“A Time Called You” Gets Criticized For Unrealistic Portrayal Of Korea

“Scooters…? In high school?”

Netflix’s A Time Called You was highly anticipated by the Korean crowd, given how much they enjoyed the Taiwanese original. Despite this, it did not live up to expectations and left many sorely disappointed with various inaccuracies.

Not only did the Korean remake stray from the Taiwanese original, netizens also discovered various inaccuracies in portraying 1998 South Korea that made it hard for them to focus on the drama.

For one, most high schoolers back then were not allowed to drive scooters. You needed a license to ride one, so if you did, you were likely a delinquent. On the other hand, the two male leads are model students, making it difficult for viewers to get on board.

Male leads on scooters. | Netflix

Next, while the leads are supposed to be attending a high school in the countryside, scenes at school were filmed at Yonsei University for the outside shots, and on a set for the inside shots. Both had the school looking prestigious and affluent, far from the “countryside school” that it was supposed to be.

Their school as in the drama. | Netflix

Most schools also used chalkboards back then, rather than the magic marker boards used in the show.

Classroom scene. | Netflix

Last but not least, netizens took issue with the uniforms. The uniforms worn by the leads were definitely adorable, but it was a far cry from the actual style worn in 1998 South Korea.

The leads in uniform. | Netflix

The leads wore uniforms with huge ribbons for girls, and a shortened skirt. In actuality, uniforms back then were long and plain. Girls also wore ties, not ribbons. A more accurate portrayal was seen in Reply 1997.

Uniforms in Reply 1997.

Finally, their outfits did not match the weather at all. Students still wear their winter uniform in spring, where the cherry blossoms bloom. This is due to the cold weather then. The leads walk along the cherry blossoms in their summer uniforms.

The leads in the show wearing the summer uniform. | Netflix

Netizens took to online forums to express their dissatisfaction.

Netizen reactions. | theqoo
  • “They rode scooters to school? In 1998? Unless it’s a school without a dean or a shitty school, they would’ve been nagged at.”
  • “Seems like a drama that placed focus on looking pretty.”
  • “It would’ve been better if they didn’t do that to the uniforms and school at least. But I still enjoyed it.”
  • “The whiteboard is too much.”
  • “What’s this… They shouldn’t have set a specific time setting then.”
  • “If they were going to do it, they should’ve done it properly. This isn’t here or there.”

Although it is a fictional drama where things can be sensationalized, the time slip is an important part of the drama’s set up. As the characters travel back in time to 1998, viewers expected a more accurate portrayal of the retro period.

Source: Theqoo