Heo Im, who is born in a concubine family in Joseon era and has very outstanding medical skill, is frustrated about his career as he fails to climb to higher positions in the government because of his background. By accident, he travels through time to modern Seoul 400 years later and meets modern doctor Yeon Gyung. Thinking that Heo Im is weird, she hopes to get rid of Heo Im but instead, they travel back to Joseon together again.
(Source: tvN Asia)
Cast & Credits
What was I expecting? I enjoy a good time travel, especially when it mixes modern and Joseon eras, ala Queen Inhyun's Man. And I'm a sucker for romantic comedies, so I was looking for a light romp and plenty of fish out of water fun stuff etc. Well, I got that and so much more with Live Up To Your Name. Firstly, the story... the plot itself wasn't too complex, a doctor from Joseon who practices traditional oriental medicine more out of greed than empathy, is transported through time to modern day Seoul to meet a cardiothoracic surgeon who see's her patients only as the internal organs she can repair. As they start to learn more about each other and their different methodologies, so do they also begin to learn about themselves. You see, more than anything, this story is a character story, and though it might start off as a story of things and circumstances happening to our characters and making them react, it evolves into a story about choices, self-determination, and ultimately, what it is that defines them as people. They learn and grow together in such an organic way that it is beautiful to watch in action.
What I love is how the writer had such a delicate touch when dealing with heavier topics. It could have gone the route of being preachy, but I don't believe it ever veered there, and even the characters who made wrong choices were also humanized in a way that didn't make you absolutely hate them. The romance, of course, was pure gold. Whoever cast Kim Nam Gil as Heo Im and Kim Ah Joong as Choi Ahn Kyung together as the leads deserves a medal. Not only was their chemistry off the charts, but it was so natural and realistic, that I almost felt voyeuristic in some scenes and all they had to do was look at each other. Kim Nam Gil was simply amazing start to finish and has the ability to be goofy and bumbling but also serious and intense all within the span of seconds. Kim Ah Joong took me a while to warm up to, but I think part of that was due to her character's thawing out with each episodes, and by the end, I was definitely mesmerized by her skill. I'm not seen anything else with either of them in, so I'll definitely have to look out for them both.
I can't comment too much on the OST only to say that it suited the themes, wasn't overbearing, and highlighted the poignancy of the show. I'm sure I'll pay more attention on re-watch, which I most certainly plan on doing.
I also want to mention a little something about the medical aspects of this drama. Yes, it is about medicine, both modern and traditional, and yes, it does glamorize medicine in ways that aren't necessarily realistic sometimes, but I can forgive because it is a fantasy (time travel, hello?). But, if you're not into medical dramas, this might not be your thing, however, let me just say that the medicine is just a vehicle to drive the show, it's not really what this show is about. If you are a sucker for character driven stories, then give this one a try. Just close your eyes every time someone sticks a scalpel or a needle into someone else.
And lastly, the method of time travel aka the gimmick that brings Heo Im from past to future, is one of the most unique ones I've seen, and not one I would voluntarily choose. Yikes!
I gave the story an 8 because this story lacks a complex plot. It's another one of those drama where the rich upper-class are the villains and our poor (very literally poor) Dr. Heo is the main protagonist.
Dr. Heo Im meets Dr. Choi Yeon Kyung when he time-travels to the present. At first they are constantly at odds with each other. The two begins to get closer as they go on various time traveling excursions into the past. They begin to understand and fall for each other as they spend more and more time in each other's respective time period. The writer and director then sprinkles a little bit of time travel and medicine here and there. This drama is as simple as that. Don't get me wrong though. I really really really liked the drama for its comedy, but the plot (in terms of memorable events ) just doesn't have enough impact. The comedy was also at its best at the beginning of the drama. I was excited to watch the new episode every weekend. Sadly this feeling begin to wear off in the last 4 episodes as the drama was wrapping up.
The writer and director makes up for the bland plot by creating a drama with very memorable character interactions! Oh man! I completely fell in love with the two main characters in this drama. The actor that plays Dr. Heo is hilarious! I especially loved the hilarious moments at the beginning of the drama when he was trying to adjust to 2017. When the two main characters are together their actions feed off of each other creating some pretty funny moments too. The romantic moments in the shows are pretty great as well. There seemed to be a lot of chemistry between the two. Their kissing scenes were pretty realistic. It's not like some other dramas where it seemed like one of the characters didn't want to be kissed or be there. There were some funny naughty innuendos sprinkled throughout the drama too haha. Overall I'm glad these two were paired together because it made the drama that much greater.
I have nothing much to say about the music and the OST. This drama's main genre isn't music so the music anything new or overly great. Overall I liked the music. It wasn't too memorable, but at least the music didn't seem out of place.
Rewatch Value: [8/10]
This show has a middle of the pack value. It's not on my "must rewatch" list, but at the very least I plan on rewatching it in the distant future .
All in all, what the story lacks in plot, it makes up for with great character interactions. The plot was essentially driven by the two main characters. There's not really much to say about the other characters in the story because they didn't have a major affect on the story. I really enjoyed the good laugh that Live Up To Your Name Dr. Heo provided.