49 Days Review

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Review. 49 Days has an intriguing premise. A soul from a comatose / brain-dead person inhabits another’s body and is given 49 days to find 3 tears of pure love from friends (family excluded).

A second chance at life is a concept that appeals. The writing of this drama was excellent, every episode had surprises. The production of this 20 episode 2011 Korean drama was top notch. The acting was the weakest aspect of the drama. Perhaps that is my take-away feeling because the story is a slow build and the characters are subdued. The “evil” characters were not overt. Maybe that’s it, the only overt character of the show was Scheduler and by comparison the other actors seemed flat. I’m not 100% satisfied with that explanation either. Irregardless, the great story trumped some flat performances. Fair warning, if you get into this drama, have tissues ready, there are some intense moments.

What I liked about the show:

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*   Standout character was the Scheduler played to emotional perfection by Jung Il Woo. He guides the soul through the process and has his own fascinating story.  Jung Il Woo owned this role. He was also riveting as the male lead in Flower Boy Ramen Shop (worth watching).

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*  Male lead Han Kang, played by Jo Hyun Jae, quietly loved and worked to support the soul’s journey. For you Jane Austen fans, he was Mr. Darcy in this drama.

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*   Writer So Hyun Kyung crafted 20 episodes of intrigue and interwoven characters with plenty of twists and turns along the way. This is one of the best written dramas I have seen. It was intricate and intriguing. There were some wonderful and heartbreaking moments in this show. You cannot watch this drama without crying. It will get to you. So Hyun Kyung also wrote Shining Inheritance (aka Brilliant Legacy a 2009 kdrama) which I watched strictly because of this writer.

What I did not like about the show

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*  Depressed heroine Song Yi Kyung played by Lee Yo Won was hard to gravitate to and like.
Her story unfolds during the drama and you root for her, but when the lead character is despondent, it sets a tone. When the cheery soul of Shin Ji Hyun inhabits her, she picks up.  The actress does a fine job portraying very different characters, the despondent despair of Yi Kyung and the optimistic naive Ji Hyun.

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*   Lack of passion from most of the characters (excluding the scheduler).
Most of the cast seemed like they were acting in a fog and came across flat. Many of the actors were also in Shining Inheritance and not flat there, so I don’t know what happened. Especially tightly wound villain Kang Min Ho, played by Bae Soo Bin. Bae Soo Bin was adorable as Park Jun Se in Shining Inheritance.  Could the reason be that his hair was so cute in Shining Inheritance and so drab in 49 days?

*   Twist in the final episode seemed unnecessary but didn’t change my opinion of this excellent drama. I’m ok with how the drama ended.

OST. The 13 track 49 Days OST has lovely ballads. Two ballads are sung by my favorite male actors in the drama; Scarecrow by Jung Il Woo and Even If I Live Just One Day by Jo Hyun Jae.  The drama’s opening song by Navi is catchy. My favorite tracks:

*    Scarecrow by Jung Il Woo
*    Even If I Live Just One Day by Jo Hyun Jae
*   There was nothing by Jung Yup of Brown Eyed Soul
*   Always by Park Bo Ram
*   Though It Seems Forgotten  by Seo Young Eun
*   Can’t It Be Me?  by Tim
*   The Feeling’s Coming by Navi

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Favorite Songs from the OST in my YouTube Playlist (link or embedded below)

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Asian drama fan

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Posted in Kdrama, Reviews
One comment on “49 Days Review
  1. […] * The director Jo Young Gwang (49 days, a top notch kdrama (see review)), must have had a nice budget for the initial episode. The gorilla, the zipline scene, the two […]

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