Drama Special – All about My Rival in Love


Oh Dong-joo (Kim Seul-gi) had dated Ji-suk (Park Doo-shik) for almost 10 years, but Ji-suk recently wanted to break up with her. This caused Dong-joo unable to sleep at night, and keep trying to contact Ji-suk to ask him for the reason for their break-up. One night, while showering, Dong-joo found the pull tab of the zipper stuck to her back, so she went to find Ji-suk to help her take a look at her back. Dong-joo explained to Ji-suk that she had no one else to seek help from. Dong-joo’s colleague suggested that Ji-suk had fallen in love with another woman as the reason for their break-up, which prompted Dong-joo to follow Ji-suk after work to know who her rival was. She saw Ji-suk picking a lady up for work the next morning, and follow them to the school, only to realize that she had mistaken Ji-suk’s married colleague as his new girlfriend.

That night, Ji-suk went to tell Dong-joo that he decided to break up with her as he was tired of Dong-joo being dependent on him. This led to Dong-joo finding another pull tab on her arm. Dong-joo spent days in her room doing nothing, then one day she decided to look for her love rival. She went to a photo studio and found Ji-suk’s photo there, smiling very brightly. She decided to take her photograph at the studio, but the photographer Joon-hee (Ok Ja-yeon) instead invited her to be her model.

The very next day, Dong-joo returned to the photo studio requesting to take a photograph of her smiling, but she was unable to smile, so Dong-joo just kept returning to the studio to re-take her photograph. Joon-hee then suggested Dong-joo to wear make-up and pretend that she was someone else, which led to Dong-joo finally able to smile. From then on, Joon-hee helped Dong-joo to take all kinds of photographs with different make-up or settings. Actually, Joon-hee was a transsexual, and had been practicing taking photograph of Dong-joo to be able to take the perfect photograph for herself. Ji-suk had liked Joon-hee, but upon learning Joon-hee was a transsexual, Ji-suk returned to Dong-joo to say he missed her. Dong-joo rejected him and went to help Joon-hee in taking the perfect photograph for herself.


This drama special can be quite confusing to watch as the director/writer used a lot of analogies to represent the complex emotions of the characters. For instance, the pull tabs of the zipper appearing on Dong-joo’s body imply that Dong-joo was not able to release herself from the relationship despite Ji-suk’s insistence on the break-up. After all, Dong-joo had spent 10 years with him, the break-up will not be easy for her. Towards the end of the drama, a zipper was formed on Dong-joo’s arm, probably to imply that Dong-joo can finally free herself from the break-up, and to live the life that she always dreamt of.

I like the part of the story where Dong-joo may have lost someone in her life, but she also gained a friend who played such an important role in the healing of her emotional pain. Dong-joo was so resistant in breaking up in the first place was that she had no other friend besides Ji-suk. Therefore, I am glad that Dong-joo was able to meet a new friend, leading her to have the courage to explore the world she never been to, such as going to see the aurora that she always looked forward to. Perhaps the main message of this drama is that no relationship is everlasting; we can also meet someone new that are more suitable for us, and no matter what we should not mistreat ourselves.


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