“To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories” Series Review (Ep.3 to 10)

“I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” —Paul Coelho, The Alchemist

This simple quote somehow explains the entirety of this melodrama, because Kang Seo Joon & Han Ji Woo were always meant to be together. It was written in the stars, as Seo Joon vehemently believes. The second season of the hugely popular KBL “To My Star” ended on an unbelievable note. While avid fans spend weeks cursing Ji Woo’s at his reluctance to understand Seo Joon’s despair; Director Hwang Da Seul did the impossible. Obviously there is a reason why she is referred to as “God Da Seul”: she has the ability to spin the narrative in the most precocious manner possible and create a masterpiece out of thin air. None of her directives are lame projections of awful sexual content; rather, her works depict human emotions realistically and with an honesty that is awe-inspiring. Add to the fact that we had two talented actors on board; To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories became a potboiler of loneliness, love, faith and hope. The entire fandom felt Seo Joon’s loneliness. They witnessed our star-crossed lovers fall out of love; they hoped that Ji Woo would come back to his senses and avid fans held a tight rein onto the faith that Seo Joon and Ji Woo will reunite. They believed our estranged couple will find their “Happily Ever After”. But more than that, everyone trusted Hwang Da Seul to give them a befitting ending. Obviously, she proved her detractors wrong and rewrote history. The tumultuous times have been overcome and we are here to deliver the final VERDICT!

Krishna Naidu

“You said if it was tough, you’d come to me”- Ji Woo

Ji Woo’s painful reminder of Seo Joon’s promise shows how far they have come. Although the entire season hinged on Ji Woo’s unwillingness to acknowledge his own feelings; the fact remains that Seo Joon has always loved him wholeheartedly. As such, forgiveness was easy and reconciliation was inarguably possible. While the prequel was entirely focused on building the subtle romance between our sweet couple; To My Star Season Two pans on the differences. Their contrasting personalities and the inevitable clashes: so although Seo Joon makes requisite sacrifices to avoid work parties and tiring himself to spend time with Ji Woo; Ji Woo still feels lonely. It isn’t that he doesn’t understand Seo Joon’s predicaments; Ji Woo is afraid. He is scared because he doesn’t want to project his insecurities onto Seo Joon. For him, Seo Joon is a symbol of love and faith; something so pure and innocent that he is afraid of scarring Seo Joon with his inadequacies.

Every relationship is different; albeit the fact that no two individuals are similar. Seo Joon is eccentric, outgoing, full of life and yet he draws strength from Ji Woo’s quiet resilience. Ji Woo grounds him and in his absence, Seo Joon’s world tilts off the axis. Seo Joon draws Ji Woo out of his shell and they make an interesting couple. This is where their differences tear them apart; while Seo Joon is ready to wade through the turbulent waves, Ji Woo acts rather cowardly. His overtly cautious nature makes it difficult for him to accept the reality and, as such, he lashes out at Seo Joon. It was truly exhausting to watch him belittle Seo Joon’s sincere efforts; but his anxieties are so deep set, there is no escaping from them. Until, of course, Ji Woo realises that he might truly lose Seo Joon once and for all. When the sequel was announced, everyone was expecting romance or maybe camaraderie; no one expected a painful expanse of fights and never ending arguments. But good things come to those who are persist and remain patient; and persist we did.

To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories is one of those impactful stories that will leave you wounded. You will question your sanity for sticking to this drama, and yet it’s oddly addictive. It focuses on topics that usually make people uncomfortable; subjects that are intrinsic to every relationship. People often have difficulties accepting their shortcomings, which adversely affect their relationships; To My Star Season Two is a testament to this fact. Relationships are rather fragile. Once broken, it’s difficult to piece them together; unless the parties involved truly love each other and are willing to work on their differences. Love can never be subjective; it’s all about forgiveness, patience and honesty. To My Star 2 gave us an utterly flawed couple, and yet they make sense in an unexplainable manner.

Kdarling

In a thread of tweets I made before the final two episodes of To My Star 2, I wrote, “Loneliness is so subjective. You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. Or be happy with someone and still be lonely. Ji Woo keeps things too damn close. Seo Joon projects things way too much. Ji Woo is pessimistic. Seo Joon is optimistic. They’re both so lost inside their generational trauma and own expectations, and it’s painful seeing two extremely damaged people trying to make love work when they’re so polar and yet also so much alike. Ji Woo pushes. Seo Joon pulls. And they’re both sinking trying to swim toward each other without drowning. And as viewers, we’re so incredibly affected by the undertow trying to get to each other while also hurting each other is causing. And it’s easy to be swept into taking sides. But inside damage, there is also a mutual place to heal. Once you swim past the blame and scars, there IS healing. And inside that healing, there is no blame nor are there sides to take. There is simply an acceptance that both have flaws and need what each can offer the other. There is salvation rather than redemption. The harder Ji Woo pushes, the harder he loves. The harder Seo Joon pulls, the harder he loves. And damn, if it isn’t trying to break them both in the process before or if that balance between them can be found.”

I’m sharing these tweets here again because, in the end, they are exactly what Seo Joon and Ji Woo’s relationship became. They entered that place of healing, the place where they both accepted their differences and flaws. And that’s relatable. Who doesn’t enter a relationship with scars, whether minor or major? Who doesn’t enter a relationship struggling to make two different personalities work together? Who doesn’t enter a relationship questioning themselves?

To My Star 2 gave viewers an imperfect relationship with just the right amount of love. Relationships are never perfect, but genuine love buoys us over the waves a rocky relationship causes. People are complicated, and To My Star 2 doesn’t sugar coat the complications.

Seo Joon is a very accepting and persistent character. Ji Woo is a stubborn man who falls a little short on the persistence, but he makes up for it with his ability to read Seo Joon’s pain. These two don’t exactly make sense as a couple, and I think that’s what makes them so incredibly special. The less sense something makes, the more unique it is.

To be honest, destined or not, there aren’t many who could make a relationship with Seo Joon and Ji Woo work. And I think that’s their biggest secret to success. Where others would find dating either of them difficult, they’ve discovered acceptance in each other. And in themselves. The best kind of relationships find a way to compromise without compromising identities.

To My Star 2 gave us that kind of relationship.

Seo Joon and Ji Woo have a lot of stories to tell, and I’d watch every single one of them. I’m manifesting a third season.

PotatoBLChild

Our questions going all the way back to the first season have indeed been answered.

As I watched the last episode of To My Star 2, a sense of satisfaction crept upon me. The pasts that had haunted Kang Seojoon (Son Woohyun) and Han Jiwoo (Kim Kangmin) looked like they had been laid to rest, for the time being, opening up meaningful conversations that seemed to be ignored for quite a while.

My thoughts on the production remain the same as what I’d said in the article on my first impressions of this season—it is certainly worthy of praise. The sets are wonderful, with the rural landscape as picturesque as it can be. It also doesn’t hurt to know that it was filmed at the same place as Beyond Evil, for which my obsession knows no bounds (ah, the nostalgia). The change in the length of the episodes certainly greatly impacted the plot, making it more robust. It helped in delving into many things, including the life Jiwoo had before he met Seojoon, as well as the latter’s mental health issues that the first season had briefly touched upon.

One of the most important things that the series addresses is most likely to be how important communication is in a relationship, romantic or not. A few series do bring this up, but what makes To My Star 2 stand out is that it takes the conversation further. The anxieties and insecurities that pop up in a relationship, especially when things remain untold, are portrayed really well, whether through Jiwoo’s relationship with Seojoon or his past relationship with Seongyoon (Baek Songha). Even when the latter is introduced as Jiwoo’s ex, we realise that she has nothing to do with the ‘evil woman’ trope that a lot of BL series. The angst does make some viewers annoyed, uncomfortable even, but the plot works this way for a reason.

My favourite parts of the series include the friendship shared by most of the characters, as well as the glimpse that we get into life in the countryside (which reminds me of Beyond Evil—again). Yooha’s mother, Dagyeong, who’s also Jiwoo’s neighbour and long-time friend (played by Jang Heewon), is a significant character in the story. Her unwavering support for Jiwoo and Seongyoon, no matter what they do with their lives, and the fact that she stands up to the villagers when they keep blaming Jiwoo and his family for their past losses make her all the more endearing.

Of course, Pilhyun (Jeon Jaeyeong) and Baek Homin (Kim Jinkwon) also play their roles to perfection. They have their own stories—subplots that are minor but just as important as everything else. I love how they connect Homin to the life of an idol, which is highlighted further by playing ‘COME’ on the radio, a popular song performed by NewKidd, the K-pop group that Jinkwon is a part of.

To My Star: Our Untold Stories has undoubtedly made its way into viewers’ hearts. The incredible chemistry between Woohyun and Kangmin that was established in the first season undergoes more growth in the second one. All in all, it’s a great watch, with themes that ought not to go unnoticed.

Rating- 4.5 out of 5

Krishna’s Sidenote-

☆ Our favorite couple, Son Woo Hyun & Kim Kang Min were featured on the covers of Esquire Korea Magazine and Epoch Magazine, China. They look absolutely stunning together!

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