Time travel has been a topic of curiosity, extensive theories and experimentation for decades together. Time travel romances are quite a frequent trope explored in the K-drama world. The thought of breaking the barriers of time and tense to meet one's true love is quite appealing to the writers and audience, alike. One such latest drama to hit the block is the Ahn Hyo Seop and Jeon Yeo Been starrer A Time Called You. This drama premiered on Netflix on September 8, 2023 and consists of 12 episodes of about an hour each. What starts as a simple ‘Where did he go?’ soon spirals into ‘What did you do?’ Let’s take a look at the drama. (This article sports no comparison with the original story. This article is only based on the Korean version.)
A Time Called You Review: Ahn Hyo Seop and Jeon Yeo Been play with the concepts of time travel amid romance in this half-hearted remake
The drama starts with a melancholic Han Jun Hee in 2023 as the 36-year-old is still recovering from the loss of her boyfriend, Koo Yeon Jun. Since he went missing and was subsequently declared dead, she has been sending messages to his phone expressing herself. One day, the messages get read and when she calls on the number, a person (who we soon find out is Si Heon) picks up but does not speak. She is then sent an old cassette player which mysteriously transports her to the year 1998. Thus begins a chain of events in 1998, 2002, 2007 and present day 2023, which help Jun Hee unravel the mystery behind her current boyfriend’s disappearance and the past as well.
Dramas like A Time Called You promise a new perspective to a love story involving time travel. They also bring with them a challenge to unravel multiple timelines and stories in a manner, which does not befuddle the viewers and also leaves behind a digestible tale of every person involved. The series heads off on a promising start with Jun Hee going back in time to find if Yeon Jun and Si Heon are the same person. But soon that simple journey leads to a murder mystery, a broken friendship and several broken hearts.
Ahn Hyo Seop and Jeon Yeo Been’s pairing for the first time brought a lot of anticipation in terms of their chemistry, character bonding, but most of the time, it didn’t seem as deep as one would expect. While some might argue that the angle of Chan Yeong/Chan Hui was slightly unnecessary and perhaps the story could do better without it, it does manage to add that extra spice, albeit its messy nature.
As the story progressed, it branched off to people going back and forth in time with their own agendas. When the similar looking characters meet each other, they attempt to unravel the doings of the past to have a better future. Despite having similar looking characters in the past and the present, it would have been perhaps a tad bit simpler if there were different characters entirely to ease the plot function.
After a mayhem of time travel and one mystery twined with another, the story finally comes to a resolution. One of the players has to exit to make room and that player is Yeon Jun. All characters involved come together to solve the mystery. As the time and the people in the past go back to being how they should have been originally, we see that it does affect the present in some capacity. But the open ended story leaves the audience with a bittersweet gift to interpret it for themselves. Despite Yeo Been and Hyo Seop’s characters reuniting in the present time, there is still a shred of question if everything will also go back to its right place in the present.
Overall, despite all its flaws and messy timelines, A Time Called You is a good watch for those who missed watching a time travel drama. The show does manage to keep you hooked till the end. The characters are lovely in their own right. Just when you think about what the plot could be, there is a small but pivotal twist that will make all your other theories go haywire.
Also, not to miss SF9’s Rowoon’s guest appearance as Tae Ha. Since the timelines got reset and characters went back to their story, does it mean that Tae Ha is also alive? We also now know that the real Yeon Jun is gay. That hint of prospective romance between Yeon Jun and Tae Ha, however small it was, has definitely paved a way for the fans to whet their appetite with a fictional romance story between Tae Ha and Yeon Jun.
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