The first episode of See You in My 19th Life introduces Ban Ji-eum, who gets reincarnated every time she dies. In her 19th life, Ji-eum seeks to find the boy she loved in her previous life. The episode is now streaming on Netflix.
The episode starts with a woman named Ban Ji-eum narrating the story of her life. When she was nine years old, she remembered all her past lives, something that happens to her in all her lives.
As she has memories from all her past lives, she can speak various languages and is skilled at many things. This is her 19th life, and in this life, her parents fight for money all the time, so she starts earning by appearing on reality shows as the “Girl of all trades”, a name given to her because of her many talents.
When she remembered everything, her first thought was about a boy named Seo-ha. To find out if he is alive or not, Ji-eum needs to save money, but she never gets to do that because her family takes every penny that she earns.
She decides to leave her family and ask for help from Ae-gyeong, the woman who was her niece in her 17th life. Ae-gyeong owns a restaurant and agrees to lend Ji-eum money when she tells Ae-gyeong her story.
In her 18th life, Ji-eum was Ju-won. Just when she got bored with her life, she met Seo-ha, a boy who was younger than her and made her life exciting; he made her feel and act like a child.
Seo-ha’s family was rich, but all that money could not save his sick mother from dying. The two of them became friends, and Seo-ha’s mother asked Ju-won to take care of her son.
Ju-won comforted Seo-ha when his mother died and was always there for him. She promised to tell him if she liked him or not on his birthday, but that never happened, as the two children got into a car accident moments after Ju-won gave Seo-ha his birthday present, and Ju-won died.
At the end of all her lives, she prayed not to be born again, but at the end of her 18th life, she prayed for something else. Seo-ha could not hear Ju-won’s prayers because he lost his hearing in the accident.
In the present, Ji-eum goes to Seo-ha’s house and finds out that he is still alive. He is a student and is clearly disturbed by the problems at his home. Ji-eum keeps following him everywhere until the day he suddenly disappears.
Meanwhile, it takes some time for Ae-gyeong to accept Ji-eum as her uncle, but she eventually accepts her. Ji-eum starts living with Ae-gyeong as family.
Years pass just like this. Once Ji-eum graduates from a school for gifted children and gets an engineering doctorate, she decides to work at MI Group, the place where Seo-ha works, even though she has other job offers that are much better than this one.
One day, at the age of 24, when she is a senior researcher, she finds out that Seo-ha is at MI Hotel and goes to meet him. Seo-ha’s mother was the CEO of the hotel, and he now plans to restore it, much to his insensitive father’s annoyance.
Ji-eum finally gets to see Seo-ha but does not tell him that she is Ju-won, the girl who died right in front of his eyes when he was a child. To get close to him, she decides to apply for a job at MI Hotel.
He is surprised that she wants to work at the hotel when he goes through her resume but decides to interview her anyway. She claims that she wishes to restore the hotel to its former glory, but he is not sure about hiring her.
Ji-eum then asks him to try dating her if he is still not certain about hiring her. Her offer leaves him surprised.
- The interesting premise of See You in My 19th Life makes it an entertaining drama from the very first episode. With the glimpses of Ji-eum’s different past lives, it does not take long for the show to get the audience invested in her story.
- This is a light-hearted drama, and it does not lose its tone even when topics like death are explored. There are humorous dialogues here and there and all the jokes land.
- Park So-Yi, the actor who plays nine-year-old Ji-eum, definitely stands out in this episode. At times, she even convinces the audience that she remembers all her past lives, and that is why she acts much older than her age.
- Lastly, Seo-ha and Ju-won’s childhood love is charming and sweet. It is that love that prevents Ji-eum from looking like Seo-ha’s stalker and makes their first meeting seem romantic.
See You in My 19th Life season 1 episode 1
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