Seriously, Go-Back Couple is dae-bak!
It makes my heart flutter and feel all giddy with the sweetness, the awkwardness and optimism of first love. Yet is also makes me tear at the missed opportunities and misunderstandings that occur in relationships, as well as the bittersweet acceptance when some relationships are just not meant to be however much effort you put into it with the hope that the other party will fall for you.
Funny, Heartfelt yet Realistic
Go-Back Couple is basically about a divorced couple Choi Ban-do (Son Ho-Jun)and Ma Jin-Joo(Jang Nara) who got a chance to go back in time to their university days where they can correct their “mistake” of meeting and falling in love with each other.
Choi Ban-do was a husband who tried very hard to work and earn money as a pharmaceutical salesman so as to support his young wife and son, even at the price of losing his dignity and bowing down to rich doctors and kissing their asses.
Yet, such hard work outside was not known or understood by his wife, Ma Jin-Joo who used to be pretty and popular in school, but reduced to a scruffy housewife ever since marrying Choi Ban-do. With no money and lots of unsaid unhappiness that led to misunderstandings, it is no wonder that they ultimately ended up divorcing.
But somehow they woke up one day to discover that they are miraculously back to their younger selves where they got a chance to relive their youth and change the future.
I love all the ingredients that make up this show – time travel, youthful passions and first loves, the poignancy of reflecting on the past, not to mention the realistic portrayal of marriages and long-time relationships that lost its spark.
I believe this drama will resonate very well with the married working adults who are caught up in the rat race,stressed up with work, probably not even liking their job and have started to take their spouses for granted. This drama offers a great form of escapism for viewers as we follow this divorced couple’s journey back in time to college where everything was fine and dandy, where problems in the adult world all disappeared and all that was left was friendship and first loves.
Believable Four-Sided Entangled Relationships
Go-Back Couple did a great job in the 4-sided relationships for the 2 main leads and the 2 second leads when they travelled back in time during university days. Choi Ban-Do had a chance at love with the beautiful ballerina whom he used to nurse a crush on while Ma Jin-Joo had a suitor in the form of the tall and handsome Jung Nam-Gil.
The introduction of new potential romantic partners and the witnessing of their original partners in the prime of their youth also allowed Choi Ban-do and Ma Jin-Joo to reassess what they truly want and to recapture their appreciation for each other.
While the drama ended up predictably with the 2 main leads realising their love for each other, the drama focused quite a bit on the new love lines between the main leads and the 2 side leads, therefore viewers were left wondering who the main lead might end up and whether the couple might succeed in changing their future.
Notable mention has definitely got to be given to Chang Ki-Young who acted as Jung Nam-Gil, the handsome but aloof heartthrob who only has eyes for Ma Jin-Joo acted by Jang Nara, and posed as a realistic threat to Choi Ban-Do who later tried to win back the heart of Ma Jin-Joo.
Dreamboat Second-Lead Chang Ki-Young
I have no idea who Chang Ki-Young was previously, but I was really won over by his handsome looks and near-perfect dreamboat role. I mean, Jung Nam-Gil is handsome,rich, and lonely, aloof to everyone but with only eyes for Ma Jin-Joo, totally the type of roles in K-dramas that all female viewers swoon over. It was swoon-worthy when viewers see him smiling secretly to himself after witnessing Ma Jin-Joo’s cute antics or acting as the knight in shining armour to save her when in need.
I really liked the scene where he ultimately realised that he has no chance with Ma JIn-Joo, who at the end of the day only had eyes for Choi Ban-do, and accepted a hug from Ma Jin-Joo as she spoke to him of his good traits. It was very bittersweet and touching, for a lonely and lost man to hear such words of reaffirmation from a woman he love.
Tender Mother-and-Daughter Moments
What was unexpected but incredibly tear-jerking were the scenes of Ma Jin-Joo and her mother acted by Go Eun-Sook.
Ma Jin-Joo’s mother had already died in present time, so when Ma Jin-Joo saw her mother again when she travelled in time, she did all she can to fully appreciate her moments with her mum at every single opportunity, like hugging her and telling her how much she loves her.
The scenes were really well-executed – incredibly tender and bittersweet.
All in all, this drama really tug at my heartstrings in all the right places. I found it a lot more realistic and poignant than most Korean dramas. And frankly speaking I couldn’t quite find any flaw in it.
Even though there were only 12 episodes, all characters were developed very well.Plus, Jang Nara and Son Ho-Jun really portrayed their roles impressively.I felt that I could really picture these characters as real-life characters as they were just quite believable and all the mistakes and regrets they made in life, could very well be mistakes that all of us have made or could make.
At the end of the day, I think this drama is about the choices we make in life, a reminder to not take what we have for granted, about rediscovering what made you fall in love with your partner in the first place and to never forget it.