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365: Repeat the Year (2020) *Non-Spoiler Review*


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What would you do or say if a stranger approaches you with the unbelievable opportunity of going back in time — a year earlier — to do it all again? Would you take it? What would you do differently? This is the predicament that detective Ji Hyung-joo, played by the versatile Lee Joon-hyuk, is presented with as he grieves inconsolably over the brutal murder of his beloved partner and brother-in-arms, Park Sun-ho (Lee Sung-wook). He isn’t the only one. 9 others in his cohort are similarly invited to partake in this “reset” — individuals who all carry some kind of emotional baggage and compelling personal reason to get onboard this seemingly farfetched proposition to change the past. What all these individuals have in common is perhaps an inhuman desperation to act.  

 

It is almost always the case that time travelling to fix the past in Kdramaland is a dubious notion fraught with problems. It is no different here. For Hyung-joo, things goes well at first immediately after the reset. Armed with foreknowledge he apprehends his partner’s killer preemptively and earn commendation for preventing other related crimes. For Shin Ga-hyeon (Nam Ji-hyun), a popular crime writing web cartoonist, she manages to avoid the car accident that paralysed her waist down but the law of unintended consequences come to haunt her in other punishing ways. Soon, one by one, members of the reset group fall prey to inexplicable deaths which cause our resident detectives to become embroiled in a fight for survival.  

 

One of my favourite parts of the show is watching Hyung-joo, initially a second-rate cop grow as a detective and character while navigating the biggest mystery of his career. Lee Joon-hyuk is adorable in the role and especially in his interactions with Nam Ji-hyun. Romance isn’t a key feature here although their chemistry is delightful and there are subtle hints all throughout that these two collaborators have growing feelings for each other. The razor sharp Ga-hyeon is a great sounding board for Hyung-joo who in both his official and unofficial capacity is forced to grapple with a series of deaths related to the “reset” group. Is there something inherent in the reset mechanism that is flawed? Or are there other unknown sinister forces at play? 

 

The cast and the performances are undoubtedly the best thing about it and so it should be because as one peels away the insanity one layer at a time, it is clear that this rollercoaster of a drama ultimately about character.

 

Central to the reset idea is its enigmatic proponent, Lee Shin, a clinical psychiatrist whose good intentions of wanting to give people second chances might be a cover for something possibly less altruistic. Her motives are unclear all throughout and the show has viewers questioning them all throughout as she deals with the fallout from the reset.

 

The show benefits greatly from the 12 episode format. The plotting is tight and the mind-bending storyline keeps viewers on their toes. Just when you think you know exactly what’s going on, the show throws in a twist or takes a different turn which leaves you re-evaluating your cherished assumptions.

 

Of course I never expected the show to satisfactorily explain the temporal device although some explanation is offered. In the end the time travelling element is merely a vehicle (no pun intended) for the show to explore age old questions of predestination and individual choice.

 

Plot/story 9

Cast/acting 10

Production values 8

Rewatch Value 8.5

 

 

Edited by 40somethingahjumma
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Currently Watching:  She and Her Perfect Husband, The King of Pigs, Reborn Rich, Under the Queen's Umbrella, Thank You Doctor

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"Love is not an affectionate feeling but a steady wish for the loved person's good as far as it can be obtained." -- CS Lewis.

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Thank you @40somethingahjumma for this wonderful post.  365 is one of the dramas I enjoyed very much this year. I loved the friendship or rather partnership between the leads , and the pacing was very good . I do think that the 12-episode format is the way to go.  I found the time-travel and reset easy to understand - at least  the drama managed to keep the suspense and mystery without cornering itself to come up with some 'fan-service" type ending that many time travel dramas tend to do.

 

Lee Joon Hyuk never fails to surprise me with his versatility. His steadfast and honest character in 365 is a sharp contrast to the slimy "salesman" Seo Dong Jae that he plays in Secret Forest. He has great chemistry with Nam Ji Hyun . I know that Nam Ji Hyun was particularly excited to be doing a drama of this genre as it was a genre she had never tackled before . She did a good job as the independent and intelligent  Ga Yeon. I was often tickled by how she was the one who would quickly catch on to  things even before Hyung Joo could figure it out. 

 

A very cute teaser cut of the leads for those wondering if they should watch

Spoiler

 

 I highly recommend this drama :D

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Mon-Tues: Curtain Call Wed-Thurs: Love is for Suckers, Revenge for Others Fri-Sat: First Responders Sat-Sun: Under The Queen's Umbrella  C-drama: - Daily: The Love In Your Eyes

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