Surprise! The Package is not just a typical romantic drama. Sure, boy meets girl under the spell of enchanting Paris, the City of Light, but I had no idea that there'll be additional treats, and I'm not talking about the macarons or even the handsome CNBlue singer-actor Jung Yong Hwa.

<Spoiler Alert> I have watched the first two episodes of The Package.

If you think this travel romance is simply about a couple meeting and falling in love on a scenic tour of France, then you are only half right.

The synopsis tells us that a man joins a small tour group to visit France. He would meet and fall in love with the tour guide. So I expected beautiful scenery, Paris landmarks, etc, and yes, they are there and there's plenty to see.

We get to tour France along with the small group of seven travelers on a close-up tour. The up-close atmosphere feels so intimate that at times it seems that we're sharing the same dining table or seeing the sights with them in person. When they watched the Eiffel Tower in its glittering glory at nighttime, I felt that I was there too.

But I did not expect the poignant backstories that would tuck our heartstrings. We are treated to pertinent flashbacks, which are just enough to share a taste of what's hidden behind the facade but aren't too long to veer away from the travel. Is the wife of the middle-aged couple dying? Is the young woman of the dating couple secreting seeing someone else? What's the relationship between the third couple? It piques our curiosity about what motivates each of the travelers and how the trip will affect them. 

I also did not expect so many hilarious moments, especially with the hottie Jung Yong Hwa being the funnyman. San Ma Ru (Jung Yong Hwa) is the solo traveler who is secretly nursing a broken heart, having been ditched by his girlfriend right before the trip. She is actually the one who suggested the tour package. What happened to them? Our heart aches for him when we see him taking smiling selfies with the smile quickly fading away once the camera is off.

Another surprise is a mystery stalker (Yoon Park) who is just released from prison. He comes to Paris to find Yoon So So (Lee Yeon Hee), who happens to be our tour guide, a vivacious Korean woman who is studying art history and archaeology in Paris. The first episode actually started with a quick flashback to 2012, when she lived in Paris. We saw a wedding photo of her with a man whose face was obscured. Later we'd also see flashbacks of her fairy-tale wedding at Le Mont-Saint-Michel, where she married her beau, again with the face away from our view. Is the mystery stalker her ex?

So far the drama has given us a lot of chew on, and I very much enjoy the serene atmosphere floating above so many undercurrents. it is also moving pretty fast because the mystery man has caught up to the tour group by the end of episode 2. 

Although the drama begins with a scene in 2012 and suggests that we are in the present, I'm really not sure that the timeline is linear. I don't understand why Yoon So So left Paris at the beginning of the episode but then showed up in Paris again to be the tour guide. I know it's early but I'll make a bold guess — What if San Ma Ru is the husband in the photo?

The travel romance has turned out to be an intriguing mystery that is leaving clues like breadcrumbs for us to pick up, like in an Agatha Christie crime story, although I doubt there is a murder involved. If anything is killed, it's love's first blossom.

The human stories behind each of the travelers are well presented in the setup. As we learn more about the travelers, we also get to enjoy arm-chair traveling with the group, especially when accompanied by the famous French song, "Non, je ne regrette rien" (No, I regret nothing) by Edith Piaf. 

There'll probably be tears mixed with laughter, but we have to give credit to the drama to pull us in so quickly into the story to care about the characters. It's also a perfect drama for fall TV.


The Package

Starring Jung Yong Hwa and Lee Yeon Hee

Add to Queue Remove from Queue Watch Now

The Package has exceeded my expectation, and I'll keep watching. How about you?

~ Find me at NancyZdramaland for more updates!

(Image credit as referenced or tagged)