Cherry Blossoms After Winter is a Korean BL series about two childhood friends throughout their time in high school and university. The main character is an orphan living with a single mother and her son. Although the two teenagers grew up together, they drifted apart over the years. Now, they have a chance to reconnect again, navigating their complicated feelings for each other.
The cute and affectionate moments in Cherry Blossoms After Winter might appeal to BL fans. However, I can't stop cringing during every episode due to the juvenile writing and contrived pandering. This mushy BL drama crosses my inherent threshold for second-hand embarrassment.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter Summary
겨울 지나 벚꽃
Around 3 hours
Cute and sweet
Around 20 to 30 minutes
Hae Bom is an orphan whose parents died in his childhood. After their death, his mom's best friend adopted him into her family. She is a warm and welcoming foster parent, treating him with kindness. As a divorced single mother, she has a son around Hae Bom's age. Hae Bom and Tae Seong grew up together, forming a close bond.
However, the two childhood friends have drifted apart over the years. Tae Seong is a handsome and popular high school senior, whereas Hae Bom is a timid wallflower who gets bullied by the other students. Their social circles don't mix together. As they begin their senior years in high school, Tae Seong and Hae Bom are in the same class for the first time. Tae Seong observes firsthand the severity of Hae Bom's bullying problem. His childhood friend is constantly the subject of their ridicule.
Although they aren't close anymore, Tae Seong still defends Hae Bom from the bullies. Hae Bom is grateful for his help. Eventually, the two boys warm up to each other again. Tae Seong introduces Hae Bom to his friends, welcoming him into their social circle. The bullies bother them sometimes, but they fear Tae Seong's physical prowess and only cause a minimal nuisance.
Hae Bom and Tae Seong rekindle their friendship, spending more time together in school and at home. Their friends have noticed their close bond, occasionally teasing the two teenage boys about it. Yet, everyone still believes their relationship is only platonic. Even Tae Seong's mom thinks they are just good friends, almost like brothers. However, that may not be the case, as Tae Seong and Hae Bom struggle to admit their real feelings for each other.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter Trailer
Cherry Blossoms After Winter Cast
Ok Jin Uk (옥진욱)
Hae Bom is a shy high school student who doesn't have many friends. He is the target of vicious bullying. Hae Bom's parents died at a young age, and he has lived with Tae Seong's mom since childhood. Despite growing up together, the two boys drifted apart in their teenage years. Hae Bom works part-time at a flower shop and hopes to save enough money to live independently after graduation.
Kang Hui (강희)
Tae Seong is Hae Bom's childhood friends, although they aren't close after drifting apart in recent years. Tae Seong is popular in high school due to his good looks and athletic prowess. He protects Hae Bom from the bullies and stands against the mob mentality. Tae Seong isn't particularly close with his mom, refusing to tell her much about his life.
Tae Seong's mom
Lee Hyun Kyung (이현경)
Cha Gun (차건)
Eun Chae (은채)
Lee Sol Ip (이솔잎)
Kim Hyun Wook (김현욱)
Hae Bom's boss
Cherry Blossoms After Winter Review
Drama Review Score: 6.4
Cherry Blossoms After Winter has a timeless concept for a love story, as two childhood friends navigate their secret feelings. The couple shares plenty of romantic affection, such as kisses, hugs, cuddles, and cute flirtations. Plus, the lead actor looks telegenic and you can quickly develop a crush on him. Packed with familiar BL tropes, Cherry Blossoms After Winter seems to follow a winning formula with all the right ingredients. At least on paper, anyway.
Despite ticking many boxes, I didn't enjoy Cherry Blossoms After Winter because the contrived writing makes me cringe. Typically, I can tolerate cheesiness from BL, a genre known for being schmaltzy. However, this drama overdoes the corniness. The storytelling lacks elegance and subtlety, from the clunky dialogue to the staged scenarios. Take the first scene, for instance. The drama emphasizes Tae Seong's popularity as every student fawns over him in the hallway, an obnoxious and overstated intro to his character.
Another example is when Tae Seong bites into a piece of bread oozing with cream. Hae Bom lurches over and catches the filling with his mouth. Oh my god, nobody would react this way. Someone is eating and you suddenly put your entire mouth into their food, wtf!? Yet, the sappy soundtrack pretends this socially awkward interaction is romantic. In reality, that scene was embarrassing to watch, deliberately engineered to create a cutesy moment. The BL genre has numerous clichés, but Cherry Blossoms After Winter takes it to the next level of toe-curling cringe.
Hae Bom and Tae Seong are occasionally adorable with sweet, endearing exchanges. However, I never warmed to this couple. While Hae Bom comes across as a sympathetic figure, Tae Seong is too moody for me. He's all over the place, like they shoved multiple character archetypes into one person. Officially, the pairing lost me during their tense confrontation in Episode 5. Tae Seong puts his hand around Hae Bom's neck, almost strangling his love interest. I can't overlook the disturbing imagery, outweighing every other cute, fluffy scene in their relationship.
The narrative works best when it explores the family drama instead of the school campus storylines. The subplots with the bullies or the love triangle don't interest me, whereas the scenes at home are intriguing. I enjoy the heartfelt chats between Hae Bom and Tae Seong's mom. Their characters have an engaging rapport, highlighting the complex dynamic between a foster parent and her adopted child. The last two episodes focus on the emotional turmoil with the mom, but they aren't written well enough. What could have been a poignant finale feels shallow and juvenile.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter achieves a soft, dreamy aesthetic with gentle pastel colours and bright sparkly lights. It also uses gorgeous close-up shots to amplify the characters' feelings. The ending is filmed beautifully, almost like an enchanting fairytale conclusion. Sadly, the fancy visuals can't compensate for the basic plot or elevate the amateurish writing. Cherry Blossoms After Winter might appeal to some BL fans who enjoy saccharine love stories. Personally, this mushy and pandering series makes me squirm from second-hand embarrassment.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter is packed to the brim with many cliches from the BL genre. The writing is heavy-handed and lacks subtlety, making me cringe scene after scene.
Hae Bom and Tae Seong have some occasionally adorable exchanges. However, I never warm to them as a couple. Tae Seong's behaviour around Hae Bom in Episode 5 is very iffy.
The leads give okay performances, but they don't really elevate the material. Besides the lacklustre writing, the actors are part of the reason why many scenes feel mushy and sappy.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter has a happy ending, although the characters resolve the family drama sloppily instead of poignantly. At least the conclusion is beautifully filmed.
This series features pretty and pleasant visuals. It makes excellent use of close-up shots to convey emotions and produce an enchanting vibe.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter is cheesy, cliched, and cringy. The corny writing and contrived scenarios exceed my personal quota for second-hand embarrassment.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter Episodes
Cherry Blossoms After Winter has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 20 to 30 minutes long. The last episode is around 25 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 3 hours. Cherry Blossoms After Winter started on February 24, 2022 and finished on April 14, 2022.
Episode 1 Summary
Hae Bom is an orphan whose parents passed away in his childhood. He has lived with Tae Seong and his mother for years. Despite growing up together, Hae Bom and Tae Seong have drifted apart. They hardly talk to each other in school or at home. Currently high school seniors, the two teenage boys are finally in the same class for the first time.
Hae Bom has no friends at school, and the other students torment him constantly. However, Tae Seong protects Hae Bom from the bullies. He also begins sitting with Hae Bom at lunch, keeping him company. The two childhood friends become closer again. This episode ends with Hae Bom receiving money for his 18th birthday. The bullies try to steal the money away from him.
Episode 2 Summary
Tae Seong stands up against the school bullies, taking back Hae Bom's money from them. The two teenagers spend the evening celebrating Hae Bom's birthday together. Tae Seong bought cake for the two of them to eat. A childhood memory reveals that Hae Bom wouldn't buy cake in the pastry shop because it's too expensive. Instead, he purchases cream bread, the cheapest option in the store.
Tae Seong suggests that Hae Bom should find a way to deal with the bullies. However, Hae Bom believes he can put up with their torment for a year, since he won't see them again after graduation. Nonetheless, the harassment escalates in school. The bully physically assaults Hae Bom, prompting Tae Seong to launch a violent attack as retaliation.
The episode ends with Tae Seong and Hae Bom eating cream bread together. As Tae Seong takes a bite out of the food, some cream oozes out. Hae Bom immediately lurches over to catch the cream with his mouth. They gaze into each other's eyes romantically.
Episode 3 Summary
The bullies target Hae Bom and Tae Seong by insulating they are a romantic couple. However, they ignore the teasing and the situation doesn't escalate. Tae Seong promises to stand by Hae Bom's side from now on so that the bullies won't bother him again.
Hae Bom and Tae Seong go on an overnight camping trip with their family and friends. Everyone notices how close the two of them have gotten lately. Hae Bom is curious about Tae Seong's romantic life. He discovers Tae Seong used to have a relationship with a girl in the past.
Meanwhile, Tae Seong confides in his friend Yong Hee that he has developed feelings for Hae Bom. The reason he ignored his childhood friend in the past is to repress his attraction. Tae Seong doesn't know if Hae Bom likes him or not. During the camping trip, Hae Bom and Tae Seong's mom have a heartfelt chat. She reassures him that he is included as part of their family. The episode ends with Tae Seong and Hae Bom gazing at the stars together.
Episode 4 Summary
Hae Bom wants to move out of the house, living independently after graduation. Tae Seong's mom supports his decision. Hae Bom is thankful about everything she has done for him. Tae Seong's mom reveals that she made a promise with Hae Bom's mom to take care of him. She encourages her adopted son to live happily, putting himself first and prioritizing his happiness.
Tae Seong's birthday is coming up. Hae Bom asks his friend what he wants as a present. Tae Seong boldly replies that he wants Hae Bom as a gift. They spend the evening drinking alcohol for the first time. As they grow intoxicated, Hae Bom starts crying because he misses his parents. Tae Seong comforts him by wiping away his tears. The episode ends with them sharing their first kiss.
Episode 5 Summary
Hae Bom wakes up without remembering his kiss with Tae Seong. Later that night, he has an erotic dream between the two of them. Tae Seong confesses his feelings to Hae Bom and wants them to become boyfriends. However, Hae Bom won't commit to a relationship. He believes Tae Seong's mom won't accept them dating. Hae Bom doesn't want to disappoint her.
Their exchange becomes heated after the rejection. Tae Seong pushes Hae Bom against the wall, forcing him to admit his feelings. He physically overpowers his love interest, trying to kiss him. At one point, the altercation almost becomes violent as Tae Seong grabs Hae Bom by the neck. Their mom walks in on them and believes they were simply fighting.
Hae Bom falls ill after the fight and Tae Seong takes care of him. Tae Seong also apologizes for his inappropriate actions the previous night. Hae Bom wrestles with his feelings for Tae Seong. The episode ends with Hae Bom admitting that he wants them to have a relationship. They start dating in secret afterwards.
Episode 6 Summary
Hae Bom and Tae Seong are now university students. They move into their own place together, using money from Tae Seong's dad. This decision upsets his mom, especially since he hasn't consulted with her beforehand. Nonetheless, she allows them to live independently. The couple is slightly awkward sharing a bed together for the first time. However, they eventually become comfortable and affectionate withe ach other.
Hae Bom and Tae Seong's secret relationship goes well. Nobody knows they are dating except for Yong Hee, who is happy for them. Hae Bom has been keeping in touch with Tae Seong's mom. He encourages Tae Seong to communicate with his mother more, although his boyfriend seems reluctant.
Hae Bom's female classmate seems interested in Tae Seong, setting up a date between them. However, Tae Seong swiftly rejects her. Hae Bom and another classmate work closely on a class project, spending lots of time together. Tae Seong becomes jealous, although his boyfriend cheers him up again. The episode ends with Hae Bom and Tae Seong celebrating a birthday. Tae Seong's mom arrives to deliver a surprise gift, but she accidentally sees the two of them kissing. She is shocked and mortified.
Episode 7 Summary
Tae Seong's mom panics after witnessing the kiss. She keeps her distance away from her two sons, who remain oblivious to her emotional turmoil. Hae Bom continues working on the school project with his classmate. Tae Seong feels bummed they aren't spending more time as a couple. However, the tension never escalates beyond pouting and bantering. Hae Bom and Tae Seong remain happily in love, overcoming their time apart with plenty of physical affection.
Tae Seong's mom confronts her son, asking him to clarify his relationship with Hae Bom. Tae Som confirms they are dating. The mom voices her disapproval, stating he is confused because they lived together for so long. She also worries they will face prejudice in this world. Tae Seong argues with his mom and won't stop dating Hae Bom. He exchanges harsh words during their heated encounter.
Afterwards, Tae Seong stops communicating with his mom. He won't tell Hae Bom what happened, fearing his boyfriend will want to break up. Tae Seong believes Hae Bom's feelings for him aren't strong enough to overcome the family pressure. The episode ends with Tae Seong's mom upset when her son won't answer any calls over the holidays.
Hae Bom notices his boyfriend's erratic behaviour lately and senses something is wrong with him. Yong Hee tells him about Tae Seong's heated argument with his mom. Hae Bom meets up with Tae Seong's mother for an insightful chat. He insists they are genuinely in love. However, she still has a tough time accepting their relationship and worries they will face a lot of prejudice.
Despite her concerns, Hae Bom and Tae Seong are united in their stance. They love each other and want to be together. If the mom can't accept them right now, they will wait until she is ready to approve their relationship. Touched by their sincerity, Tae Seong's mom finally changes her mind. She gives her blessing over their romance and wishes them happiness. They can finally date in the open.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter has a happy ending after Tae Seong's mom approves her son's relationship. Hae Bom and Tae Seong meet at a restaurant for a romantic dinner. Hae Bom pulls out a set of rings and proposes to his boyfriend. The series ends with them holding hands and gazing romantically into each other's eyes. We see a cherry blossom tree in the background. The tree is in full bloom, symbolic of their blossoming love.