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Average user rating 2.8
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Melting Me Softly: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

Our cryogenic couple is alive, awake, and raring to go in 2019 — except what they find in their futures is more sobering than anything else at this point. Wait, is it sobering or is it hilarious? Melting Me Softly tries to do both simultaneously. Am I the only one that is amused, but also confused?

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

I was trying to give this show the benefit of the doubt last week, with what was definitely a rough start — the prolonged lingering in 1999, the lack of any storytelling around the actual cryogenic plot line, and the strange leap of our leads from the bunker to stumbling around meeting their families in 2019. Were these things intentional? Would the storytelling get tighter? Why do I feel like the most important parts of this story are the ones not being told?

Going into the second week of the drama, though, knowing what to expect in terms of tone helped me enjoy the drama more. I could freely chuckle over Dong-chan’s awkwardness in using honorifics when talking to Hyun-gi, fumbling with the latest Samsung, or mistaking his brother for his father, over and over. The key to Melting Me Softly is: watch it lightly.

At the same time, the comedy often cuts into the emotional angle the drama is also going for. Almost every single scene that pulls out what Dong-chan is feeling in his soul (his missing twenty years, the death of his father, the lost time with his fiance) is upended by the comedy. It’s okay once or twice, but after a while I started to get the impression the drama doesn’t want us to feel anything much at all, and instead just gallop along. So, we gallop.

In contrast, Mi-ran’s storyline around her return has a bit more pathos and a little less comedy. The scenes where she reunites with her little brother and her family, and sees how they’ve been waiting for her all this time, is quite touching.

While Episode 3 was mostly focused on Dong-chan and Mi-ran meeting their families and realizing that they’ve been out cold for twenty years, Episode 4 adds another layer to that, and first delves into them re-meeting their romantic interests.

Here, it’s Dong-chan’s storyline that has more of the romance and pathos, while Mi-ran’s has the comedy. Her two-timing boyfriend from the past HWANG BYUNG-SHIM (first played by Baro and now transformed into the typecast-but-always-hilarious Shim Hyung-tak) discovers her on campus and basically loses his mind. Watching him stutter and stare and stand on jelly legs is pretty funny. He also married one of her besties, hah.

Our hero and heroine charge back into their lives straight away. Questions about how they got frozen for twenty years, and all the things that obviously went wrong for that to happen? Those can wait.

Mi-ran re-enrolls at her university and starts taking classes immediately. She sticks out like a sore thumb, catches the eyes of some campus cuties, and almost gives Byung-shim a heart attack. She also reunites with her besties, who immediately suspect she’s either had some hardcore anti-aging treatment in the U.S., or was frozen in time.

Dong-chan heads back to the broadcasting station, where he quickly learns how much television (and the world) has changed in the last twenty years. Between the meta, the PPL, and the social commentary — it’s pretty entertaining. It doesn’t take much for everyone at the station to be suspicious of him, though, and he’s quickly linked to the disappearance of his former self, twenty years prior.

For me, the show is strongest when Dong-chan and Mi-ran are onscreen together and interacting. Whether they’re squabbling in Dong-chan’s “vintage” car, or getting hot and bothered at a meeting with Hyun-gi and Hong-seok, their screen time and developing relationship were what kept me watching.

Thankfully, both Mi-ran and Dong-chan are starting to realize that what they just experienced is not normal, and they start to get suspicious. Mi-ran automatically confronts the broadcasting station for compensation, while Dong-chan starts to dig into the case of his “disappearance” only to realize the cover-up that occurred.

The plot slippage in Melting Me Softly might be bigger than the Great Divide, but by the end of Episode 4, it feels like the drama is heading in the right direction. Not only did we finally get to see some establishing shots around the cryo-bunker, but Dong-chan also returned with some decent questions.

There were also some interesting developments around their altered body temperature (which we already knew from the synopsis), and the fact that some other people were also frozen and woken. The plot thickens… which suggests that there IS a plot!

Last but not least, some shout-out moments that must be mentioned: Princess Ari (Oh Ah-rin) from An Empress’s Dignity playing Dong-chan’s sassy niece. Mi-ran’s imaginary Kill Bill moment. Dong-chan heroically opening the car door for her with a pathetic-looking old key. And let’s not forget Professor Hwang’s mental shampoo commercial.

 
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This drama is on a new crack!

I haven't figured out if I like it or not

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It's about 80% bleh and 20% demented genius, but the good 20% makes it worth my time.

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I like it, but I'm biased with regards to JCW ^^

Btw, I thought Baro was in the military since July. Is he on furlough or did I miss something? I thought JCW was discharged just last May?

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Only saw episode 3, but my eyes welled up at the reunion of Noona and Nam Tae 🥺🥺 He grew up into a man and she missed seeing this happen. Name Tae was the baby brother she used to carry on her back; now he’s big enough to carry her when her legs failed her. Twenty years did feel long during this scene. It was a beautiful reunion.

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Nam Tae and Noona is the only thing that is working for me too. I am only up to ep 3, but I am just not sure what this drama is about.
Cryogenic and its implications? Nope
Ppl who time jump 20 yrs ahead and trying to fit in? Nope
We are constantly told that they missed 20 yrs, but what does that mean for the leads except for the lost days? They don't seem to have a hard time resuming their life. They found their families right away. FL can even go back to take classes at university!! I honestly don't know why Won Jin Ah character cried so bitterly for it. So, you lost 20yrs. So what? Sure, she may need to make new friends. Big deal. 🙄

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This is my problem, I don't know what the show is about. And sure they missed 20 years but they haven't aged. Compare this to 30 But 17 where she missed all those years and aged and had to give up her dreams because of it. In fact, I should go back and rewatch that, it was way way better.

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Yup. I actually think that the emotIonal beats could save this show. Like how JCW character missed his father and the realization that his mom has aged. But the show just had to undercut those with comedy that zapped away all the meaningful beat from the scene. 🙄

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Yes if only there was more of that and less screeching, flailing and weird hairdryer PPL.

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I thought the show would improve for me once we had them set in the present (because two episodes of setup was just alot) but it really didn't too much. I really liked the emotional scenes of MI-ran and her family, but besides that it wasn't doing it for me. I came to the conclusion that I think it's the directing. I already know these actors can act, & the story is dumb but the concept is fun. But there was certain scenes I just thought it has to be the direction given, like whenever the station President and Hyun-gi interact.

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These two episodes were better but this show is still not about... anything. And I'm not really going to care about what happens if they keep undercutting any emotional core they might otherwise achieve.

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We didn't know what 30 but 17 was about at this point either. I keep hoping this one will find more heart and start moving in a direction that makes sense, but I fear it will just add a layer of JCW as an investigative geeeenious uncovering the cryogenics lab conspiracy. Because you can never fit enough genres and ridiculousness into one drama? But JCW, so must watch. And still better than Arthdal.

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Glad to see you firmly ensconced into Show Camp B. I'm afraid I'm steadfastly Camp A.

I didn't watch Arthdal so I'm afraid I can't arbitrate this debate.

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No this is even worse than Arthdal. You could at least see the threads they were trying to pull, & though they went hopscotch around things, there was enough characterisation & story that it didn't feel pointless.
With Thaw me though? 4 eps in & I still know nothing more than I did when I watched the teasers & synopsis.

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I agree to disagree.

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I don't know if anyone tried to watch the existential horror that was Meteor Garden 2018, but like, it was painful to sit through. And yet, sometimes it made me feel things. I eventually figured out why - it wasn't the actors, or the plot, it was the MUSIC. Whenever they played Say Something, I cried.
This is another instance of the music making the show. I completely skipped the first half of the episode, and the second half wasn't much better, but Can't Take my Eyes Off You started playing, and suddenly I was having a good time and ready to come back next week! 😂

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Well, according to most of your comments, this show hasn't improved so much, so... I am ok dropping it after the premiere. Sorry for wookie, but... I have better to do.

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It breaks my heart to see JCW in such a bad show, I think I will go re-watch healer instead.

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I'm glad someone is amused. I'm not. DB recappers have a gift for making terrible things sound palatable.

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Seriously what is with Hyungi's and the Chief's screeching?! SO very annoying to see them open their mouths for no apparent reason. I understand comedy, but honestly, this is so exaggerated. And Mi-Ran's ex-boyfriend? So dramatic....

JCW, love the effort he's putting into this. Sad he's on this show tbh :( Wasting talent :/

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As opposed to many I had not thought it was the worst premiere last week but the fact that there are still serious problems with delivery do not bode well for the rest of this drama. There are clear problems with the large holes in the plot as well as some very problematic directorial choices, overdramatization and lack of subtlety. I think sobering and hilarious can be done if not simultaneously definitely successively but not like this. I did not find the opening scenes of Mi Ran coming to terms with the fact that she lost 20 years of her life and the way she reunited with her family touching but seriously frustrating. The whole not finding her family at home, announcements at school and yelling her name on campus were unnecessary. A silent face off would have been lot more powerful. I am worried Wookie might not be enough to save this show if some of these mistakes continue into the following episodes.

I also did not like how stupidly the frozen couple are acting regarding their adjustment to the fact that they fast-forwarded their life 20 years. I know they have other problems but if that happened to me I would try to catch up with the times before attempting to jump back into my life immediately. I would check out the history, technology, fashion, TV shows etc. of the last 20 years. Those jokes aren’t landing for me. For example, PD Ma suggesting PD Na’s shows is funny in a meta sense but not in the context and characterization of the hero of the story. If he watched TV like crazy in the last couple of days how come he doesn’t know the most famous shows of the decade? If I was in his place I would do a lot of research before suggesting a “new” idea in a meeting full of people. He was supposed to be a genious. What the hell was with Mi Ran’s make up in her first class? She didn’t have that kind of make up in 1999 (and no one else did either, it reminded me of Sung Deok Sun's make up in Reply 1988). She was like that for that one scene and for that one stupid joke only. I am also tired of characters trying to pay for the bus with their butts. These unnecessary and cringeworthy scenes made the episodes drag for me. These aren’t the funny jokes these circumstances offer. They should instead focus on people’s reactions to their youthful looks and the couple’s reactions to other people. For example I am loving Hwang Byung Shim who is always triying to look so cool keeps falling off because of his “hallucinations” of his ex. His imagination is as vivid as 20 years ago and it continues to crack me up: “my mom told me all about you.” LOL. Him being a professor at her school and her not recognizing him due to the name change was brilliant. His wife turning out to be one of Mi Ran’s best friends was an unexpected twist. I was wondering why they kept showing his home life. Now we know. Her friend didn’t tell Mi Ran who her husband is so we have her reaction to finding out a) her professor is her two timing ex and b) he is married to one of her besties to look forward to. While the start of the interest was very silly we also have the potential of the classmate cutie’s interest in Mi Ran.

Other jokes that worked included Dong Chan’s confusion over whether to speak in banmal or honorifics and yes I could watch him confuse his brother with his father or fumble with technology again and again. I also enjoyed how scared Kill Bill Mi Ran made Hyun Gi and the imaginary shampoo ad moment.

I was wondering why everyone trusted the dolphin video back in 1999. A PD should know best videos can be faked. We finally learned the stakes. Our leads’ lives are in danger until the professor remembers everything and fixes their problem with a magical shot.

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Long review. Thank you. Even though, I don't want to watch. But I will always read the recaps and comments, in order to find out, LOL.... thanks

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Finally finished 4. The most shocking statement from Candy Go Mi Ran...
GMR: Life 20 yrs later is so hard. It's SO MUCH harder to find a job now.
Family: That's okay. We are doing better now. You can just stay home and do nothing.
GMR: Don't expect me to change my mentality overnight. I NEED to find a job!

Me: I SERIOUSLY don't get you!!
I suspect GMR is sentient. She refused to get out of her Candy status.😏

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Honestly, this show feels all over the place and is much, much different from what I imagined this was going to be from the trailers. This kind of broad comedy is something that I realized I just can't connect with. It's the same reason why I just couldn't sit through Strong Woman. I still gave this drama a try since it has my two favourite actors in it and I thought it was going to be a little more sober, especially when dealing with the effects of having lost all that time. Instead I got slap sticky comedy that's definitely too loud for my taste. Dropping this for a later time.

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I have decided that I'm just going to enjoy moments in this show instead of the drama as a whole. There are many things that I feel keep getting skipped over, like how our two human popsicles got out of the bunker or were Dong Chan's car was all this time(is it the car he was driving before he was frozen? Where was it kept this whole time?) Or when Obvious Villain Dude was frozen and then unfrozen. I do get that some things get revealed in a show as it goes on but I'm too impatient for that. So instead of trying to figure out the great mystery, I'll just keep on enjoying hair dryer "commercials" that are as disturbing as they are hilarious and Dong-chan's great ideas...that are just 20 years too late.

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I wish we would get more fish out of water scenes. I feel like, they adapted almost without any problem. The attempt at showing Go Mi Ran's dated make up skills was something that annoyed me. I don't remember her wearing make up before and/or after that scene. It was really just that, an attempt to show the viewers "see? she is from 1999!!1!!1!". This drama does have fun scenes but the female lead and other actors are overplaying. If your main leads are nicely written and have chemistry, even if the screenplay is meh, it is enough to make me watch the drama. Here? I don't feel anything. Scenes go on for minutes and minutes and nothing really happens. Also, the lip tints *sigh*

I will watch the next episodes but if everything is the same e.g no chemistry, bland scenes, overacting I am probably out :/

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I ffwd through episodes 1, 2 and 3. There's too much slapstick, too much suspension of disbelief, and too little emotional and psychological coherency for me to watch every scene play out. Everyone is acting at a fever pitch so there are no mellow moments where the characters feel real and tangible. And besides her feistiness and his arrogance, I don't really have much of a sense of their personalities.

I'm so bummed out. I was so looking forward to this show and it's a shiny, handsome car crash.

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I really wanted to give this a chance because of Wookie... but after ep 4, I think I can't go on any longer. Ep 4 was a complete mess sigh.

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How is that a complete mess? If you say ep 1 or even 2 are complete mess I can understand.

The show has gotten clearer by ep 2 in fact and except for some editing issues, ep 3 and 4 are pretty clear.

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For me, ep 4 was particularly bad because of the big logical leaps, and they were big (to me). I'm not even talking about exploring stuff in-depth here (as to adjusting to life after 20 years), but just superficial logical leaps. Especially the last third of Ep 4 where the scene jumps here and there about Dong Chan trying to find out about the huge plot. Too many questions, no transition. I attribute it to bad writing and bad directing / editing.

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None of it makes any sense.

It's a big problem in a show where the things that may have distracted you from that - the characters, the heart, the humour - are all subpar. From an objective point of view, apart from the existence of Wookie as an actor, there is nothing in this show to recommend or point at and go, "Oh well, at least the show has this!"

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For all the negative comments about the show...here's a positive one. I like it. Agree that this is not the best drama and was hoping for more but I quite like the retro feels and all the music and most of the humor. Don't like the humor they're doing to the professor right now and can't stand DC's sister, but otherwise, am looking forward to watching ep 5.

I'm an escapist and I watch shows to be entertained. I hate slice of life type of shows and perhaps that's why I like this with all the illogical gaps. I'm okay watching this zany and sometimes wacky drama that makes me laugh out loud and yet, is able to warm my heart too.

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Yes, it’s a light hearted drama. It’s not perfect but still entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Hopefully it will be better in the next episodes.

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It is a lovely drama. When noona met his brother after 20yrs, was so touching, i really cried. Ma dong chan, portrays his role so beautifully. More power to you Wookie and tge cast!👏👏👏❤❤❤

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This show is a hoooooot messssssss - but I kinda like that? At least some of the characters (including the leads) are not just shallow caricatures, which makes some scenes watchable despite the ones that are brain bustingly icky.

I'm going to stick around - mostly for Wookie, a little for the leading lady and her family, a smidge for the Dong Chan's former lover (she just feels like she was dumped into the wrong genre). The rest I'll probably ffw through - doubt I'll miss much by doing that.

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