Wednesday, January 22, 2014

49 Days

Title: 49 Days
Episode Length: 1:05 minutes
Series Length: 20 episodes

Basic Premise: Shin Ji Hyun is a girl who has to have everything.  She is rich, she has loving parents and many friends.  She's about to get married to Min Ho and hoping to introduce her best friend, In Jung, to one of her fiancee's friends.  Then an unfortunate series of events leads to a car accident that puts her into a coma and puts her soul wandering out into the world.  Not long after, she meets a Scheduler, whose job is to guide people to their appointed times and places of death.  Because Shin Ji Hyun's death was not on the schedule, she has a chance to come back to life.  If she can prove that three people not related to her by blood truly loved her by collecting tears of 100% pure love.  Given that she is considered one of the kindest most genuinely honest people anybody knows, this doesn't seem difficult at first.  Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems.  First, she has to borrow the body of Song Ji-Kyung, who has her own tragic past, and second she can't tell anybody who she is or about or her mission.

Rating: 5 stars.

Review: 49 Days delivers heavily on character development, plot twists and touching moments.  While all the actors perform excellently, it is Lee Yo-Wan's dual portrayal as both Ji-Kyung and Ji-Hyun in Ji-Kyung's body that really sells the show.  She does an excellent job of portraying both characters including the ways that their personalities overlap.  There is at least one scene where the personality in control changes and the expression and attitude of Lee Yo-Wan cools and hardens severely with only minor changes of expression about the eyes and lips.  Her performance is nothing less than exemplary and amazing.

The supernatural elements of the story are consistent and subtle, adding flavor without overwhelming the wonderful character interplays going on.  For the most part they manage the ghost elements by practical means such as people simply ignoring the ghost character.  And making cuts such that suddenly one character is just no longer present.  There is some CGI and overlay to show the act of possession and when Ji Hyun tries to touch anything, but for the most part the story has no need of anything but stage-settings and the like.  I also like the mythology of the show.  Because Ji Hyun isn't really a dead-soul, just a wandering one, she can't walk through most walls or people.  The Schedulers keep track of things with a rather humorous smart phone and the rules regarding Schedulers and wandering souls are very simple, easy to follow and dreadfully poignant.

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