My Only Love Song (Netflix- US distributor)
TL;DR : Netflix has a time travel fusion sageuk and it doesn’t suck.
The good; It’s time travel- and it’s fun! I don’t go for grim-dark or “woman gets abused by assholes in multiple centuries” tropes, so I feel like it’s been ages since I had a fun time travel show (rewatching Queen In Hyun’s Man and Faith don’t count). And the use of Boong Boong the Mystery Machine as a device where the characters had some control over the madness made the whole thing feel like a fresh take. Plus it was a time travel story where time travel and the rules for what time travelers should and should not do was actually an ongoing piece of the plot.
It could use more women but the two female leads are blissfully never pitted against each other.
The fun: Did I mention the TARDIS-like prop van? Because it sounds stupid but it worked. The rules of Boong Boong were kept a little fuzzy- with surprising new abilities appearing- but if you can accept the existence of time travel via precious pink van, it’s nothing that takes you too far out of the story.
The not quite G rated: I loved the foul mouthed heroine. She was never too saccharine, and she caught on quick. The show also allowed her to be proud of and speak about her status as Koreas Top Star and never felt the need to humiliate her or humble her for it. Like it might be acceptable for an actress to honestly be proud of herself and that’s not seen as a character flaw? I enjoyed On Dal- even though he’s not a modern hero he’s written as being essentially kind and respectful of both Soo Jeon and the Princess. Also his reactions to Boong Boong and every piece of technology were perfect- he had no chill.
The meh: The solution to the essential problem was fairly obvious from the start, so how that aspect was going to play out was a bit anti-climactic.
The annoying: Episode format! 27 minutes, a good 5-6 of which tended to be replaying the final scene of the last episode. That’s 20% of the material once you toss the credits! I figure this has something to do with non-Netflix distribution, but that’s an awful lot of padding.
Also annoying: All three(!) of Sam-Yong’s “love interests”. Unnecessary. None of those relationships had any basis and I could have used that time for more Moo Myung. I did enjoy San Yong outside of this though.
Also annoying: Il-yong’s “feelings”. Unnecessary. They spent 10 episodes making it clear he loves only himself. The sudden attempt to make it seem like the affection was genuine were ham-fisted at best.
There need to be more dramas where ancient royalty and modern actors tool around the forest in a taking van. I would accept a series of Boong Boong intervening with new groups of people he needs to get together to right history.