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One of the 12 months’s most talked-about dramas has lastly arrived! “Memories of the Alhambra” stars Hyun Bin as Yoo Jin Woo, a hotshot CEO who reveals up one evening within the Spanish metropolis of Granada, hoping for a mattress at a rundown hostel owned by Jung Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye). What occurs subsequent is precise magic (or high-tech wizardry, no less than).

We’ve bought two of K-drama’s hottest stars on our palms right here. Not to say, “Memories of the Alhambra” is written by Song Jae Jung (of “W” fame) and directed by Ahn Gil Ho, who purchased us “Forest of Secrets.” The query is, does the drama stay as much as its sky-high hype? Check out 4 issues we cherished and two issues we hated in regards to the first couple of episodes.

Warning: spoilers for the premiere episodes forward!

LOVED: Hyun Bin’s return to TV

The final time we noticed Hyun Bin on the small display screen was almost 4 years in the past. Now that we lastly meet him once more in all his crisp linen summer time blazer glory, all we will surprise is: how did we survive for therefore lengthy with out Binnie?

In “Memories of the Alhambra,” Hyun Bin’s character Jin Woo heads to Granada after a mysterious cellphone name from Jung Se Joo (EXO’s Chanyeol), who’s looking for a purchaser for the augmented actuality sport he created. We get to see many various sides of Jin Woo alongside the way in which. Yes, he’s a useless, pampered CEO. But he’s additionally an enormous geek who cheerfully sword-fights with skinny air, giving no thought to how ridiculous he appears to be like. We additionally see that he’s a heartbroken ex-husband, concerning his now pregnant former spouse with quiet devastation.

HATED: Not sufficient Park Shin Hye

As you’ll be able to inform, Jin Woo took most of our consideration this primary week. Park Shin Hye’s Hee Joo, then again, doesn’t get very a lot to do within the first episodes. In what display screen time she has, she principally permits Jin Woo or reacts to issues he did, which is fairly disappointing. Her character is described as a mysteriously alluring classical guitarist, however to date she comes off much less “mysterious,” extra “downtrodden,” and there’s hardly a guitar in sight.

Park Shin Hye has performed some nice, multi-faceted characters previously. It’s okay if she’s not likely a take-charge sort on this drama. But we nonetheless need to see her as a whole, distinctive particular person, not simply as a foil to the male lead. Here’s hoping we discover out extra about her subsequent week.

LOVED: The augmented actuality idea

“Memories of the Alhambra” is that uncommon factor: a K-drama with a very new idea. It’s the primary Korean drama to deal with augmented actuality gaming, and it does so in an exciting, ingenious approach. It’s an enormous aid that the graphics are top-notch too!

The unique, sun-bleached class of Spain gives an ideal backdrop for our journey into the sport. We get to discover the mysterious previous metropolis of Granada alongside Jin Woo. We by no means know which statue would possibly come to life, or which long-forgotten knight might come driving across the nook. There’s no clear line which reveals the place the sport ends and the place actual life begins, which is eerie and unsettling in one of the simplest ways.

LOVED: The surprising comedy

One of the hazards of a high-concept drama is that it finally ends up taking itself too critically. Luckily, our author Song Jae Jung is aware of steadiness the excessive stakes with a little bit of cuteness and enjoyable, simply as she did in “W” – within the first half, no less than.

Jin Woo, particularly, has some nice interactions with the individuals round him. It’s a deal with watching him making an attempt to eat ramyun whereas Hee Joo’s sister Min Joo (Lee Re) dances across the hostel kitchen, flinging her hair in his face. Even higher are the reactions he will get at a neighborhood restaurant, the place he retains coming again to fetch an in-game weapon from the toilet. If we have been in that poor, confused waiter’s (extremely attractive) sneakers, we’d assume he had a bladder an infection.

HATED: The basic Rich Guy/Poor Girl setup

Tale as previous as time, music as previous as a chaebol grandpa. This is a narrative of a wealthy, smug main man and a poor however hard-working heroine, aka 75 p.c of all dramas ever. It’s uninspired at finest and lazy at worst. We’ve even seen each these actors do it earlier than (Park Shin Hye in “Heirs” and Hyun Bin in “Secret Garden“).

It’s simple to see why such a well-trodden trope is tempting in a drama like this one. The idea is totally new, the plot might go to some unusual locations. You would possibly need to floor the story in a well-recognized dynamic, giving the viewers one thing to carry on to. There are much less irritating clichés to fall again on although, simply sayin’. But there’s hope but! Just take a look at that last scene.

LOVED: The time leap on the finish

It appears to be like like episode 2 goes to finish on a fairly commonplace be aware, as Jin Woo affords Hee Joo untold riches in return for the rights to the sport, which was created by her underage brother Se Joo. As she considers his provide, we abruptly flash ahead an entire 12 months and discover Jin Woo on the prepare, beneath the identical looming clouds that got here for Se Joo.

Future Jin Woo has traded his slick suede sneakers and breezy blazer for bloody Converse and a bulletproof vest. He walks with a limp and holds not one however two weapons like a professional, as a cold-eyed killer stares him down. Um, WHAT? We’d nearly come to phrases with the drama’s idea and we already had one thriller to resolve: what occurred to Se Joo? Now it appears to be like like Jin Woo’s complete world has fallen aside. What has the sport achieved to him? And the place’s Hee Joo? We can’t wait to search out out!

Have you began watching “Memories of the Alhambra”? Do you assume it delivers? Let us know within the feedback beneath!

Azra_A spends most of her waking hours ready sufferers for 2PM’s subsequent comeback (roll on 2021!). She depends on sheet masks and bizarre ice cream flavors to assist her endure (cucumber is nice, ceylon is healthier). When she’s not watching the comeback clock, you’ll discover her on Instagram.

Currently watching: Encounter,” “Memories of the Alhambra”
All-time favourite dramas: My Love From the Star,” “Healer
Looking ahead to: My Strange Hero,” “The Crowned Clown”

How does this text make you’re feeling?





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