Woo Seo Ri, a violin prodigy at 17 who was about to study in Germany, got into a bus accident and fell into a coma waking up 13 years later. Mentally she is still only 17, while physically she is now 30.
Due to a trauma he experienced 13 years before, Gong Woo Jin does not want to have a relationship with others.
This series is about a man and a woman whose lives in their own ways essentially stopped when they were 17. Together, they use all their might to try and open the door to the happiness that they once thought had been closed to them.
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The majority of the people who actually watch this show love this show for the reasons I have written, but there are still some concerns about it and I will try to address them below.
I can understand that based on the description the natural concerns people have about the age differences emotionally and chronologically of the main characters. I think the writer and director as well as the actors have done an excellent job of showing us that it's not just Seo Ri who had arrested development at 16 intl. yr/17 Korean yrs. Woo Jin's life and emotional maturity essentially also stopped for him on the day of the accident as well. They both stopped living their lives and maturing in their own ways since that day.
To me, this is a love story about two emotionally stunted 30-year-olds with the emotional maturity of 17-year-olds. This story is about how they help each to grow and mature into their chronological age of 30. I don't think there's anything creepy about it. I actually think it's sweet and touching. Not everyone has to be in a coma to have arrested development. Now Goblin was creepy to me because she was an actual minor legally, chronologically and was even more immature emotionally while he was an old man in comparison. At least Woo Jin is still a young man. Don't get me started on Goblin's chronological age. Seo Ri is naive and still coming out of her coma fugue, whereas Goblin girl was just immature and creepily still wearing her school uniform & backpack as the Goblin was grooming her to be his bride (shudders). However, if you have concerns about the age thing, I really hope you can reconsider given what I've written or better yet, watch and pay attention to what the writer has written and the characters themselves have said and done to back up what I wrote.
There doesn't seem to be a plot. Just because they are not solving crime every week and there isn't any violence or murders happening each episode, does not mean there's no plot. The plot of this story and the heart of this story is the emotional growth that each of the main characters has to go through to become who they were meant to be if not for the terrible accident that essentially froze them emotionally in time. It's how they learn to heal and help each other toward that end. I love that this story doesn't show this journey in a maudlin, boring fashion but does it with so much humor and heart.
There's not enough chemistry between the main characters whereas there's too much chemistry between the main 30-year-old female character and the 19-year-old second male character. I think both Shin Hye Sun and Yang Se Jong are two of the best new young actors I've ever seen. To think they are this good already when they are still relatively new to being main leads is amazing. Watch their other works, their characters are never the same and they fully become their characters. As for Seo Ri and Woo Jin, I see sparks fly when they fight and my heart is touched when they have emotional scenes together. I love that they can be really funny or fiery one minute then melt your heart the next.
While the main male character is still shutting everyone out during the beginning episodes, of course there's not a full blown relationship yet or much romantic interactions. However, by episode 6 on Dramafever or 11 & 12 on Kocowa & Viki, that chemistry is in full bloom amazing mode. The last few minutes were just wow amazing from music to atmosphere. If you've seen how Yang Se Jong kissed in his last show, you'll know that boy can have chemistry with a broom much less someone who's such a great natural actress like Shin Hye Sun. It's not a coincidence that the last three actors who partnered with Shin Hye Sun all won prestigious acting awards. That two of those three couplings lead to great buzz about their chemistry (just YT her and Sung Hoon), one of them even won a Best Couple Award before that show's couple even started dating. The only reason the third coupling didn't work out was due to writing. If you see Secret Forest/Stranger's ep 14, you'll know what I mean (I do not recommend you watching that if you love Shin Hye Sun without reading spoilers first to prepare yourself emotionally).
Chemistry I feel is all about how good the actors are and their timing with each other. These two young actors have amazing comic as well as emotional timing on top of being first rate, award-winning actors. They both have the ability to make the audience feel what their characters feel and elicit great empathy for their characters. I don't recall one time that Shin Hye Sun's characters cried that I didn't find my cheeks to be wet as well and my heart hurting for them. Both great lead actors can have an amazing love story with a broom much less with each other.
Very rarely can I say with certainty that you'll love a show because so rarely is there a magical coming together of great writing, acting, plot, comic timing, directing, location, lovable main to supporting characters, and music in one show. Even the dog is an amazing actor and the house they live in is full of character. Even if you like nothing else, the dog is worth the watch alone. I've never seen a show where I don't see any major flaws and I'm not annoyed by anything major. Of course we are all human and all will have different opinions on everything, but I think the majority of the people who give this show a try will find that they don't just like it, but will love it and it will become one of their favorite shows of all time or at the very least of 2018. It's one of the best feel good shows I've ever seen.
This isn’t your ordinary healing drama, it is a piece of sweet candy with a slice of life filling, wrapped in a layer of melodrama, wrapped in a comedy. The balance is perfect, and when you savor it, you feel the taste of life, where joy, elation, sorrow, bitterness, numbness and relief become one and shape who you are. And through experiencing those emotions, that is how our characters Woo Seo Ri and Gong Woo Jin mature from a mental age of 17 to 30 together. I appreciate Seo Ri’s optimistic approach towards life, and I’m sure that if I had experienced the same thing as she did, I wouldn’t have been able to smile in the same way. She is truly a strong person who knows how to appreciate the beauty of life as it is.
The side characters were also memorable and beautiful. The dorky and caring Yoo Chan, who introduced us the life motto “Don’t think, pill (feel)!”, Jennifer, the mysterious butler who is a living encyclopedia, and Deok Gu/Fang, the dog who is worthy of winning the Dog Oscar of the year. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over them, and I genuinely wish I had friends or a family like them.
Despite how emotionally beautiful the relationship and growth of the characters were, there were still some parts which could be played out in a better way. Since this was originally meant to be a 40 (20) episode drama but got shortened into a 32 (16) episode drama near the end, the pacing was off in the latter half of the plot. All the dramatic things happened at the same time, and secrets were revealed all at once. Originally this was acceptable, but given that the first half of the story was very slow-paced and stretched out, the sudden speed-up became unnatural and destroyed the momentum of the story. Nearing the end, things that were once suspenseful felt like they no longer mattered to the audience. I once considered that maybe the pacing would’ve been better if it had been 40 (20) episodes, but I felt like there was not enough material to last for that long either.
All in all, this is the kind of drama that you will enjoy if you are looking for a heartwarming story about people growing up together, approaching devastation with optimism and learning to face traumas head on, and supporting one another. This is not the sort of drama where you will be kept at the edge of your seat. This drama is purely character-driven with a little bit of plot to drive their change. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed every minute of it and I never felt bored (mind that I’m a person who dropped What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, Weightlighting Fairy Kim Bok Joo due to boredom).
I would definitely recommend this drama to anyone who likes lighthearted, slice of life comedies and sincere genuine relationships.