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[Review] ‘Times’: A Political Thriller that Goes Beyond Time to Search the Truth

Edited by Kim Won Hee
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

 

*The following article contains spoilers.

 

Recently, SF dramas based on time travel and time warp have been released steadily. As the title suggests, OCN’s Times is also about two people who live in different time zones gathering strength. Lee Joo Young, a star in the independent film industry who showed outstanding performances in Itaewon Class, took her first series lead role. Her partner is Youn’s Stay star Lee Seo Jin. Let’s see what this 12-part series, which is nearing its end, showed so far.

Credit: OCN

Times revolves around a phone call that crosses a time gap of 5 years. When Lee Jin Woo from the past and Seo Jung In from the present are connected through a phone call, they start their cooperation to stop the murder of the president. Seo Jung In, who lived in 2015, wakes up in 2019 when everything suddenly changed on her birthday. She spends one year adjusting to the changed future. But when she receives a call from Lee Jin Woo from 2015, the story begins in earnest. 

Therefore, the first thing that comes to mind is regrets. Two people from different time zones joining forces through a phone call were already covered in Kairos, which aired last October. Seo Jung In persuades Lee Jin Woo in the past to save her father and next president, Seo Ki Tae. Based on Seo Jung In’s information, Lee Jin Woo saves Seo Ki Tae, and dramatic moments are unfolded as future changes. However, unfortunately, everything tastes familiar.

Credit: OCN

Although the drama started with somewhat lacking materials, actors’ performances certainly stand out. Lee Joo Young, who plays Seo Jung In, is confused by the sudden changes in the future whenever she tries to solve it. But she chooses to stay firm and does her best to protect her loved ones. President Seo Ki Tae looks like an innocent victim, and lawmaker Kim Young Joo took care of Seo Jung In like a mother.

However, as the story progresses, those who seemed like ordinary characters pull out the mystery hidden behind the shadow, solidifying a concrete plot. Kim Young Chul and Moon Jeong Hee increase the immersion with their passionate acting. At first, Lee Seo Jin playing Lee Jin Woo feels somewhat awkward as his appearance on variety shows overlaps with his character. Yet, in the latter half, he flawlessly pulls off a character who pretends to be unwilling, but stills care deeply about his precious people. He naturally melts into the role who runs around with a fiery passion for finding the truth.

Credit: OCN

Despite the regrettable beginning, there is still an apparent reason why we need to watch Times. When we reach the fifth episode, the story starts to speed up and unveils to surface the hidden secrets. Until the fourth episode, future Seo Jung In and past Lee Jin Woo work together to save the president Seo Ki Tae and focus on finding the criminals who masterminded the murder. However, from the fifth episode, the real mastermind unfolds one by one. Soon, Seo Jung In and Lee Jin Woo became not the only ones who cooperate through a phone call connecting two different time zones. The confrontation between those trying to stop and those trying to commit affects the past and the future. Plus, the organically intertwined conflict is impressive.

The characters that Lee Jin Woo and Seo Jung In are trying to protect gradually blur the boundaries between good and evil and become suspicious. The death of Lee Jin Woo’s brother Lee Geun Woo, the life-threatening plans against Seo Ki Tae, and everything that threatens Seo Jung In and Lee Jin Woo’s safety – These result from the power struggle between Seo Ki Tae, Kim Young Joo, and former president Baek Kyu Min. As a result, Lee Jin Woo becomes a presidential candidate to avenge his brother’s death and finally faces Seo Jung In in the present time. In this process, time warp material becomes a secondary element to solve the intertwined narrative. And the drama becomes a heavy political thriller.

Credit: OCN

With only two episodes remaining, Lee Jin Woo made a choice; to change the past and save Seo Jung In, who faced a shocking death. Now, they can no longer change the past. And they must fight to reveal the truth even when they are left with nothing. Can Seo Jung In and Lee Jin Woo make the right choice till the end? I hope the drama solves the tangled problems by crossing SF and political thrillers will come to a solid finish.

 

Verdict: Timewarp is a bonus. It’s a political thriller that will certainly get down to the bare truth.

Edited by Kim Won Hee: I am a person who needs more than 24 hours in a day because there are so many things I love. I am amassing various genres in the jewelry box in my heart.

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