Webtoon-based series Love Alarm has returned for a second season, and those who have seen the six-episode series felt torn once again between Lee Hye-yeong (Jung Ga-ram) and Song Kang (Hwang Sun-oh) as their love triangle with Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun) has reached a whole new level of intensity.
The first season of the eight-episode Love Alarm was released back in August 22, 2019, and from that time till the cast members began filming the second season, they've all experienced growth and maturity both as actors and as their characters. Kim So-hyun starred in two more series after: The Tale of Nokdu and the ongoing River Where the Moon Rises, both of which are period dramas. From Love Alarm, his first Netflix series, Song Kang also recently starred in Sweet Home and is leading the cast of the upcoming series Navillera—all three are webtoon-based. Jung Ga-ram had a cameo in K-drama When the Camellia Blooms and starred in 2020 movie Investigative Trip.
They have evolved, and so did the "Love Alarm" app.
The mobile app was developed to notify the user when someone within the range of 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for him or her. Because such app exists, people in this world don't feel the need to express their emotions through words anymore. And when a simple ring in one's alarm is all it takes to spark attraction between each other, relationship conflicts are bound to arise.
Love Alarm S2 shows the characters four years after the app was created. The "Love Alarm" app now has a version 2.0 which includes a feature that lists down the users who are likely to fall in love with you and those that you're likely to fall for. And with this upgrade comes a new set of dilemmas for the users; as they're now presented with options, their decision on what to do with the information the app has given them is what's ultimately crucial.
For Kim Jo-jo, her app works differently as it has a unique feature installed by its creator, Cheon Dok-gu (Lee Jae-eung) in season 1. She has the so-called "shield" that protects her by essentially blocking the app from exposing her true feelings. If, in season 1, it somehow helped Kim Jo-jo deal better with emotional burden, in season 2, she wants to finally get rid of it as her relationship with Lee Hye-yeong becomes deeper day by day.
Of the characters and the plot development, Love Alarm S2 director Kim Jin-woo says, "Everyone’s a little more mature in season two, but they're still struggling to come to grips with life. That's what we tried to portray… Stories needed to be developed and elements of fantasy had to be added while maintaining social relationships. All these things had to be dealt with simultaneously."
Find out more about Love Alarm S2, its characters, and the plot development with these keywords pointed out by the series' lead trio: Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, and Song Kang. Check out the gallery below:
"Love Alarm S2" Lead Stars Kim So-Hyun, Song Kang, and Jung Ga-Ram
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As Kim Jo-jo wanted to hide how she truly feels, she felt it was necessary to activate the Shield function of her app. Because of that, Kim So-hyun said her character has become defensive in a way. But in season 2, Kim Jo-jo realizes the negative effects of depending on the shield. Kim So-hyun shares, "The frustration of having used the shield leads to Jo-jo taking different actions, and it leads to her personal growth and development... The shield not only protects you but it can also hurt others, right? Jo-jo doesn’t know how she feels as well because her feelings are guarded to herself because of the shield as well." But as Kim Jo-jo and Lee Hye-yeong establish a deeper connection in season 2, he has somewhat become her shield as Jung Ga-ram says, "In this season, Jo-jo is someone that I [Hye-yeong] wanted to protect even more."
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This word is something the characters have a hard time doing. Ultimately, the love problems they encounter result from their inability to express how they really feel deep inside, limited by what the app explicity shows. It's true, actions may indeed speak louder than words, but words (sweet, honest, and genuine words) can strengthen a bond. Out of the three lead characters, even though he still keeps some feelings to himself, it can be said that Jung Ga-ram's Lee Hye-yeong is the one who's most expressive in a way. Jung Ga-ram says, "Hye-yeong tries to express his feelings for Jo-jo even more and he tries to get through everything together with Jo-jo."
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The lead trio is no longer the naive high school students they were years ago. Each character went through growth and maturity, and they now have different points of view and even priorities in life. As for Hwang Sun-oh, Song Kang says, "In season one, Sun-oh was a high school student. You saw the pure and youthful side of him. However, since he broke up with his high school crush Jo-jo, he's very heartbroken. But in season two, Sun-oh becomes more mature and grown up, and you'll be able to see Sun-oh as an adult." Growth and maturity is also something that Kim So-hyun's Kim Jo-jo experiences in season 2 as reflected by the illustrations in her "The Ringing World" series. She tells Metro, "Not much has changed in terms of the illustrations because Jo-jo is not the type to express these bold statements into her drawings, but the messages that are incorporated into the illustrations do change as Jo-jo's emotions evolve over time."
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Just as the Love Alarm app version 2.0 now gives users options in that they're presented with fellow users who are most likely to fall in love with and who they're likely to fall for, one's choice (whether to pursue a connection made through the app or not be dictated by it) becomes an extremely important factor. If this app really existed, would Kim So-hyun choose to download it? She says, "My choices ended up in the story hurting Sun-oh and Hye-yeong without my intention. So, that was very difficult. So for me, even if it were real, I think I would prefer to express my feelings with my own words, rather than using the app." Song Kang agrees with Kim So-hyun, saying that while the app is convenient because one need not express or verbalize his feelings, he'd choose to deliver his feelings in his own words because he feels it's more genuine that way.
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Being in a love triangle is difficult as it is, so imagine how harder it is to be in that situation when you're competing with a childhood friend. Lee Hye-yeong and Hwang Sun-oh grew up with each other, only for their friendship to be tested by the fact that they fell in love with the same girl. "They may be friends but they’re still wary of each other and grow a little distant," Jung Ga-ram says. Song Kang adds, "We had to show that we were friends but also caught in a love triangle. That was the most difficult part of playing the role. But since Ga-ram and I are close, we talk often about these things so it was easier to portray that onscreen."
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The app may be fun to have when you're in high school and all about puppy love or infatuation. But as one grows up, one realizes that love is such an intricate feeling and emotion, so much so it needs to be expressed in different ways in order to grow, and that's something that's beyond what a mobile app can offer. The app has hurt the characters, but it eventually became instrumental to the their healing as well. "They healed their wounds and matured while reaffirming their feelings through each other and not through an app," Jung Ga-ram shares.
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See more glam shots of the "Love Alarm S2" lead trio as you scroll through this gallery...