A Time Called You Season 1 Review – The Time Traveler’s Wife gets a K-drama spin

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 3/5

A Time Called You is a Korean remake of the Taiwanese show Someday Or One Day, and starts off as a light-hearted time-travelling romance as it portrays itself as a show of second chances, friendship and destiny. The gregarious and bubbly Jun-hee (Jeon Yeo-been) is grieving for her dead boyfriend, Yeon-jun (Ahn Hyo-seop) when she accidentally travels back in time.

She ends up in 1998 and possesses the shy and reserved Min-ju who looks exactly like her. And to her shock, Min-ju’s best friends are In-gyu who is in love with her and the playful Si-heon, who looks exactly like the dead Yeon-jun. On top of it, she has a mystery to solve. Turns out, the moment she travelled back in time, Min-ju was busy being attacked by an unknown classmate. 

A Time Called You aces in the production department as there is a nostalgic feel from the soft and hazy visuals, the soothing colour palette, the costumes and props of the 1998 sequences. It also makes it easier to discern the timelines as the story starts relying heavily on flashbacks.

The character portrayal for the two eras is pretty clever as well – Yeon-jun and Jun-hee’s 2023 plot is characterized by everything we see in the 2020s K-dramas. We have quirky male leads and girlboss heroines who don’t take anyone’s nonsense. The acting is also more natural and realistic. Meanwhile, the 1998 era literally throws us back in time from the change in scenery (with some stunning cinematography) to the way they behave.

Jeon Yeo-been gives us a Min-ju who is the shy and stammering female lead with romantic blinkers that peppered K-dramas in the early 2000s. The same goes for Ahn Hyo-seop and Kang Hoon who take a page from her book and pull out all the stereotypes of the mischievous or good-two-shoes archetype that would make Lee Min-ho proud.

Even the romance is different, the 1998 love triangle is sweet, gradual and innocent while the 2023 one is fast-paced and full of misunderstandings but passionate and lively. But as their storylines and timelines start to blur, so do their personalities which then play a critical role in the show. It also helps us understand why Min-ju is portrayed the way she is while Jun-hee is her complete opposite.

It culminates in a very heartbreaking finale that will have you sympathising with both girls. Jeon Yeo-been gets a Herculean task of playing two characters whose lives intertwine but she does it so well that one believes they are two separate people.

But right when you’re about to get bored with the fluff and the romance, the K-drama does a deep dive and leaves us with an intricate murder mystery. The way the story unfolds hooks you in right from the beginning. A Time Called You’s added element of suspense makes it an interactive experience as the viewers figure out the mystery along with Jun-hee.

The show’s pacing is also pretty interesting with the way they pick and choose which storyline to focus on. Not going to lie, they almost had us in the first half with 90% romance and a couple of plot twists that were not addressed immediately. But it works as these moments lay the foundation for the mystery which then pushes off at full throttle in the final chapter and a light bulb goes off as you connect it all.

And for such shows with multiple puzzle pieces flung all over the room, sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the whole picture. A really good show can be ruined by the ending or a really bad show can be saved with a great finale. This especially goes for time-travelling shows (ahem, Lost and Manifest). They forget their purpose by the time they reach the end.

But that’s where A Time Called You comes out on top with its short duration. It is brief and to the point, with not too many complicated time theories. All the questions and loopholes are solved in the finale, even if a tad bit too conveniently. The final moment does make you wonder if that’s it as the credits start rolling, but honestly, it feels like that is the only ending that fits the show with the route it takes to resolve the major conflict.

In fact, without getting into spoilers, if you enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife, A Time Called You feels like a Korean version of that movie. Even though it gets a little heavy in the end, it leaves us on a positive and hopeful note that as long as there is that one person by your side, all will be fine.

Sure there are some flaws. It’s not perfect. In-gyu becomes a prop by the second half of the show and he continues that way, which is a shame as he has potential. Similarly, all the other secondary characters except for the main trio and the antagonist are forgotten when the show gets lost in reaching the finish line.

Then we also have the goof-up – the subtitles saying that Si-heon was in a car accident (which if you have watched the show will know why it is a mistake). And while this doesn’t really affect the story in general (if it was of any other genre, this wouldn’t even have stayed in our minds), when it’s a time-travelling show, viewers look and analyse every second, looking for clues and trying to make sense of it all.

But having said that, don’t look too deep into the time-travelling logic. It is just enough on the surface level to enjoy the story and how it is told to us. If you want a foolproof time-loop explained show watch Dark. A Time Called You isn’t that and it is not a bad thing, their goal isn’t to be a hardcore time-travelling sci-fi fantasy show.

It starts off as an innocent little romance full of misunderstandings of the 1998 kids which turns into a thrilling murder mystery involving the 2023 adults and if that catches your eye, the show has achieved its goal.

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  • Verdict - 6/10

1 thought on “A Time Called You Season 1 Review – The Time Traveler’s Wife gets a K-drama spin”

  1. I laughed at the plot lines as they became more obtuse and confusing. It is a comedy disguised as a serious time travel, romantic, murder mystery . Have fun watching its conclusion and good luck understanding what you just spent hours watching!

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