When Time Stopped is a fantasy romance about a mysterious and lonely man (Kim Hyun Joong) that has the ability to stop time who meets a woman (Ahn Ji Hyun) who owns an apartment building that is able to continue to move around when he time stops.
Kim Hyun Joong plays our time stopper Joon Woo. He tends to keep to himself as he works to further his goals with the use of his time stopping ability. But he is caught off guard when he meets a woman that allows him to begin to open up.
Then we have Ahn Ji Hyun as Kim Sun Ah. She owes a large debt to a loan shark which has puts at her risk of losing the apartment building she owns. She soon meets Joon Woo and is in for a big surprise when she not only learns that he can stop time, but that she can continue to move during his time freezes.
Im Gyo Jin is Myung Woon. He’s a conflicted reaper whose job is to track down people born with special powers and capture their souls since they don’t belong in the human world.
I mostly went into When Time Stopped without knowing too much which kind of spices things up. I found the first couple episodes pretty interesting. The fantasy premise of a man being able to stop time while one girl can still move around is intriguing.
But it didn’t take long before I felt as though I wasn’t sure if the drama had a clear idea of where it wanted to go. It seemed like it sort of wandered around a bit. This is also the kind of story with quite a few loopholes and underdeveloped story lines.
While we are introduced to the Joo Woo, his time stopping power, and the reaper world, the initial focus seemed to be more on Sun Ah’s struggles with debt and keeping her apartment building. This surprised me since there so much to work with fantasy story-wise, but it was fine because I found Sun Ah to be a pretty interesting character.
But after that is resolved, the drama takes on an episodic format with each episode dealing with either another human with powers that the reapers are after or someone connected to Joon Woo and Sun Ah who they needed to help.
A couple of these stories were definitely engaging, but I was disappointed that the show wasn’t focusing more on the overarching story. Halfway through the drama, I barely had any idea who Joon Woo even was. With no memories of his past and a fairly bland personality, it was difficult to connect with his character.
The second half of the drama is where we really start to see the relationship between Joon Woo and Sun Ah begin to deepen. It was slow going for their romance to blossom, but we do get some sweet moments throughout the journey as well as a few thoughtful conversations between the pair. They have a pretty emotional story too.
Then it’s about two-thirds of the way through the drama before we dive deep into the main story with more about Joon Woo’s past and the spiritual beings becoming even more prominent.
Those last few episodes were the best part for me. The world building could have been a little better just to enrich the drama more, but the world and set up were very intriguing. And everything comes together in a very interesting way. The pay off episodes towards the end of the drama where everything is revealed were the highlight of the show for me.
When Time Stopped has several nice qualities, but as a whole, it just felt like it was missing something. Like it was underdeveloped and just lacking that special something to really grab me. It was a pretty quick and easy watch though which is what made the series decent enough.
My Rating: 6/10
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