#K-Drama: What If You Fell in Love with a K-Pop Star...?

by Michelle Li

Doona! | 이두나! (2023)

Netflix | Doona!

This new k-drama shows what it’s like to live out your ultimate k-pop idol dream from meeting your bias and perhaps, even starting a romantic relationship. That’s the story of “Doona!”, and surprisingly it’s not written in a cringy or out of touch with reality way. Instead, it’s a heartwarming story on how friendships and love can overcome many hardships and obstacles experienced.


“Doona!” was actually a very popular three-year webtoon called ‘The Girl Downstairs’ with a romance-comedy genre and a four-way love triangle storyline. The tone of the webtoon is very comical that even the characters’ personalities were often overexaggerated. But the k-drama “Doona!” mainly focuses on the romance between the two main characters, Won-jun (Yang Se-jong) and Doona (Bae Suzy).

Stone Music Entertainment

The first episode shows us a glimpse of Doona’s idol life. Doona’s the main vocalist of top K-pop girl group, Dream Sweet. She's got everything going on for her but amongst all the success, she’s experiencing a lot of struggles. It’s not revealed what exactly this is in the beginning. But it’s clear to us Doona has a lot of trauma that’s been built up over childhood and carried into her idol career. After collapsing on stage, she is on hiatus from the entertainment industry. As we see her in episode one, she is ‘locked’ up in a unit downstairs in a college town. She’s lonely and is unwanted - the last things she wants to feel. 

Netflix | Doona!

On the contrary, Won-jun is gentle, sweet and pure, the kind of guy that wouldn’t dare to hurt a fly. After taking a gap year to look after his sick sister, he’s finally able to start the life of a normal college student. Now entering this town, his college life as a freshman is about to start!  But things about to change quickly, when he moves into Donna's unit upstairs. 

Netflix | Doona!

Doona’s first impression of Wonju is that he is just another stalker. Wherever Doona is, she always catches him staring at her before he glances away quickly. This makes Doona even more suspicious; it’s as if he didn’t want Doona to notice that he’s actually catching glimpses of her. It’s not until a few days later that they strike up a conversation. Doona accuses him of stalking, he innocently rejects and straight up says that he has no idea who she is, yet she looks familiar. This catches Doona by surprise because in all honesty, who doesn’t know Doona? She’s a global star! But Won-jun’s mysteriousness and uninterest catches Doona’s attention very quickly and they soon befriend each other. 

Instagram | @netflixkr

I love how heart-warming the scenes between Won-ju and Doona are. They learn to rely on one another as both learn to heal and overcome their struggles. Even though a slow-burn k-drama like this can be filled with many boring scene-fillers, I didn’t feel it with “Doona!” at all. As it was only a nine episode k-drama and not the typical 16-episode, it actually felt quite fast-paced. The other characters, Won-jun’s friends helped too, each getting their own side plot where we see their own character development too.  

Netflix | Doona!

What’s fascinating about this k-drama is that the storyline jumps to different timelines throughout. Throughout the past, it flashes back to both Doona’s and Won-jun’s past, revealing more about their life and obstacles faced, flawlessly revealing their character development. This k-drama also seems to be time travelling to the future too. In the beginning of each episode, there’s just one scene featuring Doona and Won-ju that plays out, all done without talking. As someone that has watched the entirety of the k-drama, I wished I kept these scenes in my mind ‘cause reviewing back, it definitely tells you a lot about the fate of Wonju and Doona. Catch a glimpse of this with “Doona!” trailer here or start binging on Netflix here now! 

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