Home TV Shows Reviews ‘See You in My 19th Life’ Netflix Series Review - This Fantasy Drama is Bland and Forgettable

‘See You in My 19th Life’ Netflix Series Review - This Fantasy Drama is Bland and Forgettable

The series follows Ban Ji-eum, who can indefinitely reincarnate, but when her 18th life gets cut short, she devotes the next one to locating her now grown-up childhood love.

Vikas Yadav - Thu, 29 Jun 2023 17:55:28 +0100 3246 Views
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In some ways, See You in My 19th Life reminded me of Till the End of the Moon. Both shows have a promising premise but have no idea how to effectively execute it. Till the End of the Moon asked whether a person who will commit crimes in the future deserves punishment in the present. The show, however, failed to be as interesting as this question and got exhausting due to its over-reliance on pretty, empty pictures. In See You in My 19th Life, the focus is on soulmates and past lives. Apparently, when you find The One, your heart will not beat for any other man/woman, no matter how many times you are reborn on this planet. The series follows Ban Ji-eum (Shin Hye-sun) - a woman who has the ability to remember the memories of her past lives. As a kid, she is referred to as the girl of all trades because, among other things, she speaks Spanish and talks about history on reality TV.

By retaining experiences and skills from past lives, Ji-eum becomes an exceptional woman in her 19th life. And what does she do with her intelligence? She chases the boy of her dreams, an unremarkable party pooper named Mun Seo-ha (Ahn Bo-hyun). Why does Ji-eum find him attractive? Does she merely admire his looks, his body? Because frankly, there is nothing alluring about Seo-ha as far as one can see. Ji-eum meets Seo-ha in her 18th life and describes their first encounter as mesmerizing. Well, it's hard to discern what Ji-eum found so bewitching. She even says something along the lines of, "I had fun after a long time." I couldn't help but scream, "Really?" How is it possible that she didn't experience greater pleasure in any of her previous lives? Perhaps, we could have got an answer if the series had dived into those early lifetimes rather than reducing them to footnotes or a functional, convenient device. For instance, Ji-eum practiced Flamenco in one of her lives, and she uses this art form to dodge a recruiter at an office. The problem is that See You in My 19th Life doesn't go beyond these "quirky" scenarios to use Ji-eum's skills more imaginatively. Then again, I have only watched the first four episodes of this series. Who knows what's in the store in the future?

Hye-sun is a wonderful actor. She captures your full attention through minor gestures. Notice her when Seo-ha says, "Dear diary, The End." Her eyes become wide, and you observe a playful spark in them. The confidence with which she flirts makes your heart flutter. In her hands, Ji-eum turns out to be a charming character, though she's also diminished by a gaze that mostly treats her as a fool in love. Ji-eum is so absorbed with making Seo-ha fall in love with her that she joins his company and, at one point, tells him she doesn't mind working under him as a cleaner. What's the point of creating a worldly character when you want to treat her as a crazy teenager? For now, the "past lives" thing merely comes across as a gimmick. The show doesn't do anything inventive with this device.

See You in My 19th Life is one of those shows where issues can be resolved if characters sit down and have a conversation. Why doesn't Ji-eum just tell Seo-ha the truth about her past identity? According to the show, she cannot fully trust him yet. Well, why the hell is she so madly in love with him, then? Why is he heavily underlined as her soulmate? Ji-eum confesses her secrets to Ae-gyeong (Cha Chung-hwa), and this scene lacks a great emotional core. Why is Ji-eum blessed with such a special gift? No answers have been provided yet. The first two episodes go down easy, but things soon become very uninteresting. It doesn't help that many scenes are shot unimaginatively, and after a while, the cuteness becomes bland and tiring. To make matters worse, the lead actors exude very little chemistry. See You in My 19th Life should have been sweet and romantic, but it ends up pretending to be sweet and romantic. It shoves its sincerity down our throats, yet many elements and events evaporate from our minds as soon as the episodes stop running.

Final Score- [5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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