One Day Off Review – A slice of life drama that touches the soul


Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 2/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 5/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -|Review Score – 5/5

One Day Off is a slow-paced and meaningful drama, with each episode fully embodying the phrase “a slice of life.”

It covers the story of a high school literature teacher who takes one-day trips every Saturday. With each journey, she makes new acquaintances, tries new foods, and finds comfort in new surroundings.

This series contains consistent themes of peace, human relationships, and self-related discoveries. But it also contains so much diversity and contrast in each episode, in both how the story is told and in the story’s content. For example, episode 1 is Ha-kyung’s tourist attempt to visit a temple, but she unexpectedly ends up finding a little peace. It has a lot of nature shots and is one of the few episodes that contain obvious humor.

On the flip side, episode 2 recounts an odd, unexpected, and strangely profound social encounter with one of her students, and episode 7 plays on Ha-kyung’s love for bread with a touching story of a young girl and has some footage and interview segments comparable to what you see in Korean food documentaries.

Though this series may be short at just 8 episodes, there is much to offer here. A couple of the episodes might be considered a little dull, but if one doesn’t like one episode, they may find another quite pleasing. Half of the episode’s meanings are lessons on empathy, showing Ha-kyung’s self-development. All of them are filmed beautifully and contain some stunning scenery, and there are many times where director, Lee Jong-pil leaves an episode conclusion for the viewer to decide, though it is usually paired with some strong hints.

It is also amazing to see Lee Na-young’s acting. Her character, Ha-kyung, is a little awkward, unsure of herself, and very calm-mannered. This role is unlike any of her previous televised performances, and it is really refreshing to see.

The drama has a unique charm when considered as a whole. And it is easy to see why this is produced as a show rather than a film. Ha-kyung’s one-day trips fit 25-minute segments very well, and it allows for more creative storytelling diversity. This lets the viewer finish the series feeling satisfied, whereas the opposite would likely happen if it were in film format.

The series evokes feelings and oftentimes feels a little like a documentary of someone’s life. Everything in it feels real, and like Ha-kyung, everybody seems to be a real person. So many moments of her life are relatable, especially to travelers, as people often have similar interactions with strangers as Ha-kyung does when they wander from home. In fact, these kinds of experiences and interactions almost seem like they have been taken out of someone’s journal.

Slow, beautiful, and artistic, One Day Off is a soothing and well-made drama that resounds with the viewer. It exudes creative directing, and each episode is a surprise.

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  • - 8/10

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