It’s been almost a week since the sudden death of DramaFever. And I’ve been grieving the loss of three currently airing dramas, whose endings I hope to be able to watch at a later date. Until then, I’ve been searching for a couple other new dramas to fill the void. I came across this travel drama from Channel A and decided to check it out! Join me as I share my first impressions and unfiltered thoughts on Twelve Nights.
Here is the quick synopsis from MDL that piqued my interest:
Twelve Nights is a travel romance drama that tells the story of a man and a woman who spend 12 nights together during their three trips. Han Seung Yeon and Shin Hyun Soo, who have co-starred in Age of Youth, are reuniting as the leads in the new drama.
Traveling or Running Away?
I anticipated being swept away by a romantic drama about two travelers whose paths crossed as they ended up in far-off, maybe even exotic, destinations. However, the first episode reveals that these two strangers are not on some grand vacation, but are unhappy and disappointed with life. Both have impulsively chosen to run away from their current obligations and happen to meet each other in Seoul, South Korea. I’ll admit it took me a little bit to adjust to the plot being more about finding oneself, rather than fun whilst traveling. But once I settled into that thought, the characters and their story have begun to draw me in.
Taking in the Scenery
This drama moves slooowly. But in good way! It makes me want to curl up in a cozy chair with a steaming sweet potato latte and unwind. I have several tense, thriller-type dramas on my watchlist, so the contemplative, leisurely pace of Twelve Nights brings some much needed balance. The sights and scenes from around Seoul are comfortingly familiar. I especially love the traditional-style Korean guesthouse where all the wayward travelers are beginning to congregate! Also, the background piano melodies are lovely, reflecting the cadence of the characters as they move about the city and stumble into one another. Overall, there is just a tranquil, dreamy quality to the filming and directing of this drama.
Unpacking the Baggage
Han Yoo Kyung, played by Han Seung Yeon, is a reserved, aspiring photographer. However, she is constantly being told her photos are mediocre and is doubtful she has the talent to pursue her dream. At this point in the story, her motivation for wanting to take those pictures hasn’t been revealed. Perhaps revisiting the city of her youth, and having Cha Hyun Oh as a muse, will help her creativity take flight? Side note: Thankfully, Seung Yeon has the English capacity needed to convince me that she’s lived in New York for the last 10 years. Otherwise I wouldn’t have made it past the first 20 minutes of the drama!
Shin Hyun Soo plays the Japanese-born Korean, Cha Hyun Oh, who disappoints his family by suddenly quitting his office job, flying to Korea, and impulsively following his dream of being a professional dancer. Say what now?! Not a whole lot on his backstory either, but I love anything dance-related. So while this was an unexpected development, I’m ready to watch Hyun Oh embrace the dancer within!
Cha Hyun Oh is fixated on fate and as luck would have it, he “happens” to run into Han Yoo Kyung. A couple of times in the course of a day, in fact. Because, as we all know, Seoul is a small city and this sort of thing happens all the time, right?! Based on the pacing for this drama so far, I was expecting more of a slow-burn love affair for our OTP (one true pairing). But after a few brief encounters, these two already have sizzling chemistry! So I’m excited AND curious to see where this is all heading.
The supporting characters for this drama are also delighting me with their quirkiness and interesting relationships. There’s the friendly guesthouse owner trying to recruit visitors with the promise of a big-screen viewing of the 2008 World Cup game. And then the sweet little boy who arrives out of the blue and turns the owner’s world upside-down by claiming to possibly be a long lost son. Also, there’s the mild-mannered guesthouse manager, who really just wants a fresh ream of paper and a quiet place to write. And we can’t forget Yoo Kyung’s sassy best friend, who just happens to be dating a handsome traveler.
But perhaps my favorite side story is that of the woman who runs the little neighborhood photo studio. I loved her thoughtful nature and the way she subtly encourages Yoo Kyung with these gentle words: “I think those eyes would capture interesting photos.” I hope she remains a constant fixture, even as the series jumps forward.
Ready for Departure?
Life is a journey and we are all travelers, so maybe it’s less about the destination and more about how we get there. Since there’s only one hour-long episode every week, I’m embracing the minimal commitment and will keep watching. Also, the casting seems pretty solid, with a good mix of seasoned and newer actors. And if nothing else, the relaxed and retrospective style of storytelling is a welcome respite.
Are you watching? Comment below and let me know what you think, drama fans!
You can watch Twelve Nights on Viki!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi