I started watching Love to Hate You without knowing anything except a 2 line synopsis about that Netflix showed.

I wanted to binge a Kdrama and it showed up in some Netflix list on my home page so I clicked it. Based on the title, I expected a hate-to-love romance. The synopsis mentioned something about a stunt double. I didn't spend any time to find out more and just went for it.

The drama pleasantly surprised me.

what is Love to Hate You about?

Yeo Mi-ran is a badass and confident lawyer who has absolutely no faith in men because every man she has come across has disappointed her. She thinks they are trash and never gives them the benefit of the doubt because of her past experiences. When she comes across Nam Kang-ho—a popular romance actor—badmouthing women, she decides to put him in his place.

Nam Kang-ho had a bad experience with a woman before and it has literally shaken him up. He tries to have a confident and polite look but actually cannot stand women and thinks that they're all gold-diggers. It does not help that he is a popular actor in romance media and has many women throwing themselves on him.

Yeo Mi-ran and Nam Kang-ho essentially hate the opposite gender but take a liking to each other when they realize that the other person isn't like their expectations. It's a hate-to-love romance drama with several plot changes that puts them together more often. Some of them are coincidental and a lot of them are by choice for different reasons.

still from Love to Hate You showing Kang-ho and Mi-ran facing off in a fight

my thoughts on Love to Hate You

Here's the biggest downer of the drama—it does not start well. The beginning was choppy and not well done. It wasn't subtle at all. It wasn't friendly to viewers. It showed scenes and the viewers have to figure out the setting and the characters.

I go into a lot of shows without knowing anything about them and have never felt as lost as I felt with this one. In fact, I wondered if I was watching the right drama because the synopsis mentioned that the main character was a stunt double but she was actually a lawyer. The stunt double part came into pictures only halfway into the drama, and by then the romance was quite developed.

It took me the first two episodes to get a proper understanding and not feel lost. That was two hours of watch time before I began to like anything about the drama. And considering that this has a total of 10 episodes, that's a huge bit. If I wasn't in an open mood that day or I was ready to go on the hunt for another show, I might have dropped this one.

However, after the initial couple of episodes, it was easy to like the drama. The setting and the characters "settled down" and the scenes made sense together. The drama got into a proper flow, and it really impressed me.

Yeo Mi-ran from Love to Hate You

We have a badass lead in Yeo Mi-ran, who is so different from generic Kdrama leads. She is confident, stubborn, gets riled up easily, and will fight for her loved ones (physically or otherwise) in a heartbeat. She's a lawyer who doesn't hesitate to throw punches if the situation warrants them. She absolutely refuses to be a meek woman in need of a knight in shining armour. Mi-ran would rather be the saviour.

I've seen a few dramas where the women are fighters but they have always been depicted as "soft." For example, Park Shin-hye's role in the drama Doctors. She could be a motorcycle-riding thug and her fighting skills and personality set her apart BUT she is still a "soft" person for most of the drama. And often, her love interest is depicted to be "stronger" than her.

Although dramas have tried to break away from gender stereotypes, they still follow them for the most part. No character has so fully broken out of that mould as Yeo Mi-ran in Love to Hate You.

Mi-ran is, without a doubt, the saviour and the hero in this show. She fights well, saves people from getting beaten up by beating up bullies, and does random heroic acts. It never occurs to her to stand by or call for help, she jumps in and does what needs to be done. More than once, she questions why when people (including her love interest) ask her to be more careful or let others be heroes. She refuses to be a damsel-in-distress and has literally physically trained to be otherwise.

One very noticeable pattern in the drama is the way Mi-ran is often the only woman in a male-centric space. She gets a job in a law firm that notoriously hires only men, fights well enough to have camaraderie with mostly men stunt doubles, and more. She never shies away from male-dominated spaces and demands her space among them.

The main difference between her and most Kdrama leads is that she wouldn't be described as a "soft person." She is hard and harsh. She becomes a little soft with her partner when she's in love but never becomes a meek woman. She never stands secondary to him in anything. In fact, he learns fighting from her.

So, I was basically in love with her character. Mi-ran is not a flawless person but I absolutely loved all of her—the good sides and the bad sides. She was a refreshing character and an inspiring one.

I especially liked how she always stood her ground even if it was against her own father—even if she would never have a good relationship with him as long as she refused to be a stereotypical woman. I am disappointed that his influence on her personality and how she clearly became the opposite of his perfect daughter wasn't delved into, but considering how short the drama is, I will take it.

Nam Kang-ho from Love to Hate You drama

In contrast to Yeo Mi-ran stands Nam Kang-ho, a popular actor known for his roles as the perfect lover and is hailed to be just as perfect in real life. However, he is very much flawed off-screen. Whenever a female actress is unyielding to anything, he insults them to their faces and has burned several bridges. Although he can act well, he is basically an ass in real life and requires guidance from his agent/best friend to have a reputation.

He hasn't had a good experience with a woman before and has since scorned every other woman around him. He doesn't believe that any of them are well-intentioned. He even has major anxiety when he comes in contact with a woman and has to take pills during shoots to pull off the romantic scenes.

Although he has achieved fame in the romance sector, Kang-ho wants to break out of it to prove that he's capable of much more. When he finally gets a role in an action film and gets some criticism about not fighting like a street thug (like his role), he asks Mi-ran to train him because of her fighting style.

And that is the biggest difference between him and leads in other dramas—although he hates every woman on principle, he clearly recognizes talent and does not hesitate to ask a woman to teach him. When he sees her fight, he immediately respects her for her skills and effort. Mi-ran pretends to like him so he initially doesn't trust her but when he notices that she isn't vying for his attention like other women, he is okay with her.

Another difference in his character was his softness. Other male leads are soft to a degree but they aren't like Kang-ho. He does not put on a show of masculinity and is perfectly okay showing his vulnerabilities and being a simp for his girl.

I really liked his character growth. He starts out as a rude man but we soon realize that underneath the protective armour, he is a soft man who earnestly cares about his people and his job. He puts so much effort into his career and genuinely wanted to do his absolute best.

I have seen many dramas with celebrity heroes and this one wasn't like any of them. I didn't feel like anything was recycled or resembled something that's been done before.

The only disappointment was the lack of attention to his anxiety and healing. We saw a little about how he dealt with anxiety with women and that's it. There was nothing about its background and his issues disappeared after he started liking Mi-ran. I am not a fan of the "romance cures all" trope.

Kang-ho with his arm around Mi-ran and they are both smiling off to the side in the Korean drama Love to Hate You

The romance itself was very nice. I really liked the relationship growth and the way they added refreshing spins to regular tropes.

Mi-ran and Kang-ho have a hate-to-love romance because they hate the opposite gender at the beginning of the drama. However, their relationship progression isn't like the usual hate-to-love stories where the negative sparks turn into positive ones (although that's hella entertaining too).

They went from hating each other to liking each other as people and then began to have romantic feelings for each other. Kang-ho began to respect her first before liking her. Mi-ran found out that he was a good guy who went against her prejudices first. Both of them had to realize that the other person wasn't like their expectations and had to accept that people of the opposite gender may not be the same before developing romantic feelings.

It was lovely to see Mi-ran fall in love for the first time and believe that she found a good guy after all her experiences. And she had unwavering faith in him.

I loved the people they became when they were in love. Their romance added to their individual character growth. Kang-ho became a cinnamon roll with her and she became the softest ever only with him. I loved how they supported each other with their passions.

I wouldn't say that this is one of the most memorable romances I've seen on screen but it is something different. It's not flashy or dramatic but is set apart in a more subtle way. It was quite entertaining too.

The romance didn't have a lot of trials to go through because the drama is short and there's more screen time for individual growth, but I really liked how the romance was simpler and more mature. It did not fall into the toxic jealousy trope or redo the "press and paparazzi ruin the romance." Even when the third-act breakup hit, I accepted it because it was actually reasonable.

Hwang Ji-ye and Yeo Mi-ran having spicy food and alcohol in the drama Love to Hate You

Coming to the supporting characters and secondary relationships...

While the drama has two other leads, they're more like the top secondary characters because they're best friends with the main characters. We don't see their individual growth and get the bare minimum on their backgrounds. Those two also have a romance and I couldn't care about it. There was no real chemistry between them and it was purely based on instant attraction. Their relationship made no sense and neither did their third-act breakup.

My favourite supporting character was Hwang Ji-ye, an older actress who is going through a divorce and the public backlash because of it. Her character seems shallow in the beginning but we learn more about her and I began to like her. I loved how she demanded for a female attorney for her divorce and said that men wouldn't represent her well because they wouldn't understand.

I also loved the relationship between her and Mi-ran. Ji-ye and Mi-ran had an unlikely and lovely friendship. They bonded over spicy food and stereotypes about women. They became such good friends and clearly made a difference in each other's lives. I loved it.

On a similar note, all of the friendships in the drama were great. Ji-ye and Mi-ran, Mi-ran and her BFF Na-eun, and Kang-ho and his BFF Won-jun.

My favourite friendship was Kang-ho and Won-jun's. They unabashedly spent all their time together, were cheesy with each other, and were affectionate. Neither of them had toxic masculinity issues. They supported one another, joked often, and insulted each other like siblings. I loved how they were so close that people sometimes thought they were romantically involved. They were very funny. I loved watching them interact.

Kang-ho and Won-jun sitting next to each other in the drama Love to Hate You


If you don’t want to get spoiled, click here to skip to the “overall” concluding section.

I don't have too much to say, just a few appreciative points:

  • I loved how Won-jun wholeheartedly supported Kang-ho and Mi-ran's relationship. He literally set up a fake dating plot to encourage them to date and even told them to give it a real go. It was refreshing compared to regular dramas where people around the celebrity discourage dating—especially with someone outside the industry—due to instinctive distrust.
  • When Kang-ho told Mi-ran's parents that he respected her, I low-key fell in love with him. Mi-ran's mom CRIED out of happiness. It was perfect because Mi-ran's dad never appreciated or respected his wife even after she became a published author. Mi-ran finding a guy who publicly says that he respects her was the best. And Mi-ran has been "loved" by many before but what she needed was respect and she found her person. Aah, I teared up during that episode.
  • Kang-ho thought "mad respect" multiple times about Mi-ran, loved that!
  • It was nice to see Mi-ran's ex come forward at the end and publicly reveal that she's a hero and not the slut the press painted her as.
  • I was quite annoyed with Na-eun being floored by Won-jun's looks all the time and clearly not seeing deeper into his character. I was so annoyed by her, ugh. Her "dilemma" with liking him was annoying too.
  • And what was with her saying that Mi-ran had to get a job and keep them afloat??? She has a job too! And if her job paid so low, I would have liked to see more struggle on her part. Instead of sympathising with Mi-ran and supporting her during job search, she just complained about Mi-ran not being able to pay for most of their rent.
  • Yeah, I didn't like Na-eun. She had her good parts but I mostly didn't like her.


Love to Hate You is an entertaining drama with interesting characters. Don't go into it expecting a deep plot or deep conversations. It is only 10 episodes and is meant to be a light and binge-able drama. And it is definitely a drama. It's filled with dramatic stuff of just the right amount.

I binged this drama in one day. After the initial two episodes, it was really easy to watch and have fun with. If you're looking for a fun drama with a refreshing plot that will make you laugh, watch this.

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let's chat!

Have you watched Love to Hate You? What did you think of it? Do you have any drama recommendations showing women breaking stereotypes?

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • wizmosis says:

    I am a big k-drama fan and really liked this one, and your review of it. I especially like it when the FL is loved not just for her lovely appearance but for her values and talents. This FL was really good at everything she set her mind to, and had a very good heart. She won over her colleagues and did lots of kind things. She also apologized when she was wrong and was excited that her new love was teaching her to be nicer. I especially liked the playfulness, teasing and wrestling the ML did with both his best friend and with the FL. He was warm and charming and genuine.

    One thing you mentioned; that his dislike of women wasn't explained; He did describe how his mother only married his father for money and when he went broke she was unsupportive, and quickly remarried a wealthy man soon after his father died. Plus, ten years ago his first love, the actress now starring in his current movie, got famous and dropped him because he was an unknown then, and accused him of stalking her. That explained it to me. And to underline his distaste, that spoiled pouty actress he's working with when we first meet him, the one who starts the rumor that he's gay, just emphasizes everything he dislikes about women.

    I also liked that at least twice reference was made to how bad an actor the handsome agent had been. I think they must have had fun with that. And when the second leads meet, both of them get the "fan hair" treatment and he does a little hair toss in slo-mo. Cracked me up.

    Did a little digging and the ML speaks fluent English, Korean and his first language is German! Grew up in Germany, moved to NY and studied in London. He's also been married to a wild performance artist for over a decade.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      I'm glad you liked the review! I agree with everything you said about the FL.

      On the ML's dislike of women, yeah what you makes sense. I think I'm just disappointed that it didn't get much screen time and we had to piece it together from scenes here and there.

      Yes about the second leads! But I found it surprising that the second lead is bad at acting but he was able to "teach" the ML so well.

      Oh that's interesting. I hope to see the FL and ML actors in other dramas.

      Reply ➔
  • Inah says:

    I keep seeing this on Netflix and was wondering if I should watch it. I feel like I'm hitting a k-drama slump so I guess I'll try this!

    Reply ➔
  • Anoushka says:


    so look. i've only ever watched a single k-drama uptil now BUT THIS SOUNDS SO NICE I WANT. i mean?? throw around declarations of the female mc being a badass AND I'M BASICALLY SOLD?? so yes please.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Haha yeah I've been working on it for a while and finally got it up. Glad to surprise you!!

      Badass heroines are totally up your street and I'm sure you'll like the lead in this drama!

      Reply ➔
  • Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    Now I have to watch this one. It sounds fun.

    Reply ➔