I don’t get why this drama is hitting rock bottom in ratings. It feels like this show is getting robbed of a good audience that it deserved. I know it has been stereotyped as a bad drama, but it is not! The dramaverse that it introduced may be a messy one, even the time travelling elements has its flaws, BUT they were able to present it really well. The messed-up characters all blended in the dramaverse, not to mention the good cinematography.
Why is time travel intriguing? Is it because we are given the chance to change the order of things? Or because is it paradoxical? I know I wrote in my past reactions not to take Manhole’s time traveling shenanigans seriously if you want to enjoy things as they are, but I cannot help but to research about time travel so I can understand the show better.
If I can give you the perfect example of time traveling done right, it would be in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I am not a HP fan, and this is the only HP film I watched. So I can say I am not really biased in this. Although I have read many articles contesting their time travel narrative, let me explain why I think this is the most “correct” time-space warp in fiction. (Although Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar also got it right, I think HP is the best film to get your attention.)
In the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the story did not break any law of physics. Harry and Hermione traveled through time BUT they did not deviate from their timeline, meaning the HP universe only had a singular timeline as part of its history. What am I talking about? If you notice in Manhole, Pil travels back and forth through the magical manhole. In doing so, Pil is creating alternative timelines, which means their is a distortion in the laws of physics, which is hard to imagine. The plot of Manhole can be compared to that of Back To The Future wherein the hero enters into a time warp, but since he changed something from the past events, a “new” timeline has been created. Thus, he cannot return to his original timeline anymore because of the new order of things.
Anyway, enough of science because our favorite time traveler is off to wonderland once again, barely surviving the consequences of his past actions.
- HILARIOUS FATHER-AND-SON DUO
This episode would be another tearjerker if not for Suk-tae (Baro) and his father! When I was about to get emotional, Suk-tae does something hilarious and all the tears will fade away. Used as a common K-drama trope, individuals with weak souls are the easiest to possess, and no wonder Suk-tae was the first on Pil’s list of bodies to borrow. His father also has this certain negative vibe of trying hard to be villain-y but hilariously fails. This father-and-son tandem can be treacherous at times, but they sure have their uses in dire situations.
- LOVE TRIANGLE WITH A TWIST
LOL. That’s probably the best description that this love triangle can get. Y’all know who I’m referring to! At least in this new timeline, Goo-gil was the one chosen by Jung-ae. I was low-key rooting for them because of Goo-gil’s strong desire to claim Jung-ae’s heart all these years. Pil even made it a vow to warn Goo-gil about being “obsessed over something that can’t be.” He was almost like Pil, but their difference was that Goo-gil was always expressive of his affection for Jung-ae, while Pil was discreet. Goo-gil was always protective of Jung-ae even with Dal-soo around. Pil was only secretly protecting Soo-jin. They were showing two kinds of love: one that is straightforward, and another that is deep yet subtle.
- LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Speaking of Goo-gil, we now know where he got his protective side. His dead father acted as Pil’s guardian in the (faux) afterlife. From possessing bodies to the hilarious joyride to the manhole, Goo-gil’s father was their helping hand. It saddens me that we only get to know him as a lurking soul and not as a human who was full of life.
- LOVE LIKE IT’S THE LAST TIME
Omo, Soo-jin (UEE) can feel Pil’s presence! She may not see him physically, but she can still feel him while locked inside a different person’s body. I suppose that’s real love, right?
And because Soo-jin can recognize him, Pil took this chance of telling Soo-jin the truth, from the magical manhole to the time travels. I was not ready for the impromptu marriage proposal made by Soo-jin, but that’s what I like about this drama. It’s unpredictable.
I also did not expect the confrontation between Jin-sook (Jung Hye-sung) and Soo-jin to be happening this early. We always knew Jin-sook liked Pil, but did not notice how Soo-jin held back her own feelings for the sake of her friend. And since this is already a matter of life and death, Soo-jin has no choice but to tell her friend that she knows the truth, and that they need to help each other in order to save Pil’s life.
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