Updated: 22 hours ago
I review episodes 1 & 2 with minimal spoilers, so you can go into Yumi's Cells season 2 knowing what you're getting. (Psst: I love it! 😍)
This may be the first time I’ve ever said this about a K-drama, but here goes:
I think breaking the story into two seasons REALLY helped Yumi’s Cells.
(I feel like I betrayed the whole fandom)
But it’s true!
Yumi’s cells wrapped up at the end of last October and viewers have had a solid 7 months to adjust to the idea of THE GREAT BREAKUP. The most tragic, the most terrible, the most heartbreaking break up in k-drama history.
The idea of never seeing Yumi and Woong being adorably in love is just…😵💫
It took viewers some time to come to accept that Ahn Bo-hyun won’t be the male lead any more. And when I say it took us time... There was a period of solid denial in the fandom for a few months.
Which is why I think the long break between the two seasons was really really necessary.
Now, everyone already knows that male lead in season 2 of Yumi’s Cells is Yoo Babi, played by Jin-young. Ahn Bo-hyun is still in the drama, but for now very much in the background.
So, let's talk about Yoo Babi.
He was introduced as a minor, colleague character in season 1, who was going through his own breakup and also seemed to feel a strong connection with Yumi.
Which Yumi sensed, but being a slightly puritanical soul, she stayed wary of him
until she realised that he was going through a pretty rough patch romantically
and started to feel sympathy for him.
She also mistakenly thought that Babi had a crush on another colleague of her
the inimitable Ruby (played by the delightful Lee Yoo-bi), which let her be comfortable around Babi, since now he was safe. 😄
Now, Season 2 started airing on June 10
The first episode starts precisely where the last episode of season 1 ended. With the breakup and the parting.
And then for most of this episode, Yumi’s cell village in chaos because Yumi is in chaos.
Her cells, who are both her building blocks and her caretakers know from experience how badly Yumi can take a breakup, how much of herself she invests in a relationship
and how hard it is for her to go back to being single after being so intensely in love.
But this time, Yumi manages to stay functional.
She goes to work.
She behaves normally with friends and colleagues.
She keeps her misery and her sadness contained within her heart and only expresses her grief in the evenings when she’s alone.
It’s a massive credit to the creators of this show as well as the original webtoon writer
that they could show this process of coping with terrible hurt without the episodes ever becoming distressingly sad for the viewer.
It’s quite often funny because as serious and real as Yumi’s heartbreak is the cells’ dilemma of how to keep Yumi acting normally and responsibly while also taking care of herself makes them resort to all sorts of cures for her suffering.
Of course, my beloved hunger comes to the rescue quite often but somehow binge eating doesn’t completely heal a broken heart. It does help for a bit though.
Now, while all of this is happening, Yoo Babi starts becoming a little more relevant in her life.
It begins with a benign curiosity about what he’s reading, which leads to some lending of books, some more recommendations and slowly, very slowly, a tiny secret group of cells who are fans of Yoo Babi begin to gain members in their club.
It’s ridiculously sweet.
Yumi is in no state to date someone right now. She’s just broken up from a very serious relationship and it’ll take her some time before she’s ready to really invest herself
with someone new.
But at a time when your self esteem is at its lowest it helps to have someone as confident, self-assured, polite and sweet as Yoo Babi show clearly
that he’s deeply interested in you.
I will admit that my biggest fear for season 2 was - Yoo Babi!
I didn’t like him in Season 1. Mostly because the show positioned him as someone
who made Yumi slightly uncomfortable with how much attention he paid her.
But eventually just as Yumi began to lower her shields around him so did this viewer. I consigned Babi to a bucket of friendly, harmless, and not even remotely a competition to Woong ❤️.
Which is why I think those 7 months between seasons were a massive blessing!
They allowed Woong and Yumi’s relationship to fade just enough in my memory
that I no longer looked at Babi as an interloper. I no longer saw him as an interfering, unwanted second lead.
I saw him as Yumi’s competent colleague who has quietly liked and appreciated Yumi
and even helped her find a new career in the last season.
He’s thoughtful and kind, but most of all - and I was not expecting to think this -
he comes out more favourably again Woong just by being very emotionally honest.
This is something Yumi noticing and is drawn to by the second episode.
Yoo Babi does not lie or obfuscate about his feelings.
He doesn’t leave a woman confused about where he stands.
And given how Woong’s inability and unwillingness to express his feelings honestly to Yumi had played a huge role in creating distance between them, this characteristic is suddenly making Yoo Babi a very attractive romantic interest in this viewer’s eyes.
I feel like I lived through Yumi’s last relationship and now, I’ll always be triggered by
any guy who looks like Ahn Bo-hyun and acts like Woong 😆 (cause there are so many of them, pfft).
So, in conclusion.
Yes, watch season 2 of Yumi’s cells! I’m quite confident it’ll be worth it.