Honest to God, I don’t understand how this show maintained such high ratings (over an 8.0) on MDL while it was airing. Overscoring is always a problem on this website, but never have I seen overscoring that I couldn’t find some justification for - until I started watching Long For You. (If you enjoyed this show, I'm very open to hearing why.) I’ll try to make this review interesting, in exactly the way that this drama wasn't.
Ever read a fanfiction written by a twelve-year-old whose biggest concept of conflict is that she doesn’t have a boyfriend even though she’s only twelve? Now, imagine if this twelve-year-old had rich parents who paid for the most top-notch cinematography in order to make this fanfiction into a television production. And there you have it; this is what Long For You felt like from beginning to end.
I’ll give the production crew props for such pretty promotional posters and consistently beautiful shots throughout the drama. I genuinely appreciate their efforts in presentation which frequently resulted in brilliant results. But "don't judge a book by its cover" gets a whole new kind of importance in this show's context.
The story was absolute crap. That MDL has this listed as related to You Who Came from the Stars is an absolute insult to the Korean drama industry. I didn’t even like that drama as much as most people did, but I can still say with utmost confidence that You Who Came from the Stars would mop the floor with Long For You any day of the week. Aside from similar plot elements, you can’t even begin to compare the two. Forget being on the same level. They aren’t even in the same building. Or continent.
I have honestly never been so frustrated by a drama plot due to its lack of proper flow. What exacerbated this was the fact that the synopsis was the reason I started watching it: what’s not to like about a story that combines supernatural elements with romance? Yet, Long For You somehow took an interesting concept and turned it into something that was worse than nothing. The stunning cinematography was wasted on a plot that, again, felt like it was straight out of the mind of an immature pre-teen.
Conflict in this drama never feels like conflict. It always feels like a very slight inconvenience. Take for example, the main female character. You can tell from the story’s summary that she’s lonely as all hell. But the most we get of this characterization in the actual show is at most one minute of her being like, “Oh, woe is me. I am so. So. Lonely.” Are you now? Because I’m sorry, but just saying that you’re lonely doesn’t mean sh*t, especially when it only comes up once or twice. The problems in this show were written trivially, almost like the writers couldn’t wait to get back to the romance, but felt the necessity to include something else.
It was quite the shame, as well, that the romance sucked. There was zero chemistry between the main couple and zero logic behind their getting together other than the dramaland rule that states "main female lead and main male lead must end up together." For me, every time I saw them on screen, it was easier to picture them as brother and sister than a couple. Gross. The secondary couple was comparatively much more fun to watch, in addition to the situational pairing of the two male leads. These two pairings made this show slightly bearable.
We now arrive at one of two reasons why I didn’t drop this show like a hot potato: Song Wei Long. Not his acting, though. Kid’s got a long way to go. But there’s just something about those not-yet-legal-age eyebrows that entrance you. I swear I’m not being creepy. Going off of this, though, none of the acting really captured me as being amazing. Though, I imagine it must’ve been hard for the actors to play characters that are about as dimensional as a piece of paper that has been transported into the first dimension.
I’ll conclude this review with the second reason why I kept watching. I just wanted to see how bad it could get. It’s been a while since I’ve completed watching such an utter trainwreck. I’m sure you’ve gathered, but it only got worse with time.
(Also, if you would like to spare the production crew with the excuse that 20 minutes an episode at 20 episodes total is too short to do anything amazing, I will ask you to contact the closest weeaboo available. They can provide you a very long list of anime that construct stories infinitely better than this show's. And in only half the episode count.)
tl;dr: I'm more disappointed in myself for finishing this than I am in the producers of this show.