Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6-| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7-| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 14-| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 15 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 16 -| Review Score – 3/5
Again My Life is a law drama parading around in fantasy clothing. Despite what you may be expecting, this is not a sci-fi fantasy. Despite the first few episodes hinting as such, the show soon settles into a more methodical pace, with a revenge plot taking centerstage around a whole lot of legal battling. If you’re a fan of legal dramas you should find enough to like here but if you’re not, well, Again My Life probably isn’t for you.
The story centers on Kim Hui-Wu, a confident prosecutor who remains determined to weed out corruption and stop anyone who stands in his way. Unfortunately, he bites off more than he can chew when it comes to Jo Tae-Seob, a powerful man embroiled in corruption of the highest order. He becomes wise to what Hui-Wu is doing, sending his top assassin out and killing him in cold blood. The end.
But not really! Inexplicably, Hui-Wu is brought back to life, thrust into the past to redo most of his life, in preparation for tackling Tae-Seob. After saving his parents from the car crash they were supposed to be killed in, Hui-Wu works hard, retaking his exams, including the bar exam, and playing the long-game to take out Tae-Seob once and for all.
Interestingly though, in this changed reality Tae-Seob becomes far more powerful than before. This allows for an intriguing game of cat and mouse to ensue, with most of the episodes taken up with strategically moving chess pieces across the board in order to strike. The trouble is, there’s so much prep-work going on here that when the time comes to take action, the show doesn’t quite follow through with its promise.
An ending can make or break a show and alas, Again My Life’s ending is going to be a point of contention for many people. I’ll try not to get into spoilers here but suffice to say, the resolution with Tae-Seob is less a resolution than an indifferent shrug to the whole situation. That’s not to say that justice isn’t served but the manner that it comes leaves a lot to be desired. Oh, and that’s before the final scenes which feels like an attempt at commentating on the cyclical nature of evil and corruption, but ultimately just adds to the unsatisfying feel of the ending.
Many people will jump into this drama for Lee Joon-Gi and after his incredible work on Flower of Evil, he does a great job bringing this charismatic prosecutor to life. His counterpart, Lee Kyoung-Young, feeds off his energy brilliantly and much like we’ve seen in many different dramas over the years, he knows exactly how to bring these evil or despicable characters to life in the best possible way.
While the acting and the characters themselves can be commended, the actual depth of the different players is another point entirely. There are a lot of characters in this show, including 3 or 4 main females, 12 different prosecutors, 8 people working with Hui-Wu and 6 different players on Tae-Seob’s side. Oh, and that’s before mentioning Cheongha company, various different cases that show up and Tae-Seob’s secret club. The point is, with so many characters there just isn’t enough time to really flesh everyone out as deeply as they could with a more tight-knife group of people.
However, if you can look past these issues and go into this with an open mind, settling in for a long-game of cat and mouse and lots of law drama shenanigans, you should have a good time with this. If, however, you go into this expecting something akin to 365: Repeat The Year or Kairos, you’re going to be disappointed. The fantasy is ultimately a plot device, opening the gates for a mansion of law drama that occupies every room. This certainly isn’t a bad show though, and there are plenty of memorable moments, but the ending lets this down a little for what could have been a show-stopping series. Still, this is a highly enjoyable series and definitely worth checking out.
Verdict - 8/10