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Summer Strike: Overview, Cast, 4 Fun Facts & More

Overview of Summer Strike

‘Summer Strike’ is a 2022 South Korean television series starring Kim Seol-hyun and Im Si-wan. It is based on the webtoon ‘I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything’, written by Joo Young-hyun. ‘Summer Strike’ is about two people trying to find themselves in a new place after leaving their old and complicated lives behind in a city.

From November 21 2022, through December 27 2022, 12 episodes of the show were streamed on Genie TV and on Seezn (an OTT media service). It also aired on ENA’s Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:20 (KST) time slot, from the release date.

Profile

  • Drama: Summer Strike
  • Director: Lee Yoon-jung, Hong Moon-pyo
  • Writers: Lee Yoon-jung, Hong Moon-pyo
  • Genre: Melodrama, Romance, Slice-of-life
  • Network: ENA
  • Episodes: 12
  • Release Date: November 21 –December 27, 2022
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

Cast

Main 

  • Kim Seol-hyun as Lee Yeo-reum:
    A 28-year-old woman who decides to leave her five-year employment and relocate to Agnok, a seaside village.
  • Im Si-wan as Ahn Dae-beom:
    A librarian at Angok Public Library who is also a math genius.

Supporting 

  • Shin Eun-soo as Kim Bom
  • Bang Jae-min as Heo Jae-hoon
  • Park Ye-young as Jo Ji-young
  • Kwak Min-gyu as Bae Sung-min
  • Kim Joon as Bae Joo

Synopsis

‘Summer Strike’ opens with the life of a young woman, Lee Yeo-reum (Kim Seol-hyun) who decides to start a new life in a remote village, leaving behind her stressful and hurtful memories back in the city. The heroine’s mother passed away in a tragic accident shortly after she gets dumped by her boyfriend, whom she loved a lot. Yeo-reum’s job got increasingly stressful, and her main routine consisted of reporting to the office and returning home, leaving little time for herself. So, despite being awarded permanent contract status at work, she decides to resign from her job and leave the city.

A string of disasters drives her to seek a new sky and fresh air far from her existing life. She moves to a seaside village named Angok and there she decides to do absolutely nothing for a while and cut herself off from her previous life. In Angok, Yeo-reum meets the residents and Ahn Dae-beom (Im Si-wan) with whom she strikes up a very close relationship and later serves as the drama’s love interest. Ahn Dae-beom works as a librarian at the Angok public library.

Dae-beom has his own share of skeletons in the closet, and he is likewise in the process of healing and self-identification. Years ago, he was a math whiz with a bright academic future ahead of him. However, life had something else in store for him as he left the large metropolis and scholastic life on his own. He hardly talks to people, and when he does, he stutters. He somehow finds himself at ease with Yeo-reum and finds delight in their companionship.

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Im Si-wan as Ahn Dae-beom in “Summer Strike” 2022 Credit: Pinterest

For Yeo-reum, Angok served as a recalibration point. In the beginning, the moment she steps off the bus, Yeo-reum runs to the lake and lets herself float in it. She declares that her “life is on strike.” She tells herself “I do what I want to do”.

Perhaps that is the moment when she actually starts living. Yeo-reum has her own set of fears and concerns about being in a new place that is strange to her, but she is also excited about starting a new life that would allow her to read all day and watch movies all night. Yeo-reum attains satisfaction and contentment when listening to her heart. This was something she lacked. Earlier, her life consisted of the exchange of one’s self and time for money.

Yeo-reum locates a rental house for $50 per month. It is an old billiard house and she renovates it herself. To support her living expenses for a year without a job, she devises a cost-effective plan that reduces her expenses to ten dollars per day, buys just the necessities, eats home-cooked meals, and prioritises quantity over quality.

Initially, she is met with a lukewarm response by the villagers. She had to cope with cold and mean people, harassing children and anonymously spray-painted threatening messages on her apartment walls to leave the place. She eventually seems to blend in and receives kinder and more welcoming replies from the people. Despite just being in Angok for a short time, she goes above and beyond to support those she cares about.

She has a nice sisterly friendship with Bom, who was a rude teenage neighbour at first but was a sweet girl on the inside. When Bom wishes to escape her father’s harsh attitude, Yeo-reum becomes a safe haven for her. Yeo-reum even prepares to get her rent back and leave the place in order to pay Bom’s hospital fees in the event of a medical emergency.

From arranging a welcome back party for Bom from the hospital to taking her out on a vacation to get away from the awful occurrences and becoming the language teacher for Bom’s grandmother, Yeo-reum starts to become family and an essential person among the Agnok residents. A beautiful aspect of Yeo-reum’s life and experiences in the little town was the blossoming friendship she had with Dae-beom, who openly expressed his happiness to her for being there.

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Im Si-wan as Ahn Dae-beom in “Summer Strike” (2022) Credit: Pinterest

Dae-beom’s past traumas begin to hit him and take a toll on him just as Yeo-reum and Dae-beom begin to grow closer. As the plot progresses, we can see that, in addition to a healing and self-identification theme, it also works as a murder mystery denouement that is connected to Dae-beom’s past.

Yeo-reum discovers Geun-Ho, a mentally handicapped person to be responsible for the graffiti on her apartment walls. However, at the request of Geun Ho’s mother, Yeo-reum conceals it from the authorities.

Later, in an unfortunate incident involving Bom’s grandmother’s death, Geun-Ho reveals himself as the murderer, which causes Yeo-reum to have some concerns. After the tragic incident, the people of Angok blamed Yeo-reum for not reporting the earlier vandalism crimes to the authorities and started to point to her as the reason behind Bom’s grandma’s death. Devastated Yeo-reum regrets remaining back at Angok and makes the decision to leave the place.

Dae-beom instantly comes back from Seol, dropping all his educational pursuits upon receiving the news of Yeo-reum’s departure. He calms her and assures her of his support by warmly embracing her. Both Yeo-reum and Dae-beom are on a mission to resolve the mystery behind Bom’s grandmother’s demise since they perceive some holes in the whole occurrence. It seems that someone was mimicking Geun-Ho and performing the crimes in his name.

20 years ago, Dae-beom saw his sister’s and mother’s lifeless bodies in this old billiard house which was his childhood home. That serves the same reason why Dae-beom is always scared to enter Yeo-reum’s house, even though he wants to visit her and the tragic memories still haunt him.

It appears that the latest occurrence is connected to the murders that occurred years ago. It turns out Geun Ho witnessed Dae-beom’s sister Sun-Ah’s death in the old billiard house.

Kwak Moo-chul, who is Kwak Doo-hee’s son, killed Sun-Ah accidently. They were bickering while she was studying, and he had a scuffle with her and hit her. She tumbled into a shelf, struck her head hard, and died. Geun Ho witnessed that. He ends up verifying this to the cops. With his testimony, they were both arrested. That was the reason why he did graffiti on Yeo-reum’s apartment walls in an attempt to save her, as he believed anybody who stayed there would perish.

Kwak merely wanted to cover up for his kid, which is why he also killed Grandmother and duplicated the graffiti on Yeo-reum’s apartment walls to make it appear like it was Geun Ho’s fault. The puzzles get addressed, and the air starts to be free. Dae-beom goes back to his father and apologises for accusing him.

Yeo-reum decides to stay behind in Angok. She rents a room in Bom’s house and takes up a job where she needs to spend only a few hours in the early morning to acquire more time for herself. The parallel love story of Bom and Jae-hoon, which endured some lows, appears to bloom afresh on its own. Yeo-reum and Dae-beom are comfortable remaining back in Angok, and Dae-beom periodically visits Seol to work on his theories.

The air of summer seems to be returning to the life of the residents of Angok after a brief period of a whirlwind. ‘Summer Strike’ closes with Yeo-reum’s cheerful thoughts of contentment and satisfaction regarding the present moment she is living in. It goes like, “This really is enough. I still haven’t figured out how I should live my life, but this is good enough. I shall live.”

Theme

Narrating the story in 12 brief episodes, ‘Summer Strike’ presents the profound theme of ‘reflections on life’ in front of us. It tells us how crucial it is to look into one’s own self once in a while to feed our souls with some freshness. Taking a break is the most essential thing that we frequently overlook. There is a need that sometimes when we breathe in and breathe out, we don’t have the windings of time-bound tasks around us.

Yeo-reum, in fact, takes us to an understanding where she teaches us about unwinding, the pleasure of doing nothing, and how the simple joys of life may bring us happiness and complete our spirit.

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Kim Seol-hyun as Lee yeo-reum in “Summer Strike” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

Meeting ends is often the biggest motivation in most people’s lives. But in that process, the wholesomeness and simple joys that surround us are often overlooked. It’s the chase and race that lead our lives. Our habits and motivations are guided by predetermined standards. It always tells us to seek more and chase more. But, ‘Summer Strike’ shows us an alternate side, where the chase and race are ignored and people are satisfied.

In the final episode, Yeo-reum tells herself, “I still don’t know the answer to how I should live. But I’m enough now. Let’s live.” Yeo-reum is no longer waiting for all the answers, and she understands that one doesn’t need the perfect life to be happy. She sees the moment as perfect and thinks it is enough. In fact, in all our lives, it takes a lot of understanding and courage to think that something is enough for us.

The grim realities of the city contrasted with the simplicity and goodness of village life are beautifully presented in it. The ‘art of doing nothing’ and celebrating small joys of life form the essence of ‘Summer Strike’. The way the plot develops allows us to see the characters’ daily lives.

There are no extraordinary happenings in their lives, but the simple and routine experiences depicted emphasise the importance of focusing on the little pleasures in life. The love and optimism the protagonists find in the countryside help them heal their scars from the past, and they consider the present moment to be beautiful and sufficient. With its scenery, music, characters, and jokes, ‘Summer Strike’ gives us the feeling of a visiting summer breeze that kindles our spirits.

Romance in Summer Strike

Everything seems very minimal and limited in ‘Summer Strike’. Even the romance between Yeo-reum and Dae-beom is not presented in a typical popular manner. Talking to each other, opening up freely, making sweet demands, holding hands, and walking on the beach seem to fulfil them. The romance and chemistry between them may differ from other popular K-dramas. But ‘Summer Strike’ tells us it can still be lovely even if we don’t do it the world’s way. Looking at each other’s smiles with fulfilment, being kind, and appreciating the other person’s existence in their lives perhaps forms their equation of love.

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Kim Seol-hyun as Lee yeo-reum and Im Si-wan as Ahn Dae-boom in “Summer Strike” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

Dae-beom does not openly tell Yeo-reum that he likes her, but he does numerous lovely actions that convey his feelings for her. It includes lending her library books while she is a bystander at the hospital, caring for her pet dog Geoul, paying Bom’s hospital expenses so that Yeo-reum does not struggle financially and leaves Angok, buying her sneakers based on an approximate measurement so that she does not have to stop jogging.

He even comes from Seoul just to have a movie date with her, extending mental and emotional support to her in critical situations, and, most importantly, listing out all the good moments with her and expressing his extreme happiness for Yeo-reum’s presence in his life.

During their movie date, all Yeo-reum can see is Dae-beom’s delight and smile, as this was his first time at a movie theatre. He even purchases a new phone, which was largely out of his choice of purchases, solely to communicate with Yeo-reum while he is at Seol. The duo appears to be content with their own way of expressing love. They live their lives unplanned and uncomplicated, and along the way, they reach a great level of enjoyment and self-growth.

Awards

  1. LA Web Fest (Los Angeles Web Series Festival)- 2023
    Best Actress – Long Form Series- Kim Seol-hyun (2023)

Interesting Facts about Summer Strike

  1. ‘Summer Strike’ is based on a webtoon, originally named Summer Strike written by Joo-Young-hyun.
  2. The title’s literal meaning is ‘I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything’.
  3. Filming of ‘Summer Strike’ was conducted for six months in several locations including Gurye, Gokseong, and Namhae.
  4. ‘Summer Strike’ was well appreciated by the viewers as a story of healing and growth that emphasizes the significance of empathy and human connection.

FAQs

  1. Who is the Director of Summer Strike?
    Lee Yoon-Jung and Hong Moon-pyo
  2. How many episodes are there in ‘Summer Strike’?
    12 episodes.
  3. How many languages are Summer Strike subtitles available in?
    19 including English.
  4. What is Kim Seol-hyun’s official Instagram ID?
    Her instagram ID is s2seolhyuns2.
  5. What is Im Si-wan’s official instagram ID?
    His instagram ID is yim_siwang.

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