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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 17-18

2018/01/03 | 455 views | Permalink

In very short order "I'm Not a Robot" has gone from cute and charming, if ethically ill-conceived, to straight-up depressing. At one point a minor character is murdered out of nowhere, and the other characters respond by shambling listlessly. There's no longer any joy in the interactions bewteen Min-gyoo and Ji-ah. Their reunion at the end has an amazingly dour tone- they're going through the motions to try and recreate happiness that no longer exists and never can.

I'm hoping that this tonal shift is temporary and that someone, at some point, is going to come up with a better plan than to just continue the ruse indefinitely. I'm still disappointed that Doctor Jo turned out to be a legitimate doctor and not a secret villain, since it's always been pretty obvious that whether AZ3 was actually a robot or not had nothing to do with Min-gyoo's recovery. Even Min-gyoo has figured out that much, which is why he finds pondering AZ3's existence so innately depressing.

I think. It's hard to tell what Min-gyoo is thinking at any given moment. We just know that he's sad. The entrepreneurial show is a highlight mainly because it gives Min-gyoo the opportunity to think about something else for once. I like Ji-ah's Heart Ball idea. It's sort of gimmicky, sure, but aren't all romantic gestures gimmicky one way or another? And it's the sentiment that obviously touches Min-gyoo so deeply. It's nice to know that someone somewhere is thinking of you.

Which naturally is why Min-gyoo is depressed. If the only person in the whole world who can love him is actually a robot, doesn't that imply that he is fundamentally unlovable? Alas, Min-gyoo's emotional problems have for the most part been left frustratingly unexplored. We know he has them, because Min-gyoo's every action is calculated on the premise that human touch will literally transform him into a throbbing fleshy monster. But save for that one flashback, we don't know how this happened.

"I'm Not a Robot" is relying entirely too much on the ability of its two leads to carry the production based on their acting alone. They're both quite good, really they are, but at some point we need something more tangible to worry about than everyone's financial prospects. To date that's the only stated goal anyone has. Doctor Jo at least gets that much right- their behavior was so innately abominable they can't even pretend to justify themselves.

Review by William Schwartz

"I'm Not a Robot" is directed by  Jeong Dae-yoon, written by  Kim Seon-mi-I and Lee Suk-joon-I, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Chae Soo-bin, Uhm Ki-joon, and Park Se-wan.

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