Melting Me Softly: Episodes 1-2 Open Thread
Melting Me Softly is finally here, and so far it’s a K-drama smorgasbord. There’s a dash of action, sci-fi, and intrigue, a side dish of romance, a huge helping of comedy — and of course the main dish, drama. Melting Me Softly is funnier and lighter than I expected, but all the more entertaining. In its premiere week episodes, the drama takes its time laying some solid groundwork for our cryogenic couple and their story.
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP
We meet our hero MA DONG-CHAN (Ji Chang-wook, yay!) as the drama opens, and soon learn he’s a popular and successful PD. He’s just won an award for his show Infinite Experiment Paradise (lol) where myths and/or scientific impossibilities are tested on screen. To say he’s passionate about what he does is an understatement; once he’s latched onto an idea he won’t let go, and that’s the point at which we open the drama. He hears about a scientist that has mastered cryogenics, and he’s determined to produce a show on it. For science.
No one will volunteer, of course, so he plans to do it himself. Having every particle in his body frozen for twenty-four hours doesn’t seem to be a big deal — after all, he’s read all the research and is convinced it’s the real deal. In order to create the perfect variety-documentary show about it, though, he also needs a female to enter cryosleep as well. That’s where our heroine comes in.
GO MI-RAN (Won Jin-ah) is a regular participant on Dong-chan’s show, and is infamous for pulling off the most crazy stunts they have aired. And why? For the high pay. Because no one else will will do them, the paycheck is quite hefty. And she’s our quintessential spunky, heart-of-gold heroine in need of funds — with no fear of bodily harm.
Melting Me Softly spends the entire first episode, and much of the second, introducing us to our characters as they were in 1999. Dong-chan has just gotten engaged to his girlfriend, and is on a career high. Mi-ran, on the other hand, is struggling to find a steady job, has a Freud-quoting cheating boyfriend (Baro, hilarious here), and a little brother to look out for. He’s got a disability of some sort, and is bullied relentlessly. He’s also so precious and sweet that you want to hide him in your pocket — so precious, in fact, that I’m spending words on him that could be spent on Ji Chang-wook and his megawatt charisma.
Because that charisma is back, and it has been sorely missed in dramaland. I’m glad the drama looks like, if nothing else, it will be a really fun and well-cut role for him — and he’s really giving it everything he’s got. We’re used to the suaveness, swagger, and swoony looks, which we do get here, but we also have a fair dose of silly. And it kinda suits.
Some of the humor is super loud and crazy, like Mi-ran getting slingshot into the air and flung into a swimming pool, or flying through the air and kicking her cheating boyfriend off a boat. But there’s also a lot of more offbeat and subtle moments of humor too. My favorite of these was probably Dong-chan grabbing the binoculars of the kid next to him to watch Mi-ran’s flying kick. There’s this hilarious moment where he looks at them, pauses, and then puts them back into the kid’s hand. Ji Chang-wook excels at these deadpan comedic moments — and I didn’t know how much I missed them.
In some interviews leading up to the drama, Ji Chang-wook said he was really nervous to do comedy, and was concerned about getting the comedic timing right. But the hospital scene where he keeps fainting and rousing like a zombie were downright hilarious, so I’m not too sure what he was worried about.
While the comedy is a lot of fun, it was a bit unexpected for me. Maybe I was anticipating a drama with a different tone? The plot jumps a lot, often in the favor of comedy. For instance, when Dong-chan and Mi-ran wake up, we don’t see anything that happened in the underground bunker after they opened their eyes and climbed out of their chambers.
Instead, we see them immediately barreling back into real life – and it’s utter bedlam and hilarity as they meet (or attempt to meet) their loved ones. Clearly, something is seriously wrong, and it doesn’t take them long to realize they’ve woken up not twenty-four hours, but twenty years later.
We don’t have a lot of facts around the whole experiment gone awry yet, but that’s what the rest of the drama is for, I expect. What we do have is a very strong set-up, and characters that already feel quite familiar and easy to empathize with. Our frozen couple has woken up, but it’s only the beginning.
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