Hometown nostalgia, romance, and healing are found in this new drama centred on life transitions.
Based on the novel with the same title, I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice or I’ll Find You On A Beautiful Day tells the story of Mok Hae Won (Park Min Young) a Cellist living in Seoul as a Teacher, tired and depressed from city life. She decides to return to her hometown for a whole season, situated in the countryside where her aunt lives on a pension house as a novelist. Attempting to leave her bitter memories behind her, Hae Won tries readjusting herself to country life and reconnects with her neighbour, Im Eun Seop (Seo Kang Joon) who runs a quiet and rustic bookstore, a haven for an insomniac like him to create a nocturnal book club and a club for the residence of his neighbourhood where Hae Won finds solace in both books and people alike.
Let’s just address the elephant in the room – the visuals of this couple are just wow. WOW.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get right into things! I think right off the bat it’s important to state that this drama is slow and grounded within developing setting as picturesque and romantic, allowing plot and story progression to take a comfortable seat in the back. There’s a lot of warmth and depth without feeling heavy, hence the slowness and steady, if not minimal progression taken in terms of story action or events yet, this doesn’t make the show flawed, most of it’s charm is due to the pace and the slowness of it all. There’s a unique quality being carefully crafted as a result of setting and childhood memories taking the foreground here, and even creates a sense of how one reads a novel so the pace may be largely due to the original source material or attempting to visually conceptualise the atmosphere within the book.
I’m going to be honest, I like this a lot and living somewhere where winter blues hit you hard, this drama provides that warmth and comfort you want on a winter’s night – there’s no better way to describe it other than cozy. The atmosphere and tone is both dreamy and nostalgic, aligning with the sentiments most people have during winter. There’s also something that feels right about soul searching for Hae Won as she struggles with her identity and self-worth in winter, choosing to stay in her quiet countryside hometown, disconnected from her concerns until spring.
As far as acting goes, I think Park Min Young has this secured in the bag since she’s been doing melodramas long before she became known for romance and rom-coms. Hae Won is extremely relatable in her state of depression, her reasons for it, and how she copes and flees back to her hometown. She acts in ways that are ordinary and relatable to the viewer. She’s somewhat low-key, devoid of theatrics, and has things that make her quiet and at times, even socially awkward. She’s the textbook definition of an ordinary young woman going through growing pains but Hae Won is refreshing in that very regard because her life isn’t so far fetched and just complicated enough that we can empathise with her.
Eun Seop is compelling in the sense that he comes off as aloof and reserved but he’s just masking his shyness and clumsiness. He’s not stoic or brooding since he interacts just fine with his family and friends (my prayers have been answered!) and by no means is he wealthy. He’s a simple man with simple needs who has a longstanding crush on the girl next door. I think Seo Kang Joon is an interesting choice to play the role because he easily embodies an air of indifference and can convey either sides of Eun Seop convincingly. I’m going to dig a little further and say that his last two acting roles have contributed significantly to how he’s developed as an actor, so he’s managing to tap into his character roles with experience under his belt, evening out the playing field between our leads. Plus if I’m being completely honest, then Eun Seop’s lingering glances of desire are all the more appealing if the pair of eyes being focused on happen to be Seo Kang Joon’s.
More than anything, I’m glad that we finally have a K-drama for book lovers with some good potential because all the ones before this have tanked. The show manages to bring books, writing, and reading into the equation seamlessly, making sure that we’re all aware that Eun Seop’s bookstore quite literally plays a major part in the series. Eun Seop’s ability to make a mean cup of coffee is simply an added bonus! Although Lee Jae Wook’s clumsy and charming character might just steal the entire series!
With rustic and dreamy tones, bookworms, and childhood connections, I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice begins to a promising start. If you’re looking for high-stakes drama and heated romances based on banter and opposites attract, then look elsewhere because this show is taking things nice and slow.
Release Date: February 24, 2020 (Eng Sub available on Viki)