Over the past two years, K-drama fans have seen a variety of interesting concepts used for series. However, it seems the Total Variety Network is really pushing the envelope when it comes to the variety.
For example, Arthdal Chronicles was presented as an epic K-drama that was paralleled as the “Korean Game of Thrones.” Hotel del Luna put a unique spin on the afterlife niche used in rom-coms. And finally, Designated Survivor: 60 Days showed viewers what it is like to have a good man as president of a country.
Believe it or not, the aforementioned K-dramas are just the tip of the variety iceberg. And speaking of variety and ice, it leads the way to the Total Variety Network’s newest K-drama, Melting Me Softly. The synopsis alone should be enough to get fans interested. But before all the “good stuff” happens, Melting Me Softly gave us an awesome throwback to South Korea in the 90s.
Two hearts melt for love
Melting Me Softly is a romantic comedy that airs on tvN. It stars Ji Chang-Wook (The K2, Suspicious Partner) and Won Jin-Ah (Rain or Shine, Life).
According to the synopsis provided by both tvN and Rakuten Viki, Melting Me Softly is about two people who partake in a cryogenic freezing experiment. The first is Ma Dong-Chan (Ji Chang-Wook), a producing director who is highly successful when it comes to variety shows. The second is Go Mi-ran (Won Jin-Ah), a woman who is working odd jobs to get by. This leads to her becoming a part-time test subject for Dong-Chan’s show Infinite Experiment Heaven.
The cryogenic freezing experiment is set to last only 24 hours. Afterward, the participants would go on with their lives and Go Mi-ran would receive a participation payment of $4,200. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and the duo ends up sleeping for 20 years. Both Ma Dong-Chan and Mi-ran have not aged at all, despite the fact that all of their friends and family have aged 20 years.
Another side-effect of the cryogenic freezing is that if Ma Dong-Chan or Go Mi-ran’s body temperature rises above 33° Celsius, they will die. This doesn’t seem like a problem until they fall in love with each other, causing their internal temperatures to rise.
A blast from 90s Korea past!
Before all the events of the synopsis above happen, the story begins in South Korea, 1998. Viewers are given a wonderful glimpse of how the country was during its early onset of Hallyu (the Korean Wave).
For starters, one of Go Mi-ran’s odd jobs is partaking in variety shows. During the late 90s was when the first variety shows provided a template for such big hits like Running Man and Infinite Challenge. In the scene where Mi-ran is strapped to a block of ice and launched across a manmade lake is the initial part of the craziness we see on such shows. Back then, they didn’t exactly have a line between safe and unsafe so things were tested out. Nevertheless, it was a cool look at the humble beginnings of the variety show we know today.
Another throwback was on the music. The Late 90s was also the initial beginning of K-pop as we know it now. Back then, boy bands were the rage, as proven by Tony An’s appearance as a presenter. For those who don’t know, Tony An was a member of one of the first K-pop boy bands to initiate K-pop, H.O.T.
Overall, it was a nice setup for what we can look forward to on Melting Me Softly. At the end of the second episode, both Ma Dong-Chan and Go Mi-ran realize they’ve been in the freezing experiment for 20 years. Viewers can’t wait to see how the two will be able to adjust to the changes 20 years can make.
As of now, only the first two episodes of Melting Me Softy have aired. By the end of the second episode, the viewership ratings were averaged at around 2.9-percent for both the nation and Seoul, according to AGB Neilsen Korea. Please take note that tvN is a pay-to-watch cable network so viewership is relatively lower.
Subsequent episodes of Melting Me Softly will air on Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. KST on tvN. There will be 16 episodes at this point. For American audiences, the K-drama is exclusive to watch, for free, on Rakuten Viki.
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