See You in My 19th Life: See You In My 19th Life
July 25, 2023 4:33 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Ban Ji-eum can endlessly reincarnate. But when her 18th life gets cut short, she dedicates the next one to finding her now grown-up childhood love.

Koreaboo: “See You In My 19th Life” Is A Standout… For The First 30 Minutes, At Least - A review of the cinematic first episode.

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Dramabeans show page

Dramabeans finale recap: "So how do I feel about See You in My 19th Life as a whole? It was a beautiful letdown. It’s hard for me to find fault in the cinematography, acting, and the overarching story of Ji-eum’s past lives and romance with Seo-ha. Unfortunately, even I, as biased as I am for this story, could not ignore the many plot holes and underdeveloped characters. It’s very easy to imagine the absolute gem this drama could have been with a little more polish and time, and I feel a little robbed of the fact that it wasn’t a 16-episode drama. There’s no guarantee the extra episodes could have saved it, but considering See You in My 19th Life mostly faltered in the second half as the ending drew near, it’s one of the rare dramas whose plot could have benefited from more time."
posted by oh yeah! (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I kind of agree with Dramabeans. I'm not familiar with the webtoon so I don't have a comparison, but I thought the early episodes were fantastic (the child actors were such huge standouts!) and the second half fizzled and made little sense. The side plot about Seo-Ha's mom also lurking around in a reincarnation went nowhere important, and the final episode was a huge WTF for me. First in that deciding you're gonna stop remembering your previous lives was some "there's no place like home" letdown in terms of what you really had to do, and second in the huge gaping plotholes it left. Like, how did Ji-Eum's amnesia teleport her back to her test-driving job? Where does she live now? Why wouldn't she WRITE HERSELF SOME MEMORY NOTES before taking Mingi's word on everything (he also seemed like a total letdown and was just so blank in the first life that I couldn't muster up any emotion toward him either way).

I honestly think a sweeter ending would have been breaking the "curse" of the previous memories and knowing that, after this, she wouldn't be able to track down her loved ones again--returning to being mortal in the sense that none of know how much time we'll have with others and how we'll be remembered. She'll just have to live in the present like the rest of her loved ones. I think, after 1000 years, that would be hard to adjust to. Also, I thought that the subplot about Secretary Ha and Cho-Won was adorable and I wanted their plotline to develop further.
posted by TwoStride at 10:27 AM on July 27, 2023

Oh I adored this show despite all the plot holes. I just wished they showed us more of the past lives, and they didn't even show all 18. Even if they're humdrum lives, I'd like to see a glimpse of them.
posted by numaner at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2023

I disagree with the Dramabeans recapper that having a longer season would have made the ending work, if it was still going to end in the same way. Though I sort of liked the role-reversal of Seo-Ha using Ji Eum's pick-up tactics on her, the memory loss plot holes were just too distracting for me too. I guess we're supposed to feel glad that she was able to let go of past sorrows of all the family/friends/loves she lost over all those lives, but I was more haunted by them all being forever forgotten. TwoStride, I like your ending better.

I don't regret watching the show though - it did have a strong start, a good cast, and some very pretty cinematography. I think there are some moments that are going to stick with me. But I don't expect I'll ever give it a rewatch.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:15 PM on July 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh, I loved that shot of Ji-Eum walking and all of her past lives trailing behind her.
posted by TwoStride at 5:31 PM on July 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

While I had questions about the ending, they didn’t get in the way of me enjoying the show. I just didn’t think about them too hard because they were all reality-based and for me the show was a beautiful fantasy.

The filming was gorgeous and I was tickled by the aquarium scene, lifted straight from Romeo + Juliet, with the addition of turtles. I loved how the images and dialogue at the end mirrored the beginning. Also, this was one of those rare shows that I didn’t skip the intro.
posted by kbar1 at 11:57 PM on July 27, 2023

I loved this show so much and lord did it make me cry. Although, I reeeeaallly wanted the ending to play out slightly differently. Have her still have all the people in her life from her past lives, but not know why they were important. Seo-ha is a dude she fell for after seeing him as kid. Her niece was a kind lady who took her in as a child and raised her. Cho-won is someone she met at work and loves like a sister.

And yes, I reallllllly wanted to know why Seo-ha's mom came back with all her memory intact. The implication was that she stayed because she needed to make sure Seo-ha was protected and after she finished all the work with that she could leave. But that leads to the idea that people can chose to keep their memories if their will is strong enough.

Such a beautful show and I will forgive the slightly disappointing ending. Although, next time I need to not watch two shows about a son taking over a hotel to avenge his mother at the same time. I kept getting minor plot points of this one and King the Land mixed up.
posted by teleri025 at 9:10 AM on July 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Ha! I also got confused watching this and King the Land at the same time. I have to say, I feel that both shows went in opposite directions in that KtL didn't impress me at first but has been getting stronger, while this started so strong and couldn't maintain it.
posted by TwoStride at 9:31 AM on July 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

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