‘Love To Hate You’ Season 1: Recap & Ending: Do Mi-ran & Gang-ho End Up Together? Will There Be A Season 2?

K-dramas have been everyone’s go-to romance shows for the latter half of the last decade. Those who weren’t familiar before got acquainted with the wondrous world of Dramaland during the lockdown. Since then, the number of shows and diversified content has been overwhelmingly huge. So, in the season for everything romantic, it would be preposterous not to watch a Korean drama. Now that times have changed, they’ve made them easier for us to watch, too, going from 16 one-and-a-half-hour episodes to now 12, 10, and even eight episodes. The show, “Love to Hate You” that we’ve just finished is not just short and perfectly binge-worthy at ten one-hour episodes, but it is all things unique, packaging the “enemies to lovers” trope in a brand-new bundle.

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“Love to Hate You” uses stereotypical K-drama scenes and turns them around on their heels, giving us a more refreshing and modern take on things with older actors. But that’s not to say the show isn’t flawed, and all its “ideas” should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s like the female gaze from the perspective of a man, but still, it’s an enjoyable show. If nothing else, a reason to watch “Love to Hate You” is the pining between the second lead couple.

Spoilers Ahead

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What Is ‘Love to Hate You’ About?

Yeo Mi-Ran is the definition of “not like other girls.” She’s not just strong-willed but physically strong and beats up drunk thieves to save strangers. She’s a playgirl who breaks the hearts of men who are already cheaters (whatever that means) and hasn’t ever fallen in love. She claims to be cautious around men because her father’s patriarchal ways have poisoned her thoughts on love (although we barely see this play out). She loves being victorious and is a rookie lawyer who dabbles in all kinds of law (a genius, wow!). She even categorizes all men into various boxes of her own. Nam Gang-Ho is a ‘master of kissing,’ the king of K-dramas. He’s a beloved superstar who, behind the scenes, has an aversion to women. He thinks they’re all gold-diggers and heartbreakers (oh, how sad). Mi-Ran’s best friend, Shin Na-Eun, falls for the wrong “handsome” men and gets her heart broken all the time, whereas Do Won-Jun, Gang-Ho’s best friend, manager, and guide, is a big flirt who keeps Gang-Ho from ruining his public image. How will the four of their lives wind together? Let’s find out.


‘Strong’ Woman Encounters’ Misogynistic’ Man 

Mi-Ran is at a resort solving a case for a young boy, showcasing how talented she is at beating up people like a thug rather than handling things as a lawyer would. While leaving, she comes across South Korean heartthrob Gang-Ho, who is talking to his friend. She overhears the conversation, and Gang-Ho is on about how all women are pathetic, looking not for love but for status and money. Why do they even work? Their grand scheme is to be rich forever. Mi-Ran is furious about Gang-Ho’s words but leaves from there. She’s having dinner with her best friend, explaining everything she’s just heard, and complaining about “all men” when her boss/co-founder of her law firm arrives. Yun Sung-Ho, according to Na-Eun, is the only exception—until he’s not. While they’re having dinner, we find out Na-Eun and Sung-Ho used to date, and they’re holding hands at the table and discussing old times when another woman arrives. Sung-Ho’s girlfriend of the past seven years, Mi-Ran, loses her only male friend and also her faith in all men. Because of this, she now has no money or job. She and Na-Eun have just moved into a new apartment, and she needs to find a way to pay for it for both of them.

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Strong Woman Finds A New Job At ‘All Male’ Firm 

Choi Su-Jin is a veteran actress who’s just been divorced. She’s tired of the male lawyer and asks Gil Mu Law firm to hire their first female lawyer to handle her cases. Reluctantly, they agree to do so, and Mi-Ran happens to interview for the post. While waiting to be interviewed, she sees Gang-Ho and trips him with her foot in front of everyone. Mi-Ran, of course, gets the job as the only woman in line (oh! Amazing merit!). She signs an NDA that states that if any of the clients’ (all from the entertainment industry) reputation is hurt because of her, she’ll have to pay three times her annual salary as compensation and will be removed from work immediately. Her ex works at the firm too, but she is “cool” about it and requests that he be professional. Meanwhile, Gang-Ho is shooting a “kiss scene” with a rookie actress, Hwang Ji-Hye. She previously stopped the shoot because she didn’t want to wear any makeup in case she got new endorsements. This is why Gang-Ho was making all those comments about women (wow! How sensible.). After shooting the scene, Gang-Ho washes out his mouth and gags without realizing too late that Ji-Hye has seen him. Mi-Ran attends a business party with the firm, where she meets Gang-Ho, embarrassingly karaoke-ing her way into the team. Gang-Ho realizes she’s the one who tripped him. She denies it at first, but he doesn’t believe her. She then pretends she’s a fan of his and just wanted to “touch him.”


Strong Woman Wants To Take Revenge For All Women 

After the party, Mi-Ran accidentally gets into Gang-Ho’s car and falls asleep in the back seat. They arrive at his house, and she realizes she’s in the wrong car and gets out in secret. Outside, she spies on Gang-Ho because she sees him with a young girl, whom she thinks is a minor. After seeing the two of them hug, her worst instinct comes into play, and she decides he’s “grooming a minor.” Mi-Ran takes it upon herself to ous him to  all his beloved fans. To do so, she decides to take up his case too. She asks her ex-boyfriend, who happens to be Gang-Ho’s lawyer (how convenient), if she can join him in Gang-Ho’s cases because she’s “interested in him.” He doesn’t agree at first, but due to circumstances, he sends her to get Gang-Ho out of some trouble. She arrives there, and it’s Gang-Ho’s fan club that is causing a ruckus. She patiently convinces them to leave as his ‘lawyer.’ Afterward, she asks him directly if she can help him because she won’t just be a great lawyer but can be his bodyguard too. He doesn’t believe her, so she shows off her amazing fighting skills to convince him. He’s amused but leaves. Outside his car, his manager tells him his stomach is upset, and Mi-Ran overhears. She convinces him to let her drive him. After taking her through some terribly narrow roads so she can cause trouble and get the car scratched, Mi-Ran proves she’s an amazing driver, and Gang-Ho is finally convinced to accept her help. 

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Gang-Ho Gets His Dream Role

Gang-Ho is tired of doing the ‘Melos’ (romantic dramas) and wants to move on to noir action films. Fortunately for him, a popular director has shared his script with him. He meets with the director, who likes him, but the lead actress hasn’t been decided yet. He gets the role, but the action director tells him his fighting skills are too sporty, and he needs to be more thug-like for this role. That’s when he decides to hire Mi-Ran as his fighting coach. She arrives at his house and sets up her mobile as a recording device to catch him doing the wrong things, but she is confused when he offers her the job. Finally, she agrees because she gets to beat him up.


The First Kiss

Mi-Ran and Gang-Ho have their first class. During the session, the young girl that Mi-Ran had seen comes by to meet her uncle. It turns out she’s actually Gang-Ho’s niece, the only girl he’s nice to. He even calls her princess. Mi-Ran realizes her mistake and lets him beat her up. After they’re done, he overhears someone wishing her a happy birthday on the phone. He feels guilty for making her work on her birthday and takes her out to eat. After dinner, he feels extra generous and offers her a hug as “fan service.” She’s taken aback when he hugs her. Then he realizes he’s not having a panic attack and decides to kiss her. Mi-Ran is completely shocked at first but then kisses him back. He freaks out and pushes her away, saying that’s the most he’s ever done as “fan service.” She can’t believe how pathetic he sounds and tells him how she actually hates him and tripped him on purpose.


A Gay Scandal

Gang-Ho and Won-Jun have food at the café and get clicked by the paparazzi. Gang-Ho gets labeled as gay (how progressive), and as everybody knows, a Korean star who is considered the “master of kissing” will be doomed and canceled if he comes out. Se-na, Gang-Ho’s ex—the person who made him the way he is—is cast as the leading lady of the movie. She traumatized him after her manager claimed he was a stalker to avoid a dating scandal when she was becoming a famous actress. Gang-Ho has panic attacks because of this every time he has to be intimate with a woman. So now, Se-na knows that Gang-Ho is not gay and would like to be his knight (or knight-ess) in shining armor by confessing to their relationship in public. Gang-Ho declines the offer. At the same time, Mi-Ran and Gang-Ho’s photos are in the hands of a reporter who’s threatening to publish them. Won-Jun’s brilliant idea was to let them get outed.


Fake Dating

In Dramaland, there’s no such thing as too many tropes. Won-Jun offers Mi-Ran money to fake a relationship with Gang-Ho. She agrees because she secretly likes him too, but pretends it’s for the money. Na-Eun happens upon the contract and decides to meet Won-Jun. Won-Jun is, of course, too handsome for her to handle, and she’s mesmerized by his looks. Won-Jun confesses that although he’s suggesting a fake relationship, he’d like them to actually fall in love with each other because his friend is lonely, and Mi-Ran is a great person. At Gang-Ho’s shoot for the noir film, Se-na’s stunt double has to leave because she’s pregnant. Gang-Ho’s solution is to get Mi-Ran to shoot until they find a replacement. She’s overjoyed by the idea. At first, Gang-Ho doesn’t tell anyone that Mi-Ran is his girlfriend (as no one would’ve seen the photos, but okay!) because they would find it uncomfortable to work with her. But later, when he sees her playing with the other stunt artists, he gets jealous and announces that they’re together.

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Love Triangles And A Life And Death Situation

Mi-Ran realizes Se-na is truly in love with Gang-Ho and wants to help them get together. Gang-Ho sees through her plan and warns her that he has no interest. His eyes are only on Mi-Ran. During the shooting of the film, Gang-Ho is doing a high-tension stunt, and some of the crew members are about to fall. Mi-Ran notices the issue and rushes to their rescue, saving them and Gang-Ho but falling off the escalator herself. She hurts her shoulder and gets stitches. Gang-Ho makes her rest in his own room and professes his love for her when he thinks she’s asleep.


The Parents Approve

Mi-Ran’s mother writes a book and invites Choi Su-Jin and Mi-Ran’s famous boyfriend to come to celebrate. He doesn’t show up because Mi-Ran hasn’t even told him and has also broken up with him because she’s apparently unable to like him back (lies). Su-Jin thinks they had a petty fight and invites Gang-Ho to dinner. He arrives, and everyone loves him, including Mi-Ran. She finally decides to give him a real chance.

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No Pills, But All Healed 

Gang-Ho has to shoot an intimate scene with Se-Na but forgets to take his pills. Won-Jun is shocked and fearful that it’s not going to work out and everyone will know the truth about Gang-Ho. It turns out, though, that he can actually do it and doesn’t get a panic attack. Gang-Ho’s love for Mi-Ran is his remedy (yikes).


Mi-Ran Is An Evil Woman

Gang-Ho makes amends with all of his female co-stars at a party he has hosted for Choi Su-Jin. She’s lost her charm since the divorce, and nobody wants to hire her anymore. To make her happy, Mi-Ran and Gang-Ho get her in the party mood. But, in the middle of all this, everyone starts acting strangely, looking at their phones. Mi-Ran’s truth has come out. She’s been seeing dozens of men, and she couldn’t possibly be Gang-Ho’s girlfriend. That is just ridiculous. Gang-Ho knows the truth about Mi-Ran’s past and is okay with it, but now that the public knows it, he needs to deny that fact to look like a “decent man” in the public eye.

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Press Conferences And Breakups

Mi-Ran gets ill-treated by Gang-Ho’s fan club, and although she has thick skin, she can’t tolerate this for much longer. She tells Gang-Ho they should break up for mental peace. Gang-Ho thinks it’s an amazing idea to pretend to be broken up in the public eye but actually continue dating. She agrees, but they eventually get caught after stepping outside foolishly. Everyone advises Mi-Ran to stay away from Gang-Ho for a bit until things settle down. Gang-Ho, on the other hand, is willing to put his career on the line by holding a press conference. At the press conference, he confessed that he knew the truth about Mi-Ran and would like to marry her. Mi-Ran arrives there and, dramatically on live television, tells him no, breaking his heart and crushing his soul.


Will They, Won’t They?

Finally, Mi-Ran’s ex-boyfriend, Lee Jin-Suh, who also works at the law firm with her, decides to go on live TV to tell everyone the “truth.” The channel believes he’s exposing Mi-Ran, but in actuality, he’s bringing out the truth. He puts out a video in which many women from their college years tell the camera that Mi-Ran saved them from being in terrible relationships with cheating men. The public again sides with Mi-Ran and supports her love for Gang-Ho (how convenient!). Gang-Ho arrives at Mi-Ran’s house pretending to be mad so he can take revenge for her breaking up with him twice. Won-Jun also publicly confesses his love for Na-Eun, and she finally says yes.

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Will There Be A Season 2?

And they lived happily ever after… is what we’d expect to see if there were to be a “Love to Hate You” Season 2. Although the four leading actors have great chemistry and are entertaining to watch, there are slim chances there will be a season 2 of “Love to Hate You,” but we would’ve loved to see how Mi-Ran and Gang-Ho’s different schools of thought would fare in the long term. Mi-Ran is not interested in marriage either, so would Gang-Ho be able to convince her later? Or would they continue to be unmarried? Alas, we may never know.


Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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