An International Love Affair
Yoon So-So (Lee Yeon-Hee) works as a travel guide in France. She leads a group of tourists on a package tour. The travellers all have their own stories. San Ma-Roo (Jung Yong-Hwa) joined the tour after being dumped by his girlfriend. Kim Gyung-Jae (Choi Woo-Sik) has been dating for the past 10 years. A mysterious man (Yoon Park) seems to follow Yoon So-So. Jung Yeon-Sung (Ryu Seung-Soo) joined the package tour with a partner, but he will not reveal what kind of relationship they are in. Han So-Ran (Ha Shi-Eun) is a web designer and agonizes over staying single or married. Oh Gab-Soo (Jeong Gyu-Su) is extremely stubborn. Han Book-Ja (Lee Ji-Hyeon) spent most of her life taking care of her husband. Na Hyun (Park Yoo-Na) is a woman whom other people cannot guess her age.
They all do not want to become involved in each other’s personal lives, but, while they travel together, they become closer and develop relationships.
Native and/or alternative titles: 더 패키지, Deo Paekiji
Countries: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Jeon Chang Geun, Kim Jin Won
Writer: Chun Sung Il
Cast: Lee Yeon Hee, Jung Yong Hwa, Choi Woo Sik, Ha Shi Eun, Ryu Seung Soo, Park Yoo Na, Jeong Gyu Su, Lee Ji Hyun, Yoon Park, Hwang Young Hee, Sung Dong Il, Lee Han Wo
This is a short drama of just 12 episodes but it is absolutely fantastic for two reasons:
- This drama takes you on a marvellous tour of France
- The story, acting and characters are all so wonderful and perfect!
So by that, you would have figured out that this is a travel story. Basically, it revolves around a bunch of Koreans who go on a package tour of France. The female lead is the tour guide while the male lead is one of the travellers. But what I absolutely loved about this drama was that not only did they unravel the story of the leads but the writers helped the audience connect with each and every one of the characters. The character build-up is definitely one of the best that I have seen so far. On top of this, the acting was incredible, simply perfect.
The other brilliant thing about this drama is that it makes you fall in love with France. The way the movie staff captures France and portrays it on the screen is like art. It made me want to go on that very specific tour package myself and I want Yoon So-So to be the tour guide! I know it is a dream but that is how perfect and wonder Lee Yeon Hee was on-screen. Also, it was simply a glance of France or only the popular, well-known places that were shown in the drama. The drama introduces so much knowledge of the tourist places and monuments as well as some not-so-popular but truly beautiful and gem -of-a-places in France.
Moreover, each character on the package tour and in general in the drama grows to have a special place in your heart. In the beginning, the people within the group have misgivings about each other and are quick to judge and make assumptions but by the end of the trip they all become close and continue meeting up even after going back to South Korea.
The story actually proceeded in a very humanistic manner. Why do I say that? I know it sounds odd but that is how I feel. As the drama proceeds, you feel like you are part of the group. In the first episode even I tried to figure the individuals of the group and make judgments but as the drama revealed more and more about the individual characters I felt closer to them and even felt a bit ashamed at assuming things and judging people by their looks.
Every character had their own backstory, their own experiences which made them act the way they did but sometimes looks can be deceiving. The drama also introduces to some of the clichés that Korean tourists tend to do in other countries like cooking Korean food in the hotel rooms, taking endless selfies or selcas with selfie sticks, always being in a hurry because of Korean ingrained ‘palli palli’ culture or fast-paced life, creating a ruckus in public and more such things.
Honestly speaking, no matter how much I write here it won’t be enough. Even if I give you each and every tiny detail of the episodes and tell you the entire story, you will have to watch it to truly experience it. That’s right! This drama really is an experience which you must go through yourself to believe it; to enjoy it. Mark my words! This drama is not to be missed.
The group consists of different types of people. Here is a short intro to them all.
The aged married couple where the husband comes off as shrewd and lacking basic etiquette as well as being indifferent to other people while his soft-spoken wife is left always apologizing for her husband’s rudeness.
Then there is the young couple who have been dating for a while and plan on getting married soon but it seems obvious that they have lost their initial passion and not act like an old married couple. This especially bothers the girl and many times she can be seen questioning their relationship.
Then there is the mysterious couple with a middle-aged man and quite a young girl. The man seems to always be at her beck and call leading the others to assume that she is his young mistress and there are in France in a secret get-away.
Then, of course, we have the lone traveller who has come on a package tour to one of the most romantic places all alone because his girlfriend cancelled on him at the last moment because of some fights and problems relating to their workplace (they work in the same company and department).
There is the tour guide Yoon So So who is seemingly on the run from a mysterious man who has just come out of jail and is on her trail. Things start getting funny when he turns up in France to find her and it is San Ma Roo to the rescue. This obviously leads to several misunderstandings.
Then there is the mystery man who is chasing Yoon So-so throughout the drama. He definitely brings an element of drama and mystery to the series and I love his scenes with San Ma-Roo and Yoon So-So’s boss. They will definitely leave you rolling with laughter.
Then I cannot leave out one of my favourite characters, the boss. He just has cameo appearance but even for the briefest moment that he is on-screen, he leaves you laughing so hard and utterly satisfied.
This drama has everything from romance and comedy to slice-of-life. It is a treat which I think almost everyone will enjoy. Along with enjoying the plot-line the viewers also get a chance to experience French history and heritage. Who knows, maybe you will end up planning your next vacation to France after watching this…. I know I will (once manage to get some money of course T_T)
Along with the impeccable acting, mesmerizing views and interesting plotline, I also loved the music or OSTs. Some were French numbers and some Korean but every song was beautiful and so aptly placed in the series.
I hope you do watch this and enjoy it as much as I did. A foreign romance, travel diaries, mystic, secrets, exoticness, comedy… this drama has it all.
Overall this drama is fabulous and definitely worth your time. I liked how they focused on each and every character and how they ended up knowing themselves better. I fell in love with France and all the sights which are shown so beautifully in the drama. But most importantly I fell in love with the characters. I would recommend to anyone in a heart beat!
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