Tomorrow With You
I just finished watching time traveler drama Tomorrow With You, which aired on tvN between February 3, 2017 and March 25, 2017. The drama starred Lee Je Hoon as Yoo So Joon, our time traveler, and Shin Min Ah as Song Ma Rin, the time traveler’s wife. The two were surrounded by friends and, in Ma Rin’s case, a mother, but the story is mainly about how a time traveler, even knowing the future, is still surprised by life and can lose to fate.
So Joon meets Ma Rin on the subway five years in the past (I think). So Joon is there with his parents, and gets into an argument with Ma Rin, who believes that So Joon was taking her pictures. The two get off of the subway to argue some more, and a minute later the subway cars crash, killing everyone on board. That night, So Joon loses his parents but miraculously gains the ability to travel in time while riding the subway between the two stations where the fatal accident occurred. He uses his newfound ability to gain wealth, and then spends his time playing around rather than working.
Ma Rin was a child star, playing the popular Bap Soon, a pathetic creature that the world loved to pity. She grew up, and became an object to be pitied in an altogether different way. In her present, she can’t get a job, has no education, and her mother still attempts to use her past glory as a way to show off. Ma Rin desperately wants to be a photographer, but no one is willing to give her a chance because of the lack of formal education.
So Joon, who has been traveling to the future for about five years, has realized that he can never go past one mysterious date. With the help of a mysterious time traveling ahjusshi, he discovers that this is the date of his death. In order to prevent his death, he begins to research the circumstances around it and discovers Song Ma Rin, who also died on the same night as him.
In the new few months, he saves her from a disabling accident. He spends time with her (to figure out how they are linked), with her hilariously concluding that he is pursuing her. And, with the urging of ahjusshi, he marries her to prevent his own death. He then attempts to have a child with her to further stave off his death. In this pursuit to save his own life, So Joon falls in love with Ma Rin.
While going back and forth in time, he is told by multiple people to break up with Ma Rin, that it is only right for everyone if he does. So Joon refuses to do so. He learns of his own disappearance in the future. He learns of an unhappy Ma Rin, who has spent years waiting for his return. And even then, he believes that their love will help them to beat fate.
The first indication that he could be wrong is revealed when the villain of the story appears. A disgruntled employee successfully kills off the man that So Joon considered a second father. This is despite So Joon knowing when/where the death would occur. So, no matter what So Joon did to prevent it, the other man dies. The villain continues on with his villainy. He kidnaps Ma Rin. Stabs So Joon while riding that specific subway. And then disappears from the story when he has served his purpose as the hand of fate.
After being stabbed on the subway, So Joon leaps two years into the future, past the date of his impending death. He stays in a coma for two years. Ma Rin spends those two years waiting for him in their present. Finally, So Joon awakens in 2022, and realizes that Ma Rin died as fated on the date when they were both to die. He tries to go back in time, but somehow the time travel mechanism no longer works. He attempts over and over, his desire to be with his wife growing more desperate as the day of her death nears.
Finally, he is able to return to the past, and the two joyfully reunite. They have one happy day, but somehow end up on a street with a car of doom racing their way. They are both saved by ahjusshi, who blocks the way with his own car. Ahjusshi dies alone, and Ma Rin and So Joon survive to bicker and argue their way to their happily ever after.
There were other story lines, of course. So Joon’s two best friends enter into a relationship and find their own happily ever after. Ma Rin’s frenemy, who was also the villain’s wife, gets her freedom and may be starting her own romance with the villain’s secretary.
Ahjusshi turns out to be Ma Rin’s father, a man who disappeared ages ago, escaped death on the subway the way both Ma Rin and So Joon did, and tried to save his daughter by saving So Joon. In the end, he reunited with his family, and had two happy years before he sacrificed himself to save Ma Rin.
I happily watched the drama, without much expectation since I’d read the reviews, and even enjoyed the first 12 episodes. Shin Min Ah and Le Je Hoon had an awesome chemistry, and I liked seeing them together. The people around them were also mildly interesting to watch. As long as I didn’t think too deeply about it, I could enjoy it.
And then the last 4 episodes happened, and I went from being tolerant to pissed off at the stupidity of the characters and angry at how much potential was wasted.
All of the stupidity was related to the villain, of course.
1. Ahjusshi knew who the villain was the entire time, but did NOT disclose any of it to So Joon, in order to “protect him”.
2. So Joon knows that his father figure is going to die and doesn’t stick like glue to the man to make sure that he does NOT go where his supposed accident occurs.
3. Ma Rin suspects that her friend’s husband might have killed So Joon’s father figure, and what does she do? She takes the black box recording device from his car and then goes to get the recording WITHOUT any backup. Additionally, she tells NO ONE about her suspicions. When the man comes to her home, she takes him inside even though she should never have been alone with him.
4. So Joon goes after Ma Rin once he knows that she is in danger, and then puts her in a cab to make her way home ALONE. And then goes back to confront the villain, who, of course, would be waiting there for him. NOT! Ma Rin then gets kidnapped because of these two characters utter stupidity.
5. No one goes to the police with any of their suspicions and partial evidence.
6. When So Joon knows that Ma Rin is okay, ahjusshi having found her, he still goes to meet the villain when there was absolutely NO need to do so. There was evidence in hand. Tons of evidence. The police could have gone and just arrested him. So Joon wants to be a man, so he confronts the villain and then gets stabbed for his trouble.
7. And knowing their exact time of death, So Joon doesn’t tie Ma Rin up and the two don’t stay in their homes, tucked in bed until that time has passed. They go out and then stand frozen in front of a car zooming towards them in the middle of the street, awaiting death.
And if we didn’t have enough stupidity in the show, they then pile on the noble idiocy.
8. Ma Rin tells everyone to lie to So Joon from the past and tell him to break up with her. Why? Because she was bad for him, and this would then protect him from disappearing. And yet again, no one tells So Joon from the past ANYTHING about the villain who was the real reason all this sh*t happened!
So, we had our stupidity and idiocy in these episodes, added to all of the unanswered questions, and the show became unbearable to watch.
When did Ahjusshi get his powers? It felt like he had them from before Ma Rin’s birth because he avoided death, and then spent the next three decades looking to the future and forgetting his present. And marriage and birth of a child protected him from his fated death. In the end, he sacrificed himself for them, but what’s to say that they would live that much longer? Since he couldn’t avoid death forever, why should Ma Rin and So Joon be able to?
Why did So Joon get his powers? He avoided death, but so did Ma Rin. Why was So Joon tapped for this ability, but not Ma Rin? Did we have a sexist power that be that didn’t consider women worthy of time travel?
Where did the time traveling ability come from? Why only two years or so of travel?
And how the heck did Ahjusshi even find Ma Rin when she was kidnapped by the villain?
We get no answers. In the end the two are living happily ever after, and So Joon still continues to time travel without repercussions.
And we are left with nothing. The drama left a bad taste in my mouth from how badly it fell apart at the end. I missed the simplicity of the beginning and was disappointed by its sad attempts to be complicated in the last four episodes. The show became laughably comical when the only complications it could raise was by the characters being incredibly stupid. It made me dislike the characters, and it betrayed who they had been in the first part of the drama.
This drama is best avoided, because the end will be disappointing.