“Light On Me” First Impressions (Ep.1 & 2)

Based on the game “Saebit Boys High School Council,” Light on Me is a new Korean BL web drama that stars Lee Sae On, Kang Yoo Seok, Choe Chan Yi, Ko Woo Jin, and Yang Seo Hyun.

Interestingly enough, actors Choe Chan Yi (portraying Da On) and Ko Woo Jin (portraying Namgoong Siwoon) are both members of the Kpop group “The Man BLK.” While this is their first BL drama, one of their group’s members, Cheon Seung-ho, made his lead acting debut in the Korean BL Mr. Heart. As for actors Kang Yoo Seok (portraying Noh Shin Woo) and Lee Sae On (portraying Woo Tae Kyung), neither are new to the acting scene. While Kang Yoo Seok has made appearances in hit dramas such as Start-Up and Beyond Evil, Lee Sae On first appeared on Produce 101 Season 2 before playing a support role in the 2018 Devil Inspector 2.

Light On Me had me at the challenge.

While I am always on the lookout for dramas with new original content, there is one trope I rarely get tired of. Romances that bloom out of love/hate relationships draw me in every single time. Love and hate. Four letter words full of powerful emotions.

“I don’t like you.”

From the get-go, these words tell me one thing: this love story isn’t going to be easy. No love story ever is. Even the best relationships with the sweetest starts have obstacles ahead because true romance takes work.

Love/hate storylines start off rocky, often with lots of emotional damage, before working themselves out. As much as I love a sweet romance with little to no angst, I enjoy the butterflies I get from seeing two people fight the magnetic pull between them. It keeps me entertained and invested, which means I’m much less likely to be distracted.

It’s like watching flowers grow. Seeds are planted in fertilized dirt before they take root and sprout. They don’t start pretty, but given the right environment and attention, they have the potential to become beautiful.

Light On Me immediately challenges the viewers. In the opening shot, male lead and notorious loner Tae Kyung takes a picture of three other male characters and states, “One of them is my first love.”

The question is who?

The first episode is an eighteen-minute journey highlighting Tae Kyung’s awkward solitary existence. Naively direct, he’s entirely without guile. There’s no doubt his solitude has created a lonely path he’s become reluctant to follow. When a teacher, Seo Haet Bit, suggests he joins the student council, he doesn’t hesitate.

Until he comes face-to-face with Noh Shin Woo, the cool vice president set on keeping Tae Kyung from joining. The two are not strangers, having become acquainted through an embarrassing incident in the school hallway involving an accidental stumble and a rubber dildo. Nothing says “hi” like an unpredictable poke in the backside.

“I hate you.”

The stumble in the hall becomes a catalyst for the unwieldy tension growing between Tae Kyung and Shin Woo in the second episode. Tae Kyung is determined to break free of the lonely world he’s created for himself, while Shin Woo seems determined to keep Tae Kyung out of the student council. It’s the quintessential push and pull full of heated stares that speak a thousand words.

Although I am enjoying this drama’s acting and production quality, I do find myself wondering about Tae Kyung. Actor Lee Sae On does a commendable job projecting Tae Kyung’s desperation and naivety, but his wide-eyed, almost emotionless reactions left me wondering if there is a reason for this. What made him become a loner? Why is he so innocent and inexperienced? And why is Shin Woo so disturbed by him?

I can’t wait to fall deeper into these characters’ lives to discover how these relationships progress.

Light On Me doesn’t come to play. At sixteen to eighteen-minute episodes, it’s braced to tell a much fuller story than the recent Korean BL web dramas. With this new group of potential friends in Tae Kyung’s future, I am looking forward to a drama full of more tension-filled stares and blooming romance.

Who will win Tae Kyung’s heart? Will it be the magnetic Shin Da On, the bright Namgoong Siwoon, or the cool Noh Shin Woo?

Watch the first and second episodes now on YouTube, WeTV, or Watcha. It is also coming soon to Viki.

Rating- 3.5 out of 5

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