Kdrama Review: To Be Continued
Just like Fantagio launched their acting idol group 5urprise with the drama After School: Lucky or Not, they are launching baby idol group Astro with the drama To Be Continued. And when I say babies, I mean babies. The maknae of the group was actually born in 2000! He’s only 15. It just seems so crazy to have millennial babies now coming up in the idol world. It makes me as an 85er start to feel a bit old, lol.
So, overall I didn’t hate this drama, but because of how it plays out in the end, I can’t say I like it either. So…I neither love it nor hate it. The acting isn’t too horrible with our newbie actors and there are some gem performances. But, this is a drama whose plot has me scratching my head at the end wondering just what in the world is going on. I guess it doesn’t help that what synopses you can find are very vague and rather inaccurate…no surprise there, huh?
At the peak of their popularity, an all-male idol group — Cha Eun Woo, Moon Bin, Jin Jin, MJ, Yoon San Ha, and Rocky of ASTRO — is mysteriously transported back into time. As they relive the day before their debut, they cross paths with Jung Ah Rin (Kim Sae Ron), a young girl who will change everything.
This web drama is a teen fantasy romance that tells the story of a male idol group that suddenly slips back in time just one day ahead of their debut stage.
The best one that is somewhat correct is from Hancinema:
This Web-drama is about a boy group who fall to the past just a day before their debut and getting back in time with the help of a girl.
So, ASTRO is NOT at the peak of their popularity. The drama picks up the day before their official debut which happens to be the birthday of their long-time friend Jung Ah Rin. They throw a surprise party and during a freak thunderstorm, four of the friends are transported back in time to two years before their debut. Oh…and romance? Not so much. This is definitely NOT a romance drama. Seriously. Lucky or Not besides about the friendship between this group of young men, did have romance at its heart. This drama really has none at all.
Sure, the silly MJ has a crush on Yeo Reum who has a crush on Moon Bin who has a crush on Ah Rin, but nothing really develops and this part of the story is NOT at the forefront. I thought at first that they might have something develop between Ah Rin and Eun Woo, but nope. So…don’t watch this if you’re looking for a cute teenybopper love story.
ASTRO members play themselves. You have the chic leader Cha Eun Woo a man of few words…and little acting talent in a way. Most of his scenes are him being quiet and using essentially the same set of facial expressions. Just like our leading lady in May Queen had her wide-eyed overused look, so does Cha Eun Woo. And…totally a digression…but he reminds me a bit in looks of a very young Seyong from MyName. While his performance wasn’t the worst in the world and was watchable, it really wasn’t all that amazing. Eun Woo was one of the four to go back to the past and retain his memories of the present…but he’s also the first to disappear from the past and we never learn why some people get sent back to the present while others lingers stuck in the past.
Fierce rapper Jin Jin…sometimes his acting was really good, sometimes not. His performance was okay overall and I did like his rapping. While the rap battle scene with Rocky did seem a bit silly, they both did a good job. He’s another who went back to the past and he lasted a lot longer than Cha Eun Woo before he goes back to the presesnt. But it’s really vocalist MJ who stands out in acting. Sure, he did a lot of silly acting, but he did it quite well. And like the other members, you can tell there were times he was just acting and wasn’t really immersed in the role and then there are other times when he did a smashing job. He’s also the one from the future who managed to stay in the past until the end of the drama.
Moon Bin…eh. Not much to say. His acting, like Cha Eun Woo’s wasn’t really the best, but I do like his husky voice. You really don’t see enough of Yoon San Ha or Rocky to form much of an opinion on them as a whole as their scenes are short as the focus really centered on Eun Woo, MJ, and Jin Jin more so than anything. Ah, Moon Bin is childhood friends with Ah Rin and has had a crush on her forever, but she seems rather oblivious. Besides, you have their friend Yeo Reum who is so obvious in her feelings towards Bin that you know Ah Rin wouldn’t want to get in her way.
As Kim Sae Ron is the veteran among the cast, she did the best job acting, but I frankly don’t understand her character Ah Rin or her motivations at all. Sure she and Yeo Reum don’t have dreams of their own so they are doing their best to support ASTRO in their dreams. But her actions and everything don’t always make sense. She does figure out Bin’s feelings eventually, but decides that she will do whatever it takes so that Yeo Reum gets to have Bin’s heart. This makes me sad as in one episode when MJ and Ah Rin flash to the present for a brief moment, it looked like Yeo Reum was finally recognizing MJ as a guy and possibly falling for him, but in the end, Yeo Reum and Bin successfully become a couple. Meh.
Ah, back to the story. So after that storm, we have four of them go back to the past. Three know of this, but the fourth doesn’t. In truth, Ah Rin has been going back to the past multiple times already. She’s always tried to change things and make the best for the boys’ future, but now she just continues on the best she can no matter what while she wonders when this time traveling will stop. Eventually, the past that they all come to know is altered a bit, but the team still comes together and makes a successful debut the day after Ah Rin’s 20th birthday. Heck, even when the boys do try to hurry things along, like patching things up between Moon Bin and Eun Woo and getting Rocky and Sang Ha to join the team faster, things really did travel at the pace they did before until the event that altered everything.
While it was a cute enough drama with good enough acting, there were really too many plot holes for this to make sense. Like…if they were already a successful and about to debut…why did they go back to the time two years before their debut when they struggled to come together as a team? I mean if there was a reason to go back and change the past to make a better future, it would make sense, but that didn’t seem to need to happen. There was no great unresolved problems. Plus…the trailers/opening with Kim Sae Ron crying in her uniform and talking about wanting to go back to that time…really misleading. Really. Another huge hole is that both MJ and Ah Rin have no idea about the current future. Like when Ah Rin wakes up to go to the debut performance, her brother is on his way out in a suit and tie, no longer the slovenly sports addict. MJ comes to himself on the couch in their waiting room and has no idea what’s going on and things aren’t going quite like he remembered from before the time traveling. Since both Eun Woo and Jin Jin also went back in time…true they didn’t stay until the end…how come they don’t have some remembrance of that time at all? And how come the boys don’t seem to remember the story MJ and Ah Rin told them about being from the future? What the what? Why wouldn’t they remember the same things from at least the last past events?
I did finish all twelve episodes in one sitting. They are like only 15 or so minutes. The story did go rather smoothly, but the biggest problem is the overall reason behind the time travel which was NEVER touched upon which leaves a person feeling unsatisfied. And, like I said, it seemed really weird to not have Ah Rin’s motivation behind her actions in certain parts of the drama and an explanation on a whole as to why she and MJ have their memories and the rest don’t. For some reason I found the Yeo Reum/Moon Bin pairing at the end off putting and it just wasn’t too realistic to me either. Those two as a couple didn’t seem quite as natural as MJ and Yeo Reum.
Overall, a cute little story in certain aspects, but very lacking. Even the cryptic cameo driver’s final words to Ah Rin didn’t make much sense about those who prepare for the future will be the most successful in the long run.