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Melting Me Softly
Director: Shin Woo Chul
Writer:  Baek Mi Kyung
Main Cast:
Ji Chang Wook - Ma Dong Chan
Won Jin Ah - Ko Mi Ran
Yoon Se Ah - Na Ha Young

I had really wanted to like this drama. It was Ji Chang Wook’s comeback drama after his military service, and I’ve always like JCW as an actor and not just as a pretty face. It also featured Won Jin Ah as the female lead, and I think she is one of the new generation of actresses to watch. She was outstanding in Rain or Shine, and I was eager to watch her here. The writer was Baek Mi Kyung, and I had enjoyed her drama Strong Girl Do Bong Soon a lot with its single fantasy element of the superstrong girl worked into an every day world. Finally, the director Shin Woo Chul had a deft hand, working on a number of productions that I had watched and liked including Secret Garden and Fox Star Bride, though he had also directed Gu Family Book which perhaps should have been a warning.

The Story

Ma Dong Chan is a popular reporter who goes after sensational stories. He’s in love with Na Ha Young, a fellow reporter at the station. In search of another sensational story, DC agrees to take part in a frozen human experiment.


Ko Mi Ran isa  hard working girl from a loving family who works all the part time jobs that she can, including taking part in research experiments. She’s promised $4000 to take part in a frozen human experiment.


DC and MR, both with the understanding that it will be for only 24 hours, enter the experiment without having told their family and significant others what they were up to since that might cause undue concern. Unfortunately, after they are frozen, things go badly wrong in the lab as thugs attack the scientist freezing them and destroy the lab. Thus, they are both kept frozen for 20 years before they are finally find them and defrosted.


Unfortunately, their bodies have now adapted in a way that their operating temperatures are significantly lower than other humans, and a higher temperature would cause severe trauma and death.  However, their more immediate concerns are that they had been preserved in their appearance and memories of 20 years ago to find that the world has passed them by.


DC is still in love with his beautiful girlfriend, even though NY is now in her 40’s and has become hardened and jaded even though she has stayed single. NY has always grieved for DC, even though at the time of the incident, she was bribed into not making too much of a fuss over DC’s disappearance. However, DC and NY are now in different places in their lives. His younger brother has grown up to look like his father with a wife and precocious daughter of his own. His baby sister is grown up, divorced and has a hard time coping with life.


MR’s family have all aged and her baby brother is now biologically older than she is. Her two best friends are shocked to see their old friend appear before them still young and beautiful. Her ex-bf ended up marrying one of her best friends. Their son ends up having a crush on MR and asking her out.


DC and MR race to find the scientist who originally had designed the experiment to give them the antidote for their new body conditions, but also to solve the mystery of why he and his lab had been attacked in the first place that led them to being in that state. They also fend off attacks from people who don’t want them digging into the past.


In the meantime, since they are the only two humans who have suffered through this, they find themselves becoming ever closer.

It’s actually not totally clear why Melting Me Softly became the hot mess that it was while Strong Girl Do Bong Soon was so much fun to watch. Perhaps it tried too hard to use the same combination of slapstick, untenable situations because of the fantasy element, romance and bromance that made SGDBS such a success.


Ultimately, I think that the chemistry that was there in SGDBS with its three leads just wasn’t there in MES. While the three leads in this drama are all very good to outstanding actors in their own rights, they didn’t necessarily mesh well into a coherent story, especially as it handled the comic-tragedy of time.


So DC and HY truly loved each other in their youth and their separation now by being in different ages and stages of their lives made it a tragedy of its own that seemed to be in a different drama altogether than the cutesy romance of DC and MR who are literally the only ones who can understand what the other is going through and find themselves drawn together by this.


WJA is a good actress, but still needs to work on some of her comic timing as she looks less poised in her role here than in her previous work. Yoon Se Ah is in a tragedy drama of her own that didn’t feel it worked with the rest of the drama. Finally, Ji Chang Wook acted his role here in a bit of a frantic style. While his timing is as good as ever and his acting is as sincere as ever, the script and the direction may have led him and his castmates down. The veteran supporting cast are the most fun about this drama, and the actress Oh Ah Rin who plays DC's precocious niece is too adorable.


There are other hot messes which become fun to watch for the craziness itself. This drama isn’t even in that category. This drama is really meant for die hard JCW fans who want to watch his entire oeuvre.


Plot/Story              6
Cast/Acting           7
Production            6
Re-watch              3


An OST by Ji Chang Wook

Nice song well sung by JCW, but indicative of the mess of this drama. The male lead sings an OST which is really about saying goodbye to his first love rather than about the OTP romance. It makes the grief over DC and HY somehow more significant than the subsequent romance between DC and MR.


An OST by K.Will that is about the OTP.




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I really wanted to watch this when it aired. As a sci-fi buff, it sounded interesting. And yeah, I was looking forward to seeing Ji Chang-wook again after his return from military service. But then I saw the comments by those who were following it... and when I finally gave it a go I couldn't get past the first episode. It was so boring and disjointed. It was the same impression that I got from watching The King: Eternal Monarch. The sci-fi elements are just window dressing to tell another perhaps more nonsensical story ie. sci-fi is used as a way of justifying illogicalities and arbitrary story choices.


Thank you for taking the time to write this despite the results. 

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Currently Watching: Queen of Tears, In Blossom


"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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