Review. Soulmate is a 2006 Korean 22 episode drama that looks at the love lives of singles and touches on the question – are there soulmates? The drama doesn’t focuses on soulmates heavily until the man and woman meet that will grapple with this. This drama is an ensemble piece, primarily 4 men and 4 women, with other characters coming and going as needed. One focus is how men and women differ in how they communicate. I enjoyed the different take this show took, an atypical Korean drama and worth watching because it blazes a different trail.
- Dong Wook (Shin Dong Wook), who sees dating as a game and know the strategies to win. He initially pursues Yu Jin as a game but it grows into something real making it difficult to extract himself to pursue Soo Kyung.
- Ryo Hei (Otani Ryohei), sweet and a bit dim. He faithfully loves Joe Hee who dates him and Phillip (Soo Kyung’s boyfriend) at the same time.
- Jung Hwan (Jung Hwan), who is brawny, dense, and played for laughs. He is repulsed and drawn to Mi Jin’s pursuit of him.
- Phillip, Soo Kyung’s boyfriend who is drawn to Joe Hee and breaks up with Soo Kyung, creating the opportunity for Dong Wook and Soo Kyung to find each other
- Soo Kyung (Lee Soo Kyung), stuck in a long-term relationship that is unsatisfying but shreds her when he ends it to pursue Joe Hee. She initially does not like Dong Wook but eventually sees that he is relationship worthy. However the fact that he is engaged to her friend, Yu Jin makes it impossible for her to pursue a full-on relationship with Dong Wook.
- Yu Jin (Sa Kang), a childlike woman who dates Dong Wook. She derived her self-worth on getting a man to marry, limiting my interest in this character. When she intuits the Dong Wook is becoming interested in Soo Kyung she tries to lock him down by proposing publicly and pushing for a quick wedding.
- Kim Mi Jin (Kim Mi Jin), a brash woman, played for laughs, who relentlessly pursues Jung Hwan. She ends up being a good friend to both Soo Kyung and Yu Jin, even when they are at odds with each other over Dong Wook.
- Mi Jin (Jang Mi In Ae), who sees dating as a game and know the strategies to get what she wants from men. She dates Phillip and Ryo Hei at the same time and eventually realizes for love she can only pursue one man at a time.
It is unusual that our two “destined” characters do not meet until half-way through the drama when both parties are NOT available. She has just been dumped by her finance and does not initially like him. He can actually hear her thoughts; pain of being dumped and negative opinions regarding him. She becomes drawn to him but is wary to pursue the relationship as he is in a serious relationship with her friend. He pushes her to begin a relationship but this is short-lived as her friend (and his finance) finds out about their budding relationship. This effectively puts the cabash on their relationship.
The final episode is ties up all the characters neatly but doesn’t absolutely confirm our destined twosome find their way back to each other. They both end up in Tokyo (not knowing each other is there) and you never see them reunite. But their previous statements that the timing wasn’t right initially for their love but maybe down the road they’d meet again leads the optimistic viewer to believe that Tokyo is the second chance for them. What happens is left to the viewer imagination and I choose to believe they found each other and gave their relationship a fresh start.
The show relied heavily on music to set the mood for each episode and key scenes, weaving in many more songs than most dramas do. The multiple OSTs for this show are terrific, full of indie songs that spoke to me. Soulmate includes 2 released soundtracks (‘Best’ and ‘Forever’) with 2 discs each. Soulmate OST details. These OSTs reminded me of the Coffee Prince’s OSTs, also rich with indie-vibe songs.
My favorite songs:
- “This is not a love song” by Novuelle Vague, OST 1
- “C’mon Through” by Lassie Lindh, OST 1
- “In a Matter of Speaking” by Novuelle Vague, OST 1
- “Goodbye to Romance” by Lisa Loeb, OST 1
- “Don’t Turn Away” by Peking Laundry, OST 2
Favorite Songs from the OST in my YouTube Playlist (link or embedded below)