I love a good fantasy drama! And when I saw that From Now On, Showtime comes from the screen writer for Mystic Pop-Up Bar and the director of Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, I knew I would have to give it a try. Join Kmuse and myself to see if this new story is one you should check out too!
The premise of this comedic, magical mystery is pretty straightforward. Cha Cha Woong (Park Hae Jin), the grandson of a powerful shaman, has the ability to see spirits. Rather than following in his grandfather’s footsteps and help humans in need, he’s acquired a staff of ghostly assistants and wows crowds with inexplicable, magical skills. Go Seul Hae (Jin Ki Joo) is a driven and overly zealous police officer, determined to bring justice to those who’ve been wronged, as well as get to the bottom of her own father’s unexplained demise. When she crosses paths with Cha Cha Woong, Go Seul Hae realizes his special talents may just be the help she needs to bring resolution to her unsolved cases.
Cha Cha Woong has seen all the pain and betrayal Grandpa Cha suffered, being the vessel of a 2000-year-old spirit. And he wants nothing do to with that world, or to carry on the family’s shaman heritage and help humans in need. Instead, Cha Woong takes delight in using his talent to communicate with ghosts to trick everyone and receive glory as a modern day magician.
MiataMama: If the goal was to make me not really like this character at the onset of the drama, mission success! Whether it was the how he treated his staff, or how his need to protect the ‘secret’ of his magic superseded everything else, Cha Woong’s self-centeredness really took center stage.
Kmuse: I agree that he wasn’t likable in episode one. But, I think he is on the verge of being more caring once we were at the end of episode two. Maybe… Regardless, Park Hae Jin is a master at playing unlikeable but interesting characters. So I am still on board.
Although orphaned when her father died in the line of duty, Go Seul Hae has chosen to follow her father’s footsteps, promising to be a protector of the people. Whether it’s chasing a purse snatcher or pursuing a hit-and-driver, she tenaciously sees her cases through to the end. Her determination to promote to detective has her bravely teaming up with Cha Woong and his invisible sidekicks.
MiataMama: I’ve been sitting here for the better part of an hour trying to express how I feel about Seul Hae! I liked her transparency – she wears all her emotions on her sleeve and so I can’t help but want to root for her success. But at the same time, a lot of her actions felt over-the-top or overexaggerated, which kind of put me off…
Kmuse: I was the opposite. I really like this character and how everything is right there on the surface for us to see. I especially laughed every time she went into crush mode. Her earnest demeanor is the perfect foil for Cha Woong’s hidden heart. She is the shining star of the show, in my opinion.
Cha Woong wouldn’t be able to complete his intricate illusions or help Seul Hae track down remorseless murderers without his phantasmic assistants. A former gang boss, tech whiz, and section chief, these poor beleaguered employees are here for the benefits (i.e. Cha Woong is looking after their still living family members) and also bring lots of laughs for the viewer!
MiataMama: This unlikely trio is currently my favorite part of the drama. I hope we get to dig into their back stories a bit more, but for now, I appreciate the humor they are bringing to the show!
Kmuse: I wasn’t feeling these guys in episode one, but their witty banter and quirky hijinks won me over in episode two. They make me laugh and I can’t wait to see how this great ensemble group solves crime in future episodes.
Will We Keep Watching?
MiataMama: I’m on the fence . . . the mystery surrounding the death of Sul Hae’s dad, plus the teensy glimpse of humanity we see in Cha Woong, is pulling me back to see where things go. But, some of the directing choices have left me feeling a bit unsettled. So, I think I will have to give this drama a full four episodes before I decide whether to keep going or give it a pass.
Kmuse: I am going to continue on with this drama. I watched both this and Sh**ting Stars together at the same time and this drama has run ahead to the top of my watch list.
What about you, drama fans? Will the ghostly hijinks be enough to keep you invested in the drama? Drop down in the comments below and let us know!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi