Life on Mars Kdrama Review

While I was bored waiting for episodes of other dramas, I decided I might as well start this drama since it already had 12 episodes out and there was no way I’d go through half a day of drama quick enough that I’d have a more acute case of withdramals. Right?

But of course, as these things usually go, I did complete the available episodes within a timespan not much greater than the length itself, and so I was left again to wait on the remaining episodes! And horror of horrors it aired the same days as the other major show I was waiting on! Gah!

Well now it’s finally done airing, and so I can now put my thoughts on this drama into words.

For anyone wondering, of course I haven’t seen the English versions (who are you kidding, when do I watch anything not Korean?). So my review is going to be totally based on this drama. For sures. Certains. So don’t complain if my rating of this story isn’t fair and you want to blame it on a certain other show.

The quick verdict? I really liked it.

But now into the show we shall dive as I break it into components for a rating.

Acting (9/10)

Now I went into this show not expecting much from anyone and slightly wary of the female actress since I dropped Radiant Office like a hot potato.

But boy did she prove me wrong and I can’t bring to mind an adult actor in this show that was not exceptional. The kids were a bit hit-and-miss, but my goodness this show just became like reality. I never had that nagging feeling that something wasn’t right and I should get off my couch because that person on the screen is definitely acting! (I can claim I’ve never acted on that feeling though. Yeah I may start a new drama, but get up? Never!)

Pics, pics! Of course! Here’s the handsome man of the day.

정경호 – Jeong Kyeong Ho

Isn’t he handsome?

Hmm. I guess so? 🙂

Err, yep. Straight male here…

While I sometimes frowned at his use of shell-shocked face, there’s no denying this man has talent. Of course, I knew that going in since I’ve seen several of his dramas (curse you Cruel City!) but if anything his acting is improved here.

That said, even given the dramatic story he lives through, I felt like his character didn’t require as much as I’ve seen him play before, so I don’t feel like I was able to see his whole range here. But it was good. He convinced me…

And now our adorable little lady.

고아성 – Go Ah Seong

 Now as with the male lead, I don’t think this lead has a particularly taxing part to play in this drama (yes, drama, but not a huge range), but Go Ah Seong played it to a T. The romance is pretty subtle (though very cute) in this drama, and I did like the leads together.

Again, since I dropped Radiant Office, I was hesitant when I saw her here, but she is now a new favorite and I have branched out and started some of her other dramas (yes, while I was suffering withdramals on this drama), including Heard it Through the Grapevine, which I would probably never have dreamed of starting otherwise.

Okay, okay, some of it is because I like her unique look, but you can’t blame a man for rating a book partly off of the cover.

Other Characters

All the other main characters are phenomenal and I think 박성웅 (Park Seong Woong) does an exceptionally good job. He was definitely a highlight of this show. As said before, the kids weren’t amazing, but they didn’t suck as much as American kid actors 😛

Story (7/10)

The first 12, heck 14, episodes were nearly seamless and very well put together as far as storyline.

He was stuck in the past inside a coma, and it didn’t make sense only because we aren’t sure exactly what’s happening or if it’s even real. It can all be explained as a dream, but we’re waiting eagerly to find out what the truth of the matter is.

There was good progression and interesting backstory we learned along the way that intertwined with his life in the present.

And then the last 2 episodes came. Okay, no they weren’t horrible.

But yeah they were open ended a bit, and no that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but I felt like I lost the whole context of what was what. Not in a Inception, wobbling top sort of way, but a scratch-the-head, okay, I guess I’m happy? way.

Actually, at first it was pretty brilliant.
He wakes back up in the present, and we see as he figures out what happened in the past after he left and then tries to tie off loose ends in the present. The pain he and I felt when we realized his friends may have been murdered because he wasn’t able to save them in the past!

And I think, I think I may have been okay with a depressing sad ending for either the past or the present. But we’re given room to think, and it just makes me think, hmm, can this even work? Wait, is he dead? xD But he can’t dream without a consciousness!

Overall it’s a very intriguing story and what they had was put out there very well.

Characters (10/10)

My goodness, these characters are precious. From the loud, fist-fighting captain, to the confrontational detective, to the newbie, to the coffee making underappreciated female, the main team is a joy to watch.

And nobody’s really a 2d character here, not really our villains either. In fact, we see the main villain in the present as an innocent child in the past and how what he experiences makes him the man he is in 2018.

We see the team gradually come to accept the main character from a very rough start and how he changes and all of them change as a result. He learns to trust others, our female lead is seen for her true worth, the captain and detectives mellow a bit… hehe. Okay, the newbie is pretty much a newbie the whole time beyond pining for the female, but he’s cute and makes lots of funny naive suggestions.

In the end, you just feel like you know them, and the idea of losing them hurts. Which means that they’ve become a part of my reality for awhile. And in the end, I’m watching these to be a part of another reality for just a bit.

Overall (8.5/10)

Overall, this is definitely a must watch, very good drama, especially if you want something more serious (e.g. you aren’t looking for a comedy romance).

If mystery, crime, detective work, time travel, with a sprinkly bit of romance on top is your thing, well then this is most definitely the drama for you. And guess what, it’s done airing! Woohoo! Lucky you.

The amazing cast

Me watching this drama too x) see those lovely smiles


A pseudo-korean ㅋㅋㅋ

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