A blog about C-drama, K-drama, and the food in them that makes me hungry!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Back to 1989 Episode 1 First Impression

Back to 1989 Episode 1 By Ninja
Drama: Back to 1989 (1989一念間)
Country: Taiwan
Episodes: 13
Airs: Fridays

Synopsis: Sent all the way back from the year 2016 to the year 1989 on a stormy night, our hero Chen Che has the rare chance of meeting his own mom back before he was born...and perhaps finally finding out the truth of who his father is. As always, things gets complicated when Chen Che starts to develop feelings for his mother's best friend.

Back to 1989 Episode 1 Overview
As an extremely talented stock analyst, money and job offers are always plenty for our hero Chen Che. Despite Chen Che's confident exterior he harbors a lifelong desire to find out the identity of his father but unfortunately, that is one topic his mother refuses to talk about.

Filled with frustration when his last attempt to find out the identity of his father ended with his mother telling him to either stop asking or never see her again, Chen Che goes out on a dangerous motorcycle ride during a storm. While passing through an underpass, a light sudden blinds Chen Che and he disappears as the motorcycle skids across the road.
Puzzled when he opens his eyes to find his motorcycle no where to be found, Chen Che has no choice but resorts to forcefully stop the first person he sees...which turns out to be our heroine Ye Zhen Zhen.

Apparently that particular town was filled with terrible drivers back in 1989, so in no time Zhen Zhen's brand new motorcycle is hit by a truck while she is busy arguing with Chen Che for suddenly stopping her.

Dumbfounded when both Zhen Zhen and the motorcycle shop owner stare at him strangely when he pulls out a credit card to pay for the repairs, it finally dawns on Chen Che that something is very wrong. Shocked once he realizes he has somehow ended up in the year 1989, Chen Che tries to cheer himself up that someone as talented as himself could survive anywhere.
Convinced that Chen Che must be a big liar, Zhen Zhen pesters him and demands that Chen Che pays her back the money it costs to fix her damaged motorcycle. Frustrated that all of his spectacular credentials are of no use in 1989, Chen Che asks Zhen Zhen to lend him $10,000 N.T so he can make more money quickly (via stocks). Even more convinced that Chen Che is just out to scam her, Zhen Zhen refuses Chen Che's seemingly crazy request.
As the least productive employee in her stock trading company, Zhen Zhen has no choice but to go with her boss to a dinner meeting if she wants to keep her job. Her heart sinking when her boss all but tells her to do "whatever" it takes to please their VIP (President Lee), Zhen Zhen feverishly hope someone would come and rescue her when President Lee's hands start to get grabby.
Puzzled but relieved when Chen Che suddenly barges into the room, Zhen Zhen quickly realizes with dismay that instead of saving her Chen Che is using her as a bargaining chip. Stunning everyone in the room, Chen Che makes a bet with President Lee that he could guess the next day's closing stock number. Laughing heartily, President Lee agrees to pay Chen Che a large sum of money if his prediction of the closing stock number turns out to be true but if not then Zhen Zhen would have to go singing with him.
In the middle of arguing with Zhen Zhen who keeps insisting that he must be a quack, Chen Che is astounded when a familiar figure suddenly popped out of nowhere. Looking at a much younger version of his mom, Chen Che can hardily believe it as he stutters "Your name is Chen Ya Juan?!" Somewhat freaked out by the intensity Chen Che is staring at her, Ya Juan hides behind her best friend Zhen Zhen.

First Impression
To be honest, I had an extremely low expectation of Back to 1989 and really didn't think I would be tempted to keep watching after episode one...but I was wrong! Episode one was extremely well done. The story set up was super short but intriguing, and more importantly the show was able to give the familiar premise of time travel a refreshing feel.
My only concern at this point? The doomed romance between the two leads. The alternate title for Back to 1989 is "The impossible love" which I am assuming points to the romance between the hero and Zhen Zhen who would be his mom's age if the hero ever goes back to his own timeline...which in shows like this they always do eventually. 
So here is my dilemma: Keep watching and hope the writer would somehow make it all work out for our two leads...or wait and watch the ending before I invest too much into this show?
ps. I am currently leaning towards checking out at least a couple more episodes and bailing if it starts to look like the writer is really not going to twist the logic of space and time to give us a happy ending.


  1. How love transcends time? There have been lots of dramas that revolve around this theme lately. This drama reminds me of the recent two episode kdrama called "Never Die" about a woman who never ages after an accident and lives by not forming any attachments to anyone but when she starts to fall in love in the present, she begins to age rapidly.

  2. Please ninja. Please continue to recap this. Just saw its trailer and it really seem like a good drama. Thanks!

  3. It's a really good drama,
    the main leads potray their roles really good.
    I really like Chen Che and Zhen Zhen parts, but I think Ya Zhuan and friends parts sometimes kind of boring