Love All Play
Starring: Park Joo Hyun, Chae Jong Hyeop, Park Ji Hyun, Kim Moo Joon, Seo Ji Hye, Jo Han Chul
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: Drama, Melodrama, Romance, Sports
Country: South Korea
Director: Jo Woong
Screenwriter: Heo Sung Hye
Where I Watched It: HiTV
Who I Watched It For: Chae Jong Hyeop
A sports romance drama that depicts the passion and affection for badminton of a male and female protagonist who is a mixed doubles group with players from the badminton business team.
Park Tae Joon, who naturally wound up in the world of badminton because of his parents’ badminton equipment business. Although he had begun to see the sport as work, his passion for badminton is reignited due to a desire to impress a woman.
Park Tae Yang is a former aspiring Olympian who had to leave the badminton world for three years due to a bribing scandal.
This drama made its way onto my radar after I took an interest in Chae Jong Hyeop after watching and enjoying him in last year’s The Witch’s Diner. I haven’t been a fan of badminton before but I did really, really enjoyed last year’s Racket Boys so I was all in once I heard about this one.
This story follows our main female lead, Park Tae Yang. She was an Olympic hopeful that dropped out of the badminton world so suddenly, and though the world thinks she left because of a bribe scandal, I knew that wasn’t the case from the jump. She was carrying a lot of shit around but when she makes her way back to the badminton world, she has to start from the bottom again and this time around, she has to battle for every single inch.
She’s completely on her own but when she finally makes a friend, things get a lot messier than she was expecting..and she doesn’t even find out how messy until it’s way past the point of no return. When her past catches up with her, she has to see it through and deal with whatever comes next but it’s hard for her because she carries around so much guilt. This drama is all about her coming back into her own and atoning for the things that happened.
Main Male Lead
Our main male lead is Park Tae Joon and when we first meet him, he’s a really talented badminton player who, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to do more than he’s already doing. He’s got the talent to go even further but he doesn’t have the drive or the interest. When he meets Park Tae Yang, a badminton player that he’s been a fan of since he was a kid, she tries to get him to see the potential of everything he can be. Now, because he’s a man and likes Tae Yang as a woman, he’s okay with letting her pad his ego about his potential even if he has absolutely no plans to pursue them.
The stuff that he carried and held on to made my heart grow ten times every time he came on the screen because what a shitty position to be in. He loved his family but he also loved his and understood Tae Yang, more than anyone else understood her so to be stuck in the middle had to have been hard for him but I thought he carried the weight of everyone’s world on his shoulder extremely well. And he looked good while doing it.
Seeing him come into his own over the course of the show was great. I loved him just as much in this show as I did in the other show that I watched him in so I’m definitely becoming a huge fan of his. I adored his acting in this one and can’t wait to see him do some more stuff.
Main Female Lead
I loved Park Tae Yang. I thought she was a worthy female lead and I thought that Park Joo Hyun did a fantastic job of bringing her to life. She was strong and she was determined to take her life back and even though there were times when I got frustrated with the guilt she refused to put down for even a second, I still loved the hell out of her.
I didn’t think she deserved to carry that much guilt on her shoulders and the people that forced her to keep carrying that guilt pissed me off. She was such a great friend and she made a mistake, she never meant for anyone to get hurt and for everyone to have an opinion on her past, on her, seriously pissed me off. She already carried so much and for her to feel like she had to keep on carrying that guilt made me want to hug her close and protect her at all costs.
The only people that I didn’t hate at one point or another in this show was Park Tae Yang and Park Tae Joon. Everyone else? I took turns hating the hell out of. The badminton team? Yeah, they came around in the end but in the beginning? Yeah, they could all suck a fat one. Tae Joon’s sister? Yeah, I wanted to punch her in the throat and push her down the hill. The coaches? They could catch these hands too and don’t even get me started on Tae Joon’s Mom. Ugh, what a bitch.
Now I stopped hating everyone when they stopped being little bitches to Tae Yang and I even rooted for the little side romances as well. The secondary romance was cringy though because home girl just couldn’t stop being weird but I’m glad that they ended up together. I liked the other romance too, the slow burn one of the teammates that got together after homie retired. They were cute and I really liked when they finally got together. 🙂
This was a great show, all in all. There’s a lot of angst but there’s a lot of humor, warmth, and sweetness to balance it all out. I thought the romance between Tae Joon and Tae Yang was such a sweet one and though it was messy because of her past and his family, I was satisfied with the way it all ended. I really enjoyed all of the main leads, all of the romances, and the ending made me content so I definitely recommend.
4 out of 5