Often times, Korean web dramas feel like they are either full-length movies awkwardly chopped up into mobile-friendly bite sized pieces (at which point, it’s best to watch the inevitable movie edit version of the series) or a full-length series premise that ended up underdeveloped and resigned to a streaming fate. The 2020 series Single & Ready to Mingle (솔로 말고 멜로) is the rare web drama that is actually perfectly suited for its format, knows what it is and is trying to do and accomplishes those goals.
This charming romantic comedy follows the lives of six young 20-year-olds who live in a house above a café together. There’s boy-shy Bong Joo Yi (Choi Yoo Jung), boy-crazy Ji Yeon Seo (Kim Do Yeon), café and house owner Woo Seung Bong (Jung Hyo Jun), the serious and OCD Kang Joon Woo (Kim Min Chul) and siblings, dreamer Ma Hoon (Moon Ji Hoo) and the flirtatious English-speaking Ma Ho Young (Lee So Yul).
With its total runtime just over two hours, the series does an excellent job with progressing through its overarching series-long stories for each character while allowing for standalone hijinks in each of the eight episodes. Doing so justifies the web series format as each of the 15-minute episodes are actually easily consumed bite-sized chunks. Each episode is almost like a short vignette while still containing ample serialized developments to maintain the flow throughout the series itself.
Touching upon familiar themes related to young people in their early 20s such as school, career, friendships and relationships, the series is an excellent slice of life.
For such a tight runtime, the characters are surprisingly well-developed. And that in turn makes each episode’s amusing shenanigans have a realistically grounded foundation. Instilling that trust with the audience makes the overall journey with the characters that much more satisfying and fulfilling.
And by the end, you’ll wish you could spend more time with the residents of Sol House. Even if just to hang out with your new friends. Or in this case, housemates.
Overall, a charming cast brings to life instantly endearing characters. Single & Ready to Mingle is a thoroughly enjoyable and fun series.