6:46 pm - 02/09/2018

Omona Reviews: Longing Heart (aka How Not To Do A Time Travel Drama)


Drama: My First Love / Longing Heart (literal title)
Synopsis: Kang Shin-Woo (Lee Jung-Shin) is a math teacher with a good looking appearance. He has not forgotten his first love Han Ji-Soo (Lee Yeol-Eum) for the past 10 years. By an accident, he travels to the past when he was a high school student. There, he meets his younger self (Seo Ji-Hoon). Kang Shin-Woo struggles to make the younger Kang Shin-Woo's love come true. (via asianwiki)
Genre: Fantasy, Romantic Comedy
Director: Min Yeon-Hong
Writer: Kim Hee-Ran (webcomic), Kim Byung-Gwan (webcomic)
Network: OCN
Episode Count: 10
Release Date: January 8 - February 6, 2018

Hello Omona! In lieu of a regular drama discussion post, keytfelt and I thought we might try something new. We watch and discuss dramas regularly in the Unofficial Omona Discord Server, so we thought why not write a review of one together. You can read our review for Longing Heart below.

Warning: Spoilers!

What made you want to start watching this?
showminomoney: Seo Jihoon! aka Guitar Guy from School 2017, he was so cute in that, I was excited to see him get his own leading role. keytfelt and I saw GG1979 together, so we wanted to watch another CNBlue lead drama together. The trailer has the lead girl confessing to the teacher right away, so that sounded like it was gonna be a mess. Fun.
keytfelt: Same as showminomoney, Seo Ji Hoon was the main draw for me. I’ve now seen everything on his AsianWiki list and I’m really looking forward to seeing where his career goes. He’s just so cute and cries so well! I like to watch dramas with CNBlue and I watched Cinderella and Four Knights with Jungshin (also awful), so I thought I could handle watching this.
showminomoney: Let’s pray Minhyuk gets work soon. Something good. This set the bar really low for that.
keytfelt: I hope Jonghyun’s drama (which premieres in March) is better. I was pleasantly surprised by him in GG1979 and hope his drama isn’t awful. OCN doesn’t have a great track record with their supposed romcoms though.


Seo Ji Hoon in School 2017

Let’s talk about the characters, who did you like? Dislike?
keytfelt: I did not like our lead girl, Ji Soo, either as a 17 year old student or as a 27 year old doctor and couldn’t understand why multiple guys were hung up on her for 10+ years. Our main character, Shin Woo, was likeable as his high school self, but years of pining after a girl he knew for 2 months turned him into someone I really didn’t like. Older Shin Woo was constantly overstepping boundaries that he should have as a teacher and it was uncomfortable to watch. There were some characters I did enjoy, namely young Shin Woo, his mom, and his high school friends, mostly So Ra. I did wish we got to see more of the friends and less of the creepy angsty love triangle.
showminomoney: I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated with a drama lead as I have been with Ji Soo… Nothing about her was likeable to me. I just did not get her appeal. I was also very annoyed at Older Shin Woo. He was kind of a bully towards his younger self, and kind of acting really inappropriate towards young Ji Soo. Young Shin Woo was adorable and charming, it felt like there was such a huge disconnect between the past and future versions, their personalities felt so different. I liked Shin Woo’s friends, what little we saw of them. And his mom! The actress playing his mom is my favorite mom playing kdrama actress, I just love her in any of her mom roles instantly.
keytfelt: I always love when Kim Sun Young shows up in a drama, she’s such a great actress. I knew showminomoney would be very excited to see her in another role.
showminomoney: My tv mom. <3



So what happens in the show? Talk about the plot.
showminomoney: Basically Present Day 2017 (Older) Shin Woo (27) is lovelorn, he hasn’t dated anybody for 10 years because he’s been hung-up on this girl he was into in high school. He goes to a therapist appointment in Seoul only to find out that this girl is a doctor there. He confesses to her, gets brutally rejected, goes back home to Gwangju for his mom’s death anniversary, finds a note from 10 years ago from the girl saying she wanted to meet him at a bridge, he goes to the bridge, falls off and then BAM magically time travels to 2007.
keytfelt: Shin Woo the Elder magically ends up getting a job as a homeroom teacher, and, surprise surprise, it’s the same class of his younger self and the new girl, Ji Soo. Teacher Shin Woo decides he’s going to be a wingman and make sure that his longtime crush likes young him back. The only problem is he’s wildly inappropriate with an underage student! Yes, I understand that he’s had feelings for her for years, but at this point he’s a grown adult and she’s a high school student and he’s giving her way too much attention and touching her way more than he should be. So of course she develops a crush on the teacher instead of her classmate, complete with the requisite romantic music played over their creepy scenes. What a dilemma.




Sir... please step away from the minor...

keytfelt: To save you from reading a wall of text, a summary: Jungshin tries to save his mom from dying in a ferry accident, she still dies and he jumps into the water and travels back to the present. But things have changed (of course) because he messed with people. And, surprise! Young Shin Woo grabbed onto him as he traveled back and is now in 2017 as well. They both meet up with Ji Soo, showminomoney and keytfelt are confused if she thinks present day Shin Woo is older classmate Shin Woo or still the homeroom teacher (there were some weird moments in there). Misunderstandings are cleared up, young Shin Woo goes back in time, they end up together at the end instead of her dying like we both hoped for.




Shin Woo confessing his feelings to a drunk Older Ji Soo after she asks him to let her call him Teacher

showminomoney: Here's a love-line chart that I drew pre-finale week, right after the big reveal in episode 8:


(all of the 8s should be 7s, my bad)

Omo, what a twist! Thoughts on the big reveal?
keytfelt: I’m bugged, because the huge plot twist that we were so surprised by got reversed soon afterwards. The whole drama we kept complaining about Ji Soo bailing on Shin Woo when his mom had just died, not telling him or any of their friends where she went and thought there could be no excuse for her actions. Then the twist was revealed (she gave her ferry ticket to his mom and then his mom died in a ferry accident! She felt guilty and couldn’t face him!) and it actually made sense. But then it was revealed that the mom already had a ticket, so it wasn’t her fault? I liked that twist and then it was ruined. That was a great excuse for them not ending up together (which is what I wanted in the end).
showminomoney: I was so excited about the first one. Haha! Having Ji Soo inadvertently kill mom was such an interesting twist. I was already against the main pairing ending up together, so that was satisfying in the confirmation bias sort of way. There was no way you could completely forgive your crush from taking your mom away. Alas, that’s just not how rom-coms work, so we got that other twist. Mom revealing it all via a 3-minute long voicemail message on her doomed ferry ride was pretty hilarious though. Sad, but hilarious.




Ji Soo inadvertently killing mom! Mom unknowingly saving Ji Soo's life

Those darn plot holes! Which ones were the plot hole-iest?
keytfelt: The time travel in this show was truly horrendous. I really enjoy shows/books/movies with time travel, but it has to be explained well and this was not. We never got a reason for his initial time travel and when he tries to go back, it doesn’t work until the plot says he should be back in the present time. Even worse, young Shin Woo follows him to the present time. He eventually goes back to his own time, but it’s off screen and we have no idea how or why it happens. Things that were happening to young Shin Woo should have been affecting older Shin Woo and that aspect of the time travel wasn’t even brought up until the last episode with a flippant remark about having multiple sets of memories. Sorry, that’s not going to cut it. The writers made the time travel unnecessarily complicated and then failed to have it make any sense.
showminomoney: Truly frustrating. My brain hurts just thinking about the supposed mechanics of the show’s time travel aspect. I was willing to let things like Older Shin Woo’s 2017 iPhone battery lasting 2 whole months in 2007 go, but everything that happened after Young Shin Woo went back to the past was just so convoluted and confusing. Why did it take a month for Older Shin Woo’s memories to change? If Young Shin Woo (after traveling back to the past) made it so that he never time travels, how is it that the Ji Soo of his timeline still has that picture that she got from Time Traveler Older Shin Woo? Are there multiple timelines now?
keytfelt: The more I try to think about the time travel, the more annoyed and confused I get. I think there’s now multiple timelines? But then we get into fun questions like “how does he know where to find Ji Soo 10 years later if his future self never came back in time?” and “why does he wait for 10 years to go find her and let her feel guilty for inadvertently killing his mom for all those years?” Also, this girl was supposed to die in the present timeline, he saved her and, minus one weird headache, it was never brought up again. I was really hoping the drama would end with the universe regaining balance and her dying, but alas.



That's what we wanna know too!!

Is there anything you would have changed about the drama?
showminomoney: Our (other) biggest gripe was the casting for sure. I wish they had gotten different actors for all the other highschool students, not just Shin Woo. 10 years is not that long, and even so, it made things like them commenting on how Older and Younger Shin Woo kind of looked alike but not really seem stupid, because everyone else looked exactly the same.
keytfelt: Ji Soo looked the exact same as a teenager and as an adult and that just added to the creepy factor of this show. If you’re going to age up a character, change her hair or something. She looked like she just wandered in from high school and put on a doctor’s coat. There was a kiss scene in the last episode that felt like she was still the 17 year old with a crush on the teacher. They did a better job at making his friends look older than they were in high school, but I hated that they didn’t have different actors.
showminomoney: I hated that. I just felt so grossed out by the end because apart from it looking like Ji Soo was still 10 years younger, the show kept giving us flashbacks to their Teacher-Student interactions and framing that as romantic too.


Shin Woo with Student Jisoo


Shin Woo with Doctor Jisoo

Final thoughts? Would you recommend this show to anyone?
keytfelt: NOPE. Honestly, this show made me so angry. The two of us spent hours, both while we were watching the show itself and after when we were discussing it, yelling at the characters, the writing, the plot holes, things that didn’t make sense at all. It could have been interesting but it was just creepy and poorly planned out.
showminomoney: Haha! Also a nope from me. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we did. It was so mind numbingly frustrating at times. I can’t believe we survived it.
keytfelt: Did we survive it? I’m not too sure.

Out of 10 Omo’s, what would you rate this?
showminomoney: I want to give this a 2.5 maybe.. Jihoon/Young Shin Woo was so likable and charming. Apart from wanting to see this thing through (You can’t break me, horrible drama!!), I was honestly rooting for him and wanted to see him be happy in the end. Everything else was eh.
keytfelt: I’ll give it a 3, but I also fully acknowledge I don’t rate things I hate as badly as I should. Aside from hating the two main leads, I loved Young Shin Woo and liked most of the other characters (though they got minimal screen time in favor of a love story I really dislike everything about). It did keep me entertained, though that was more due to the long ranting conversations we would have about what was happening on screen.
showminomoney: We definitely spent more time discussing the show than actually watching it... That was fun. Maybe I’ll give it a +0.5 for that.

Overall Rating: 3/10 Omo's

About the reviewers:
keytfelt is Omona’s kdrama overlord. She’s finished 111 kdramas and seen at least a few episodes of 65 more. She watched her first drama in 2009, but became fully obsessed in 2012. Keytfelt loves contract relationships, cohabitation dramas, and hates the army for taking away all her faves.
showminomoney is a kdrama newbie, having only finished 7 (seven) dramas in total (out of 13) since getting into them in 2016. She loves romantic comedies, the enemies to lovers trope, and too many handsome actors to count.

What are your thoughts Omona? Did you suffer watch this drama too?
timetobegin 9th-Feb-2018 11:45 am (UTC)
This was a fun review. Sounds like a drama I would be frustrated with too, considering all the plot holes and the questionable actions of the characters ugh.

I've been saying it for years, but I really want to start watching Kdrama's more regularly. Their brand of romcom and melodrama is really everything I miss from Western tv productions, but I can never seen to get started on a drama or find out which ones are being released and pick one that sounds fun enough.
showminomoney 9th-Feb-2018 11:59 am (UTC)
Yay I'm glad you liked our review! <3

What kinds of things are you into? I personally go for the light-ish ones, mostly fluffy romance and stuff. Rom-coms that I've really enjoyed lately: 20th Century Boy & Girl, I Am Not A Robot, Fight For My Way, & Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

keytfelt has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things kdrama, so I'd suggest asking her for recs too!
timetobegin 9th-Feb-2018 02:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, I absolutely love light and fluffy romances! But I also really adored Goblin, and that had a good portion of angst but with a happy ending. As long as things end well I'm into it :P
amyho 9th-Feb-2018 12:47 pm (UTC)

This is great. I was interested but definitely do not need to watch this now, it sounds awful. Not even good awful. Thanks guys!!

showminomoney 9th-Feb-2018 01:23 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! I feel accomplished now knowing we saved at least one person from watching this. haha
melonsalad 9th-Feb-2018 01:28 pm (UTC)

i hadn't heard of this drama but now i see that's a good thing lmao


this post was v nice, thank you!!

showminomoney 9th-Feb-2018 02:00 pm (UTC)
haha We wanted to include some gifs, but no one was really watching/making anything for this..

Thank you for reading the post! I appreciate it!
myungung 9th-Feb-2018 01:41 pm (UTC)
this post format is great! I like to read up about dramas and get a gauge on opinions before starting on them, so this will definitely sway me towards yay/nay.

especially since dramabeans doesn't cover all the shows, I can't get my spoilers so this would be something I'll be following if it continues! thank you OPs for the great work
showminomoney 9th-Feb-2018 02:07 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you like the post! Hopefully this'll inspire other drama watching members to write reviews too since I don't really finish that many, but I'll definitely try to write more if/when I do.
noxed 9th-Feb-2018 01:57 pm (UTC)
time-travel is my favourite concept when done well but this drama sounds so messy. how did you guys make it through?? lol

great post op!
showminomoney 10th-Feb-2018 05:16 am (UTC)
i think i only finished it cause i was watching with keytfelt haha we would scream at each other weekly on rabbit while streaming. i probably would've dropped it if i were alone..

thank you for reading our post! <3
ssehun 9th-Feb-2018 02:23 pm (UTC)
aw man i love time traveling dramas and i was looking forward to watching this, even if i had doubts when i read that the younger jisoo would end up falling for older shinwoo.

it was a chore to get through the first episode and i couldn't even watch the second or third one. partly because of the plot and its progression, partly because the lead girl isn't really very likeable in this character. idk she was fine for me in high school king of savvy as a mild nuisance to seo inguk's character.

showminomoney 10th-Feb-2018 05:22 am (UTC)
i found it so strange that they would choose to introduce her to the audience as a cold, closed off person at the start. the first thing she does is to reject Shin Woo, telling him to stop trying to reach her.. then nothing after that really made us like her or see what the characters found so appealing about her in highschool (other than her looks). she was very damsel-in-distress-y throughout, so i figured Shin Woo just had a knight-in-shining-armor complex or something
sharkbait 9th-Feb-2018 08:49 pm (UTC)
I love the format of this review! Time travel really isn't something I generally enjoy in shows, but this one sounded interesting to me...until now. :) Thanks for saving me the time, I have way too many other shows I want to watch to give something that would have definitely frustrated me any space in my evening. :)
showminomoney 10th-Feb-2018 05:26 am (UTC)
Haha! I'm glad you enjoyed reading the review, and I'm happy we saved you from bothering with this! I'm not fond of time travel in shows myself, unless they do it comically. When it's used in more serious shows, I end up getting nit picky about the plot holes and minor details.
tsuyoi_hikari 10th-Feb-2018 12:46 am (UTC)
Thanks for the review since I was LOLing my way through it esp at the part where both of you wanted the female lead to die at the end. :P I cant believe they use the same past & present actors for everyone except for Jungshin lol -- that itself is a plothole XD

The last time I really watch an awful drama is Scarlet Hearts -- just thinking about the drama can make my heart boil in rage.

Time travelling dramas are fun if it is made right aka Signal or Tomorrow With You where you keep guessing what would happen and actually puzzled alongside the characters. The latest time travelling kdrama that I enjoyed is Go Back Couple which is basically the best romcom I have seen in years. ^^; The drama combines funny and sad scenes excellently and it made for a good rewatch.
showminomoney 10th-Feb-2018 05:36 am (UTC)
Ahh! I'm glad you enjoyed our banter! haha Everyone else looking different except for Jungshin's character was so ridiculous...

I started Go Back Couple before, I got through like 2 eps then dropped it cause I was watching 3 other shows that I liked more. I guess I should pick it back up? I hear it got better.
tsuyoi_hikari 10th-Feb-2018 08:54 am (UTC)
I will look forward to you guys' next review. I hope it is a better drama next time. :)

Go Back Couple is sooo good. It is so relatable, funny and the writer did everything right in term of reactions and characters' developments -- the male lead is surprisingly charming and hilarious at the same time. I usually didnt enjoy k-romcom but it is so well done that I consider it one of the best drama of 2017. 2017 gifted us with so many good kdramas (Secret Forest & Circle) so I really hope this year will be the same too.

I heard good things about Cross so I'm gonna try that one this week.
daynr 10th-Feb-2018 03:13 am (UTC)
Just reading the recap I got frustrated at the ferry swap thing. What a torture, I can't believe you guys watched it all.

I'm almost finished with School 2017 and half way through the Prison show. You guys rec'ed the prison show, right? The main character is kind of super duper frustrating! He's such a cipher! But his bff prison guard, *sigh*. And ... I'm not thrilled at the reveal about how he and his lady became romantic.
showminomoney 10th-Feb-2018 05:30 am (UTC)
I haven't seen the Prison show, but I really enjoyed School 2017! All the characters were so likable, and I loved that we got a romantic couple that got together in the middle of the show instead of just at the very end.
blck_ink 10th-Feb-2018 07:55 am (UTC)
i really liked this post and i now know which drama to avoid lol!!

i'm really looking forward to the next review (maye some older highly popular dramas)
reader17 22nd-Feb-2018 01:31 am (UTC)
I enjoyed your review and was laughing that both of you wanted her character to die. I am going to be a glutton for punishment, when I say this but I did enjoy some of the drama. Not that I would recommend the drama to anyone, but still I liked and enjoyed young Shin Woo, and the friends. His one friend and the teacher were funny!

At first when we got the first reason why she was avoiding him and saying they should never of meet it made more sense, because she thought she had some how been part of the Mom dying, but then when they did the twist I didn't think it was needed. Plus when young Shin Woo was writing it would just appear on what they were reading in the future. To me that seemed far fetched, but then again I guess so is time travel. I didn't have anyone to watch it with but I was talking allowed to the pc about certain parts about it being wrong!
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