「타임즈」 / 「TIMES」 is a 12-episode South Korean TV series created by 「Studio Dragon」 and 「OCN」, known for numerous compelling and engaging dramas. 「TIMES」 stars veteran actors 「Lee Seo Jin」, 「Lee Joo Young」, and 「Kim Yeong Cheol」 who are respected reporters for finding and exposing the truth about corruptions and crime.
When you think everything has been told in the time warp genre.
「Seo Jung In」 is a passionate reporter who searches for the truth and exposes corruption. She is the daughter of South Korea’s President 「Seo Ki Tae」 who won the elections in 2015. One day, while she was working in her network everything around her changed. From being a reporter for Korea’s largest news network,「DBS」, she became a reporter for a small online news team. To make her new reality worse, her father is no longer the President … for he was assassinated during his prediential campaign in 2015.
Soon after she received a call from 「TIMES」 founder 「Lee Jin Woo」 reminding her of her promise for an exclusive interview which she does not remember. As she was trying to grasp her new reality, 「Jung In」 and 「Jin Woo」 discovered that they are living in different times, she is in 2020 while 「Jin Woo」 is in 2015, a day before the assassination of her father 「Ki Tae」.
Their only window to set things right, 「Jung In」 and 「Jin Woo」 agreed to work together to stop whoever is changing history. But little do they know, there is far more to what is happening than they can ever handle.
Having watched and read countless of time travel / time warp shows and novels there is pretty much nothing new under the sun when it comes to this genre; it will take a great writer to come up with an overarching plot to capture and engage the audience. Thus, when I started watching 「타임즈」 / 「TIMES」, I approached simply as “just another time travel story” and it is not.
The overarching story of the series is the struggles of both 「Seo Jung In」 as she tries to change the past to ensure her father is not assassinated; and 「Lee Jin Woo」 as he discovered the truth Jung In’s father and President of South Korea was connected to his brother’s death. They built the tension and kept the audience on edge by creating heart-thumping and twists-filled episodes. Whenever questions were answered, new questions and complications arose at the end of an episode.
This gave them an opportunity to tackle the effects of changing the past. How one simple change or information from the future, no matter the good intentions behind it, can lead to a worse reality. The show also displayed the limitations of people when faced with the truth that is very close to one’s personal life and ghosts. But in the end, there is always that one person who holds to their core beliefs no matter how many times the reality was re-written, that we should value this person for they may save our life some day.
While changing the past played a major role in the series,「TIMES」 is more about family and relationships, and the trust we build with the people around us. How far will you go for the person you love? How far will you go to get your revenge? How far will you go for the truth?
The acting performance of veteran actors 「Lee Seo Jin」, 「Lee Joo Young」, and 「Kim Yeong Cheol」 were superb. They played their roles well and gave us a realistic view of reporters who are only after the truth. The father and daughter relationship between the characters of 「Lee Joo Young」 and 「Kim Yeong Cheol」 was sweet and resonates well. They were not the perfect family but they two actors gave life and identity to their characters that anyone can relate to.
The same can be said with the relationship between 「Lee Jin Woo」 and 「Seo Jung In」, played by 「Lee Seo Jin」 and 「Lee Joo Young」 respectively. They are two reporters who are both after the truth and exposes corruption but when faced with the truth about their respective love ones, they are total opposites in how they handled it and was clearly shown and felt through their acting.
These three actors and their acting were the best chemistry I have seen. 「Lee Seo Jin」 and 「Kim Yeong Cheol」 have been around the industry for long and they brought their mastery of their art into this show. While 「Lee Joo Young」 has only been acting for six (6) years, there was no doubt she gave her all and learned from her seniors, it was as if she has been in the industry for as long as them.
The music and overall production were good. Since this was set in 2020 and 2015, there was not much to change as far clothing and technology shown in the series which played well to their advantage.
I give this show 10 stars out of 10. A perfect score for providing me a compelling story in a genre where it is no longer easy to come up with something different, and for bringing in the best cast.