The eagerly anticipated Korean drama starring Rain (big heartthrob in my eyes), Welcome 2 Life, is a fantasy drama not to be missed. With only 32 episodes to digest, the series feels all too brief. But it’s a Korean Drama worth watching. Welcome 2 Life includes suspense, humor, and my favorite – supernatural forces at work. With the combination of action and adventure but also love and family, the show has a well-rounded appeal.
After seeing Rain in Sketch (2018) as an angry, aggressive detective this comedic and light-hearted part calls back to his role in Come back Mister (2016), where his character had the same humor.
Now, if you are not a fan of Rain, you can also watch for the strong female character who doesn’t wait around to be saved. Instead, she goes around rescuing Rain. In all, this is one drama I highly recommend.
In Welcome 2 Life, Lee Jae Sang (Rain) is a very successful but selfish lawyer who only wants to win. Working for himself and what is in his best interest has helped him achieve great heights over the years. But on a personal level, it has left him alone.
His ex-girlfriend, Ra Shi On (Lim Ji Yeon), for example, left him ten years earlier due to his concerning and selfish approach to law. Shi On is a detective who doesn’t hide her displeasure, calling him Lee Jae Scum and using her fists.
However, after a tragic accident, his life dramatically alters when he awakes to a parallel universe.
In this parallel world, he’s a prosecutor happily married to Shi On and leading an honest and straightforward life. Without giving away spoilers, expect a few surprises in store for Jae Sang as he comes to terms with his new life. This inner struggle mixed with new and intriguing cases makes for an entertaining show.
CASE BY CASE
Subsequently, every case introduced brings with it new characters to explore. By the end of the series, every case weaves together as part of a bigger whole. It’s a treat for viewers who love suspense, trying to guess who each perpetrator is. I’ll admit I got a few wrong on the way, with a few “I didn’t see that coming” moments.
The stories reveal more about each team member and how they all connect, showing the dynamics in the relationships.
LAUGHTER & TEARS
Comedy in Korean dramas has always been my favorite, and this show delivers funny comedic moments between Oh Seok Joon and Bang Young Sook, the chief prosecutor and special investigator. They have a sweet relationship, keeping you guessing what will happen between them. One of my favorite moments from the show, however, involves Jae Sang who believes his wife may be cheating on him. He goes about to solve this mystery, leading to some hilarious confusion – a must-see scene.
But where there is laughter, there are also tears. And not just a sniffle here or a tear there, but streams. Well, for me it was like that!
While the emotional script is beautiful, I must also give recognition to the actors. The brilliant acting and sincere performances pulled you into their world. I must especially give a big salute to Rain as he gives a heart-rending performance showing raw emotions of loneliness and loss. That was when I knew I was in love with Welcome 2 Life. But in all seriousness, if you want to know why Rain is such an exceptional actor, watch this drama.
DONG TAEK & SHI ON
It’s a Korean drama, so of course, we have the second lead syndrome in Welcome 2 Life. It wouldn’t be a Korean drama without this. For instance, Dong Taek works alongside Shi On and has feelings for her. But because she’s married, he keeps his love private. Working with Shi on for years, he knows secrets about her past her husband doesn’t even know.
So, even though I adore the relationship between Jae Sang and Shi On, at times, I rooted for the other ship to sail. Sweet moments where Dong Taek takes care of Shi On, in true drama tradition, had me wishing everyone could be happy.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH WELCOME 2 LIFE
Well, Rain is, of course, one big reason for watching. But if that doesn’t do it for you, the brilliant story is one of the best I’ve seen in this genre for a long time. It reminded me of David versus Goliath. When things feel like a lost cause, eventually good will triumph over bad.
Overall, if you love a good mystery and want fantasy in the mix, this drama will be up your alley. The procedural cases also give you an insight into more significant issues prevalent in society. Welcome 2 Life, thankfully, doesn’t hide from showing corruption in politics and domestic abuse. I also appreciated the balance between weak (but layered) and strong female characters.
Comparatively the romance in this drama is subtle but beautifully captured. The rare romantic moments were epic and made up for the lack of romance. Instead of the typical k-drama romances, this series displayed a mature love, a love that, in my opinion, will appeal to a broader audience.
But don’t let me make up your mind for you, give this drama a chance and see what you think.
Content Note: This series is TV-14. There are scenes of violence.
Where to watch: Viki
Are you going to watch this new drama with Rain? What are your thoughts on this fantasy mystery? Do you agree with my Welcome 2 Life review? Let me know in the comments!
(Featured image credit: MBC)