05 September 2011

49 Days

After the interesting, albeit dragging, cooking drama I finished a couple of days ago, I finally watched another drama that caught my attention at about the same time as Gourmet. I believe it was a good idea to watch the latter first, since it was heavier to digest, pace-wise. 49 Days was lighter, more fast paced than the latter, though more complex, story-wise. As with my previous drama entry, please read this with caution. Possible spoilers ahead.

Title: 49 일, 49
天 (Chinese working title), 49 Days, Pure Love (Philippine working title)
Episodes: 20
Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Comedy

Nam Gyoo-ri 남규리 Shin Ji-Hyun
Lee Yo-won 이요원 Song I-Kyeung
Jeong Il-woo 정일우 Scheduler
Jo Hyeon-jae 조현재 Han Kang
Bae Soo-bin 배수빈 Kang Min-ho
Seo Ji-hye 서지혜 In-Jeong

A girl with a seemingly perfect life -- loving parents, handsome fiance, good friends, and a good life, suddenly meets an accident and finds herself between this world and the next.


Although the series revolves a bit on the supernatural and folklore, it wasn't made that obvious in the series. Unlike other series that had some supernatural element to it, especially those series from the Philippines, 49 Days didn't add unnecessary effects to make it look more supernatural to the viewers. There were no smoke screen effects, magical glitters surrounding the supernatural characters, no unrealistic figures like angels with wings that look like they were photoshopped on the actor's back. In short, it was plain, simple, and believable.

The souls were made to look and act like real people -- no transparent images here; except for the fact that they can't touch the "live" ones, which is understandable for a dead person, right? The fact that these souls weren't made to look like see through moving bodies was actually a plus for me. The writers didn't try so hard to portray these dead people as dead people to the point that it looks stupid already, rather, they focused more on how these characters' stories would play out. Inner over outer beauty.

It seems that this series was bent on thinking more outside the box. The Angel of Death wasn't portrayed the same way it always has been on most television shows or movies. A scary/creepy-looking old person in a suit, a black thing or literally, a black person, a fog of some sort, an angel, or the stereotype -- the hooded person with a scythe. The "Angel of Death" was this really good-looking Korean guy, who didn't look creepy, scary, or dead at all.

Apart from the unusual but appealing way the supernatural elements of this series were portrayed, the pacing of the storyline was just right. Unlike Gourmet, where I sometimes felt like one episode was taking forever (which it really did), it was slightly different with 49 Days. Yes, there were times when I felt like it was taking too long for the scene to play out, but it wasn't because the series was made to be that way. I was just too excited for the next secret to be revealed! (Maybe being too excited to know the ending didn't help. :p)

One thing I didn't like about the series though, was the ending. Not the ending itself, but the way the ending was executed. There was a sudden downpour of events contained in the last two episodes of the series that I suddenly felt lost in translation. You know you were finally getting there but then, a dozen more secrets, events, suddenly unfold. It felt like going back somewhere in the middle of the series. It was like going from, "Ohh, that's why," to "What?! Really?" I think the build up of these other events in the middle of the story was just right,they just failed at choosing the right moment/scene/episode, to execute it. 

To sum it all up, 49 Days is a good watch. It's not too heavy, though you may find yourself crying during some scenes (watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about). It's a good mix of feel-good chick flick, drama, and supernatural rolled into one heartwarming series. It has its ups and downs as a series but not enough to discourage one from watching it. If you're the hopeless romantic type, the comedian/laughing type, the superstitious type, any of the three, you're sure to enjoy this one!

4.5 out of 5 for 49 Days

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