Destined with You season 1 review: Lacks depth and originality

Destined with You follows the love story of Hong-jo and Sin-yu, who are brought together by a curse and a centuries-old spell book. All episodes of the show are now streaming on Netflix.


Lee Hong-jo, a civil servant, gets transferred to the Greenway Building Division of Onju City Hall. While handling a complaint filed by the locals, she meets Jang Sin-yu, a successful lawyer whose life seems to be perfect.

However, Sin-yu’s life is not as perfect as it seems. He is bound by a curse that is centuries old. When he finds a wooden box with a spell book in it, he is told by a shaman that Hong-jo might be able to help him break the curse that is cutting his life short.

After receiving the spell book, Hong-jo casts a love spell to make Kwon Jae-gyeong, the most handsome man at City Hall, fall in love with her, but instead of Jae-gyeong, the spell ends up working on Sin-yu, who already has a girlfriend.

As circumstances bring the two of them closer, Hong-jo and Sin-yu cannot help but fall in love with each other. Will Hong-jo be able to break the curse, or will their love die with Sin-yu?


Rowoon, who plays Sin-yu, steals the spotlight. He goes from being the typical alpha male to a lovesick man whose declarations of love are as ridiculous as they are funny. Rowoon depicts different sides of his character, and he does it very well.

Although Jo Bo-ah is a good actor, Hong-jo’s part did not suit her. The actor’s potential was seen in serious scenes, but she failed to impress when it came to light-hearted scenes, which the show has a lot, considering that it is a romcom. 

Ha Jun as Kwon Jae-gyeong is convincing as a no-nonsense man who can be friendly and warm. He easily switches between being good and bad and makes the audience question his intentions.


When the love spell turns Sin-yu into a reluctant romantic, the show becomes very entertaining. It is amusing to see a self-conceited man declare his love in the most unexpected and silly ways.

One can describe Destined with You as a pretty show. The cinematography and the direction bring out the beauty of the sets. In that regard, it is quite charming.


It starts off as an entertaining show, but after a few episodes, the plot seems to be all over the place; it has no structure whatsoever. The show then becomes muddled and unexciting, as it is full of fillers and overly stretched.

On top of that, the plot is full of clichés. After the first few episodes, the show does not have much to offer, as it uses all the exhausted ideas, like the female character sacrificing her love to save the one she loves, that have already been used in numerous romance dramas.

The show jumps from one conflict to another without properly exploring or ending any of them. The unending conflicts are almost farcical. Towards the end, the lead characters take turns getting critically wounded by the same antagonist. 

The lead characters go from disliking each other to falling in love in the blink of an eye. Their past life is used to justify that they were destined to fall in love. However, this justification fails to convince the audience that their feelings are genuine. 

One of the worst things about the show has to be the portrayal of female characters. Hong-jo is a grown woman who talks and acts like a child, which is not cute but maddening. The ones who are not infantilized are portrayed as scheming villains, like Na-yeon, or envious and annoying women, like Hong-jo’s coworkers.


Destined with You is a romance comedy that will not be liked by everyone. It can be funny at times, but the romance lacks depth and does not offer anything unique.

Destined with You season 1
Destined with You season 1 review: Lacks depth and originality 1

Director: Nam Ki-hoon

Date Created: 2023-10-14 14:08

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Destined with You season 1 finale recap, review & ending explained

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