Yeong-soo (played by Kim In-kwon) is a nebbish department store manager who belatedly realizes his bad night was in fact much worse than just a drunk blackout. He soon meets up with Gi-tak (played by Kim Soo-ro), an ex-convict turned chef who is now in the same mortal predicament. Together they...flash back to the days right before the opener, because as this is the first episode, "Please Come Back, Mister" has to explain its premise and more importantly, why we as viewers should care.
I'm not feeling very optimistic on that front so far. The one genuine laugh "Please Come Back, Mister" got from me was when the conductor rips Yeong-soo a new one about how even though the man means well, he screws up all the time by failing to follow through. Whereas Gi-tak has a legitimately good reason for finding himself in an otherworldly realm, Yeong-soo provoked his bad situation by committing an unnecessarily dangerous deed for no particularly good reason.
There is a fairly interesting parallelism there. Where Yeong-soo fails even the simplest promises to his wife Da-hae (played by Lee Min-jung), Gi-tak ends up taking his oaths far too seriously when it comes to I-yeon (played by Lee Honey). What's especially fascinating is that the personalities of the female leads mirror their crosswise male counterparts. Where Da-hee is forceful and outspoken, I-yeon is a well-meaning woman who's constantly getting into messes based on her own poor judgment skills.
"Please Come Back, Mister" is another one of those dramas I don't remember liking that much when I actually watched it, but the material does improve significantly the more I think about it. While the main characters lack self-awareness, this is in fact their central character flaw. Observe how by the end Yeong-soo and Gi-tak have very impulsively decided to defy the natural order with no regard to long-term consequences to "set things right". But what if their personalities were the real problem all along?
That much is just speculation. Weirdly enough I felt this introductory episode was pretty unsatisfactory insofar as explaining the premise. The few characters we see who are clearly telegraphed as villains have only the most minimum level of personality, so I can't imagine any plot involving their nefarious schemes is going to be all that satisfactory. Even so, however we look at the situation, Yeong-soo and Gi-tak were responsible for their own deaths, and I don't see how "Please Come Back, Mister" can backtrack on this.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 1"
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