Go Back Couple (Korean Drama Review)

Go Back Couple (Korean Drama Review)

I first heard about this drama a couple of months ago.  I heard it was going to be a Jang Na-ra starrer and I looked forward to it.  Jang Na-ra has a delicate expressive face, which never ages.  I love her, there is always vulnerability to her acting, that gets or speaks to me.

Go Back Couple is a time travel drama, shown on Fridays and Saturdays with 16 episodes. (Correction, 12 episodes).

Choi Ban-Do (played by Son Ho-Jun) and Ma Jin-Joo (played by Jang Na-Ra) are both 38-years-old, and a recently divorced couple.

They got together when they were both in university at the age 20 in 1999.

Fast-forward 18 years on, Choi Ban-Do now works as a medical sales rep, not sure what happened as I thought he was studying civil engineering (civil construction), and Ma Jin-Joo is a housewife with a toddler to look after.

Ban-Do is a hardworking man, who does everything for his clients almost  24/7, that he has neglected his wife and their child.

Due to series of misunderstandings and the hardship of fulfilling their responsibilities, they began to take each other for granted and only ended up bickering when they were together .

During an anniversary that they could not celebrate, in the heat of the moment, due to utter frustration, they both said things that they shouldn’t have.

The last straw for Jin-Joo was finding a credit card statement with hotel bills and then being sent a video photo of her husband holding another woman in front of a hotel (these were all innocent, of course).

Jin Joo announced to her husband that she wanted a divorce.  Do Ban-do was at first surprised, but agreed to it.  Within a month, they were divorced.

They realised that they had married too young and wished they could go back and restart their respective lives.

On the day of the divorce, they both took their wedding rings off.  Jin-Joo dropped hers while aboard a bus and Ban-do threw his outside his bedroom window.  Both rings seemed to undergo something supernatural. Jin-joo and Ban-do experienced an earthquake-like shaking and rattling.

The next morning they both woke up in the bodies of their 20-year old selves.

Jin-Joo’s first scene as a 20 years old was really poignant that it brought tears to my eyes.  She was crying out for her dead mother in her sleep.  But she was being woken up by her mother.  She was so happy to see her.  Throughout the morning she hugged and followed her mother, who said she was beginning to creep out with Jin-Joo’s clinginess.

I love this drama, so much so that I first watched it raw, I just can’t wait for the subtitles. (Of course I can’t understand a word but then action speaks louder than words 😉 lol). And then watched it this morning with the English sub.  The mother scene still got to me.

I am putting a lot of faith in this drama.  There have been so many Korean dramas that I could only watch 2-3 episodes and I tend to give up fairly early on.

I supposed the storyline of this drama is more appropriate to me, being married.  Don’t I wish sometimes that I can go back in time?  Hell, yeah!!! 🙂

Episode 2 is also very watchable. Jin-Joo tried to restart her life but her ex seemed to be everywhere.  On a blind-date where they first met, Ban-do ended up still choosing her but said he did it so he could dump her.  She followed him out of the restaurant only to find him chasing after his first love.  Jin-Joo was heartbroken.  She comforted herself that at least it was a closure but she heard a little voice and saw the figure of their toddler following her.

She ended up in a flood of tears and mistakenly got into the back seat of Jung Nam Gil’s (second male lead) car, thinking it was a taxi.  I actually want these two to get together.

Again her scene sleeping next to her mother made me cry. huhuhu

Episode 3

They are now both getting into the single life.  There was a scene where Jin-Joo in her high-heels running on a slippery slope and being rescued by the handsome Jung Nam Gil (Chang Ki Yong) wearing his ROTC uniform.  I have to admit that was so romantic.  I wanted them to get together there and then.  🙂   Oh the clubbing scene is really nostalgic.  Loving this drama.  I watched it raw and then with subtitle.

Ban Do has a double standard mentality.  He doesn’t stop himself from enjoying his youth but time and again would remind Jin-Joo that she was an old woman with a child.

It is that addictive.

Episode 4

Again I wish that Nam Gil and Jin-Joo get it together in the end because they do have such a lovely chemistry.  It is young and fresh.  I watched this episode so many times, fast-forwarding sometimes on the scene between these two.  I am an old romantic.

Episode 5

This is an interesting episode.  It seems it is repeating what happened in 1999 but completely with different couples.  Jin Joo went to the movies with Nam-Gil instead of Ban-do.  Then Jin-Joo’s father was giving Nam-Gil the once-over as a potential boyfriend/husband for Jin Joo instead of Ban Do.

Jin Joo is beginning to feel something for Nam-Gil and they have some sweet moments too.

Jin-joo:  (In a restopub looking at the menu) Do you like something in particular?

Nam-gil: You.  I think it’s true.  I think I like you!

They were completely mesmerised with one another!  Ah young love!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Ban Do though is beginning to realise that there is more to Jin Joo.  She is actually a very attractive woman, wanted by someone rich, handsome and popular Nam-gil and by that slimy medical student.

Episode 6 ended with a scene inside a men’s toilet cubicle.  How romantic is that? It actually was- romantic!

More updates:

I don’t know but I find the episodes where Nam Gil appears a great deal are fresher and more interesting than when he is not around.

I think they should be together even in the future.

Despite having gone back to the past, Ban do and Jin Joo can’t find that missing synchronicity. Whenever Jin Joo was in danger or needed help, Ban do was nowhere to be found but Nam Gil was there each time.

What I wanted to do if I was in this drama is throw away that half dead cactus.:)  It seems it is a symbol of how Ban Do’s budding new found respect, love and affection for a younger more carefree Jin Joo.  The cactus is beginning to thrive.  Nooo!

No!!! Jin Joo, history would just repeat itself.  Dump him while you still can and go for that lovely Nam Gil.  🙂

Episode 9

This is a cute episode where Ban Do and Nam Gil play one-upmanship against one another to impress Jin Joo.

Instead of Ban Do, Jin Joo ended up having a romantic time with Nam Gil at the Bridge of Fireflies.  Ban Do once again missed his timing.

The episode ended up with Nam Gil sleeping next to Jin Joo.  When he raised his arm as a sign of victory, it was so cute.

Ban do might be working towards his future self by being nice to Kim Ye-rim, heiress to a hospital.  He might end up better off than a medical salesman. 🙂

Jin Joo is becoming more into Nam Gil because of his caring way but she can’t really fully take advantage of the attraction because of her future son, Seo Jin.

Go for it girl.

Fair is fair though, there is a chemistry between Ban do and Jin Joo even if I wanted her to end up with Nam Gil.

The music OSTs for episode 9 are great.

Episode 10

OMG, I have to admit I am a bit fickle.  I have to confess that I quite love Ban Do now.  I really feel for him.

I first watch this episode in a raw form, therefore, hardly understand what was going on, just a slight inkling but I was crying like a baby when Ban Do was crying towards the end.

Anyway I have just watched this now with subtitles and found that Ban Do is just a normal married guy, not the worst.  He did love Jin Joo but admitted that he took her for granted because of work.  And of course, as to most marriages,  you are not into each other as much as you were during the first couple of years.  They should have supported one another more.

I don’t understand why Jin Joo was blaming Ban Do for not being able to say goodbye to her mother, who passed away.  Why did she need Ban Do to take her to her mother?  Why not go by herself.?  Afterall at that time, she did not have Seo Jin yet.

I do feel a bit sorry for Nam Gil now.  It looks like Ban Do and Jin Joo will always be ‘IT’.

Also I have to mention about Dr Park, I know he was a sleazy scumbag but poor him had been pummelled by both Nam Gil and Ban Do plus he lost his meal ticket in Kim Ye-rim.

I did not know that Michael Jackson had such an impact in South Korea. JIn Joo’s mother and father were so good at ‘moonwalking’.  That scene was fun and rather uplifting.

Episode 11

OMG is Ban Do dead?  Is this paving the way for Ma Jin Joo  and Nam Gil to be together?


I had a rethink, I want Ban Do to end up with Jin Joo afterall.  Sorry this is not a good review because I just watch this episode in a raw form.  Didn’t really fully understand what was going on plus the fact that I am blinded by tears.  Sad ending to this episode and they cleverly did not give away what was going to happen in the usual trailer for the next instalment.  I thought this series is composed of 16 episodes but actually it may only be 12 and that makes tomorrow’s as the final one. huhuhu

Ban Do did buy the rings, perhaps these are their tickets of going back to the present.  Also they found out that most of their troubles were from misunderstandings.  They did not talk about what was really bothering them.

I have to say there are so much issues which are needed to be solved and I don’t think an hour would fully cross the ‘T’s and dot the ‘I’s if indeed tomorrow is the last episode.

Still crying and can’t wait for tomorrow.  I hope Ban do is not dead.

Probably they both wake up in the present time, having realised that they can’t live without one of the other.

Episode 12

It was rather a shock to the system to find out that this drama was only a 12- episoder.  I was not ready to let Nam Gil, Ma Jin Joo, Ban Do and the rest of the cast to go yet.

There were so many scenes that spoke to me personally.  I always love the interaction of Jin Joo and her mother. They were poignant, especially when she asked Jin-Joo to look after her father when she’s gone. She half-believed Jin Joo was a time traveller who left behind a baby in the present time.

Anyway, I have never waited more excitedly for an episode than this one.

I was crying like mad when I thought Ban Do died.  Thank goodness he didn’t.

You would thought they would reconcile immediately but of course not!  They had to open your floodgate of waterworks first.  Again!!!

Ban Do said to Jin Joo that she will always be in his heart.  As much as he thought of Seo Jin, their son, all the time, he loved Jin Joo more and acknowledged that he can not make her happy so he had to let her go.

The Nam Gil/Jin Joo fanatics were acknowledged!  There was a really touching goodbye between Nam Gil and Jin Joo.  It was not particularly traumatic but I found myself tearing up.  Nam Gil is so lovely to the end.

I think I cried more than Jang Na Ra did just watching this drama.

I felt the ending was really abrupt. I would have wanted to know more how they affected the timeline.

But it was a good conclusion.

Dr Park got his comeuppance.  He can only look on  with regret how loved up Kim Ye Rim was with her husband, who looked devoted to her.

Sul is a travel writer?!!!

Jae Woo and Bo Reum got back together.

The time travel is due to the rings.  Apparently about 50 long years ago, in the land high above the sky there lived a couple of deities who were doppelgangers of Jin Joo and Ban do.  They were unhappily married and in a fit of madness, they both took off their wedding rings and threw them down.  The rings grant wishes.

Jin Joo and Ban Do were drawn to the rings when they were shopping for theirs.  Upon putting the ring on, Jin Joo wished that she will always be with Ban Do.  Thus, when Jin Joo and Ban Do divorced the rings had to do their magic to gluing Ban Do and Jin Joo back together again.

Windsong by Sohyang – Ost


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