Updated: Apr 20, 2020
A fellow K*Boom Blogger, and I tuned in to the first episode - released yesterday on Netflix- and we have some thoughts...
(Rated TV-14 for Fear, Language and Smoking... but there is also a fair bit of blood FYI)
WARNING SPOILERS [VIA A PLAY BY PLAY]
[Source photo from Medium.com]
Me: First of all, you can see that the production value is high. I love the cinematography. The beautiful bamboo forest scene cutting to a close up of a blood-spattered collar on the narrator is a pretty strong open. Screenwriters worth their salt always try for an opening image, or possibly images that say something about the theme of the story.
C: It's by the same writer as Goblin, Descendants of The Sun, Mr. Sunshine, Heirs... Kim Eun Sook, let's hope this one is good as her ones in 2016. I didn't get into Mr. Sunshine.
It piques your curiosity...
Me: So... a time traveler has been arrested with blood all over him... It's Lee Jung-Jin, so he's got to be the baddie.
Ooooh, a "manpasikjeok" that's obviously what lets him travel through time... or not age.
This has got to be a flash forward...
Yep. I knew it... now we're back in 1994... But Corea? That's not a typo.
C: They do like to show a lot of blood. A bit excessive. Why do the good guys always have terrible protection? Their bodyguards are always helpless against the bad guys.
Me: Bad Guy Lee Lim - "God didn't create man, it was the weak who created god."
He's terrible! I already want him to be killed.
Woah, the nephew is stronger and cooler than most people will ever hope to be!
But why are henchmen so willing to do horrible things? Are they really as evil as the ultimate bad guy? What's in it for them that they would willingly kill a child?
C: A masked rescuer... let's not spoil this part.
Me: Okay... but I will say, obviously the nephew survives because he has to be the Lee Min Ho character.
[We pick up about 20 mins in]
C: This is getting weird...
Me: So it's interdimensional, not just time travel.
Interesting that our world's version of him is very weak...
C: I thought the guy in the wheelchair was that other actor.
Me: No! It's definitely him. He just killed himself!
Will he kill his nephew in this dimension?!
Oh, they're back in Corea.
C: That is a long blue carpet... I am pretty sure they just computer generated it.
Me: They'd have to. Can you imagine how much that set would cost otherwise?
Aww... poor boy. Poor little Lee Gon.
Oh, man! Baddie kills his brother twice! In both worlds! That seems unnecessary.
But based on the wife's reaction he must not have been a super great guy anyway.
I would legitimately freak out too if my paralyzed brother-in-law walked towards me.
C: Okay, this grieving scene (Back in Corea with the young Lee Gon) is going on a bit long.
Me: But these kids are really cute.
Aw, he knighted his little friend. Adorable.
Ah... Baddie killed his other self to bring the body back to Corea so they'd think he killed himself.
Wait... did it just switch worlds again... what was the screen flip supposed to represent? I'm confused about which world they're in now.
Ahhhh, it's a decade later, that was time passing.
C: That's the guy who was with him when he killed the king.
Me: A beautiful woman in red... I don't trust her.
Finally, we get Lee Min Ho... although I have to admit, I don't quite get his appeal. He's charismatic I guess, but I don't find him so handsome.
C: I like him. Legend of the Blue Sea was good. However I really don’t get the appeal of Boys Over Flowers. How can people call that their favorite drama? Is it the only one they’ve seen? I did not understand why she kept going after LMH’s character in that.
Me: Right!? I had serious 'second lead syndrome' in BOF. She totally should have ended up with Kim Hyun-Joong.
... but I think I will enjoy the interplay between him and his friend. That's already shaping up to be a good Bromance.
And I always enjoy a grandmother interfering with the ML's love life.
C: Aw the grandmother. I like her. Here is the horse shot they kept teasing In the trailers.
Me: It is a money shot. That horse is gorgeous.
Yay... it's Kang Ki Doong, I think he's hilarious. And does this mean that the woman is not only the Corean Prime Minister but the 'other woman'?
[47 mins in]
I appreciate that Writer Kim knows her audience and gives us what we want to see. Muscled men in a regatta. A little humor with bumbling Mafia. And a rabbit trail to follow.
C: I don't quite get the point of that though.
Me: The Rabbit? I mean obviously it's fate that she grabbed that hoodie and he loves Alice In Wonderland--
C: No, I get that. I mean, who is she... is she from this world, from the other? Why is she running and looking so ragged?
Me: Aww... he saved her name tag since childhood and kept it tucked in his copy of Alice in Wonderland right where the picture of the rabbit would be... And the rabbit must be black instead of white because this is a different dimension.
[Back to South Korea 2020]
Can I just say, I love Kim Go-Eun? She's so talented. She's funny and natural... confident but not arrogant.
This scene with the focus on her is one of my favorites. I think they have a strong cast.
[1 hour in]
C: Yeah. I like this part too. I was thinking some of the set up dragged a bit, but this is redeeming it.
[back to Corea and the beautiful bamboo forest]
Me: Finally he's going to South Korea... and on his horse... to Seoul!
Ahh... the horse will bring them together! And he looks like a night in shining armor... without the armor.
Hahahaha I love the end hug!
C: Yeah that's cute. But how awkward as well. A stranger you think is a bit nuts grabs your ID, reads your name, then hugs you.
Me: So what do you think?
C: I don't know, I think it will be good. I often am not such a fan of the first episode of her [Writer Kim's] dramas but you can often tell by the second or third.
Me: Really? I'm actually loving it already. I enjoy it when there is some good mystery and I kinda like violence and gore... so I am sold.