The Binding Love of a Time-traveler to His Wife

I can’t remember an emotionally draining drama where I did not cry, but “Tomorrow With You” really knocked my heart out, because I was hoping for the best that can happen to So Joon and Ma Rin’s love story given the arduous time-bending road they had to overcome to finally get a tomorrow with each other.

Lee Je Hoon oppa was so cool with the time-bending walkie/talkie sleeper hit “Signal” last year so I never pictured myself swooning over him because he is known for his poignant character portrayals. “Tomorrow With You” caught me easily with its time-traveling hero and his quest to prevent his eventual death in the future.  We uncovered  layers of mystery to another as we were presented with the future focal conflict of the love couple’s death that can be saved only if our hero can work on the circumstances happening at his  present life, which of course he does not know about, but us viewers have already fathomed.  Working out the strenuous hitch was no easy task if you have a perceptive wife who wanted everything in her married life done together.

I was thrilled watching the scenes unravel, and yet I was also frustrated trying to decipher the hindered rules as So Joon travels to the future. I like the sudden marriage plot.  I like the back story.  I like that he was forced to confront the main problem not with his initial urge to survive, but because he slowly but surely felt that his future involved Ma Rin because she crept in his heart without him realizing it… that he cannot picture a future without her anymore.

The way the story withheld the future twist by furtively hiding the key turning points and yet presenting well the essence of the time-traveling plot on the romantic premise, has made me on the edge of my seat trying to decipher the puzzle pieces that will help So Joon in case I bump with him in one of his sojourns.  I like the laid-back-we-will-not- be-rushing here tone, so I was surprised that the big reveal to Ma Rin that she married a time-traveler came sooner than I expected.  It was most of the time maintaining the wistful sphere thanks to our caught in between time wrinkling love couple.  I can understand the urgency on So Joon’s end trying to protect Ma Rin, but how the latter responded after learning the truth was understandably confusing if So Joon keeps on hiding what their full story was about.  In a way the narrative was sort of intermittently detaching on its own accord, but it finds a way to wake me up and entice me again.

That’s what it did when it crossed the middle part when we have established the villain and his wrongdoings.
Then we got to the conflict of So Joon conflicted between leaving Ma Rin of the present because of a warning from Ma Rin of the future, but true love always prevails so we got past that hurdle and they compromised to work on the repercussions of their actions that could make an impact to their supposed future fall out.

What I cannot understand sometimes, because we have so much going on in the future was how So Joon stubbornly overlooked the present moment.  And whenever he goes to the future, it’s like he was getting bits of information that was not able to back up the premise of the integral conflict which was the future that won’t happen in two years time for them anymore.  True that it started smoothly at the first half and every episode since then was problem stricken and gave a half-baked resolution.  The villain conflict was resolved and he got jailed, but he still ended up vanishing in the subway.  Ma Rin who could meet So Joon of the past decided not to and told Ki Doong to tell her husband a lie in a futile hope that his life will change for the better if she will not happen to his life at all.

On the finale episode, I was hoping for a glimmer of hope that he was still alive because hey dokpang is a time-traveler, goblin braved and endured that frozen limbo for 10 years to be with his bride so give me a time-traveler who could do as much for Ma Rin who patiently waited for him writing those future emails all those times.  Someone from kdramagods haven heard my plea and gave me answers.  But not after pushing deep the invisible knife piercing my heart as it gave those minutes of So Joon recovering from coma and waking up to the knowledge that his wife died 3 years ago, and she has a few days left to see and save her at her present living moment.  I mean man that was so mean.  It’s really a must for writers to be at their happiest moment when they are writing.  I was tired worrying and hoping and going back to the past and future and living their present lives as well.  So I was resolved to failing the drama for real.

But the drama literally saved the best for last. The frames of So Joon’s future escapades started to make sense as explained in the finale episode.  Along with how Ma Rin chose to lie about their supposed failed marriage so that past So Joon can be reprieved of his fate.
The scenes that marked in me most were first, that scene when Ma Rin told So Joon how she got through those lonely days by stalking his time traveling past self who would constantly leave food and even send video messages for her.  The other one was how when they survived their inevitable tragedy and lived as a normal married couple bickering with the usual wife’s nagging and the husband’s stubbornness, Ma Rin’s future emails would pop up to remind him of how much he was loved by her during those tumultuous times.  I knew that ajussi will do the sacrifice when the camera panned at the scene when So Joon visited Ma Rin’s year 2022 graveyard so I was not surprised as their fate has been intertwined since the Namyeong station accident.

Since time-warping is a complex plot where the writer of the imagined world is the boss, I am okay with how he gave us the answer to how present time So Joon survived the fatal injury by skipping the year he was supposed to die,  in exchange of losing his powers temporarily the moment he recovered from coma.  It was a pertinent move to propel the climax of whether he can save his wife with all his might and yearning to her looming demise.  So yes, I heaved a sigh when after all his attempts he successfully arrived to the present time where he belonged, to give everything he has for the last chance of saving himself and his wife to their imminent misfortune.

Unrequited and patient love was the binding tangible that cushioned So Joon and Ma Rin’s tale as it was a tough job to unlace the intricate connections of the characters’ present, past and future.  But all those hints So Joon discovered were key points to how they eventually freed themselves from the initial burden.

“Tomorrow with You” tested my fortitude as together with the heroine I serenely calm myself and focus on the love promise dokpang gave to her.  Although it was a sad ending for ajussi, it was a heartfelt gesture of a father’s love… to make sure that his daughter will be showered the love she deserved which he has failed to give.

This drama felt like a roller-coaster as I hiked on the twists and turns and got lost in time and space continuum.  It might even give a frustrating ride so consider you are forewarned if you are not used to a story that you have to analyze from start to finish.  Nevertheless I got my closure even if they fit it in less than 60 minutes.  So Joon and Ma Rin’s road to ever after was definitely something I would not dare to have, but they gave me lessons on how compromise, patience and love are essentials that secure an unwavering relationship. -jediprincess



KDrama Starter Pack: The Supernatural Dramas Starter Pack

Over the years, dramaland showcased recurring themes and novelty tales that swept the followers off their feet.  From the weep-fest dramas that started the hallyuwave breakthrough, to the historical drama parade that taught us Korean history, and to the fantasy driven narratives in the most recent years, every era has marked a significant change in making the kdramaland stories even better than before.

For my next blog project, I will be working on themed Korean dramas  that will be perfect for a weekend drama binge.  First on my entry would be the fantasy themed dramas that have been an active genre in the past five years.  Most of the dramas here raked ratings and established a strong fan based online.  Fusion of folklore and chimeric characters like mermaid, alien, ghost, and goblin have been so far successful in bringing out stories that are loved by fans.

Tomorrow With You (2017) – The time traveler who was trapped in his time traveling

Storyline:  A time-traveler saved a woman from her imminent death because when he traveled in his future he found out that he died together with the woman on that same day.

Goblin (2016 – 2017) – Bromance and Romance at its perky best.  Stunning cinematography and writing.

Storyline:  A goblin is in search of his bride for more than 900 years so he can be freed of the curse given to him by a deity.  He finally meets his bride but removing the curse would mean an end to his immortality, and falling in love with his bride complicated his situation even more.

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016 – 2017) – Curious mermaid and charming con-man story perfect for when you just want to be lazy and feel loved.

Storyline:  A mermaid chose to live in the land out of faith that the man she loved will love her back.  It turned out that their connection run deep as they were also lovers in their previous lives.

Signal (2016) – A thrilling crime drama that neatly utilized time element.

Storyline:  Two police officers from the past and present work on unsolved cases through a haunted walkie-talkie.

W:  Two Worlds (2016) – The worlds that sent us to beyond imagination and a one-sided love with Kang Chul.

Storyline:  A daughter of a manhwa writer entered her father’s fictional world and rescued the manhwa’s hero from dying.  They eventually fell in love but their separated worlds and the manhwa world’s villain was determined to kill the hero and his wife.

Mirror of the Witch (2016) – Sorcery, sad love but a strangely bearable story.

Storyline:  A Joseon princess was hidden by her King Father through his trusted Taoist priest, because of an inevitable  death waiting for her due to the curse that she will bring to the royal family and the country.  Years later, she learned of her true identity and chose to repel the curse placed on her to claim back the family and life that was deprived of her.

Blood (2015)

GENRE:  Vampire, Medical

Orange Marmalade (2015)

GENRE:  Vampire, Youth

Oh My Ghost (2015) – The ghost possessed girl who loved her chef-boss

Storyline: An introverted woman who can see ghosts agreed to have a wandering spirit host her body so she can seduce her chef boss.  The ghost who believed that she needed to free her mortal grudge of dying a virgin thought that sleeping with a man will resolve her issue, but she uncovered the truth about her death.

The Scholar who walks at Night (2015)

GENRE:  Vampire, Romance, Period

The Records of Nightwatchman (2014) – Joseon era Ghostbusters

Storyline:  A royal prince leads a team of ghost seeing fighters who worked on vanquishing the wandering ghosts that was let loose by the villain who killed his family

You Who Came From the Star (2013-2014) – The alien who loved the sassy top actress

Storyline:  An alien landed on earth and was saved by a mortal girl.  The alien waited to meet the girl again in her reincarnated self and succeeded after a few decades of blending in the human world.  The girl’s reincarnated self became a modern day top actress whom he was not in a smooth relationship at first.  Circumstances brought them together until he realized that she was the girl he has been looking for just as hos borrowed time on earth is slowly fading.


The Master’s Sun  (2013) –  The eccentric department store CEO who inspired his lady love to dream

Storyline:  A ghost-seeing woman discovered a man that can protect her from the spirits pestering her to help resolve their earthly grudges.

Nine Times Travel (2013) – the mind boggling drama which needs storyline mapping while you are watching

Storyline:  A broadcaster uncovers the truth about his brother’s mysterious death by using nine incense sticks that can send him back in the past.

I Hear Your Voice (2013)

GENRE:  Noona Romance, Legal

Jeon Woo Chi (2012 – 2013) – your magical neighborhood hero

Storyline:  After swallowing a magical bead, Jeon Woo Chi became a mischievous master who taught lessons to the baddies in the town.

Gu Family Book (2012) – Naruto and she-kenshin himura love journey

Storyline:  The story I gave up half-way and when I picked it up again to finish it, I regret it a million times.  I love the early part of the drama, but it was such a waste of talent.

Faith (2012) – The smoking hot general who loved a time traveling modern day doctor

Storyline:  General Choi Young was tasked to find a cure for the wounded Queen or they will be waging war with the Mongols.  He entered a portal that led him to modern day Korea and abducted a doctor from a Gangnam hospital.

Rooftop Prince (2012) – The prince who traveled in the future to solve the mystery of his princess’ death

Storyline:  A Joseon prince is transported to the future with his trusted warriors to uncover the truth about his princess’ death.  They lived with a kind woman in a rooftop where he learned that events on the present time will help solve the mystery he was working on in Joseon.

Queen In Hyun’s Man (2012) – the best time traveling character in kdramaland

Storyline:  A scholar and faithful retainer of deposed Queen In Hyun was transported to the present time escaping mortal peril from the hands of his political rivals.  In present time he met an actress playing the role of Queen In Hyun in a TV drama and fell in love with her while sojourning between the past and present time.

Operation Proposal (2012) – The time traveler who travels back in time to be with the girl he loved.

Storyline:  When his friend whom he loved for a long time was set to marry, a man begged for the pain to be relieved and was given a chance to travel back in their past time to correct what he might have done to be with the girl he loved.

Moon that embraces the sun (2012)  – The King Who Loved a Shaman

Storyline:  A Joseon King was set to marry the woman he loved but she died of an unusual illness.  Years later the woman turned out to be alive but lost her memory.  She entered the palace as a shaman and the inivisible love thread that connected her and the King resurfaced even if she has no recollection of her past.

Arang and the Magistrate (2012) – The sassy ghost who loved a magistrate

Storyline:  A ghost who kept haunting the house where magistrates live in a town met a magistrate who helped her resolved her case.

Vampire Prosecutor (2011)

GENRE: Vampire Legal

49 Days (2011) – painful tears, painful love, painfully annoying ending lol

Storyline:  A woman met an accident and was on comatose state.  She was given a chance to live only if she can get three genuine tears from people who loved her.  She was assisted by the Scheduler in her task and she hosted on another woman’s body to complete her mission.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010) – The happy-go-lucky stuntman who loved a pretty nine tailed fox

Storyline:  A nine-tailed fox that was imprisoned from a painting was emancipated accidentally by a mortal and started living together with him after giving him her magical bead that saved his life.

Secret Garden (2010) – the trendsetting drama between a stunt woman and a rich man

Storyline:  A stunt woman and a rich man bodies were magically swapped after they drank a liquor, and only when it rains can they come back to their regular selves.  Their bickerings evolved to romance even when rhe heroine had reservations on him first.

Secret Investigation Record (2010)

GENRE:  Mystery, Ghost