Semantic Error is a South Korean series that took the world by storm when it was initially released.
Adapted from the web novel Semantic Error (시맨틱 에러) by Jeo Soo Ri (저수리) this bite-sized drama of eight episodes is a beautiful demonstration of an enemies-to-lovers story that is honest, and fun, and more often than not hysterical.
Park Jae Chan (from the idol group DKZ) stars as Chu Sang Woo, a computer science major, who has a strict regimen of routines, and is almost obsessive compulsive about rules and regulations. He’s got a personality, that is very much on the spectrum – and Park plays the role with a raw sincerity that beautifully depicts a very under-represented group of people.
Park Seo Ham portrays Jang Jae Young – a fun-loving and carefree art major who doesn’t give a damn about rules, regulations, or routines. Basically, he and Sang Woo are polar opposites of one another.
After Chu Sang Woo ruined his chance at graduation, by (justifiably) revealing the fact that Jae Young (and several other seniors) offered no help in a presentation they were all assigned to do together. So Jae Young decides to get even with the rigid junior, by joining all his classes and making his life a living hell. There’s only one problem. Jae Young realizes very early on that he’s falling for Sang Woo, and though it takes the junior a little longer, Sang Woo feels the same about his senior. It’s not a quick romance either. Sang Woo goes through an entire process of calculations before he decides to actually accept Jae Young’s romantic advances.
It’s such a beautiful series, with some great music. The series’ theme Romantic Devil by Coldin is one of the catchiest themes I’ve ever heard.
Semantic Error also boasts a plethora of side characters who are just as important and well-portrayed as the leads. Choi Yu Na (Song Ji Oh) is one of the best female side-kicks in any BL I have ever seen and she’s freaking hysterical!
Production-wise, there’s really nothing I’ve seen out of South Korea that has been anything less than stellar. Even the country’s 12-minute episode web series have cinematic production value – To My Star, Tinted With You, Oh, Boarding House… the list goes on.
One of the things that Semantic Error does feature more of than I’ve seen in other South Korean BL dramas is kissing – and I don’t just mean a little face-smoosh / peck on the lips – real kissing, and it happens more than once. Apparently, the decision came down to the actors, where they felt the romantic moments should occur, and their placement was perfect.
Jae Chan has mentioned that he was pressured against taking the role of Chu Sang Woo, due to the fact that Semantic Error was a BL. Luckily, he didn’t listen and has gone on to receive numerous awards including the Popular Star Award (Blue Dragon Series) and Acting Idol of the Year – male (Brand of the Year Awards).
Just before the series finale, it was announced that Park Seo Ham would begin his mandatory military service, so he hasn’t been able to enjoy the accolades of the series the way Jae Chan has been able to.
A film version of Semantic Error was released on 31 Aug 2022.
Now, should this or some other BL Series that I have (or will) mention be Geo-locked there legal are ways you can watch the series. One of them is by using a VPN service. You can read about VPNs and decide which is best for you here.
For visual learners, please see below