How To Tell A Story In 49 Days (& a damn good one at that): A Review.

49 Days is a drama that when the promotional posters etc were released, caught my attention but probably due to Unlikely Timing – clash with Real Life Changes, for one – didn’t retain my interest long enough for me to follow it ‘live’ (same time that Korea’s showing it). but being this drama junkie, i also knew enough that i loved the concept of the show and was really, waiting for the right tone of emotion to watch it … man oh man, i’m so glad i took my time.

as i’m writing this, there are still 4 more episodes to this show before it concludes and i’m right now 2 episodes shy from the halfway point – but damn if i’m not already impressed and incredibly hooked. i love it that i’m totally taking my time with this show – sometimes watching an episode a night, or two at maximum, rather than pulling a marathon like i often (used to) do. sometimes i let a night or two go by without continuing, just letting the story and the many-yet-so-richly-layered characters stay in my mind, dissecting them and the consequences of their actions and their oddly intertwining-and-yet-separate pasts.

i admit that i totally have a newfound admiration and respect for screen(drama)writers now – provided they write stories that are just so incredibly… solid. i’ve always tried to watch dramas with a sense of respect – people can say whatever they want, but i hold these fictional stories like gems in my own life and thoughts, shaping and often more or less, influencing my own outlook in life – and i’m really, really glad that 49 Days seems to be that one, usually rare, (K)drama that knows what the grandiose (or not) message(s) it’s trying to deliver and takes its time without losing momentum or reason in the execution of The Point(s).

it’s not entirely flawless of course, but it just hits me in all the right spots; pushing all the right emotional buttons.

49 Days not only explores the life-and-death theme – and how i appreciate the way it does! – and the fact that we’re often taking what we already have for granted – like for instance, a healthy body – and just, really, what it means to truly appreciate the fact that you’re alive and well and to honor that by living a life with a sense of purpose.

while i think it started or seemed or is still largely a love story, it’s not one of those that gets center-stage just because it should, you know what i mean? plenty dramas tend to exaggerate – The Grand Love Story, The Meant To Be – just cos… they’re the leads. that used to succeed in retaining my attention (and okay, addiction) when i was younger, but not so much these days. so i appreciate it that this drama, perhaps even ironically, explores the grand theme of Time by taking its own sweet time – love included.

there’s development left-and-right, secrets and new discoveries in just about every nook and corner and what i’m lovin’ – oh, so lovin’ i can’t even say – is how richly layered the characters are. there’s about 5 or 6 leads, yet each of them have such distinct characteristic developments and pasts and connections that even in the drama world, seem reasonably realistic. for me personally, what defines a good story and more specifically, a good writer, is in how the writer displays that development in his or her characters – that growth one can obviously see in these fictional characters – because it marks the fact that they’ve made it, in a way: their story-telling is working because you see progression. in rarer cases, you even feel it – connecting tonally. it’s often more astounding – personally at least – if you’ve a handful of characters (like i’d mentioned that they do in this drama) and yet each are individually solid characters in their own rights. this totally reminds me of stories like Orange Days (of course) or even the more recent one i wrote about previously – Dream High.

ahhh 49 Days, you’re bringing waves of nostalgia my way – of the older, more solid dramas i used to grow up watching.

you know i’m going to see you through to the end – i’ve hope in you, please don’t disappoint.

instead – continue to take me by surprise and leave me all tied up, my heart in a warm bundle.

(as if it’s not already, just watching you! i’m happy, thank you)

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