Hello, and welcome to ScribblerAlliance. Through the years, Shae and I have tried to share our love for the written word with you both through reviewing books as well as posting our own creations at times. With the new year, we have decided to share another love of ours with you—Korean Dramas. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you must’ve heard the terms KPop and BTS sometime in the last year. Korean culture is rich and very much relatable for both of us. In order to share this experience with you, dear readers, we’ve created a brand new section, The Observatory.
So how does The Observatory work? Pretty much exactly as it sounds. We’ll watch something and then share a review of it with you through this section. Although the prime aim of this section is to share our views of the Korean Dramas, we’ll share reviews of movies as well … both Korean and Hollywood. For now, expect a new review on the first day of each month. Without further ado, let me introduce the drama for this month: Memories of the Alhambra.
Drama Name: Memories of the Alhambra
Genre: Fantasy, Suspense, Romance & Sci-fi
Cast: Hyun Bin, Park Shin Hye, Park Chanyeol
Episode: 16 (60-70 minutes per episode)
IMDb Ratings: 8.1/10
Personal Rating: 9.8/10
Plot: The story revolves around a video game; or rather, a video game based on Augmented Reality (AR). While on his trip to Spain, the CEO of an investment company, Yu Jin Woo (Hyun Bin) receives a call and a subsequent email from a programmer who claims to have designed the most ground-breaking AR game to date. Presented with an opportunity to thwart the efforts of his nemesis, the CEO of a rival company, at procuring this game, Yu Jin Woo travels to Granada, Spain, to meet the game developer, Jung Se Joo (Park Chanyeol). As per Se Joo’s instructions, he goes to spend the night at a shabby little boarding house named Bonita Hostel.
At Bonita Hostel, we meet Jung Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye), who happens to be the owner of the boarding house as well as Se Joo’s sister and legal guardian. Jin Woo learns that Se Joo is a troubled teen who seems to spend many nights outside home, playing games and hanging out with his friends. Jin Woo decides to try out the game that is centred on Alhambra Palace in Granada and gets sucked into the amazingly magical world created by Se Joo. The trouble begins when like most computer programs, bugs appear in the game.
Personal Review: Where do I even begin? First off, let’s talk about positives. The best thing about this drama is Hyun Bin and his acting. This is my second time watching one of his dramas, but man! This guy can act. If the perfectly sculpted face and serious mood he portrays in the drama doesn’t make your heart beat a little faster, his acting surely would.
Another big positive is the fact that this drama delivered on every single thing it claimed to have. With most sci-fi movies and dramas, the science bit is so insignificant that it easily gets thwarted by the fiction of it all. However, that is not the case in MotA. Here, the concept of gaming and AR is presented in a way that even someone who has no idea of such things (like myself) can grasp it. And before you frown and point at the mention of romance in the genre, let me tell you that despite not having many sappy moments, the chemistry between the lead actors was unbelievably good.
You know when you watch a show that keeps you on the edge of your seat with the twists and turns in the story? This drama aces in having that effect on you. I will admit to watching five episodes in one go because I literally couldn’t think of sleeping while our heroes were fighting for their lives. So if you are looking for a drama that will keep your blood pumping till the very last scene, this is it!
One other thing worth mentioning is the historical aspects of the drama. If you’re a fan of medieval novels and mythology like myself, I think you’ll love the gaming sequences in this drama. With the subtle nod to mythology, I completely fell in love with this storyline.
So what are the negatives, you ask? The only negative I can count is the fact that Park Shin Hye’s character could’ve been a little more developed. As a fan of the actor, I feel like her talent wasn’t fully utilized in the drama; but then again, maybe I just wanted her to have more screen time.
Final Thoughts: Although a lot of the viewers didn’t appreciate the ending of the drama (hence the drop in IMDB rating), I felt that was the best way to end this beautiful piece of mystery. So all in all, whether you’re a newbie to Korean Dramas or are a fan who just hasn’t had the time to watch this masterpiece, I suggest you do so. This drama is available on Netflix as well as all popular drama websites. If you’re looking for an emotional roller-coaster with mind-blowing OST (Original Sound Track), this is it, people.
That’s it for the first ever review from The Observatory. If you’d like us to review any drama, movie or hollywood shows, please let us know in your comments. If you’ve watched this drama, you’re welcome to share your views with us. Thanks for stopping by. We’ll return with another review next month. Till then, love you all!
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