I was in the mood for something easy-breezy and escapist, and this little jaunt to Jeju Island seemed like just the ticket.
At just over 2 hours, this little mini drama worked out to be a very laidback, enjoyable drama snack, that kinda-sorta felt like a mini-vacation to Jeju Island.
Beautiful scenery, beautiful people, and the idea of romance in the air. What’s not to love?
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A broken-hearted man (So Ji Sub) goes to Jeju Island for work, and serendipity causes his path to cross with a girl (Kim Ji Won). Because of the circumstances, they end up spending quite a bit of time together, and get to know each other better.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS
Here are a couple of things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of this watch.
1. This is a pretty small drama world, with a pretty small and rather simple story.
2. Our storyline leans restrained and muted, but is pleasant.
3. This is clearly a showcase for Jeju Island.
STUFF I LIKED
1. Jeju Island is beautiful. I’m pretty sure this was a showcase for Jeju Island, at least in part, and yet, the treatment of Jeju Island is quite matter-of-fact and organic to the story. What I’m trying to say is, it doesn’t feel so much like a long commercial for Jeju Island.
2. Our leads are nice, decent, ordinary people. It was heartwarming to see them reach out and help each other in their own ways, and therefore connect beyond being strangers caught in a similar situation. Of course, they just happen to be beautiful, since they’re played by So Ji Sub and Kim Ji Won, both of whom I enjoy, and that didn’t hurt whatsoever, heh.
3. Our supporting cast is solid. In particular, I liked seeing Lee Jong Hyuk as the CEO of the company, and I got a kick out of Kim Young Woong’s appearance in this as well.
4. There are several thoughtful nuggets sprinkled through our story. I enjoyed those very much.
5. The music is very enjoyable. I found it pitch perfect for our story; breezy, with touches of poignance.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
To be honest, I was kind of expecting them to part ways without exchanging phone numbers, but I still felt a little disappointed, when he didn’t stop her from leaving.
Show does a good job of demonstrating to us why he’d hold back, though. He’s still working through his feelings around his last relationship, and he’s still in the process of letting go. It wouldn’t be fair to her, and also, it seems like he doesn’t feel like he’s good enough for her – or a good enough person, in general. There’s definitely some guilt there, around the fact that he’d continued to see his (then) girlfriend (Im Joo Eun), even after he’d found out that she was engaged to someone else.
That’s a tough one. I mean, he’d only found out after his heart had been invested. And once your heart’s invested, it’s hard to be logical, sometimes. I did feel bad for him, for how deeply he carried that guilt.
I wasn’t surprised that our Jeju Island pair would meet again by chance, in Seoul, because coincidence is written into their story. After all, they’d been brought together in the first place, by coincidence as well.
I was a little disappointed that tears and misunderstanding marked that reunion, but I’m glad that our guy then makes the effort to seek our girl out, and set the record straight. And then, I’m glad that she then eventually seeks him out – part-serendipitously, and part-intentionally, it feels like – and that’s where a proper, true connection is formed.
What a fun twist, that they share the exact same name, and only mutually establish this fact, after what feels like a lot of time has passed. That makes it feel all the more like their meeting had always been meant to be. Y’know, I hadn’t even noticed that we aren’t told our characters’ names, until this very late stage of our story. It’s pretty cute.
It was the timing that needed to be right, because our guy Kim Ji Won had needed that extra time to sort his heart out properly, and now, finally, on this second wind of Jeju Island magic, an OTP is born.
It’s all very modest and restrained, but I honestly couldn’t help smiling, as I watched them walk hand in hand, and chat about small but important things, like how long he’s been this boring, and how he likes being boring. It’s all very sweet, and I’m glad I had a chance to get to know the earnest girl who can’t help wearing her heart on her sleeve just a little, for the boring guy that she doesn’t really find boring at all. 🥰
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Low-key but charming and enjoyable.
FINAL GRADE: B+
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can check out this little drama on iQIYI here.
If you’re geo-restricted, you can use Opera’s free, built-in, unlimited VPN to get around geo-restrictions. A tutorial on that can be found here, and an article on why it’s not illegal to use a VPN to access legal streaming content can be found here.