Wednesday, March 2, 2016

First Take: Please Come Back Mister

February 24th became the premiere date for two prime time Monday-Tuesday dramas. I wrote about Descendants of the Sun yesterday, which was the more melo choice. But today I'll be talking about a comedy in the form of Please Come Back Mister. This wasn't on my radar prior to watching the promos but after the first week, I'm starting to like it.

Two men find themselves at an odd train station where they later find out it's the train station to the afterlife. The two are going to heaven but they feel they had too many things untied on earth so they escaped and got a second chance at life with the help of Maya (Ra Mi-ran). Kim Young-soo (Kim In-kwon) was a hard working assistant manager at a department store. So hardworking in fact that he often neglects his wife (Lee Min-jung) and daughter (Lee Re). He returns to earth as a dashing young man (Rain) who happens to strongly resemble the chairman's son. Han Gi-tak (Kim Su-ro) owned a restaurant that employed ex-convicts serving as a place where they can begin anew. But he himself can't seem to run away from his past, especially when his first love actress Song Yi-yeon (Lee Honey) came looking for him after she became shunned by the public for divorcing a conglomerate's son. Gi-tak returns to earth as the beautiful lady Han Heong-nan (Oh Yeon-seo). The two have two months two sort their problems without causing trouble or else they will face a terrible consequence.

Right off the bat I can tell that this isn't going to be your run of the mill romcom. First of all, the two supposed leads*, Rain and Oh Yeon-seo, can't really fall in love with each other, and instead will have their own story line. And then Oh Yeon-seo can't have any action with Song Yi-yeon because I highly doubt SBS is going to allow girl-on-girl kissing (even though they are totally okay with guy-on-guy because it's funny?). Actually, I'm not exactly sure what will happen with Gi-tak's situation since not only did he come back in the wrong gender, he also has to deal with people who is very familiar with his childhood/background so no pretending he's a long lost sister. Not to say that there won't be any romance, since Young-soo will be able to get some action I'm sure. But I doubt that'll be the most interesting story of this drama, I'm assuming.

*There was a bit of a kerfuffle over billing order since this drama has quite a few major characters. It may seem like a stupid thing to fight about (which it kind of is, especially since it became so public), but considering that most Korean dramas have one main story line and a couple sub-plots, it may be important to them to see who gets the bigger plot line and subsequently airtime. As a viewer I don't really care, since I only came for a funny show, but it may be important to the actors and their agencies probably.

Unlike its direct competition Descendants of the Sun which is pretty mellow, Please Come Back Mister is definitely heavy on the comedy. The ajusshis and their reincarnations are both hilarious, especially when the original was negotiating with the train employees and when they returned as a being that one loved (Rain's hot-ass body) and one hated (Oh Yeon-seo's lady parts and lady world). And despite being the first episode, which does tend to go overly funny for these types of dramas, the drama also promises more serious undertones in the future. I'm actually quite worried how serious they're going to get, because a tearjerker romcom is oddly common in Korea and I'm not the biggest fan of that.

What I'm most worried about though is how they'll manage to fit so many stories in one drama. With the airtime they get (roughly 16 hours), theoretically it should be plenty to tell two solid stories but I have a doubt they won't make it. Most dramas can barely make one decent plot, let alone two. It's even more worrisome since this is a clear deviation from the original Japanese movie and drama, where they took the Young-soo figure and reincarnated him as Heong-nam. Not exactly sure what went in the mind of the producers that they needed another ajusshi in the mix, maybe so they can squeeze in a traditional love triangle? Because if yes, boo.

So for me, despite really loving the tone and loving the cast's commitment to their roles, the complicated story line and potential overhaul of the ever so popular love triangle may turn this into an utter disaster. I'm definitely watching this drama cautiously since I can see the potential mess that may occur. But I'm hoping I'm wrong and it may be a wonderful drama in the end. Cautiously optimistic.


  1. I'm actually liking this drama thus far! Some fastforwarding during slower scenes but the general storyline is keeping me in.

    1. I haven't been watching it :( I'll probably start soon. But the reviews have been pretty good so far, and it's the better option in the Wed-Thu lineup, if you know what I mean.