Good Night Bookstore
As rain drums outside you find yourself sipping hot coffee in a bookstore. The faint sound of jazz floats lazily through the air, drowned out slightly by the low hum of customers talking. Raindrops fall like tears on the window panes as you look down and slowly begin to read, the worries of yesterday washing away in the words of the novel. If this sounds like the sort of dreamy, slow-paced fantasy you’d like to sink into, this Korean drama may just be right up your alley.
When The Weather Is Fine is the latest Monday/Tuesday k-drama on JTBC and boy does it take its time setting up the foundations for this one. With some naturally delivered exposition and a fair amount of flashbacks, When The Weather is certainly not going to be for everyone but if you can take to the slow pace and allow this drama to rhythmically slow you to a sleepy canter, there’s certainly enough here to like. For everyone else though, this may prove to be a tough exercise in patience.
We begin at the Good Night Bookstore with Eun-Seob making himself some coffee. Meanwhile, our lead lady Hye-Won walks casually up the road with a red suitcase before she receives a call from her Head Teacher. Ignoring his attempts to contact her, she continues on while Eun-Seob watches her arrive at Hodu House; her Aunt’s residence. She’s not too pleased to see Hye-Won however, but does cut her a slice of pie. As they sit and eat, we learn she’s from Seoul and has decided to stay with her for a long time to come. Her Aunt is not enthused with this idea.
The next morning, Eun-Seob and his Father prepare to do farming but he becomes distracted when he sees Hye-Won. A hilarious conversation with his Father via radio ensues until he throws over his keys and lets her drive his car. As she drives off with her Aunt, they discuss Eun-Seob and how he’s changed since the last time she saw him. Intending to attract more guests to the hotel, Hye-Won sets to work patching up the hotel, fixing door handles and painting the exterior.
That evening a storm hits, prompting Hye-Won to head outside to take a closer look. Only, the door handle she replaced earlier in the day comes off and leaves her stranded outside. Inevitably, she heads over to Good Night Bookstore where Eun-Seob invites her in. After talking for a while about eating and sleeping well, Hye-Won returns home as the rain and storm passes.
At dinner, Hye-Won is embarrassed by his sister when she mentions to his parents that he has a girlfriend he writes about in his blog – that being a girl called Irene. This Irene, as it turns out, is actually an alias he’s given for Hye-Won. After some flashes to the past, we see Hye-Won trying to make money for their hotel, accepting reservations for guests. Unfortunately her Aunt rejects the idea, telling her she’s too old and proceeds to tell her the house is her concern, prompting them to fight and Hye-Won to head outside and blow off some steam.
As we soon see through a flashback, this isn’t the first time Eun-Heob and Hye-Won have spoken about hay bales and it’s something that puts the opening scenes with her into perspective. They have a lot of history between them and her arrival is certainly sparking those old feelings to come back to the foreground. Thanks to another flashback, we see they went to school together and as we cut back to the present, Eun-Seob bemoans his inability to comfort others.
Eun-Seob’s sister then arrives and asks whether Hye-Won is Irene. As awkwardness ensues, Eun-Seob manages to deflect her question before shepherding her away and asking Hye-Won if she wants more coffee. She declines of course but he immediately berates his luck, believing he’s blown it with her.
As the episode closes out, we see several more flashes to the past before seeing Hye Won arrive at Eun-Seob’s door and preparing to ask him something. Quite what that is however, remains a secret for now.
Armed with a peaceful soundtrack and a slow drip-feed of exposition, When The Weather Is Fine is certainly a charming and beautiful Korean drama but it’s also one that won’t be for everyone. With many elements of this plot still to fall into place, there’s enough here to make for an intriguing set-up but whether this melodrama can entice enough people to stick around for the long-haul remains to be seen.
For now though, there’s enough in place to make this a pleasant enough watch, thanks in part to its delightful casting. Only time will tell whether this one has the chops to stick it out for the long-haul though.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!