Someone Define “Alzheimer’s” for Drama Writers

As far as I know, Alzheimer’s disease is a tragic condition that happens to people over sixty where they gradually lose their memory and judgement.  According to writers of Korean dramas, Alzheimer’s is a disease that can strike young men at any age, which rapidly progresses into immersive delusions followed by periods of total normalcy.  At least, this is the impression given to me by two dramas I watched this summer, Bong Soon: A Cyborg in Love and Remember.

 

So, in the web drama Bong Soon: A Cyborg in Love, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun plays a robot scientist who falls in love with his robot assistant.  Wait…no.  That’s not right.  Kyuhyun plays a HUMAN scientist.  Only his acting is robotic.  That’s right.

So, the premise is that as a scientist, he develops an A/I, but doesn’t actually realize that the woman he’s falling in love with is that exact A/I, who’s tasked with the job of being his research assistant.  Her memories are his memories.  Basically he’s created a female doppelganger and fallen in love with her.  No narcissism there.

Then there’s the Alzheimer’s.  Kyuhyun’s character, Kim Joo Sung, gets Alzheimer’s.  And it comes in “attacks”–he’s fine, then he’s not.  And his decline is rapid.  Its inclusion into the plotline and involvement in the ending is the height of the absurdity of this drama.

Yoon So Hee is adorable as A/I Bong Soon, but the two leads have zero chemistry.  I can’t get past the man/machine love storyline, either.  I dropped Absolute Boyfriend mid-series for the same reason.

Remember is a decent legal drama with two actors I really like: Yoo Seung Ho and Park Min Young.  The concept of a young lawyer trying to reverse his father’s conviction is a classic, and the twist was good–the father has Alzheimer’s and can’t remember the crime, but the son has photographic memory!  It’s a great parallel.

But then…the son gets Alzheimer’s.  Again very early in life, but in a medically impossible way, too–because of his photographic memory, the Alzheimer’s is somehow MORE AGGRESSIVE.  It’s SUPER ALZHEIMER’S.  Seo Jin Woo (the son) has Alzheimer’s attacks which are more like fugue states–he doesn’t remember anything about them later, nor does he remember his normal life when he is in them.  It’s like switching back and forth between two states of being.

Even if I let this part go, and try to go with the flow of this drama, I can’t love it.  The legal part was good.  Namgoong Min as the bad guy, Nam Gyu Man, is deliciously evil.  I hated him SO MUCH.  He chewed the scenery apart like a rabid dog, and it was delightful.  But on the flip side, the chemistry between Seo Jin Woo and attorney Lee In Ah flops awkwardly into noona-dongseng territory too much.  I found I didn’t really care what happened to the two of them at the end, and it’s good thing I didn’t, because the vague ending would have made me throw things if I did.

So, drama writers, a piece of advice:  Give up the Alzheimer’s.  Let’s just go back to the old days, where everybody got amnesia.  Deal?

TL:DR

Bong Soon: A Cyborg in Love — Don’t even bother.  2 stars.  Barely.

Remember  — Watch it for the legal drama, if you have to watch it.  3.5 stars.

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