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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 3-4

2017/12/07 | Permalink

So it turns out that Ji-ah is really into worthless novelties. Now don't get me wrong her older brother Jin-bae (played by Seo Dong-won) is a complete jerk and his actions are nowhere near as well justified as he seems to think they are. But there's an obvious irony to this. Ji-ah's entire life revolves around obscure useless junk and now, Ji-ah herself has become an obscure useless piece of junk, both metaphorically and literally, as the original model for and now imitated version of AZ3.

Because the more I think about it the more AZ3 is an overpriced piece of metal. She's so fragile that Baek-gyoon's team is terrified to allow her into Min-gyoo's presence lest she break down by random accident. And Min-gyoo himself can't actually think of anything for AZ3 to do that a normal human (namely Ji-ah) can't do much more easily. AZ3 is only really useful to Min-gyoo and only because he suffers from a psychosomatic skin condition.

Yes, that has indeed been confirmed and no, I don't consider that to be much of a spoiler since otherwise "I'm Not a Robot" would have to go thirty two episodes without the lead actors ever touching each other. As convoluted as the story already is in this drama, that last bit would put it over the top. Even the science team comments on how incredibly stupid Min-gyoo is that he's actually believing their ridiculous excuses.

That entire story element has been so explicit I can only conclude that Min-gyoo must have suffered from some pretty serious trauma in order to get to this point, although for now his backstory only exists in fragments. Logically though this does allow for Min-gyoo's character to be consistent. A man who has so little contact with human beings can be forgiven some for failing to tell the difference between a robot and a human that is pretending to be a robot.

Of course Chae Soo-bin is always pretending to be a robot regardless of which character she's playing. It's just that in both roles she puts in a pretty convincing performance. Still, I'm getting impatient for Ji-ah to face a more difficult challenge. It doesn't necessarily have to be convincing other less mentally ill people that she's a robot. The flashbacks where young Ji-ah beams at the prospect of building happiness from trash are pretty adorable, and I'd like to see more of that in the present day story.

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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