College romance takes the spotlight in “Dear.M”

Set on a campus filled with computer science and business majors, "Dear.M" is a relatable and interesting drama. Photo courtesy of KBS.

“Dear.M” takes place in an alternate universe of the year 2020 where the pandemic never happened and tells the story of six college students who meet after being assigned as roommates. The drama was set to premiere in 2021 but was postponed until mid-2022. Despite the later premiere, the drama’s story is unharmed by the delay and is still relatable to young people now – a great feat because of constantly changing tastes and trends. There aren’t enough stories about college students, which is why “Dear.M” is a must-watch that acknowledges all the highs and lows of campus life.

The drama is a spin-off of one of the best Korean web dramas, “Love Playlist,” and it follows the lives of students at the fictional Seoyeon University. Since this is a spin-off, most of the main cast is all new except for two characters. There is one character who returns in a minor role, so fans should keep their eyes peeled. It centers on romance, but the friendships the characters make and trials they go through on their path to graduation are the real stars of the show.

In “Dear.M”, the main characters are all in the same free elective, Photography and Appreciation, and after the first day, a classmate anonymously confesses their feelings to another classmate who they call “M” on their school’s message board app. As the group of friends explore their own new relationships, they also eagerly try to uncover who the mysterious poster is — and if the person is someone in their group. Though the premise might sound hopelessly romantic, the antics of the characters as they navigate this mystery and general school ground the narrative in reality. It also helps that UTD has its own forum app similar to the one in the drama.

The main characters of “Dear.M” are a group of business and computer science majors. The plight of computer science majors was portrayed so accurately that every UTD student watching will grit their teeth at every error the characters encounter in their code. But it’s not only computer science majors; the struggles of all college students are meticulously depicted and are a great reminder that despite living in different countries and experiencing different cultures, some things are universal, like the panic of forgetting midterms and the initial anxiety of first love.

Though audiences may find themselves having to pause and take breaks due to frustrating situations, that’s a sign that the drama and its actors are playing with our emotions in just the right way, as it mirrors real life. Who hasn’t wanted to take a break from real-life drama? However, the pause time for this drama won’t be long, since the plot begs the audience to wonder what will happen to the endearing ensemble cast.

“Dear.M” marked the debut of K-pop group NCT’s Jaehyun as an actor, and his performance is so natural that even fans will forget he’s an idol and see him only as Cha Min-ho, one of the drama’s lead characters. Some of the actors from the original web drama came back for this continuation. Bae Hyun-sung, whose first role was in the last two seasons of “Love Playlist,” reprises the clueless and soft Park Han-eul. Since the web drama, his career has continued to show promise with roles in popular dramas like “Hospital Playlist” and “Our Blues.”

College stories hit the right spot to tackle the naivety of youth and the complexities of growing up. Unlike high school dramas, where viewers have to suspend their disbelief at these grand gestures happening behind the backs of parents, college students have the freedom to explore what life has in store — for better or for worse.

The main couple of “Dear.M” are childhood friends with a relationship dynamic similar to the one in “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” so if you liked that drama, you’ll like this one! The friendships are structured like the C-drama “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” so it will likely appeal to fans of that show. For all college students who want to see themselves and their daily lives represented, “Dear.M” is a show you can’t miss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *