Are you in the mood for another time travel romance? As you already know, I love it when writers use time travel for their story’s plot. A tunnel, a manhole, a subway car, even a puddle… scriptwriters have used all of those things as the gateway to a character’s time slip. So what does this webdrama use as its magical portal in time? Plain and simple does the trick in this story – Doctor Oh Kyung-Whee opens a door in a dark alley, steps through, and all of a sudden he’s Somehow 18.
Life was not pleasant for Oh Kyung-Whee when he was a young teenager. An unfortunate accident ended up making him the target of the tough guy in class and Kyung-Whee was bullied to the point of desperation. One day, he makes up his mind to end his humiliation and pain once and for all by jumping off the school roof. However, a girl in his class just happens to be there at the time, which stops him from following through on his idea.
At first glance Kyung-Whee seems to have it all – he’s a handsome, single, orthopedic surgeon who works in a hospital but this successful young man hides a sad past. The girl he liked died just a few days after she saved his life and he’s never been able to put it behind him. One night, after a few drinks, Kyung-Whee sees the young, deceased woman he’s been thinking of for the past 10 years and follows her down an alley and through a door. The next thing he knows, he wakes up as an 18 year old boy. Now that Kyung-Whee is aware of what the future holds, will he be able to alter history or discover destiny is written in stone?
Although Ha Na-Bi seems tough, she knows how to hide well the pain and guilt that is eating her alive. Although she has a distant relationship with her father and doesn’t seem to have any really close friends, life is good. So what could possibly make a beautiful, intelligent, young woman like Na-Bi want to end her life?
The character Oh Kyung-Whee is played by 26 year old Choi Min-Ho, better known as Minho from the Kpop group SHINee. Although I wrote a bit about him in my review of Hwarang, I decided to add a little more in this review. A month ago (November 2017) Vogue included him on their list of “sexiest men alive” and said he is “a K-pop veteran with a voice like silk, his mere presence leads to headlines and fainting fans.” Min-Ho’s dad is a well known soccer coach and Min-Ho has said he hoped to follow in his father’s footsteps and be “a professional football player like my dad,… but when I was a fifth grader, he told me he would kick me out of the house if I peruse that dream.” Thanks to Min-Ho’s father we’re able to add a wonderful model, singer, songwriter, and actor to the South Korean entertainment world! Last month, Min-Ho went to the U.S. embassy to attend the Girls Play 2 event that was organized to promote the 2018 Winter Olympics. On YouTube there’s a clip of him standing by America’s First Lady, Melania Trump. The young girls’ reactions, when they discover he’s there, is priceless. I guess that “fainting fans” comment isn’t too far off.
Lee Yoo-Bi comes from a family of actors. Her mother is actress Kyeon Mi-Ri and actor Im Young-Gyu is her biological father. She and her actress sister, Lee Da-In, were adopted by their step-father, Lee Hong-Heon, five years after her parents divorced. She began her entertainment career in 2011 with the TV drama Vampire Idol. She’s appeared in four motion pictures, seven TV dramas, and this webdrama. I first saw her play a news reporter in Pinocchio and then a woman masquerading as a man in the historical vampire drama The Scholar Who Walks the Night. She also made a cameo appearance in episode four of Uncontrollably Fond. I’m amazed at how this 27 year old woman can convincingly look like an 18 year old senior (Ha Na-Bi) in this webdrama.
I didn’t notice a single mistake in this show. It’s put together better than some Kdramas I’ve seen. A big part of the appeal of Somehow 18 is Min-Ho’s acting. I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. I had seen him in To the Beautiful You, and Hwarang so I knew he was a pretty decent actor but I think he was even better in this. Why? Maybe it’s because he seemed more relaxed and secure, kind of like “the more you do something, the better you are at it.”
Somehow 18 was originally aired online (Naver TV Cast) with 10 episodes at about 15 minutes a piece. The show was so popular, getting more than 870,000 views, that JTBC picked it up and it was shown on TV. I watched it in two, one hour episodes on DramaFever.
At the beginning of each episode we read, “This program was produced to support the Story Writer Debut Program sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency.” I think it’s great that Korea has a “story writer debut program.” Giving unknown writers a chance to share something they’ve created is a great idea. All it takes is one good script to jump-start a writer’s career. More Kdrama scriptwriters just means more Kdramas for us. Yippee!
I wish I had some information about the soundtrack for you but in my searching I came up empty. I liked the music in the show but I can’t tell you anything more than that. Sorry.
A lot of the story takes place at the high school but there are also places the main characters go. A day at the amusement park and a ride on a ferry shake up the usual scenery a bit.
Although it’s not my favorite time travel story (Nine: Nine Times Time Travel gets that honor), Somehow 18 is entertaining and definitely worth adding to your watch list.
Time travel plot
Choi Min-Ho’s acting
A fast watch – only two hours
No major flaws/mistakes
Not a lot of romance