If our loved ones got one chance to say their goodbyes properly and make sure that we lead our lives comfortably, how would we feel?
I just finished a very strange premise for a drama, Come Back Ahjusshi, starring Rain (Jung Ji Hoon) and Oh Yeon Seo. Even though the premise was rather strange, it managed to work for the most part due to the great comic timing and emotional depth that these actors brought to the story.
The story is set around the politics of a department store. Kim Young Soo (played by Kim In-Kwon) is chief in one of the departments at Sunjin Department Store. He is overworked and develops serious health issues causing his death at work. He leaves behind a wife, Shin Da Hye (played by Lee Min Jung), a father and a daughter. On the other hand, Han Gi Tak (played by Kim Soo Ro) is a gangster who has succeeded in life, enough to set up his own restaurant. His love interest, Song Yi Yeon (played by Honey Lee) becomes an actress and is married to the heir to Sunjin Group, Cha Jae Gook (played by Choi Won Young). Jae Gook, jealous of the love his wife bears for Gi Tak, creates rumours to make his wife fall out of favour in the entertainment industry. Due to one such rumour, Gi Tak loses his life in a car accident.
Both Young Soo and Gi Tak meet in the afterlife since their time of death is almost the same. They are unhappy at their untimely deaths and beg to go back to the world to set things straight with their loved ones. After a lot of pleading their requests are heard, but they cannot keep their original bodies. Back on earth, Young Soo appears in the body of Lee Hae Joon (played by Rain), who looks exactly like Jae Gook’s younger brother, while Gi Tak is given the body of a woman, who he chooses to call Han Hong Nan (played by Oh Yeon Seo). Both Hae Joon and Hong Nan set out to fix the lives of the people around them in the limited time god has given them: two months.
Come Back, Ahjussi had a crazy premise, but I could empathize with the longing Da Hye and her daughter felt for their husband and father. The grief is one I can relate to very strongly. Nonetheless, throughout the entire show, it was this plot that did not have enough growth in terms of the content that was being offered to the audience. I’ve heard Rain’s songs and I find him to be a phenomenal dancer, but I sadly did not find him an amazing actor. He could pull off the real ahjussi‘s way of speaking and expressions, but I definitely felt uncomfortable seeing him cry so much. For such an impressive height and build, I had expected a development in Young Soo/Hae Joon’s character to
suit the stark change in body type, but I got a lot of whimpering and crying.
On the other hand, OH YEON SEO! WHOAH!! I have seen her as Bang Mal Sook in My Husband’s Got A Family and her affair with Cha Se Gwang (Kang Min Hyuk), in that story was amazing, along with her amazing acting as the slighted sister-in-law. Nonetheless, from spoiled brat, to a woman possessing the soul of an ex-gangster was a great change. On top of everything else, the soul being Han Gi Tak, a burly and very ‘masculine’ man. Her comic timing was brilliant. She was able to add the sensitivity and brooding element to all of her acting. Not even once would I focus on the gender of the character/actor. Her acting took me miles away from thinking about such banal things and I commend Oh Yeon Seo for acting so professionally. She’s beautiful and has such a sleek body, but she fooled us very well with her acting chops.
Lastly, I loved the various perspectives we got of relationships in this show. For instance, the various capacities in which men behave towards women, as protective brothers, as loyal lovers, as jealous husbands, and loving fathers. Similarly, we got to see loyal wives, doting mothers, and a lot of other relationships in the mix. Seeing all of these aspects brought the characters to life and made them relatable, and yet the show was able to give us so much comedy in the shape of ahjussis in the guise of these immensely good-looking reincarnations!