So I just finished Nine: Nine Times Travel and my mind can’t seem to turn off…
I literally just completed my three-day marathon of the show – I can so imagine my mum’s outraged expression if she were to ask, “So what did you do during your break?” and this is very likely my response ha, “…”. I then went straight to Javabeans’ two-part review of the show because the ending… the ending… ah, that. She totally knocked it out of the park though, with those reviews.
I came running here because the show does this to its audience, I think – leaves you with this pressing feeling of wanting, needing to talk about it long after the credits roll because well, what was that all about?! Not necessarily questioning in an angry way, just… still trying to absorb and reason. I’m late to the wagon though and realize that there are now so many write-ups out there which discuss, dissect and analyze the show so well and more cohesively than I ever could I think. With that said and as of now, with my head still spinning thanks to the ending, I doubt I’ll be writing an overall review or anything of that sort on this show. That in itself requires so much thinking and I really think so many others do it way better.
One thing I will admit is that I think I’m in the minority when it comes to this show – I like it, but I don’t love it. I appreciate it because the writing was one hell of a mindfuck ride but so tightly and intelligently done that there’s absolutely no doubt the show is worthy of every accolade it has received. My problem is that while I did watch it to the end, strangely, the experience was such a chore. I kept having to consciously motivate and push myself to keep going because whenever I stop to take a break, I find myself minimally interested to pick up the next episode. While we’re at it, fine I’ll admit this too – the heroine annoyed the hell out of me. Her bubbly attitude was ugh, too much cute going on for me that I wish she’d just tone it down a notch or two. I know she’s cute and all, but seriously…
But anyway, moving on. The third point is that this show is actually only the second time-traveling Kdrama I’ve watched (the first being the much-loved Queen In Hyun’s Man by the same writer-director team …which likewise, I appreciated but did not love) so I can’t draw comparisons and specify how, where and why exactly the show is superior to the rest of the year’s crop. Honestly though, I don’t think it actually matters when it comes to this show cos like I said earlier, once you’re suckered in it doesn’t take long before the show has your attention.
The writing is truly impressive because it is tight, mind-boggling and clearly well-thought out, from (most of) the small details to the larger ones. While the time-jumps and internal set of rules felt convoluted, that’s more so because it’s a sci-fi kind of topic that’s out of norm, but once you consider them within the context and world of the show, here’s where it’s cool and when I know the writer is kick-ass awesome – lots of them actually made sense. In addition, I thought the directing complemented the writing very, very well with split screens, clearly outlined timelines, sepia colors and different ensemble of cast to separate the past/present.
I hate being a wet blanket and would love to discuss the ending – oh the ending! – but I do feel it’s important that you know my stance with this show; I’m not all over it. I appreciate it, no doubt about that but strangely this show never captured me the way it did to so many others, based on year-end reviews I’ve read. I actually felt emotionally disconnected throughout (was it my own doing though, did I build the hype myself and went in with over-expectations?) and though I noted and thus, appreciated the finesse in all aspects – writing, directing, acting and even abstract, big-picture elements – somehow it just never owned me. Weird.
My mind is still reeling from the after-effects of the show, so I’m going to stop here… I’m probably already saying too much anyway. Can’t promise an overall review with this one – in all seriousness, I think it would be hard to produce! – but… I dunno. I’m actually more interested in the ending or third arc of the show more than anything, so I might just focus specifically on that. We’ll see.
It’s 241 AM here as I sign off, so I’m off to bed. G’night!