While ratings behemoth "Descendants of the Sun" is plowing through the drama season, this means little to fans outside of the Korean and Chinese markets. After all, a good drama fan should know that numbers do not measure individual enjoyment or cover all viewer tastes. "Please Come Back, Mister" might not be getting the spotlight, but this is not stopping it from being fun.
Do you remember that time when some dramas used to have light parts and dark parts, when they used to know and mostly stick to their chosen tone and genres and when the promotion leading up to those was not for an imaginary series they never turned out to be? "Please Come Back, Mister" brings those times back by being a human drama which remembers the beauty of balance and respecting audiences.
The series is so far a mixture of comedy, revenge drama, family and romance. This does sound complicated and tough to juggle, but it is being done well. The reason for this is that the writer keeps the center of the story and focus stable. Kim Yeong-soo (Kim In-kwon / Rain) and Han Gi-tak (Kim Soo-ro / Oh Yeon-seo) are two people who left this world flawed. They return to erase their regrets and become better people in the process. This means that all facets of human life and their own stories belong here, from their love lives to their fight against the show's villain.
The drama is very rich in ideas and very entertaining in executing them. From the absolutely enjoyable cast channeling their endearing characters perfectly to its humor, there seems to be so much attention to detail and care behind its creation. This is especially refreshing in an industry often too preoccupied with superficial appeal to remember that a living, breathing world is not easy to create, but necessary for immersion and emotional engagement.
As charming as "Please Come Back, Mister" is, it is important to remember that the possibility of conforming is always there for Korean drama. Revenge thrills and cheap melodrama sell, which means that this could very easily lose its balance very soon or by the end. Comedy dwindling as a drama progresses is nothing new, but when it is one of the main strengths of the work, it can be devastating. Which brings us to the biggest flaw, the show's villain and his role in the leads' lives.
Cha Jae-gook (Choi Won-young) is a cardboard cutout of a person, a cartoonish existence present to hinder and annoy, rather than truly intimidate. He is living in his own world where the two leads are just collateral damage. This means that an increased focus on him and his evil deeds will only leave less time for the more engaging aspects of the drama.
"Please Come Back, Mister" is the stuff cult favorites are made of. There are formulas to mass appeal, but works like this remind us that "fun" is very subjective. They also remind us that creators are not robots working for our enjoyment, but people whose own love for what they do influences the quality of their work. Let us hope both sides can enjoy this drama to the very end.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Please Come Back, Mister""
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