Darkness envelops the TV screen, suspenseful music plays, a faint, green, eerie glow fades into view and doors open to show a circle of large capsules—four of which hold frozen people and two that are empty.
“Melting Me Softly,” a Korean drama found on the free Rakuten Viki app with sixteen hour-long episodes, surrounds the life of Ma Dong Chan—a variety show director—and Go Mi Ran—a fierce college girl that takes part in most of Ma Dong Chan’s crazy experiments for the money. Set in 1999, this drama centers around the experiment of “frozen humans” that Ma Dong Chan is determined to try out and record the results for the show, no matter how insane he seems to others around him. He’s willing to take part in the experiment, but there’s one problem—he needs a woman to go into the experiment too.
Twenty years later in 2019, Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran finally wake up after what was meant to be a twenty-four hour experiment. Now, their goal is to try to assimilate into the new decade and figure out why the experiment went wrong. Unfortunately, they’re forced into troubling circumstances when they realize that being frozen for twenty years caused their body temperature to sit at 31.5 degrees celsius, when the normal body temperature is 37 degrees celsius.
From the interesting plot, to slow-going romance, to hilarious comedic relief characters, “Melting Me Softly” grabs the audience’s attention easily. There is realistic character development, where Go Mi Ran and Ma Dong Chan face growing up twenty years late, while their friends, family and co-workers are already nineteen years into the twenty-first century. Additionally, the drama balances the mix of fun and seriousness perfectly with sweet romance moments, family drama, medical technicalities, murder and mysteries.
Some aspects of the show that may not resonate with all audiences include: the excessive crying—mostly in the second episode—and sometimes overly dramatic moments. However, these characteristics of the show often appear in the world of Korean dramas and are like a cultural difference, so being open-minded about these differences between American versus Korean dramas is important to keep in mind.
Having to read subtitles may freak some people out; however, it is simply like reading a comic with audio and if the subtitles move too fast, it’s easy to backtrack. Additionally, having to read the subtitles quickly helps strengthen the ability to read quicker which is useful in school, especially when taking tests.
Overall, although there might be a bit of a culture-shock when watching the show, “Melting Me Softly” hits the mark as a quality drama with plenty of moments to laugh, to cry, to smile and to bring out anyone’s inner detective.
This show rates five out of five snowflakes.