Life can be just as unpredictable as the weather. And no matter how much you try to predict and prepare for either, you’ll never be 100% accurate or perfect. This is the idea at the center of JTBC’s engaging, character-driven drama series Forecasting Love and Weather (기상청 사람들: 사내연애 잔혹사 편/Meteorological Administration People: Office Romance Cruelty ). Park Min Young and Song Kang lead a strong ensemble cast through the always unpredictable road of life all while dealing with the rigors and responsibility of their work at Korea’s national weather service.
Newly installed director Jin Ha Kyung (Park Min Young) takes over as the head of the 2nd division of the Korea Meteorological Administration. The country’s national weather service is responsible not only for advising Koreans whether or not to bring an umbrella before they head out for their day, but also tasked with helping to determine matters of public safety, allocation of resources and commerce. The KMA’s weather forecasts are consequential for a wide range of decisions, large and small.
The diligent, no-nonsense Ha Kyung is fresh off of breaking up with her fiancé, KMA spokesperson Han Ki Joon (Yoon Park), after catching him in bed with reporter Chae Yoo Jin (Girl’s Day’s Yura). A few months later, she meets the positive, free-spirited Lee Shi Woo (Song Kang), a passionate young severe weather meteorologist who is transferred to the Seoul main command center due to his keen and fascinatingly accurate forecasting intuition. Shi Woo also happens to be Yoo Jin’s ex.
Ha Kyung and Shi Woo’s forecasting philosophies initially clash. But their attraction to each other is undeniable. And from here, the two must juggle their budding relationship with the responsibilities of their work.
Forecasting Love and Weather is all about depicting how life and the relationships one makes throughout are as fickle and unpredictable as the weather. Aside from Ha Kyung and Shi Woo, their KMA co-workers also experience the sudden ups and downs of life with their own respective lives relationships, whether that be professional or personal.
Those relationships can change over time. Like the weather, unexpected factors could change the outlook for both the immediate and long-term future. As the country prepares and gets through powerful storms, sweltering heat waves and biting cold snaps, so does our ensemble cast of characters with their own lives.
That’s in addition to weather itself being a factor in affecting our emotions and reactions to the challenges everyone faces in the everyday.
The series does a clever job at peeling back the layers of each character and their own respective stories. And they do so by using parallels between various meteorological phenomena and the events that these characters face on a day-to-day-basis.
There is an unexpected poetic and whimsical nature as the series draws those parallels. And again, they do it in a very clever way. The heavy and dramatic turning points are seamlessly intertwined with the similarly hectic scenes at the meteorological command center. The expected romance and less expected humor are well-placed and effectively used to balance the series’ delicate tone.
As a character-driven drama, Forecasting Love and Weather maximizes the workplace setting to drive each story forward. There is no separating work and homelife here. And the series deftly blends those two sides of each character together all while surprisingly delivering sincerely exciting weather forecasting. (Really!)
Probably the most unexpected aspect of the series is how they are able to make the world of meteorology exciting and accessible. Especially as they lay out the ways weather forecasting affects everyone’s daily lives.
But perhaps the most resonant lesson to take away from the series is how the unpredictability of life and weather allows for everyone to be able to make mistakes. What is important is being able to learn from those mistakes and move toward a higher rate of accuracy in the future. And again, that applies to both life and weather. It will never be perfect, but one can learn from each of those experiences.
The ensemble cast does everything they can to help elevate the series above what it already accomplishes with its writing and direction.
Park Min Young is at a point in her career where she has nothing to prove. She has no problem delivering in every role, whether it is a fluffy romcom or a slowburn drama. As Ha Kyung, she brings her familiar combination of strength and vulnerability to the character. And as the heart of the series, she has no problem being able to be the glue that helps keep everything together. She puts her experience to excellent use here where another actress might not have been able to do so.
Song Kang has gained a lot of popularity with his many and varied roles in the last few years. His best performance is, in my opinion, still as Lee Chae Rok in Navillera. It was a soaring, moving performance that really showcased Song Kang’s very best. Aside from that role, however, his other recent lead roles have had him playing (for lack of a better word) jerks. And while he also did well in those series, they can be interchangeable.
That’s why his performance here on Forecasting Love and Weather is so refreshing. Shi Woo is a bright, happy and positive character. He is truly a free spirit who loves weather and is passionate about meteorology. Seeing Song Kang in this kind of role rather than as some charismatic bad boy is another opportunity for him to show that he’s not just some pretty face.
Park Min Young and Song Kang also share a strong chemistry that allows you to remain engaged through their relationship’s 16-episode journey. Song Kang also shares a fun and engaging chemistry with Yoon Park as rivals-turned-somewhat kindred spirits.
And speaking of, Yoon Park has always been a dependable actor who deserves more lead roles of his own. While Ki Jun may not necessarily be the most upstanding character (he cheated on his fiancé, after all), Yoon Park’s performance allows for the possibility of slight redemption. Even though it is never completely within reach. Yoon Park and Park Min Young also share a strong chemistry as their characters work through the remnants of their relationship and come to understand where everything may have gone wrong. A few scenes later in the series between them are surprisingly resonant and unexpectedly blunt.
Again, the rest of the ensemble cast does an excellent job with their own stories as well. Girl’s Day’s Yura/Kim Ah Young has probably one of the tougher jobs as Yoo Jin in trying to also maintain a window for the character to not be completely contemptable. And for the most part, she is able to do that.
Lee Sung Wook as deputy director and forecaster Um Dong Han gives a full, diverse performance that sees him bringing to life a man who struggles connecting with his family while balancing his career and also being loveably dense around his co-workers.
Those co-workers also get the chance to shine in their own stories. And quite unexpectedly so. Each of their fellow forecasters played by Moon Tae Yoo, Yoon Sa Bong and Chae Seo Eun get their own opportunities to shine and their own fully developed stories that are a welcome and pleasant surprise.
They all, among others, really seal the deal for the series.
And it is a series that you aren’t quite sure what to expect going into it. But once you’ve been caught up in the wave, it’s hard to stay away. Forecasting Love and Weather is a fascinating and engaging character-driven look at the unpredictability of life and relationships through a clever and whimsical meteorological lens. Just like the weather, life isn’t always sunny. It isn’t always rainy and stormy either. No amount of forecasting can ever accurately prepare one for the unexpected hurdles one faces. And the series shows how it is through those experiences, both good and bad, that people can grow and move forward.