Overall Rating: A+
Subtitles: The Viki subtitles for this were strong. As always little grammar mistakes pop up but in terms of the actual translation it was very fluent.
Brief Synopsis: An alien who appears human but has superhuman abilities has been on earth for 400 years desperately waiting for the time when he can return to his home star. He is not a fan of humanity in general and his life is turned upside-down when a vapid actress with a troubled family life moves in next door. Watch on Viki here.
**Full show spoilers below the image. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not proceed**
Ending Type: Happy ending. We get a white picket fence and everything!
Characters: Oh gosh these characters though. Bless them. Bless them all. Even the ones who were evil and terrible just bless them. I have become obsessed with this writer (Park Ji Eun) and yes the romance and the general plot of the show was phenomenal but the people man. The people are just so wonderfully written and bless.
So our lead is the stingy and stodgy 400+ year old alien Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun) who comes to Earth with some friends and misses his ride back home because he’s busy saving this girl that he has some feelings for and then she dies tragically. As time passes he learns his super powers are met with suspicion and his Otherness tends to be categorically rejected by everyone around him. He’s also allergic to human spit which is a hilarious plot point on several occasions. Regardless he becomes very much a loner and collects like a lot of money over 400 years and moves between various jobs because he has to “die” or disappear every so often since he doesn’t age. He has a friend who knows his secrets but otherwise keeps to himself and is generally Not A Fan of humans or shenanigans. Honestly I’m a big fan of the “snooty loner learns what feelings are” story line and this was written and acted so well. Watching the slow thaw of Min-Joon over the season and enjoying his moments of caring and heroism that he tried so hard to pretend didn’t happen were just true joys to behold. Kim Soo Hyun sure knows how to pack an emotional punch, too, and this character made you Feel Things on the reals.
Not as much as our beloved vapid actress Cheon Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun) though. She was easily one of the most interesting female leads I’ve seen yet because she was like, awful (not very smart, very very vapid, so out of touch, not a good person) but from the get-go Ji Hyun sells the part so hard that you really feel for Song Yi even before you get much of her backstory. She is often hilarious (intentionally and unintentionally so), beautifully innocent, incredibly sweet, and wonderfully determined. The dynamic of this character was top notch, and all of her ups and downs were perfectly captured, portrayed, and placed. You cannot help but adore her and root for her and just… bless this character for real.
Lee Whi Kyung (Park Hae Jin) was a lovely side love interest and general friend/support. He actually went on a really good journey as he began to learn the truth about his brother and had to make choices about who he was and what mattered to him. I love him from start to finish, and even if I was never rooting for him to be with Song Yi I was a big fan of the way he supported and cared for her, and I was happy with the growth he had as a character and the choices he made in the end. All around solid secondary lead.
Lee Jae Kyung (Shin Sung Rok) was an interesting villain, too. At the end of the day his motivations were pretty standard (power hungry, done did a bad thing because of it, kept doing bad things to cover up the bad thing he did) but he was interesting because he was related to our main characters and mostly interacted with them in ways that were not villainous up until a point. The full extent of his backstory and what ultimately motivated him was not revealed for a long time which made him a really scary wildcard because you didn’t know why he was doing the things he was doing. Chilling. Sung Rok plays the lead love interest in a show I want to watch but I don’t know if I can take him seriously in a non-sinister role after this. He sold it hard.
Relationships: In a rare turn of events I’m just going to talk about our leading romance. Ah wait I’ll say one thing: the interplay between the two brothers was actually really well done. They felt like brothers and you also felt the tension growing between them as Jae Kyung started spiraling out of control and Whi Kyung began to suspect him.
BUT Song Yi and Min Joon were just such a great freaking romance. Like, I cannot express the joy and feelings this romance brought with mere words. Their dynamic, from their first adversarial meetings to their slow warming up to each other, was absolutely precious. The extent to which they so despised each other was comedic and wonderful, and the way it morphed into this caring friendship and then whirlwind romance just broke me. Song Yi’s vulnerability and loneliness created this sort of desperation in their dynamic that was intoxicating, and oh boy when it got to the end the feels were MAJOR. Plus that kiss scene three years after he disappears when he freezes time on her red carpet? I DIED FORREAL. God so good.
High Points: The whole dang thing? The SFX in this were actually super wonderful for what they were doing and the acting and writing were just off the chain superb. Bless this show for real.
Low Points: Like literally none.
Final comments: This is such a classic for such a good reason. If you love romance and comedy with a little bit of thrill mixed, and if you like having uncontrollable feelings, you cannot pass this baby up.