Today’s subject of interest is “Melting Me Softly.” I am writing this article to express my disappointment with the drama- so far.
Before we get into it, this article is subjective [duh] and it’s not a full-review, it’s about my thoughts on “Melting Me Softly” [episode 1-6] and why I personally found it disappointing.
Note 1: if you have trouble reading articles that don’t agree with your point of view, you don’t have to read this.
Note 2: minor spoilers of episode 1-6
Before I officially talk about my thoughts I must be upfront and honest. I am a huge Ji Chang Wook fan; I have seen almost all of his dramas and movies.
I was extremely excited about his first post-military work and the reason why I am writing this article is because I expected more from him, I might have not even watched this drama or even written this article if it weren’t for him.
Here is why I found “Melting Me Softly” disappointing:
“Melting Me Softly” biggest issue is the script; it’s probably the only issue it has and I’ll explain why in a bit.
For some weird reason, I didn’t pay much attention to who was going to write “Melting Me Softly” and only found out it was writer Baek Mi Kyeong once I started watching. She wrote “Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon.” Your reaction to this will depend on your taste, personally speaking, I freaked out and after finding out I was like ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.’
“Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon” is; in my humble opinion; one of the cringiest kdramas I have ever seen, Park Hyung Sik and Park Bo Young chemistry made it work despite the fact that the lines they uttered made me face-palm, the script was below average.
When I found out Baek Mi Kyeong wrote this, I became afraid. And now, we ended up with a lackluster washed-down kdrama that no one is going to remember once it concludes its run.
To give her credit where it’s due, the idea is actually quite interesting and fresh… if done correctly that is. We don’t see kdramas about frozen people every day, that’s an interesting concept that provokes a lot of discussions.
My biggest personal issue with this drama is the mix of genres; it’s stated that “Melting Me Softly” is a romance comedy fantasy drama.
“Melting Me Softly” is about two people getting forcibly frozen for 20 years due to external pressure by a rich powerful man that has great control. The rich man doesn’t mind killing the professor who came up with the technology to silence him.
That’s a heavy introduction to what is supposed to be a rom-com.
“Melting Me Softly” is closer to an action drama rather than a rom-com, Baek Mi Kyeong thought it was a good idea to fit comedy and romance into this, it’s obviously all over the place and not working, she’s not giving any of them justice.
Baek Mi Kyeong can write the cheesiest romance lines, her type of comedy is suitable to some, but to me, it seems that she struggles with incorporating action and fantasy to her script. She obviously chooses to add such elements to give an edge to her dramas, to make them more interesting. These days a simple rom-com doesn’t bring in revenue there needs to be a lot at stake to get people excited about each episode.
I initially expected the drama to revolve around the main characters struggles to adapt to a completely different changed world, they wake up 20 years later, this isn’t easy to adapt to, they also have to deal with the consequences of their actions and get used to everything that changed in that period.
Instead, we get this average script with many filler scenes that go nowhere and serve no purpose. I can guess that the writer knows what she wants to do with her characters but doesn’t have enough material for 16 episodes so we get so many filler scenes and it took such a long time before we even began understanding where the script was headed.
The characters are very dull and poorly written. The humor part is cringy at best and if you’re an adult, you won’t laugh at this. It felt as if a laughing track fit every single over-the-top facial expression the main characters put on, it seems to be something similar to the humor of a kid’s show or a sit-com from the 90s.
You’re watching characters go about their day getting mildly annoyed by that rich man and the fact that they’re close to dying if they don’t control their temperature. Again, heavy subjects with a lot on stake but somehow, I can’t take it seriously.
She glosses over all the details that could’ve enriched this drama, such as Dong Chan’s father death [which should’ve been explored in more depth], Mi Ran younger brother struggles, the discrepancy between the present time and the 90s and how people changed, how technology changed, how the country changed, etc. South Korea specifically went through a lot of changes between the 90s and the 2000s. That’s a topic worth exploring as well.
She touches on those subjects but very briefly making light of the situation often times. She also tries to follow heavy emotional scenes with lighter scenes and the transitioning between two drastically different emotions is very poorly done. Even if I am invested, she suddenly cuts it off and tries to insert humor that doesn’t belong there. It makes me feel as if the writer is not taking anything seriously either.
“Melting Me Softly” isn’t downright awful but rather plain. I kept wondering why Ji Chang Wook chose this script.
She’s depending too much on Ji Chang Wook looks star power; he can only do so much. If the script is bad Koreans won’t watch, it’s simple.
I need to focus on the humor part of this drama because it’s making me furious.
I previously touched on this particular part of the series on my twitter account. The humor is mediocre at best. There are no solid jokes but rather awkward over-the-top facial expressions that no adult in real life would make unless they’re mental.
There were a few moments where I genuinely laughed but for the most part whenever they try to make me laugh it turned me off. I know that many won’t agree with me here but this is honestly how I feel. I personally think it’s very difficult to write comedy, it’s not easy and if you’re not naturally funny, people will see through it.
Let’s talk about the humors of characters Kim Hong-Seok, Hwang Byeong-Sim, and Son Hyun-Ki who make me sigh whenever they’re on screen.
The actors behind these characters are talented, I have seen them countless times in many other productions and they always do well. However, their performance here is too much.
Whenever they’re on screen they’re always overreacting even when in fact their characters are old, like old, not someone in his 20s or even 30s, old characters in various respectable positions. How can it be possible that they behave that way?
Ji Chang Wook tries to be funny and comes off slightly awkward and I can tell, but he’s not nearly as cringy or over-the-top as these characters are.
Let’s talk about Hwang Byeong-Sim. Hwang Byeong-Sim is such a disposable character that is fit for a cameo appearance and nothing more. The main female character, Mi Ran, has not attachment to him whatsoever and she didn’t react in a way that would generate such a reaction from him.
This is not about me asking the writer to dispose of characters I dislike, I know that such reprehensible characters serve purpose, but the least she could do is write them well. It’s not like he’s going to go full stalking mode and it’s not like he’s going to enhance Mi Ran and Dong Chan bond because Mi Ran clearly doesn’t care for him.
The drama could do well without him because so far, I don’t see how he serves any purpose for the script aside from adding more minutes to each episode.
The two main characters are typical and we have already seen them countless times in kdramas, they don’t possess anything that is remotely interesting besides the fact that they were frozen.
Ji Chang Wook character Ma Dong Chan is very bland. The best I could describe every character in this drama would be this word, ‘bland.’ Mi Ran is also your typical damsel in distress and Dong Chan is that prince charming who is trying to uncover the truth, take responsibility, and save their lives.
Dong Chan is your average has-it-all male lead, he has a temper but is nice and usually takes responsibility, he’s righteous and everybody thinks he’s hot. He has a good position that commands respect from those around him. In short, this character description fits about 100 other kdramas.
The same goes for Mi Ran who is hardworking, polite, also righteous, not easy to seduce but is controlled by the male lead who hold the key to her future despite the fact that she’s supposedly strong willed and can take good care of herself, she still needs him to protect her.
If we learned something from 2019, it’s that if you want people to watch, experiment with your characters. Many hit 2019 kdramas had difficult characters who aren’t 100% good or bad. Many of them had qualities that were interesting; many were unpredictable and fun to watch.
I don’t see THE spark; I see nothing interesting about Dong Chan or Mi Ran. I know Ji Chang Wook is doing his best with what he has in his hands but it’s still not enough. They also lack chemistry which is another issue.
I don’t particularly care about any character. I don’t care if they die or live. I have no attachment; I have seen nothing that makes feel or want to be attached to them.
Now that I am done with my thoughts on “Melting Me Softly,” I would like to talk about Ji Chang Wook’s choice in more details.
Ji Chang Wook Choice
If you’re an avid fan of Ji Chang Wook, you probably already know that he said he was done with action dramas back when he was promoting “The K2.” So for his 2019 comeback, I didn’t expect anything close to an action drama.
Ji Chang Wook shines in melodramatic and intense dramas. He seems to be fine with comedy, but I can’t fully judge his capacity here because the script is lacking.
I feel that Ji Chang Wook chose this drama to appeal to the public. Everyone likes a good rom-com, it’s one of the easiest/cheapest forms of dramas to make and it usually receives good publicity overseas. Besides, Ji Chang Wook fans would literally watch anything for him.
While, we’ll never know fully why Ji Chang Wook chose this, he might have agreed because the initial core idea seems so interesting. But to me, he needed a bigger change, he needed to do something out of his comfort zone, an OCN drama would’ve been a better choice.
He chose the safest thing when he needed to gamble with his choice to prove his acting chops, so even if the project fails, he’ll still be remembered for his acting in that specific project.
I like Ji Chang Wook a lot as I have said before, but I am not going to waste time watching something that’s supposed to make me happy but instead it feels like a chore.
“Melting Me Softly” ratings are not up to expectations. Ji Chang Wook dramas usually do a lot better. I think tvN had higher expectations. The drama ratings range between 2-3% which isn’t too awful but still, not enough, especially for someone whom people waited for so earnestly.
Among every kdrama I have seen from Ji Chang Wook, this is by far the least compelling and the least interesting by miles.
This doesn’t mean I wish for “Melting Me Softly” to fail or anything, I am a mere fan who’s trying to express her disappointment with a drama she waited so long for.
What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree with me? What did you think of the drama?