Wow! — This was my reaction after completing the first three episodes of new JTBC drama Reborn Rich. The show blends the genres of fantasy and business/family drama and brings out a really absorbing tale.
Yoon Hyun Woo (Song Joong Ki) is a loyal and hard-working employee of business giant Sunyang Group and he also serves as a secretary to the Jin family owning the business. He gets killed while also being accused of embezzlement. He has no idea who ordered his murder. Miraculously he wakes up in the body of the youngest male member of this family, Jin Do Joon. And it’s year 1987.
Right from the start, you can feel the technical quality of the drama and it becomes more apparent as we move to the yesteryears. There is a muted colour tone that underlines the older era of the 80s and 90s. The first episode introduces our hero right off the bat and we see his sincerity and dedication throughout the episode via different sequences. We also feel sympathy for him despite knowing him only for less than an hour of an episode. And the end of episode 1 really hits a home run.
The drama is a fantasy as its main plot starts with reincarnation — and doing it backwards provides originality. But once we are in the older era (or new lol), it becomes a thriller-drama with respect to genre. The main story is truly intriguing. Business is at its center but the show never feels too bookish despite the use of many business terms. It might remind slightly of tv show Succession because of the various family members trying to prove their mettle for the succession.
Meeting the head of the family, Jin Yang Cheol (Lee Sung Min), leaves a deep impression and the actor is impeccable in the role. Yang Cheol is a ruthless businessman who is all about profit and growing his business. This is why it is satisfying to see how Do Joon wins his heart. The scenes involving Yang Cheol and Do Joon when he was a kid and as a teen — they are simply terrific.
Do Joon not only gets advantage because of his knowledge of the future, but also because of his brain which helps him use that knowledge judiciously and in a way that others believe him. Song Joong Ki plays the character fabulously. The mystery of who ordered his murder in the previous life and if Do Joon existed in it — they add to the intrigue.
There are plenty of characters and it takes some time to understand who is who and their relationships. Reborn Rich helps us identify the characters we meet in 1987 by showing a glimpse of them from original timeline. There are some who look good for now but might not be so, like Yang Cheol’s eldest son Jin Young Ki (Yoon Je Moon).
We also meet Seo Min Young (Shin Hyun Bin) who is the prosecutor investigating Sunyang Group in the present. In the past, Do Joon meets her as they are fellow students at law college. I enjoyed their brief interaction.
Reborn Rich has impactful dialogues. Do Joon’s parents and brother provide some warmth in an otherwise greyish story. The direction and pace is great.
All in all, a very strong and solid beginning for Reborn Rich. I can’t wait for more episodes.