Main Cast: Kim Ok-Bin, Yoo Teo, Kim Ji-Hoon, Go Won-Hee
Love to Hate You is Netflix’s newest South Korean drama and follows the lives of Yeo Mi-Ran (played by Kim Ok-Bin) and Nam Gang-Ho (played by Yoo Teo). Despite her father’s disapproval, Mi-Ran successfully passed the bar and works at a small law firm. In addition to using her legal prowess to win her clients’ cases, she leverages her street fighting skills to bring wrongful criminals to justice. Mi-Ran is also incredibly feisty and distrusts all men and actively avoids romantic relationships. After suddenly learning that her fellow co-worker cheated on his long-time girlfriend, Mi-Ran quits her firm and attempts to find a new job elsewhere. Given the expensive rent of her newly acquired apartment, Mi-Ran desperately applies to various firms, but is rejected from all of them, except Gilmu Law Firm, a major firm that represents Korea’s top celebrities. Although Mi-Ran disagrees with Glimu’s questionable ethics and practices, she swallows her pride and dignity to join the firm as their only female attorney.
Gang-Ho is a top romance actor and is well-regarded by the public as the perfect gentleman and every woman’s ideal type. However, despite his facade of being a kind gentleman and ultimate romance star, Gang-Ho distrusts all women and views his co-stars as overly materialistic women who attempt to act cute and immature for attention. Additionally, Gang-Ho eagerly wants to pivot from romance to action films.
After overhearing Gang-Ho badmouth his female co-star to his manager, Do Won-Jun (played by Kim Ji-Hoon), Mi-Ran immediately dislikes Gang-Ho. In an attempt to satisfy her anger, Mi-Ran runs into Gang-Ho during her final interview at Gilmu and deliberately trips and embarasses him in front of the other interview candidates. However, after accepting the position at Gilmu, Mi-Ran begins to assist with Gang-Ho’s cases and the duo spend more time together after Gang-Ho hires Mi-Ran to teach him how to street fight.
Love to Hate You is definitely a unique, yet entertaining rom-com with a feisty female-lead. It’s refreshing to see a drama call out and poke fun at society for the bias and disadvantages that women face in their professional careers solely due to their gender. I also enjoy how Miran is very independent, stubborn, and low-key crazy as she does everything in her power to beat her male co-workers.
There is one scene in the drama where Mi-Ran learns that she got her spot at Gilmu since the firm’s VIP client specifically requested a woman. Mi-Ran originally thought she beat all other male candidates for the role, and jokingly asked herself if this was what reverse discrimination felt like. Although she was definitely disappointed that her merit wasn’t the only factor in her success, it was funny to see her still find satisfaction in winning, even if it was because of her gender.
Overall, Love to Hate You is a quick and easy-to-watch drama that will leave you laughing as Gang-Ho and Mi-Ran continue to grow closer as they butt heads.