This was one of those dramas that had all the hype, good casting, interesting plot, and it was on Netflix! Join the Fangirls as we discuss our final thoughts on Memories of the Alhambra and whether or not it met our expectations.
How Did the Plot Hold Up?
Clkytta: It started off with a bright and shiny gaming based plot that I was so excited for. What we got was an action-packed gaming plot with some gratuitous romance tossed in. The main plot held up decently, but the romance side of the plot never got off the ground. This drama had more of
MiataMama: The realistic-yet-magical AR gaming plot was definitely the center of this drama. It’s what grabbed me at the beginning, and ultimately kept me watching through to the end! There were also some mystery elements, as it took almost the entire series to find the creator of the game who had gone MIA. But sadly, the writer added in several ‘relationship’ side-plots that were never fully developed. By the end I was left wondering why certain characters were introduced in the first place?
Clkytta: Of course I enjoyed Hyun Bin’s character Jin Woo, but he wasn’t my favorite character. My favorite character through the whole show was Jin Woo’s secretary, Jung Hoon, played by Min Jin Woong. His character was the most real to me. He had the loyalty of more than just an employee, he cared about Jin Woo as a person. Through the whole drama, the only time I got even slightly emotional was when Jung Hoon died. I was devastated.
MiataMama: I was so, so, SO excited to see Hyun Bin back on the small screen again! His character was written with the most depth and I think he did a fantastic job with this role. AND, like Clkytta, I loved Jung Hoon. He was a faithful sidekick throughout and it gutted me when his character was killed off. (I was really holding out hope for a different ending where he was actually still alive, but alas, that was not meant to be.) However, I’m going to pick to the little sister, Jung Min Joo, played by Lee Re. I loved the sunshine and spunkiness her character brought to the drama. And the way she and Hyun Bin comfortably played off each other, like they were siblings, was really cute.
What We Liked
Clkytta: I liked the gaming aspect of it. The setting and cinematography were phenomenal. You really felt like you were in the game. The quests and the fight scenes were interesting. While I’m not a gamer, the gaming scenes were presented in such a way that even a non-gamer would be drawn in. I loved the beginning the most. When Jin Woo goes to the bathroom in that little cafe a million times trying to level up, I laughed so hard. There was a lot of intensity to the gaming part that I felt translated well to what actual gamers feel as they play.
MiataMama: I am not a gamer. So I was a little worried that I was going to be bored by that aspect of the drama. But I needn’t have worried! The way they brought the gaming element to life was FANTASTIC! And I was impressed that they included at bit of realism with the AR movement– highlighting the physical dangers and addiction pertaining to this type of game play. I also loved that so much of the drama revolved around Granada. Not that I don’t love seeing the familiar cityscape of Seoul in my K-dramas… but the setting in Spain was so rich and gorgeous and added to the magical element of the story.
What We Didn’t Like
Clkytta: Not enough Chanyeol, he was the game creator and
MiataMama: Yep. I think everyone wanted to see more of
Should You Watch?
Clkytta: If you go into this drama knowing that it is not a romance, it’s an action drama focused on gaming and winning the game, then I say watch it. If you are blinded by a pretty thumbnail of Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye locked in an embrace and you think sparks will fly between them, well, move on to another drama. I’d say this one is for the diehard fans. It won’t go on my rewatch list, but I won’t put it on my worst dramas list either, it’s just kind of middle of the road. I don’t feel like I wasted my time, but I wasn’t satisfied with the ending.
MiataMama: As a dedicated Hyun Bin fangirl, I was happy that the story showcased his acting talents well. And I appreciated that this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill storyline, with plenty of twists and cliff-hangers to keep me coming back each week. Even with the disappointing ending, I’m still glad I gave it a watch. However… if you’re looking for a good, mixed-reality type drama, I would hands-down recommend watching W: Two Worlds over Memories of Alhambra.
Clkytta and MiataMama