Good Ol’ Review: “Scripting Your Destiny” a Refreshing Take on Familiar Themes, but Perhaps Better Suited for a Longer Format

No spoilers.

Scripting Your Destiny (당신의 운명을 쓰고 있습니다) has an excellent premise about fate and free will. A premise so good that the ten, 25-minute episodes almost don’t do it justice. The romantic fantasy is a lighthearted story with a legitimately intriguing core foundation. And though thoroughly enjoyable in the end, it’s hard not to wonder how much better it might be in a different format.

The series follows god of destiny Shin Ho Yoon (Ki Do Hoon) who comes to be in charge of drama writer Go Chae Kyung’s (Jeon So Nee) book of destiny. It is the responsibility of these gods to write the fates and destinies of the humans they are responsible for in their respective districts they are usually stationed in. Ho Yoon’s goal for Chae Kyung is to bring her together with Jung Ba Reum (Kim Woo Seok), who he believes is her destined love. But as fate would have it, ironically enough, things don’t go as planned.

The series delivers an interesting twist on the idea of fate and destiny. It adequately does enough world building to establish the idea that gods of destiny are literally writing humans’ fates in magical books. It is an efficient process. And the series lays the foundation out in a way that solidifies the basics of that process while maintaining the fantastical nature of it.

It is a refreshing take on a familiar theme. Are our futures set in stone (or in this case, a book and by the pen of gods)? Or do we have the ability to write our own destinies, that is, our own life stories?

That’s a premise and discussion that would certainly have enough potential to fill a full-length series. And unfortunately for Scripting Your Destiny, that is a bit of a strike against it.

Ki Do Hoon, Jeon So Nee and Kim Woo Seok are absolutely charming leads. They, along with the equally talented supporting cast of Park Sang Nam and Gal So Won as fellow gods and So Hee Jung as Chae Kyung’s mother, all do their part to bring the immediately endearing characters to life. Sometimes, they even elevate the story.

And that’s mainly because of the web series format. For many Korean web series, they are either too short and undeveloped full-length series or a story meant to be a full-length movie, but awkwardly chopped up into smaller pieces.

Scripting Your Destiny can be either of those things. The premise itself and the story that develops over the course of ten episodes could easily be tightened up to fit a full-length two-hour film. That treatment would result in a fast paced and perhaps more exciting and focused story.

At the same time, there’s enough potential here for a full-length series beyond the cumulative runtime of just about four hours. Despite that length, each episode feels awkwardly cut. Instead of being able to flow freely from episode to episode, the cuts feel too abrupt and take away that immersion into the story. The premise definitely has enough material for a full-length primetime series. And that’s especially with the likeable and charming cast and characters.

Nonetheless, Scripting Your Destiny ends up a mostly satisfying watch. And I say “mostly” only because it’s hard not to wonder what could have been here. A fascinating premise and an excellent cast are unfortunately held back by the web series format. But it is still fun ride to enjoy.

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