THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE
Yoo So Joon (Lee Je Hoon), a CEO at a real estate company, gains the ability to travel through time via the subway after surviving a freak accident on the subway, which takes the lives of his parents. He has a chance encounter with Song Ma Rin (Shin Min Ah), a photographer and former child actor, in which he saves her life. They come to realize that they met previously on the day of the subway accident and that it was his encounter with Ma Rin that saved his life. However, during one trip to the future, he foresees a bleak future so he decides to marry Ma Rin in order to avoid that fate.
As much as this drama has elements of fantasy, I think what I loved most about the drama is Shin Min Ah and the way she plays Ma Rin. Despite the fact that her husband is the time traveler and considering that she was a child actor, there is a fragility about Ma Rin that makes her vulnerable and relatable at the same time. She’s a hopeful person; she’s a dreamer. As rushed as her relationship and eventual marriage to So Joon, I believe that she’s in love with him. Her faith in him is tested again and again as they try manipulate their own fates. In that way, Ma Rin seems like the true protagonist of this drama.
Kim Feel – 내일 그대와 (Tomorrow With You)
For those that know me, they know that I love Lee Je Hoon and I’ve watched all his projects for a number of years now. However, I couldn’t help but hate So Joon as I watched this drama. I knew that So Joon couldn’t tell Ma Rin certain things when it came to time traveling, which didn’t bother me much. However, I felt that So Joon’s decision to marry Ma Rin was a means to an end and it didn’t even seem like he liked her all that much. It made me pity Ma Rin for the loneliness she felt in her marriage. I don’t necessarily hate So Joon until the very end because he does learn to love Ma Rin but it takes so long for that to not only happen but so much happens in between, including Ma Rin learning about the time traveling.
However, is the true antagonist of this drama the time traveling? Is fate truly fate if we get a glimpse into the future? No, I don’t think the time traveling is actually the true antagonist in this story. People will always see things how they want to see things and our choices are affected by our narrow field of vision. That’s life. But I like that the drama brings up some interesting points about the nature of man.
There are people who get an unfair advantage in life and people who have to work hard. Even within those two categories, people make very different choices in their life. I think that’s why I found Yoo So Joon and Kim Yong Jin (Park Hyun Jin) characteristically very similar. Even though Yong Jin works hard, he doesn’t understand why So Joon makes the business decisions that he does and So Joon can’t really explain that he’s had a sneak peek into the future. It’s clear to the viewers that Yong Jin is a guy that shouldn’t be trusted and nobody trusts him except for So Joon. It’s So Joon that defends him time and time again and I think it’s because they are both opportunists. They are looking for success and don’t mind taking shortcuts. I think that’s probably the main reason why I had a hard time emotional connecting with So Joon and the drama spend a large amount of time allowing So Joon to get away with his ploy whether it’s what he does at work or how he treats Ma Rin.
I wish the drama’s third act came sooner as I spent a large part of the drama hating So Joon. Even knowing that he’s Lee Je Hoon, I was upset by the heartbreak that So Joon leaves Ma Rin with because it becomes repetitive. However, don’t misconstrue this to mean that I hate this drama.
In fact, the drama’s plot and conflict is what makes me so emotionally invested in the drama, including wanting them to find happiness while being frustrated by the situation they are in or place themselves in. It’s just that that we couldn’t have gotten to the climax and So Joon could have realized his feelings for Ma Rin a bit sooner. Boys are dumb.