Tis the season in dramaland, it seems, for the spotlight to be on immortals and their human love interests.
I mean, just look at Goblin and his bride, his roomie Reaper and his Sunny, and the Mermaid and her human con-man. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that much, that the trend has reached web dramas as well.
What does surprise me, though, is how this little web drama – with its limited budget and screen-time, and its greener cast – manages to be more engaging and thought-provoking than its bigger, buzzier, full-length drama cousins.
That’s some serious skillz, and I’m duly impressed.
STUFF I LIKED
I was quite enchanted with the premise pretty much right away, to be honest.
An immortal with the body of a pretty young woman, but with the soul of a crusty granny; who’s lived for a thousand years, and earns a living by dishing out relationship advice based on a thousand years of personal experience, but now vehemently swears off dating herself.
Just too cute, even on paper.
Happily, it’s just as cute in execution, and like I mentioned earlier, even goes one further, by bringing lashings of thoughtfulness and meaning to the table as well.
Here’s a quick run-down of the stuff that I enjoyed about this charming little web series.
1. Everything’s very pretty
Everything is very pretty in this show, and I really like Pretty.
From the gorgeous Spring color palette and the rich tones, to the pretty framing of many scenes, to the whimsical little touches like this shot of female lead Mijo’s pet turtle Baek Nyun (literally translates as “a hundred years”) scrambling in slow-motion on the sand under a cute, colorful umbrella, I dig it all.
Special shout-out to the lovely modernized hanbok dresses that make up Mijo’s wardrobe; they are so gorgeous that I want almost every outfit for my own wardrobe, for reals.
2. Hwang Seung Eon as Mijo
The stand-out for me, in this show, is Hwang Seung Eon as our protagonist Mijo.
She totally looks and feels the part of a Joseon woman stuck in her Joseon ways, living in a modern world. Her speech patterns are perfectly, charmingly antiquated, and her mannerisms, completely fitting of the crusty old soul that Mijo is on the inside.
Mijo is the perfect combination of sassy and jaded, yet pure-hearted and hopeful, and it was a pleasure watching her wrestle with her jadedness with life and love, so that her weary soul could live and love again. Kudos to Hwang Seung Eon for bringing Mijo perfectly to life.
3. A poignant touch
I love that beyond the cute surrounding our premise and our OTP, that Show takes the time to explore the melancholy and loneliness that comes with immortality in the context of a mortal world.
Mijo is sassy and cheerful a lot of the time, but there are moments when we see the sadness that runs undercurrent, like when she fingers cracked mementos and thinks back on past romantic partners whom she’d loved, but who’d left her behind when they’d died.
Or when she clings to Baek Nyun as a pet and companion, because turtles live longer than cats or dogs.
Show uses these moments smartly, by pausing briefly over them, and allowing us to perceive and discern Mijo’s long-suffering loneliness as an immortal.
This undertone of poignance adds a really nice layer of emotional resonance to Mijo’s story, and just makes everything feel that much more significant and compelling.
4. Relatively believable treatment of the OTP
In true and rather predictable kdrama tradition, our OTP gets off to a bickery start when he moves in above her apartment, and starts practicing loud music with his band, day and night.
What I do appreciate, though, is that Show then regularly creates opportunities for our OTP to talk and get to know each other, often on their building rooftop, under the stars.
Because of these regular chats, I felt like it was organic and believable that these two would come to like each other and even fall in love. Big points to Show for making the development of the relationship feel real, and therefore engaging.
5. Mijo’s support group of random weirdos
I really love that Mijo’s got a support group made up of random weirdos, whom we mostly get to see in the episodes’ little epilogues.
I don’t quite get what they’re supposed to be in the story, but to me, they appear to be a bunch of people with tall stories whom nobody believes, basically, and who seem to come together to talk and share as some form of group therapy, just because nobody else will listen to them.
I found many of their group interactions amusing yet poignant, and looked forward to the episode epilogues, because those often showcased the group.
Show even uses some of the group interactions to affect Mijo’s thinking and therefore our main story, which I found to be a thoughtful touch.
STUFF I LIKED LESS
1. Sometimes the acting’s a little stiff
Not gonna lie; the acting in this mostly green cast leans a little stiff, and sometimes made me cringe.
The most prominent offender, by virtue of him playing male lead Joon Woo, is Kang Seung Yoon.
Kang Seung Yoon’s delivery definitely leaned on the wooden side of things right from the beginning, but afterwards, he seems to settle into the role some, and it feels like Joon Woo loosens up to feel like a more natural character in the later episodes.
2. Sometimes secondary characters feel too peripheral
Show does a lot of things right with its limited screen time, but I do feel like one of the casualties was the supporting cast.
There aren’t that many secondary characters, but mostly, these characters got so little screen time that sometimes when they did get some screen time, their scenes felt random and not very meaningful.
The biggest casualty in this respect, is the character of Jason (Jang Ki Yong), who is Mijo’s neighbor and friend.
Jason got so little screen time that every time he popped up, he felt insignificant to the story – even though he did turn out to be more important than just a drive-by neighbor.
The problem is, by the time I realized that he was more than just a drive-by neighbor, I felt like I hardly knew him as a character. I do wish this had been handled a bit better.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
I hafta say, I’m surprised by part of the ending. If you’re spoilerphobic, you’d probably want to stop reading about now.
We see Joon Woo and Mijo deciding to embrace their feelings for each other, and choosing to live and love in the present, even without any guarantees about tomorrow.
While this is rather predictable, I wouldn’t have this story end any other way, partly because of the feel-good happy ending it gives our OTP, but also because of the universal message it gives to us all: to be true to ourselves and live in the present, because worrying about tomorrow gains nothing.
On the other hand, I have to admit to being rather blindsided by the reveal of Jason’s identity. I mean, the reveal basically turns the entire story on its head.
Show is basically saying, “Ta da! Guess what? This guy – who hasn’t graced your screen very much at all – is your real protagonist! HE’S the one who’s willing to love for a thousand more years!”
I.. am not sure how to feel about that. I mean, it’s clever and all, but the reveal lacks oomph because we literally barely see Jason on our screens all series long, and suddenly, he turns out to be this significant to our story.
It also doesn’t help that Jang Ki Yong’s delivery leaned on the flat side, because he was unable to lend gravitas to the screen time that he did have.
All in all, I think it’s a clever twist, but I kinda wish Show hadn’t chosen to go there.
Still, I do love that we get to see Mijo being happy again, and settling right back into her relationship counseling ways, only this time, with a glow on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. That makes me smile, and is one of the reasons I will think of this show fondly.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Whimsical yet poignant; earthy yet sweet. A solid, charming little web drama.
FINAL GRADE: B
All 10 episodes are available on YouTube, subbed and in HD. Here’s episode 1, just in case you’d like to dip your toes in right away. You’re welcome. 😉
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I gotta say this first, I’m a WINNER fan.
But I am also working so I had to cope up with life and their contents. When I finally had the time to watch this drama after 2 years, I was vaguely impressed, I didn’t expect anything since it’s a Webdrama (I expected it to be more indie or you know..) but the whole production was high quality.
I loved the characters and would sincerely watch if the PD decided to make it into an actual Drama (With hour long 20 episodes). They were very entertaining and easy to watch. (Take it from someone who easily gets bored like me)
Both my Baby Winner boys had room for improvement when it comes to acting, but they did a pretty good job. I felt the Male lead’s pain, and strangely, the role fitted KSY because his life is kinda like that (a lonely workaholic), but he still has a mother tho, and he is a dork. lmao
and no one is talking about My baby boy Jinwoo. He was so freaking adorable. His ‘qoutes’ or whatever was hilarious. His role Fitted him too. A literal innocent who barely has experience towards romance and is an old-soul.
Okay, I’m getting out of context haha.
But I love the drama. Easy to watch and remember. The ending made a big impact (seriouisly).
If you are fond of light-hearted dramas with unexpected plot-twists then WATCH THIS NOW. You can binge it for 3 hours, and it would feel like 10 minutes. It was too short and I wouldn’t mind it to be longer.
I’m glad you got to watch this one too, Irah Joy! 😀 It really does feel more solid and thoughtful than the average web drama. This is one of the most memorable web dramas I’ve watched, come to think of it! 🙂
I wish the creators of this mini series would make a prequel to this story. I would love to learn more about Mijo and Jason’s back story. How and why Jason was the one responsible for Mijo turning into an immortal. That love story would be epic and heartbreaking for sure. Thank you for the great review of this mini drama.
Oh, I love your idea for a prequel, Jackie! I would’ve loved to see that story on my screen! I hope someone out there is listening and picks up your idea! 😉
I really liked this one. I was very happy with Jason and his screen time and the twist and pretty much everything. This is a vey well put together little web drama.
My only minor sort of ”disappointment” is the back scratcher. I liked how she used it as a sceptre and thought it was put there as a symbol for eternal singledom (= I scratch my own back). I thought she would give it away at the end after getting together with Joon Woo, but no. She still used it.
Aw, I rather liked that she didn’t give it up, it was such a unique quirk of hers. Symbolically, you could think of it as her choosing to have independence, despite having found her soulmate? 🙂
I’ve been reading a few of your reviews and I think you’re a very talented writer. Keep doing what you’re good at. You managed to put into words exactly the thoughts I wasn’t able to.
I’m suprised that you watched this drama, since it’s not exactly a popular one. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it.
I discover this drama because I’m a huge Winner fan and the group’s leader, Kang Seungyoon is my longtime bias. Though I’m a fan, I’m not delusional. Yoon’s acting is a bit stiff. It’s forgettable and lacking in personality. I appreciate a drama with good consistent writing and acting.
However, KSY is an amazing vocalist and composer. <3 The song 'You' that he sings in this drama doesn't really showcase his vocals. He actually wrote the lyrics for 'You' too. I hope his acting improves, and in the next drama he acts in, he will play a character that can showcase his singing more.
Aw, thanks for the encouragement and kind words, awwsome! 😀 I’m glad you’re enjoying the reviews!
This web drama actually flew under my radar, until one of my drama friends pointed me to it. I’m so glad I checked it out, because it was surprisingly engaging. Of course, that’s more because I found the female lead quirky & pretty great, and less because of KSY’s acting prowess 😅 He did decently, for an idol actor.. hopefully as he gains experience he’ll loosen up more as he acts! 🙂
You’re right! What kept me engaged in drama was Mijo. She was fun and funny, but also very likeable as she’s sincere in helping people despite her longlife experience. She also managed to create a somewhat belieavable chemistry with KSY lol which I enjoyed, a lot. In fact, I enjoyed this web drama more than KSY’S other supposedly better produced web drama, We Broke Up. WBU is also a decent web drama, worth checking out but I’m not sure if you will enjoy it as much as you did watching LFATM.
Haha I’m not sure if he will be in another drama or not, since Winner’s been very busy with recent comeback. Also, (in my opinion) the main reason he was able to land those two main roles is because both web dramas are produced by YG.
Ooh, fun fact, both Jang Kiyong and the guy who played the patient with cancer are YG models. The other guy who randomly spout old sayings is also a Winner member, Jinwoo.
I actually thought that Jang Kiyong was a decent actor after watching WBU. His role in this drama wasn’t really well written which I think is the main reason Jason turned out to be out of place sometimes. But I do believe JKY has potential and he will improve leaps in the future.
I’ve started doing mini squeecaps of this at Problematic of the Unproblematic blog http://dr-myri-blog.blogspot.com/search/label/Love%20for%20a%20Thousand%20More in case anyone is interested.
As usual I was not disappointed in taking your advice on this little drama. I especially loved the comedic touches and the dance scene was laugh out loud funny. Thanks for this review. Now it’s back to your rating ist for my next selection lol!
Yay that you liked this one, phl!! It’s a cute little show, isn’t it?? Such a charming little find – especially Mijo and her crusty granny ways! ❤
I liked this very much – but it seemed a bit like an “elevator pitch” for the real, longer show. I loved the opening of the heroine through time and I like her comparing modern love connections to the old timey Joseon dudes she dated. These could easily be lengthened to a real show. And Jason? I felt they cut two or three episodes about him.
That’s a great way to put it, daisy! They really could’ve fleshed this out to a full-length drama, and it could’ve been pretty awesome. I could definitely do with more of Mijo and her Joseon ways. And her turtle, which was so cute in all its slo-mo glory. 😁
I enjoyed it, but Jason could have been taken out of the story and I think it could have had the same result. With him in the story, I had way too many questions where I wanted to know more about him at that last episode.
Exactly! The whole Jason thing left me feeling like Show was gunning too hard for a punchline that wasn’t really that important to the story that I’d become invested in. I feel like they should’ve either spent more time with Jason, or taken him out of the equation altogether.
Thanks, kfangurl! This sounds perfect; short and sweet and easy to squeeze into frantic holiday schedules.
It really is short and sweet and easy to make time for! How did you end up liking this one, Mary? 😊
Hello, Fangirl! It took me two years, but I finally got to watch this, and it is a lovely little morsel, just as you said! Loved them all, thoroughly enjoyed all the small real moments…… and I think Jason’s ultimate role would have been easier to swallow if he’d played it straight, rather than cutesy/glib.
Ah, I’m glad you did get to watch this in the end, Mary! 😀 It is a cute little thing, isn’t it? 😀 I do think you might be on to something about Jason’s delivery. If he’d played it straight, it might’ve jived better with the ultimate reveal. As it was, it was rather.. odd. 😛
I literally just finished this. Actually I kind of loved it. Short and sweet, and Mijo definitely was the star. Loved her and the main dude’s balcony talks, and actually loved some of her serious talks with Jason too. I kind of hope there’s more later on just so we can get more of Mijo.
Ah, I’m glad you liked this one Julianne! 😊 And Mijo is awesome. Like Daisy said in another comment, this could’ve been made into a full-length drama, and I would’ve happily watched it. More Mijo would’ve been very welcome indeed. Loved her, and yes, I liked the chats as well. It just made the relationship-building feel more real.