A Time Called You

A Time Called You



A time-travel, dual couple romance driven by lost love


TV Show

South Korea
Ahn Hyo-seop, Jeon Yeo-been, Kang Hoon

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If you got confused with the time shifts in Little Women (2019), this series is NOT for you.

What it's about

Still mourning the death of her boyfriend Koo Yeon-Jun, Han Jun-hee receives a cassette tape and an old photo from 1998 with three people: two of whom look like her and her late boyfriend. Listening to the tape in 2023, Jun-hee somehow travels back in time into the body of the girl in the photo.

The take

Based on the 2019 Taiwanese drama, A Time Called You is a fresh take on the time travel romance with its unique premise and structure. The series seamlessly shifts between the decades, flitting between them with ease. It simultaneously introduces both couples on separate, parallel timelines, 1998 at the start of the love triangle, with 2023 at the untimely end of Jun-hee’s. These two timelines merge through time travel via a gifted cassette tape. Because of these shifts, the show creates the expected nostalgia, but it also effectively drives the show’s mystery, as Jun-hee tries to figure out the photo and the trio on it. While the show takes its sweet time doing so, A Time Called You twists the heart in exploring the grief of lost love, and the hope for a second chance.

What stands out

Tackling multiple timelines and flashbacks is a challenge every time-traveling story has to undertake. For A Time Called You, the challenge is more difficult, since the two main leads portray two separate couples. There are at least three time periods that have to be portrayed differently. Of course, the most obvious one is between 1998 and 2023. Set design, props, and costumes used to create visual distinctions between the two decades. However, it’s the periods pre- and post-Yeon-jun’s death that feel so emotionally resonant. Within the same spaces Jun-hee lives and works in, the series adds lighting to their time shifts. In certain moments, the shifts between the two are so smooth, it feels like a continuous shot, only discernible through warm light for the past and cold for Jun-hee’s lonely present. This shift makes it easy to feel Jun-hee’s grief – stuck between the past and present, lingering over missed opportunities and what if’s – and makes the show feel more compelling.

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