CAST: Jo Bo Ah, Rowoon, Ha Jun, and Yura.

DIRECTOR:  Nam Ki Hoon

“Destined With You” is a captivating fantasy romance that unravels the tale of civil servant Lee Hong Jo (portrayed by Jo Bo Ah) who discovers a mystical book sealed for three centuries. This book ensnares ace attorney Jang Shin Yu (played by SF9’s Rowoon), making him its unfortunate victim.

The screenplay is crafted by the talented No Ji Sul, the writer behind “100 Days My Prince,” and the direction is under the expert guidance of Nam Ki Hoon, known for his works “Oh My Baby” and “Voice 3.”

Destined With You Episode 1 Recap and Review still 2

This time, Netflix has chosen a weekly episode release strategy, a deviation from their usual bulk releases but not unheard of for Korean series. “Destined with You” offers a delightful blend of laughter and intrigue, with its unexpected fusion of horror, romantic comedy, and traditional Korean folklore.

While it’s not purely comedic, the show artfully integrates humor into its storyline. It masterfully shifts between light-hearted moments and deeper, more somber undertones without compromising either.

Jo Bo-ah is undeniably the standout of the series. Her portrayal of a naive yet endearingly clumsy character, prone to frequent mishaps, resonates deeply with the audience. In juxtaposition to her vibrant role, Rowoon delivers a performance marked by restrained expressions and a consistent stoic demeanor.

The series delves into the life of Lee Hong-jo, a diligent yet lowest-ranking civil servant. Despite the numerous grievances she faces at work, she never falters. Her personal life is marked by solitude.

On the other hand, Jang Shin-yu is an accomplished lawyer, known for his intelligence and charm, becoming the center of attention wherever he ventures. However, a mysterious ailment plagues him, worsening with each passing day. He’s desperate to break a curse that has haunted his family for ages.

Destined with You on Netflix: Meet the cast of fantasy drama

Fate intervenes when Hong-jo stumbles upon an ancient wooden chest, which holds the secret to freeing Jang Shin-yu from his curse. Their paths intertwine, and an unforeseen romance blossoms as a civil servant unexpectedly becomes the savior of a cursed lawyer.

Amidst the rain near Mount Onju, Lee Hong-jo (portrayed by Jo Bo-ah) finds herself sprawled on the ground of a forsaken, crumbling shrine. Suddenly, Jang Shin-yu (played by Rowoon) appears, immaculately dressed in a sleek suit. Observing his sharp attire, Hong-jo mistakes him for a dashing “grim reaper” and even jestingly offers to accompany him to a teahouse. Unfazed, Shin-yu simply snaps a picture of her and departs.

We also uncover a significant facet of Shin-yu’s life when we observe a blood-red hand reaching out to touch his face, to which he seems to respond. This eerie encounter hints at a curse he grapples with, which later becomes apparent as the root cause of his neurological ailment. Concurrently, the narrative introduces the secondary protagonist, Kwon Jae-kyung (played by Ha Jun), an employee at Onju City Hall. Hong-jo is immediately smitten by his charisma and even steps in to shield him from an assailant during a protest.

Watch Destined with You | Netflix Official Site

The inaugural episode skillfully sets the stage, not only offering a clear introduction to the characters but also weaving the enigmatic atmosphere central to the narrative. The fantasy drama captures attention with intriguing elements like the Red Hand sequence and the haunting shrine scene. Jo Bo-ah’s portrayal of Hong-jo resonates immediately. Her vivacious character draws viewers in, compelling them to champion her cause. Rowoon’s portrayal of Shin-yu initially presents a reserved demeanor, but hints suggest deeper complexities to his character. The budding rapport between the protagonists is palpable, setting a promising tone right from the start.


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