I was ready to give up on Life on Mars after ep 4 (I couldn’t handle the crimes, too much violence against women it made my heart hurt), but then ep 5 happened and I was drawn in again. Because all the human relationships around Tae Joo gave me all kinds of feels, from the bromance with Captain to him interacting with his mom & aunt to him and Ms. Yoon—my heart felt full. It’s always the human connections that tug me in, that make me stay. Tae Joo is such an awkward lost puppy that seeing him being ‘adopted’ by the people in this era made me incredibly soft.

Tae Joo and Ms. Yoon, gahh, I can probably watch them interact forever. Like they don’t even need to end up together romantically. I just want them to continue to be in each other’s lives in some shape or form. They’re just so good for each other: She’s a soothing balm to his turmoil despite not knowing even a fraction of what’s he going through, and he’s such an encouraging and empowering presence for her in her work. Nobody’s rescuing anybody because nobody needs rescuing. What they really need is someone to listen to their ‘voice’ amidst the noise, telling them that ‘no, you’re not crazy’, and ‘yes, your voice matters’. The little smiles they had throughout this ep, gahhh!

Their relationship bears parallels to that between Shi Mok and Yeo Jin in Forest of Secrets (the entirety of which I marathoned last week). There’s just this quiet understated chemistry between each pair, and I’m loving every second of it. Is this a new trend in dramas, these kinds of partnerships? Because I’m all for it, give me more please and thank you. Sure, relationships like that in WWWSK is hot as hell (Exhibit A: see Ep 9) and is great for the soul (for my soul, at least), but relationships such as the ones in LoM and FoS are just as necessary, for the latter highlights what it means to be a partner, reminding us that every connection matters, with or without romance. You can have all the feels without the feels, you feel me? [Shush it’s 3am what is english]


    I completely agree with all of what you said, especially with regards to Tae Joo and Ms. Yoon’s partnership. I like to think of them as kindred spirits. She understands he’s a fish out of water, and he recognizes that she’s dedicated and talented. Like you said, even if there is no romance, it’s so good to see a pairing where you know the other person has got your back, so to speak. Besides, in order for romance to happen, mutual trust and respect are nessecary!

    Anyway, understated partnerships for the win! Especially the ones based on mutual respect and trust. Be still my heart!