Being frozen and waking up in the 21st century is what two people from the 90s face in this new fantasy romance.
Ma Dong Chan (Ji Chang Wook) is a successful variety show Producer that’s progressive, a little on the crazy side, and ahead of his time. His hungry desire to intersect variety with a documentary format results in him participating in an experiment to be frozen for 24 hours, a feat no one has ever accomplished in the world. Needing a female to participate in the strange project with him, he approaches Go Mi Ran (Won Jin Ah) a part-timer at the broadcasting network and staff for the variety department; she’s a bit unconventional and just about ready to do anything extreme. Being a young University student, she does everything she can to provide for her family, even if it means putting herself in odd situations.
Agreeing to take part in Ma Dong’s experiment after much convincing, Go Mi Ran and Ma Dong enter capsules in a private scientific facility but just before they’re supposed to wake up after being frozen for 24 hours, the two end up frozen for 20 years, waking up to a different world and to different lives from before. Having to keep their whereabouts a secret, speculations and bizarre situations turn up in the form of past lovers, aged family members, and trying to get their lives back on track in the workforce.
In the midst of all this, their body temperatures are only 31.5 degrees Celsius and they need to maintain that in order to survive, but with a growing romance that’s bound to bloom and thaw at their hearts, will their fated love be fatal or exactly what Ma Dong and Mi Ran need to live new lives and adjust to the modern world.
Such an interesting premise! it’s hard not to get intrigued by this drama since it’s something we’ve never seen before and I was reeled in at the mention of Ji Chang Wook but my anticipation only heightened once Won Jin Ah was officially casted. With the same Writer as Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, it’s no surprise that the material is fresh and fun, with a new take on time travel in a sense. Although our characters don’t necessarily travel into the future, being frozen for 20 years has produced major gaps for them. What feels like years to others only feels like a day to them, so their souls and minds are still very much in the 90s.
Of course there’s a lot of hilarity and exaggeration in place as everyone freaks out when Ma Dong reappears – having a younger brother who now looks exactly like your father is hard to swallow and it’s quite the entertaining setup as he formally addresses his younger siblings in the present. It’s also interesting to note the little details in place when Ma Dong and Mi Ran consistently feel like they’re dying of internal heat since we’ll always see them with a glass of ice water, a cold drink, or just munching on ice in order to prevent their temperatures from rising, even if they’re not fully aware of the implications of a rise in temperature in the beginning.
As far as progression goes, the show is doing a decent job to make their predicaments as reasonable as possible and for the most part, it’s fairly fast pace and does away with needless conflict or issues. There have been only 6 episodes, and it’s already covered a lot of ground even if it’s more on the comical fantasy side (I couldn’t take any of the scenes in the science lair seriously…). The head Scientist in charge of the experiment mysteriously disappears and is involved in something more sinister but even then, the show doesn’t take on more thriller elements or moves into darker aspects. It still maintains lighter tones even when it’s developing its plot and establishing its antagonists.
I absolutely love our main duo since the characters are so likeable from the start. Won Jin Ah definitely knows how to pick great female characters since her previous drama, Just Between Lovers introduced us to a female character that was mindful, understanding, and loving when it came to her significant other. Mi Ran is full of quirks in her own way and tries to stay as busy as possible to keep herself from being depressed but her ability to seize and demand things from a Producer, Director, and Chief of a large broadcasting network shows just how big her presence and voice can be when she feels wronged or needs to speak what’s on her mind.
Aside from the male lead, her relationship with her brother is the most compelling in the entire series and you can definitely see her talent as an Actress when she’s able to deliver scenes heavy with raw emotion. What I could have never expected however, is how she’s singlehandedly been able to deliver comedy. I thought a lot of the comedy would be a result of the secondary characters interacting with our leads together or even Ma Dong, but I would have never thought that Mi Ran would be the source for a lot of the comedy gold so far. She’s a riot and Won Jin Ah should be a name to look out for when it comes to comedy series since her expressions take on a wide range and her deliverance of dialogue leaves you in stitches.
The Writer definitely has a knack for bickering scenes and we get a glimmer of what the romance and push-and-pull relationship is going to be like from scenes heavy with back and forth dialogue. Mi Ran and Ma Dong can be very cold and feel slightly indifferent when it comes to others at times, but they can be just as passionate and hot tempered so this is one pairing that makes me anticipate amazing things when it comes to chemistry because I’ve already been sucked in from what I’ve seen so far.
Of course I can’t leave out our male lead. Ji Chang Wook holds his own ground as Ma Dong, being slightly eccentric and incredibly passionate about his work. He struggles to see how his work life effects those around him and it takes being frozen for 20 years to realize the damage that’s been done to the people he loves. There’s just an incredible air of sensibility when it comes to Ji Chang Wook’s acting because his micro-expressions and speech in the form of various tones, indicates just how self-consciously aware he his of the atmosphere and genre of each individual scene and how the drama likes to switch things up now and then. That being the case, Ma Dong is an absolutely swoon-worthy character and his growing feelings towards Mi Ran will absorb all your attention and are simply heart-fluttering. The man could disarm you with a single stare. If Mi Ran hasn’t been charmed yet then the audience is in for some major heart attacks…I for one, am not complaining.
Being a personal fan of both lead actors, this drama was something I kept my eyes on and looked forward to but it definitely deserves a chance for its uniqueness, lovable characters, and a slew of great cameo appearances. My only regret is seeing Mi Ran’s fringe gone!
Release Date: September 28, 2019 (Eng Sub available on Viki)