너를 사랑한 시간 (The Time We Were Not in Love)

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16 Episodes
An iWill Media Production
Timeslot: Saturday and Sunday Evening, 09:55 PM
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Format: 1080i Dolby Digital 2.0 – 60 Minutes
Runs from: 2015/Jun/27~Aug/16

WITH 하지원 (Ha Ji-Won) as Oh Ha-Na; 이진욱 (Lee Jin-Wook) as Choi Won; 윤균상 (Yoon Gyun-Sang) as Cha Seo-Hoo; 추수현 (Chu Soo-Hyun) as Lee So-Eun; 신정근 (Shin Jung-Geun) as Lee Jung-Geun; 이주승 (Lee Joo-Seung) as Oh Dae-Bok; 서주희 (Seo Joo-Hee) as Kim Soo-Mi; 진경 (Jin Gyeong) as Choi Mi-Hyang; 최정원 (Choi Jung-Won) as 김영준 (Kim Young-Joon; 우현 (Woo Hyun) as Byeon Woo-Shik; 홍인영 (Hong In-Young) as Hwang Bit-Na; 고원희 (Go Won-Hee) as Yoon Min-Ji;

CREW Production Director 조수원 (Jo Su-Won) Main Writer 정도윤 (Jung Do-Yoon) 이하나 (Lee Ha-Na) Planning 홍성창 (Hong Seong-Chang) Producer 김동호 (Kim Dong-Ho) Director of Photography 이재우 (Lee Jae-Woo) 김정기 (Kim Jung-Gi) Lighting 최성학 (Choi Seong-Hak) Editor 김수진 (Kim Soo-Jin) 전현정 (Jeon Hyun-Jung) Music 문성남 (Moon Sung-Nam) Art Director 노상순 (Noh Sang-Soon) Action Choreography 한정욱 (Han Jung-Wook) Assistant Writer 이하은 (Lee Ha-Eun) 박연주 (Park Yeon-Joo) Assistant Producer 김영환 (Kim Young-Hwan) 윤라영 (Yoon Ra-Young)
Based Upon FTV's 我可能不會愛你 (In Time With You)

RATINGS
AGB Nielsen Nationwide
HIGHEST: 7.1% (07/11 - E05)
LOWEST: 4.7% (08/02 - E12)
AVERAGE: 6.24%

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Photo ⓒ iWill Media, SBS

FIRST LOOK

The notion of a remake is problematic for a variety of reasons: it is when it takes the form of a slightly ethnocentric complex of superiority, like for most of the Hollywood remakes of Asian films implicitly suggesting that perhaps Joe Sixpack isn't ready to welcome “oriental sensibilities” and might therefore need an Americana-flavoured surrogate – the most egregious form of cultural appropriation. It definitely is when an entire industry commodifies a trend like the advent of time-slip dramas in Japan and China, strips it of most of its specifically local idiosyncrasies without offering any distinctive counterpart, and only ends up shallowly exploiting its narrative selling point (time travel itself). It might not always be the case – as miracles like 하얀거탑 (The White Tower) can attest -- but there is often something lost in translation when these remakes happen; such cultural “transfusions” might theoretically include all the structural ingredients that made the original work. But not the soul that made it come alive. Paradoxically, when your remake is trying to tackle the impossibly ditzy and shallow world of Taiwanese dramas, particularly in the case of the lethargically dull and uninspired 2011 FTV hit 我可能不會愛你 (In Time With You), the risks might be negligible.

The appropriation here limits itself to just the central “deal” between characters and the working environment – quite a convenient choice for PPL purposes, as painfully shown by the product placement overload of the opening episode. There was nothing of cultural significance in the original that would have suffered a Korean “transplant,” anyway. And yet you've got a no-win situation in your hands: you're likely to enrage fans of the original, and for everyone else, the premise will just feel like trite trendy drama dynamics straight from the early 2000's. This show is terribly dated from the get-go, from characterization to the way the aforementioned “deal” is brought about.

It certainly would have been a little more bearable if the writing and directing weren't so childish: trusting Lee Jin-Wook and Ha Ji-Won to act almost a generation younger (in the haphazardly interwoven flashbacks trying to build intimacy between these two “old friends”) by simply throwing glasses and a school uniform at them was bad enough already, but the two mug for the camera to such an overbearing extent that it's hard to endure more than one scene without nervously looking at your watch, hoping this misery will end. Lee underperforming might not be a surprise, but you'd be inclined to expect a tiny little more from a pampered and blazoned veteran like Ha – in her worst performance since 2004's 내사랑 싸가지 (100 Days with Mr. Arrogant). Her “yesteryear” version of Ha-Na feels like a bubbly 10 year old ingénue straight out of a live-action send-off of The Powerpuff Girls – where the irony is on her acting and not her act; her supposedly mature counterpart is possibly even worse, pouting, mugging and overreacting her way through every single scene. (As. If. Punctuating. Her. Every. Motion. Wouldn't. This. Wear. You. Out. After. 60. Minutes?) What's even worse, the writing is downright appalling: a scene where Ha-Na gets irked upon meeting his boyo's newfound love interest only ends up painting her as a petty and superficial airhead who would compromise her credibility at work just to put her current love adversary in a negative light. Is anyone over at SBS even remotely aware of how amateur hour all this feels? And if the main character is this shallowly portrayed, imagine how bad everyone else can be.

All this boils down to is a desperate tentative to revitalize a timeslot which has long lacked any relevance, by taking advantage of a gimmick that might have been intriguing in the early 2000's, but which now feels tragically obsolete. Everything about this show smells of deja vu, reeks of laziness, and is handled with disarming superficiality.

This is a vacuous, empty shell of a star vehicle, with no redeeming value whatsoever.

ACTING GRADES

63 신정근 (Shin Jung-Geun)
62 이주승 (Lee Joo-Seung)
61 서주희 (Seo Joo-Hee)
60 우현 (Woo Hyun)
59 진경 (Jin Gyeong)
59 고원희 (Go Won-Hee)
56 추수현 (Chu Soo-Hyun)
55 최정원 (Choi Jung-Won)
55 이진욱 (Lee Jin-Wook)
54 홍인영 (Hong In-Young)
47 하지원 (Ha Ji-Won)

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