knows Kang-ho’s hatred for the actress would show but Kang-ho wants to try and take the high road. Mi-ran arrives to see that her client is being beaten up by the men and doesn’t wait for the cops to arrive. She tackles the men down and beats them to a pulp all on her own.
Kang-ho meets the actress and keeps his calm despite her tantrums. However, the woman starts acting coy and childish which triggers Kang-ho. He ends up emoting too hard and his irritation frustrates the actress into leaving the filming set altogether.
Won-jun is upset that Kang-ho has caused yet another actress to leave the set and Kang-ho rushes out to apologise to his friend and boss. As it turns out, Mi-ran is also at the same hotel resort. On her way to her car, Mi-ran overhears Kang-ho belittling his co-star and women in general. She is pissed off at the guy and thinks ill of a man who is misogynistic and speaks badly about women.
Mi-ran adds Kang-ho to her list of different kinds of men and calls him the ‘vampire’ for his misogynistic comments about women in private but his contrasting stellar public image of a lover of women. Mi-ran tells Na-eun about Kang-ho’s thoughts on women and asks her to stop trusting people so casually.
Her colleague, Sung-ho joins them. Kang-ho learns that Won-jun has to have drinks with the director in order to compensate for what Kang-ho did with the actress. At the bar, Sun-ho is being flirtatious with Na-eun and asks to move in with the women in order to share expenses for their newly rented apartment.
Just as they are cracking a deal, Sung-ho’s girlfriend of seven years shows up and lashes at Na-eun for flirting with her boyfriend. Mi-ran intervenes and pins the blame on Sung-ho but the woman seems to have lost her guns. She runs out and Sung-ho follows after her.
Na-eun wonders why she always falls for the trashy men and why she cannot see through their deception from the start. Mi-ran says she would quit her job with Sung-ho and will find a new job soon. One of Kang-ho’s lawyers is Mi-ran’s ex and he is good at his job of defending the actor.
They are able to stop the actress from throwing a tantrum on set and get her to apologise to Kang-ho for defaming him online. Choi Soo-jin is an actress at Won-jun’s agency and Kang-ho’s rival. She is done with the agency leaving her with lawyers who do not connect to her troubles.
She asks the law firm to hire a new female lawyer for her and promises to take all of Won-jun’s artists to a different law firm. Mi-ran’s mother is helping her and Na-eun set up the new house that she has moved into. Mi-ran goes job hunting but is rejected by all the firms that she has applied to.
That night, Na-eun finds Mi-ran moping outside their apartment complex. Mi-ran promises to take care of their monetary situation and decides to interview for Gilmu Law Firm, the agency that her ex, Jin-suh, works for. The interview itself seems male dominated with Mi-ran being the only female candidate among more than seven applicants.
Soo-jin is happy to see a female attorney. At the same time, Won-jun and Kang-ho make it to the law firm with all the female employees in the building swooning over the two hot men. Kang-ho is polite to the new applicants but Mi-ran recalls seeing him at the hotel resort. She is furious and trips him out of anger. Kang-ho falls face-first to the ground in front of everyone as the episode ends.
The Episode Review
Love To Hate You really seems like one of those K-dramas that sneak up on you. Despite having traditionally older and non-A-list actors in the show, this one seems like one of Netflix’s best romance ventures so far. The show is set in the traditional Entertainment Industry and one would compare this one to the likes of the recently released, Shooting Star.
Despite the comparison, this show is one of a kind and I love how the makers are trying to challenge the misogynistic Korean society by mocking characters that are sexist. Mi-ran is a good protagonist and I am sure her character is one that will grow on you.
Kang-ho is a maniac but I am sure there must be a reason why he is the way he is. Aside from the fact that his and Won-jun’s chemistry demands a BL drama casting, I really hope there is more bromance on this show because it is not cringy but endearing.
You can read our full season review for Love To Hate You here!