Character Development: 3.5
After a subway accident kills both of his parents, Yoo So-joon (Lee Je-hoon) discovers he has the miraculous ability to travel to the future via subway. He uses his powers to his advantage, winning the lottery (multiple times) and even becoming the CEO of a successful real-estate business. One day, he travels to the future, and accidentally stumbling upon his death only to discover that a woman, whom he had never met, dies with him. Back in the present-day, he tries to find, and marry, the woman, Song Ma-rin (Shin Min-a), in an attempt to change his fate. Soon he develops real, genuine feelings for Ma-rin, and the narrative shifts from saving himself to doing whatever it takes to keep Ma-rin alive.
This plot in Tomorrow, With You was solid…that’s all I can really say. It wasn’t the most remarkable story I have ever watched, but it was still very enjoyable. I think the premise itself was great, and there was a lot of room for it to be fantastic. I don’t think it quite hit those levels, but I can’t say there is anything wrong with it. I thought the storyline was very tight, everything made sense, and there were no loose ends or unanswered questions. I think the fact that there is time travel heightened my expectations. I wanted more drama and more conflict, but the simplicity of this K-drama was refreshing at the same time. The main “antagonist” is fate itself and I thought that was certainly very different. And while there is a human conflict, it builds slowly throughout the show and seems to be more of a catalyst for fate, not really the main problem. At the same time, instead of seeing them simply dying in an accident at the beginning, it would have been better if they were trying to stop a specific person from hurting them. But at the same time, I think the commonality of a simple accident shows the fragility of life and fate, which was a running theme throughout the show so it does fit. However, it would have been more exciting from a viewer’s perspective if an outside force (apart from just life) was trying to tear them apart.
The romance in Tomorrow, With You was so charming. So-joon wasn’t initially looking to fall in love. He just wanted to change his fate, and Ma-rin seemed like a means to an end. But the more he gets to know her and spends time with her, the more he begins to realize that she’s pretty incredible. I love stories where the guy is so against falling in love and then just can’t resist it. I thought it was a very natural love story. There was no insta-love or any other unrealistic romance tropes that are all too common in K-dramas. It was just a pure, romantic connection between the characters. I thought the chemistry was good between the actors too. Their smiles and sweet tiny moments seemed very authentic. I also loved that So-joon started from only looking out for himself to caring more about Ma-rin towards the end. He tries to keep her safe at all costs, and that’s just adorable.
The character development in this drama was pretty good. Ma-rin starts the show off as being very insecure and essentially hating her life. She’s a failing photographer, and people on the street make fun of her for being the child star known as Bap-soon. Seeing her grow in confidence and start to own her “embarrassing” past was so lovely to see. She comes to learn more about who she is and what she deserves from her life. While she comes into her own, the show could have shown more growth in her career. She has a passion for photography and is searching so hard for a job when the show starts. Towards the middle of this drama, they drop that conflict, which is understandable, but, in the end, they simply show her being a successful photographer after doing no real growth. She uses her photography throughout the show, but to all of a sudden have her own show in a gallery just seems unearned.
I think So-joon also has decent character development, but I think the real growth lies with Ma-rin. So-joon starts by trying to understand how he dies and how to avoid it but becomes so selfless when he falls in love with Ma-rin. I think he already starts off as a kind guy, so he simply goes from kind to more loving and mature.
I really liked Tomorrow, With You overall. However, in my opinion, it would have gone up a full star rating if it was twelve episodes instead of sixteen. I feel like there was a lot of downtime in the show that made me slightly lose interest. I was not DYING to know what happened, and I think that comes from simply too many episodes. And while I enjoyed the trivial day-to-day aspects of the character’s lives and their dynamics with each other, I feel like the show would have been better served with fewer episodes.