K-Drama Review: “Chicago Typewriter” Beautifully Drafted A Story Of Love & Friendship Like No Other

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Chicago Typewriter wistfully recounts a peculiar friendship and love tale that will warm your heart and fire up your personal aspirations.

tvN has always been home to dramas that are not afraid to experiment on stories. Such is the case for Chicago Typewriter, which started on a vague footing, but emerged strong in picturing a story that uses heartfelt emotion in fueling the fictitious period drama framework.

Chicago Typewriter

Title: Chicago Typewriter
Distributor: TVN
Theme: Romance, Comedy, Historical, Fantasy
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Period: 7 April 2017 to 3 June 2017
Overall Rating: 
Rewatch Value: 
Plus Factors: Inventive Plot, Memorable Character Portrayals, Equally Amusing Romance and Bromance
Oh No Moments:  Weak Opening Week
Related Dramas:  Gaksital

Chicago Typewriter defies creative boundaries as it switches the past and present timelines without losing the brilliant writing and fascinating characters that moved in the story. Sans the bleak opening week, when the chronicle motions to its trajectory, the absorbing enactment just hits all the bullet points of what I look forward to in a k-drama series – innovative plot and committed cast.

Chicago Typewriter





Chicago Typewriter Highlights

Neat alignment of Utilized Timelines

Chicago Typewriter maneuvers to shifting time lines where the storytelling moves simultaneously with the writing of an online serial novel that is set in the 1930’s. The novel, also titled “Chicago Typewriter”, recounts the story of the past lives of the main characters, who are freedom fighters in the Japanese Colonial Period. The characters’ visions of their past lives slowly complete the connection of why fate intertwines their existence again in the present time. In paper, it is kind of hard to digest but the tidy arrangement will not make you feel lost. The link of the past and present events are so cohesive and consistent to the pretext of the story that it feels like you are solving a big jigsaw puzzle while unraveling the narrative.

Imaginative Outline

The idea of a real ghost, ghostwriting for a famous novelist suffering on a writer’s block, hooked me up instantly. It rewarded me more, owing to the bromance of the male leads which brims with charming humor. Chicago Typewriter takes pride on balancing romance and friendship, along with the inspiring patriotism message specifically dedicated to the angst of single adults, who are whistle-blowers of a corrupt government. The ingenious yarn of the fictional thread sets a basic rule that the viewers have to accept — the dynamic reincarnation plot that involves a life affirming friendship between two friends who love the same girl.  The romance is nicely sweetened because it provides an impetus of a love that needs another lifetime to fulfill.


Consistent Pace

I feel like I will remember this drama everytime I see an old typewriter. There are a lot of good things to say about the trio’s love and friendship story. But what marked most in my following is how even with the complex writing, it follows a path that always makes sense. It never derails to the integral drive of presenting the heartbreaking and heartwarming love and friendship of the characters in the story.

All throughout its run, the transition from real to the fantasy realm is seamless even with the switching time periods. I like the trips to the 1930’s, and how the writer stays focused in uncovering slowly but surely the details concurrently with the clues of the past and present. It is amazing how the writing withholds the pertinent hints up to the climax point without diminishing the excitement of unhinging the junctures laid in the story. Chicago Typewriter patiently works on the conflicts tackled by the characters, who want to redeem their unresolved issues, and yes even if it took them eight decades after.

The Scintillating Characters

It is easy to focus in a story with minimal characters. That is the reason why even with the complicated setting, it’s easy for the main characters in their dual performances to sink in the story and nail their portrayals so well. The love yarning and the friendship bond are cemented well by how the cast moves to the plot in fantasy and reality.

I actually appreciate that the love story threads to the right amount of sweetness, paving a way to feature the beautiful framing of the trio’s friendship and the ghost + writer bromance. Se Joo’s sporadic temperament, Jin Oh’s rational mind, and Jeon Seol’s warm heart spin the engrossing effect of Chicago Typewriter.


Imbalance Treatment of the Timelines

While the sequencing of the timelines are daintily planned, the past timeline is more interestingly conceived than the present setting. Although it did not mar the beauty of the story, I wish it was given equal showing and strength since the premise leans on achieving the characters’ unfinished business in their reincarnated lives. I was honestly engrossed whenever the plot shifts to the lively night scene in Carpe Diem, and the subversive spirit of the Joseon Youth Alliance on their quest to bring the emancipation of their nation.

Selective Target Audience

Chicago Typewriter has a strong tendency to appeal to a specific type of viewers, who prefer analyzing sequences and feeling great about stories with patriotism and reincarnation as a theme. The novelty is refreshing but not gripping for impatient watchers, who prefer the tried and tested storylines.

Yoo Ah In and Go Kyung Pyo

Series After Thoughts

Yoo Jin Oh is such a charming character that if he was sketched to regain a human body in the concluding episode, I would have not mind if it will be a lame reason. chuckles I just want to have an ever-after for the three friends, who redefined the meaning of best-friends-forever. The finale week sent me sobbing and happy because the drama culminates at a fitting ending after successfully laying all the cards I need to decipher and to feel the sentiments of the narrative.

I think the age group of mid – 20’s above can withstand the intricate progression of Chicago Typewriter. It requires forbearance but the reward is gratifying, especially when the drama reaches the euphoric phase. I observed no wasted episode except the pilot week groggy introduction.

Smartly written along with top notch acting, Chicago Typewriter is a classy K-Drama experience that embodies a stunningly crafted fiction, which is best served if you will watch it with a lover or with your friends.


Chicago Typewriter

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