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K-Drama Review: I Remember You (Also Known as Hello Monster)

I’m a huge fan of Korean dramas but I realized that I’ve never shared anything about it on my blog. Today, I’m writing my first K-drama review on one of the BEST dramas that I’ve watched this year. Hope that you’ll enjoy reading it too!

I’ll split my review into 3 sections – Introduction, The Story, and Final Verdict. The Introduction section is spoiler-free, and if you haven’t watch it, this section gives you a general “feel” of the drama and why I consider it a worthy-watch. The Story and Final Verdict sections contain spoilers. If you’re avoiding spoilers, you may skip these sections.

Introduction

I don’t know what makes me watch this drama, so I started it without any high expectations. Along the way, I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed watching it. Towards the end, I was completely obsessed! I guess it’s because of its genres, plot, teasers and the awesome casts.

This is the official poster of the drama. I’ve no other words to describe it other than sizzling HOT! Jang Nara (the female lead) wears a sexy spaghetti-strap dress as she grips the shirt of her leading man, Seo In-Guk, and in return he wraps his arm around her waist. I heard that Lee Jin Wook was supposed to take the male lead – however, I’m glad he didn’t. (He went to take The Time I Loved You instead.)

It’s not often to find a Sherlock-Holmesy crime-thriller in K-dramaland, so I Remember You is pretty unique (I’ll use short form IRY from now on). Lee Hyun (Seo In-Guk) is a genius criminal profiler who is cold, exacting and charismatic. Cha Ji-An (Jang Nara) is an elite detective who has been secretly observing Lee Hyun for a long time. They worked together on solving cases and gradually developed a romantic relationship.

Picture Credit: cherrytomato_89

The drama starts with an interesting question – Is monster (referring to murderer) born or created? In every episode, there is a crime to solve. These crimes turned out to be bits and pieces of a puzzle to solve an even bigger crime involving a serial murderer who has disappeared for a long time.

I’ve to say that this drama keeps getting better after each episode, and that makes me look forward the next. Seo In-Guk did particularly well in his role, his mysterious character and slick look as a genius profiler made me glued to my screen the most. He certainly has the charms, and I’m also enjoying his chemistry with Jang Nara.

Despite its rather low ratings, this drama is truly a hidden gem. There are lots of tense moments that will have you dying to watch the next episode. In short, here are 5 reasons why you should watch IRY:

  1. The excellent story plot with mysteries everywhere
  2. It has a good pace that slowly reveals each and every character in the plot
  3. The amazing chemistry between Lee Hyun and Cha Ji-An
  4. Team Leader Kang and his special investigation team – team work and comedic moments!
  5. Lastly, the serial murderer whom you’ll find out at the end of the drama – so creepy yet intriguing!

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The Story

Some people might find the start of this drama a bit dull, but it captured my attention right from the start. The first two episodes are the crucial part that tells us the origin of the story – how Lee Hyun grew up, how he lost his father to the murderer, how his younger brother was mysteriously missing, and why his father thought he was a monster. At some point, I wondered if he really killed his own father, but luckily, he didn’t.

At the start, Lee Hyun and Cha Ji-An were constantly bickering at each other. They have something in common – their fathers were killed by the same murderer when they were young. This is the reason why Cha Ji-An has been stalking Lee Hyun for many years, but without his knowledge.

From Episode 5 onwards, our bickering duo became inevitably reliant on each other as they worked together to solve cases. It’s also their first sign of romance that made me squealed with delight. Ah, finally!

Gradually, they found solace in sharing the pain of losing their fathers at a very young age. And they became investigation partners in a rather awkward situation. This is one of my favourite parts in this drama – it’s so hilarious!

IRY03

In Episode 8, our heroine was attacked by an anonymous stalker. Our hero was annoyed at his own concern for her, and eventually he brought her to his house for temporary stay. That’s how their cohabitation started.

At the middle of this drama, we also realized that Lee Hyun’s brother is still alive – although his identity was not known to Lee Hyun yet. That was a big part of the guessing games in the earlier episodes. From here, the drama was getting more tense and exciting.

Picture Credit: cherrytomato_89

I must say that I’m very impressed with Park Bo Gum’s acting as Lee Min (Hyun’s brother). He went from chilling to heartbreaking in a split second so effortlessly. The reunion between these two brothers is the most heartbreaking part. I never expect it to be so heart-wrenching; I had to brave myself with a packet of tissues to watch that episode.

When it comes to best cliffhangers, this drama has plenty. My favourite cliffhanger is when Ji-An gave Hyun an unexpected kiss for saving her life. The episode ended there when all the viewers are dying to know what his reaction would be, especially when they haven’t confessed their feelings towards each other yet.

The drama also revealed to us how the monster (murderer) was created. That scene certainly broke my heart, and turned my feelings from hate to pity and sympathy. Back to the first question in this drama, “Is monster born or created?” In this case, he was created.

Final Verdict

I would say this drama is mainly about crime and thriller, but it also has a good mix in romance and comedic moments between the casts. I’m honestly grateful to be able to watch a drama of such calibre and intensity.

Seo In-Guk certainly gained a new fan in me. This is his first drama that I’ve seen, and I was completely blown away by his superb acting, intensity, intelligence and sexiness. Yes, he’s hot and manly – especially when he’s dressed in a suit, his masculine magnetism instantly melts my heart.

Thanks to cherrytomato_89 for feeding me daily with Seo-In-Guk’s hotness!

I thoroughly enjoyed each and every episode of this drama. The only minus point is its ending that was done too haphazardly. It lacks that emotional punch to the gut that I was hoping for. Most of plots have a clear closure – but some were intentionally left open-ended. Thus, there are still some unanswered questions lying in my head.

All in all, it was a great drama and I truly recommend it. IRY is a well-thought drama with a meaty plot and multi-layered characters to a point that watching once is never enough. After writing this review, I’ve a sudden urge to re-watch it.

To all the K-drama fans out there, if you haven’t watch IRY, you should really check it out. 🙂

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