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[Drama 2018] Life on Mars, 라이프 온 마스

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I suppose the mystery can continue because we found out that in 2018, KHS was still alive.

I don't know if there'll be a season 2 but it was an excellent Season 1!

 

Edit: will not be able to watch the final episode with subs until I get off work!

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20 minutes ago, Dramanoona said:

I suppose the mystery can continue because we found out that in 2018, KHS was still alive.

I don't know if there'll be a season 2 but it was an excellent Season 1!

 

Edit: will not be able to watch the final episode with subs until I get off work!

Ep 16 is best watched with subs. Even the songs used were related to the narrative. I still cant move on from LoM. Haha. It might take a while for my excitement to cool down :lol:

 

Taejoo's aunt IG update

 

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I liked the ending. I have never seen the BBC original or the U.S. version, but I read some scant spoilers online, just enough to know that the Korean version is different.

 

My interpretation of the ending is that TJ needed to return to the past based on the new information he learned when he woke up in 2018. We learn that while they finally capture KHS and KMS, we also learn that they continued to kill many people since 1988, so TJ's return to 1988 will give him a chance to prevent those murders.

 

We're never given a full explanation for TJ's time travel, except that it was something for the greater good. His time travel was real and not a coma-dream, and his actions in the past did affect real events, and the information he learned were facts that helped him catch KHS and KMS. So aside from his personal happiness, he still has a greater purpose. So his jump from the rooftop was not really a death, but an act for a higher purpose.

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2 hours ago, Dramanoona said:

I suppose the mystery can continue because we found out that in 2018, KHS was still alive.

I don't know if there'll be a season 2 but it was an excellent Season 1!

 

Edit: will not be able to watch the final episode with subs until I get off work!

 

@Dramanoona didn’t the LOM korea covered the two seasons of LOM UK too because he went back to the past? 

 

Love your thoughts by the way! thank you! 

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@bedifferent @katakwasabi  I  am very happy to read about the ratings . Same here @Dramanoona , have to wait till work is over before I can watch with subs . 

 

While in many dramas, the decision by the lead to take one’s own life is not something I like Nor do I even advocate ( considering how high suicide rates are on this part of the world) ,but somehow I see this drama more like fantasy or science fiction . so I don’t really feel he died . I’m not sure how else to say this but I do not begrudge the decision he made at the end 

 

@40somethingahjumma I remember you mentioned that you liked the BBC series . How did you feel about the ending there and also the one here ? 

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I suppose we're meant to believe at the end of all that HTJ found his happily-ever-after. ;) Back with the people he cares about the most presumably.

 

Although the human mind is a powerful tool for processing and understanding reality, I'm not sure that I necessarily buy into the fact that one can construct an afterlife of one's own choosing purely by the strength of one's imagination active in one's unconscious. But this is a piece of sci-fi fantasy and as long as it maintains a kind of consistency, I'm willing to accept this kind of ambiguity as being a kind of esoteric Matrix-like weaving of alternate realities. My issue with many time slip dramas including the best ones... is that one has to subscribe to an impersonal fatalism to make sense of what seems to be arbitrary occurrences faced by the protagonists.

 

At the end of the day, my understanding of the mechanics of this time slip  is that TJ somehow willed himself into an alternate reality we call 1988  because he was fixated with a number of cold cases that he was researching while in 2018. At the end of it, we find out that they're intertwined with his own personal history so that in order to unravel that mystery of his life, all of the other mysteries must come to light. When he was in a comatose state, these cases that had been dormant his mind, surfaced and they played out in vivid fashion while he was in limbo. We're not told at this point if "limbo" means "purgatory" but for him to go back and forth through near death and death encounters, in all probability it has to be something along those lines. For me, however, the whole thing is complicated by everyone telling TJ that he needs to be happy... it doesn't matter where he goes, the important thing is that he's happy. So he chooses what is essentially suicide and now he's back in limbo again because he still hears hospital voices and noises but this time he chooses to tune out (LOL quite literally). But of course there's the issue of his transfer papers.

 

Poor TJ, even back in 2018, he's hearing voices. Who knows... perhaps it's a sign of a mental breakdown en route to schizophrenia. :P

 

Okay, let's not think too hard. ;)

It's nice to see JKH make up for all the smiling he didn't do during the rest of the drama... and I've commented at various times during the broadcast period that I really missed JKH's smile. Not only that, he's started to join in at their sing-a-longs. Heh. On top of that he's pleased to be back and even Yong Gi (looking good in his new hairstyle) is pleased to see him. He even casually asked NY out which although on some level is a bit disappointing, it is consistent with his entire more diffident approach to that relationship. I wanted a hug or a kiss... although I had a feeling a kiss would be probably a bit over-the-top in such a context.

 

Hahaha... I loved seeing DC's family at the clinic. His real life wife... mother of Lee Joon Gi's lawless lawyer makes an appearance and gives him a good whacking even after his concussion. It's a nice touch. I don't think I ever saw Gene Hunt's wife in the BBC series. You can almost understand why DC is the way he is being surrounded by three very boisterous women. :P

 

Overall I liked this series very much and honestly, there are aspects of it that I thought were better done in the K version. The tying together of the main cases was really quite superb and of course TJ's personal journey was probably more compelling thanks to good writing and a stellar performance by JKH. Hopefully the husband will start watching it soon so that I can talk about it at home.

 

It hasn't quite knocked Prison Playbook off my top drama pedestal for the year but it's close.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, chickfactor said:

We're never given a full explanation for TJ's time travel, except that it was something for the greater good. His time travel was real and not a coma-dream, and his actions in the past did affect real events, and the information he learned were facts that helped him catch KHS and KMS. So aside from his personal happiness, he still has a greater purpose. So his jump from the rooftop was not really a death, but an act for a higher purpose.

 

Me think the same.  My feelings on Tae-joo's purpose is slightly different, still along the same thought as you... he was tasked with a responsibility to help others besides bringing closure to his old past and solving the serial killer case.  This 1988 world that he lived in is a limbo world where police officers or crime victims are trapped.  Tae-joo is meant to help guide them to better understanding their past and deaths.  To solve their cases, give them the needed resolutions and bring peace to the fallen so that they can move onto heaven.  I always thought the pub is a place where these souls gather to commiserate.  I agree that it's so much bigger than just Tae-joo's needs.  His final act of jumping is self-less to answer to the call for help from his squad.  He is going back because he is meant to free these souls and prevent more people from having to suffer the crimes in the future.

 

Personally, I find the same comfort as Tae-joo to see that life goes on in another time and space continuum.  Heaven is not so lonely after all.

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I loved this series. This has turned me into Jung Kyung Ho admirer!

 

I haven't watched the original british and the american series. So my opinions are solely based on this korean one only. The moment his mother said she has moved in with his aunt I was sure he is going back to 80s. I appreciate that they didn't show any montage of present day seoul in epilogue. This leaves me enough space to wonder if TJ caught the serial killer's brother and also stop kim min suk from turning a killer.

 

The bar tender, Tae Joo's doctor needed more screen time I felt. Their stories would have been interesting to hear/see. The ending is bittersweet for me. What if this is all in his head? then that would be sad. What if he really went back in time. Then that would be sad too. He couldn't find happiness/set of friends in his present world. In the end what matters is he is happy and smiling and singing!

 

Tae Joo's mom's balcony garden is current goal!:heart:

 

 

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I think we will all have our myriad of explanations for the ending. And  I am thoroughly enjoying reading about all possibilities!

For me, I feel that there was no time travel but it was a conflict within TJ.

As mentioned in a previous post, we are drawn in because HTJ had a personal connection to the story and intrigued by how KMS had recognized and seem to know him. Woven in between was the realization that he had been reading cold cases before the head shot incident and one of the cold cases was the team's death in 1988.

Suicide is a very sensitive issue and thinking of a way to portray a potential suicide must have weighed heavily on the PD and writer.

To me, when he gripped that metal file clip until he bled and he did not realize it , juxtaposed with how NY proved that she had a heartbeat, he decided to go with the heartbeat.

I mentioned yesterday as I watched the raw that would it be possible that 1988 was his reality and 2018 was the dream, therefore he had to get back to reality. Food for thought.

 

PS. My thoughts before watching the subbed episode. And I am off to do so!

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1 hour ago, staygold said:

I loved this series. This has turned me into Jung Kyung Ho admirer!

 

-Snip-

 

Tae Joo's mom's balcony garden is current goal!:heart:

 

 

 

LoM turned me into a JKH admirer too! I was never interested in his dramas before. I have a soft spot for retro dramas ala reply series. Thats why i jumped in the LoM wagon. I'm so glad i did.

 

I thought i was the only one admiring her balcony. I would like a balcony like that, full with greenery. Hahaha

 

Besides that, i like the color tone difference between 1988 and 2018. Its easy to differentiate the two years just by looking at thr colour scheme and tone. And TJ looks really good in the maroon shirt, it was a nice contrast with the blues in the background

 

Latest update from OCN!

 

 

Ep 15 recap: https://dramaswithasideofkimchi.com/2018/08/05/life-on-mars-episode-15-recap/

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2 hours ago, triplem said:

@bedifferent @katakwasabi  I  am very happy to read about the ratings . Same here @Dramanoona , have to wait till work is over before I can watch with subs . 

 

While in many dramas, the decision by the lead to take one’s own life is not something I like Nor do I even advocate ( considering how high suicide rates are on this part of the world) ,but somehow I see this drama more like fantasy or science fiction . so I don’t really feel he died . I’m not sure how else to say this but I do not begrudge the decision he made at the end 

 

@40somethingahjumma I remember you mentioned that you liked the BBC series . How did you feel about the ending there and also the one here ? 

 

I think the ending is fine... probably one of two kinds of ending that would work for a story like this. The show manages to skirt the whole notion of suicide by introducing the hallucinations, his personal guilt at not being able to be there for them and hearing voices even while he's back in 2018. They took the edge of the whole thing by portraying him as a man caught between two worlds, torn by loyalty and obligation. But there's I think there's a strong suggestion that he was already mostly dead and really belonged with the dead. He only came back to 2018 to finish what he started when he worked on the KMS case and resolve some personal business. That's my perspective anyhow.

 

The scene where he cuts himself on a pen comes right out of the BBC series so the whole "what's real, not real" conundrum was also part of the original.

 

I also agree with @Dramanoona that there's no time travel in the sense of Quantum Leap or Back to the Future. (Heh. I noticed they made reference to that movie at the end.) The conflict within is part of it but not the core of things. It's the transition the soul makes before making its final departure from the body. There is a mysterious hand of fate working to help TJ work through all these things before he can, as it were, "choose death".

To me it's about second chances and the chance to make peace with our past  before "shuffling off one's mortal coil" with no regrets.

 

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I did say I would give a standing ovation.

giphy.gif

 

Just wow.

I finished the episode with subs and everything is definitely much clearer.

It looks like TJ went back to 2018 to actually have his closure in that life.  He finds out his mom will have his aunt by her side and will not be worried his mom is alone.

He has people telling him he has changed or that he doesn't look happy.

 

Why is Chief Ahn the villain in 1988 when he is the surgeon who saved his life in 2018?

I think Chief Ahn is the villain because to Tj, he is trying to bring TJ back to a place where he is not happy (and probably in a lot of pain) - therefore he is the cause of all suffering. When Chief Ahn (surgeon) explained to TJ why he might be experiencing these episodes, he gave a stock explanation about the subconscious mind and how unknowingly we pick up details and as our brain needs to make connections, may build a narrative (in TJ's case an alternate world).

 

There were chances for TJ to 'go back' , i.e., survive another crisis and live in 2018, but we see he makes another decision, to stay in his alternate world. By now I think TJ knows that he is living in that alternate world but he is happy.

Chief Ahn (villain) in the car was one opportunity for TJ to go back - which TJ rejected.

Then the talk with DC at his home where DC told him to decision is in his hands and it would be his last chance to go home.

And in the car when he chose again to ignore sounds from 2018 (compared to the beginning where he was eager to get home)

I would presume that when he switch off the radio, that also would mean that he would no longer exist in 2018 (flatliine)

 

I see the epilogue with KHS in that there is a mystery over how KHS managed to evade justice (again, his subconscious in play as he knows in 2018 from his ex that they had swapped the body at the river and hence KHS managed to be by his brother's side). Is this enough to make a sequel? I am not too sure.

I am happy that the ratings really went up for the last episode and JKH did suffer for his craft (the haggardness and eyebags!)

 

I would add that my favourite character would be DC - even though I didn't like how he handled the cases and how he treated Miss Yoon in the beginning, but there was growth in the final episode as he includes her in their case.

 

Thank you to everyone who had contributed their thoughts, speculations.

PS. I think I asked this last night, anyone knows if there was a wrap up party?

 

EDIT: Looks like there are requests on cafedaum for the DVD/Blu-Ray...Director's Cut.

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I didn’t even plan to watch LoM, I only started it when 8 episodes were already aired because so many people raved about it. I’m so glad I did, because this show might be the best OCN drama I’ve watched and easily ranks among my Top 10. Not only it was cleverly written but it had a lot of heart. And heart is what mattered most in the end. I came to love the whole gang and the show turned me into JKH fan. He was superb as HTJ alongside with the rest of the great cast. Thank you LoM cast and crew for creating such an amazing drama!

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Can’t find anything on the wrap up party yet @Dramanoona, perhaps they wrapped things up in Busan

 

will miss this gang :

 

Spoiler

 

No 3 on good data rankings

I was holding out for that Kiss right to the end :D 

 

 

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@triplem I actually didn’t expect any kiss so I’m not that disappointed. Don’t you think JKH might be picking non romantic dramas on purpose? I remember I read an article where k-actors said they felt awkward and uncomfortable doing intimate scenes once they were in a serious relationship or marriage.

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5 minutes ago, aisling said:

@triplem I actually didn’t expect any kiss so I’m not that disappointed. Don’t you think JKH might be picking non romantic dramas on purpose? I remember I read an article where k-actors said they felt awkward and uncomfortable doing intimate scenes once they were in a serious relationship or marriage.

Hmm this could be true. Especially in recent years . He had an almost kiss in Missing Nine, but female lead is bestie Yoon Hyun Min’s girl , so I thought they may be uncomfortable. In Prison Playbook he did have a kiss but a peck more like it.!:lol: . 

 

I expected one because of I saw that the BBC version had one :D . I was not planning to find out anything about the BBC version but I finally gave in before the finale last night . 

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42 minutes ago, aisling said:

I didn’t even plan to watch LoM, I only started it when 8 episodes were already aired because so many people raved about it. I’m so glad I did, because this show might be the best OCN drama I’ve watched and easily ranks among my Top 10. Not only it was cleverly written but it had a lot of heart. And heart is what mattered most in the end. I came to love the whole gang and the show turned me into JKH fan. He was superb as HTJ alongside with the rest of the great cast. Thank you LoM cast and crew for creating such an amazing drama!

 

I'm so glad you decided to join the fun and enjoyed the drama. Imo, LoM is one of the best kdrama in recent times. It was a complete package, great script, great acting, great music, great cinematography, great effects etc. I know that this is a remake of an already popular bbc drama, but the korean version stood its ground and shined until the very end.

 

I hope the cast and crew get nominated for awards and maybe also win some. They deserve all the recognition they can get with this gem.

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I’m so happy JKH has two not only successful but also critically acclaimed dramas in 2018! But he should rest after LoM. He really looks like he’s going to collapse soon. I watched some videos of him on YT and he’s never been this thin. I also hope LoM will get some awards recognition for their hard work. 

 

@triplem To be perfectly honest I just don’t see him as a rom-com material. I tried to watch One More Happy Ending and I don’t know how to describe it but I felt extremely awkward watching him playing rom-com type of character :D I think he’s way more suitable for action roles.

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@aisling Have you seen him in Falling for Innocence? He's very good there even if the show isn't strictly a rom com. But he's very funny at various points. It's a ridiculous show but he makes it work. ;)

 

Yeah, he seemed to be looking thinner with every episode. He seemed to be swimming in some of those shirts during the 2018 scenes.

 

There have a been quite a few great ones from OCN in recent years and I'd say that LoM is among the best. It's certainly one of the best this year and undoubtedly one of the best K dramas ever made. Everything came together beautifully to give us this gem. As an adaptation it's a model for others to follow... an example of what can be achieved with thought and effort. Recontextualization can be done well! In certain respects I would even be so bold as to say that it managed to improve on the original. The writer did a fantastic job and I want him/her writing everything for OCN now. Heh. Although I am quite fond of the writer of Bad Guys too. 

 

It's great that you discovered this show and were able to join the rest of us in raving about this wonderful drama event. In a year of a number of outstanding dramas, this one can proudly hold its head up high.

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