“From Now On, Showtime!” has already aired 8 episodes, wow! Time flies by and its time for a review of the first half.
“From Now On, Showtime!” has relatively gone under the radar for the kdrama community but I am seeing glimpses of hope. The drama has been gaining renewed attention for its fun premise.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title, its not the final review on the entire series, only the first half. This is a subjective review.
Let us begin.
“From Now On, Showtime!” has a similar premise to some other shows I’ve seen in the past and this is not limited to kdramas. Humans using their ability to see ghosts as means of catching criminals has been done before. On that scale, I think “From Now On, Showtime!” falls in the middle, its a not a full blown dark investigation type of drama and its not overly comical when it doesn’t need to be either. Its somewhere in between. Its what kdramas do, they can balance so many different genres in one project and I think “From Now On, Showtime!” does a very good job in that aspect.
When it needs to be campy, it is. When it needs to be heart fluttering, it also is and when it needs to be serious, it does just that. The directing plays a big role in the fine transitions between moods and what you could call genres.
Other than that, as I said, “From Now On, Showtime!” is also a typical rom-com when it is tackling romance and features the expected tropes that come with most rom-coms these days.
One of the most annoying aspects that feel necessary is how the two leads share a past 2000 years ago and how their reincarnations reunite in the present day. As I said in my “Shooting Stars” review, I am not a fan of this trope, however, here it does feel necessary because we’re talking about a soul that is a ‘general’ who protected a family for so many years.
I have a slight gripe with “From Now On, Showtime!” script. This is a personal opinion of course, I don’t feel its gripping at all. There is nothing that particularly attracts me to the drama other than who is acting in it and thats not enough justification for me. I get its enough for many, but not for me. To me, the script needs to live up to expectations and deliver instead of the screenwriter relying so heavily on actors to push a mediocre idea.
I don’t know how mediocre “From Now On, Showtime!” will turn out to be as its too early to tell but its not looking like it’ll become anything too special.
In 2022 I’ve noticed this with kdramas, there were some standout dramas but they were far and in-between, the majority have not been disappointing but rather…. Average… just that… average. Neither memorable nor outright terrible. They lack a gripping idea or lack the proper execution for that gripping idea.
So it ends up coming off so typical and thus, I tend to lose interest over time. I know this is quite subjective which is why I highlighted it as such.
Circling back to the “From Now On, Showtime!” review, I am starting to see the story slow-down. Episodes 7 and 8 went on a bit longer than I had anticipated. Also, there were some weird plot points that weren’t properly addressed including when Yoon Min-Sook is not phased to see Cha Woong can recognize her now she’s a ghost. If we’re already starting to get lax with the premise, thats not a promising indication of what will come.
One final note on the script, the screenwriter who wrote this one also wrote “Mystic Pop-Up Bar,” the two dramas have many similar points and while watching it, I recalled “Mystic Pop-Up Bar,” but back then, I wasn’t aware the script was written by the same person.
The characters and performances
I find the ghost trio to be cute especially the youngster A Reum who can invent stuff out of thin air to the screenwriter’s needs for that particular situation. The actress who plays her was born in the year 2002. She is a promising star that I believe we’ll be seeing more of in the near future if she picks projects correctly.
Seul Hae is adorable and so is Jin Ki Joo. Jin Ki Joo is criminally underrated in my opinion. I’ve been following her since 2016 and she’s come so far, I am so proud of her. She’s so bright and so dedicated to her craft. I can feel she gives her all to the lines she utters. She’s so passionate and I can see it through the screen.
There are a couple of more rising actors and characters that I also liked. The performances in this drama have been great. The premise can feel campy at times but they do their best not to make it feel so absurd.
My least favorite character is Cha Woong but not for the reasons you’d expect- this is a discussion about the character not the actor. This ties to one of the issues I had with the script… the motivation behind why Cha Woong likes to stay out of helping others and how it relates to his grandpa getting falsely arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.
I felt that specific part in the plot; which was so crucial to the character’s arc; was poorly done. The drama shows a very short flashback of how his grandpa got apprehended by police for that crime and how the town’s people turned on him. He tosses away all that he’s learned until then from his grandpa and now believes all humans are trash and shouldn’t be helped.
Also, Cha Woong knows his grandpa has powers and so does he, so the fact that he didn’t bother to even attempt to understand his only remaining family member says a lot about his character. I mean, some patience will do you good, giving up just like that when he’s the only family member you have left is such an odd choice for a character that we should supposedly care to see succeed.
He comes off pretty disrespectful in that regard. This particular point needed to be expanded on so we could properly understand why he came to this very narcissistic POV of life and people in general.
It also doesn’t help that he’s arrogant and very difficult to deal with in the present day.
Not only that, but he leaves home after his grandpa gets arrested…. So… what? Either the screenwriter has deliberately kept information from us or he’s just plain terrible.
Either way, this point in the plot wasn’t done well. If it turns out the screenwriter hid information from us and in the future, we’ll see more flashbacks, then its a bad writing decision. Its important to establish likable characters, especially in such types of dramas. But I know that she knows Park Hae Jin has a solid fanbase who look past that because its Park Hae Jin. I dislike it when screenwriters rely heavily not on their story but on actors’ likability to keep viewers tuned in. It feels lazy.
In regards to Park Hae Jin. He’s doing an amazing job in this role, as he usually does. He’s very talented. However, I am sort of getting tired of seeing him play such unlikeable characters. Its been 4 dramas with very similar characters for him, its time for some change.
He’s 39 but is playing the sort of immature and at times childish character to this day. I don’t know if he doesn’t get better-written projects that have more maturity or depth to them or whether he likes such types of projects specifically.
He’s always playing a not-so-nice character who is handsome, rich, and powerful that gets changed with the power of love, and he usually has a tragic backstory that sort of explains why he’s unfriendly but also not as unfriendly as you initially perceived him. I’ve been following him since 2012 and this trajectory of his career has been sad to see. He needs a change of pace. This doesn’t change the fact that he’s an amazing actor regardless of his choices.
Conclusion and comments on future episodes
“From Now On, Showtime!” is fun at surface level. It provides the exact type of entertainment you’d expect from it. Its backed by a very talented cast that do their job well.
I think anyone who is a fan of the actors involved in this project will have fun watching this drama. Having said this, “From Now On, Showtime!” lacks that gripping factor, its nice but its not so good that you can’t wait until the next episode, at least that has been the case for me. I don’t feel like I am missing out on a lot if I don’t tune in immediately.
In future episodes, I expect “From Now On, Showtime!” to follow even more expected tropes of rom-com kdramas in line with fantasy kdramas. 16 episodes seem like a lot of content to go so I am not sure how much the screenwriter has prepared for this point especially considering the fact that her last drama was only 12 episodes long and at the time, I recall saying, it could have been shorter.