If there’s one more silver lining in this lonely ECQ life, it’s the time I get to spend swooning over Kdrama oppas in my bed rather than while waiting for the ride home. This drama was aired three years ago, which means I’m a little bit late but so what? I got bored the first time I tried watching it. It was in 2018 when Kim told me over and over to watch this and I kept saying I will. Oh yes, I did. Finished it in less than 24 hours 2 years later.
Se Joo couldn’t have been experiencing writer’s block. He must have been traumatized and stressed over the inciting incident involving him, his stalker, and his first-ever fan, Jeon Seol. Coming from a writer’s perspective, it’s really difficult to come up with a story when you’re too stressed, anxious, and worried. A lot of things come to your mind and they can get tangled inside your brain to the point that you don’t know what to write anymore.
I should say that this drama successfully competed Hotel Del Luna’s place in my heart. As much as I loved Jang Man Wol’s vintage-y outfits, Chicago Typewriter’s The Great Gatsby vibe effectively brought me back to when men wear suspenders and women wore their hairs in soft waves. It was hard to imagine what Korea looked like in the 30s as I’ve been imagining people in hanboks but, of course that couldn’t be the case. This is the Korean historical drama that didn’t go back all the way to the Joseon Dynasty (My Love From The Star) or even Goryeo Dynasty (Scarlet Heart Ryeo) which was, for me, a breath of fresh air.
Love interests that are cold, arrogant, and experts in supressing their genuine feelings toward the female lead is the key ingredient to a bestselling Kdrama, or any Kdrama for that matter. I mean, the selfish prig that is Han Se Joo is just too annoyingly adorable. The way he cared for Jeon Seol was too obvious but your pretty boy is obviously a Denial King.
And of course, Seo Hwi Young. That guy, who leaves zero trace of being the brilliant commander and the brain of the alliance. That guy, who pulls you close when he kisses you down the alley of a seemingly busy street. That guy, who chooses to suffer in silence over his heartbreak when the woman he loves so dearly was caught by the enemies and had no guarantee of escape or even coming out alive. Seo Hwi Young, whose sleek, shiny black hair partially covered his eyes when he was about to shoot himself to suicide for he’d rather die in dignity than fall into the hands of the enemy.
I mean, who wouldn’t swoon over and fall in love with him? He’s clearly a heartbreak situation, but we can all agree that he’s the right kind of wrong.
Reincarnation appears to be a prominent religious belief among Koreans. This makes another key ingredient of a Kdrama. Granted, not all Kdramas talk about the characters’ past lives, but still. It can come in many forms and devices to connect it to the present time. It could be through dreams (The Legend of the Blue Sea) or one of the leads has actually been living eversince the beginning of time (My Love From the Star). In this case, it’s through Yoo Jin Ah, an actual ghost whose soul has been trapped in a typewriter for almost a hundred years. The flashbacks were superb, I was living for them. The irony of the bar’s name, Carpe Diem and the way the present characters worry about who did what to whom is too significant I couldn’t let it pass. I guess this is a reminder for all of us that we still need to look back, maybe dig a little bit deeper in order to move forward and live the present. Shin Yool couldn’t have gone on without unearthing the truth behind his death, who killed him and why. In the end, it was the kind of truth that is both painful and beautiful. An ache that provided relief and forgiveness.
The soundtrack of this drama couldn’t be better that it has been playing on repeat on my Spotify. Satellite and Be My Light go well with some of the songs from Something In The Rain’s (I love you too, Jung Hae In!) playlist, particularly Something In The Rain and Stand By Your Man. Both have certainly been added to my Kdrama playlist. They give me that same lonely feeling, kinda like Cigarettes After Sex. Maybe I should post an entry about Kdrama playlist.
As I write this, I am on the third episode of my next drama. Now that most of my pending tasks are behind me, I plan to watch 5 different dramas until the quarantine ends. Or maybe more, depending on when the lockdown is gonna be lifted. But should you watch Chicago Typewriter? Abso-effin-lutely!
Keep safe. Stay sane. Watch Kdrama, kids!