Circle: Two Worlds – Final Impressions

I started watching this drama with my husband, hoping to entice him with a sci-fi oriented drama, but he fell asleep during episode 1 and I put it on a back-burner until I was in the mood to finish it (solo). I’m still reluctant to finish Fight My Way, so last week was the time to do so.

The draw for me was Kim Kang-woo, but I knew that youngster Yeo Jin-goo was also promising; that’s how I started things, and how I ended things. There were a lot of things to like in the drama, but there were times I felt a little antsy for it to get a move on.

The premise might be the cause of the impatience; they started episodes in the past, when Yeo Jin-goo is a college student, trying to make sense of some strange suicides on campus that seem to implicate his fraternal twin (who is hung up on aliens and paranoia).  There are some scenes that take place earlier, when the twins were boys of about 8 and a mysterious stranger who they find nekkid on the road after a mysterious light in the sky and who they bring home (like a puppy?).

The second half (the second world) of the episodes were set about 26 years in the future, where there is a special community (not sure, maybe it can be described as an island?) called Smart World where they think they’ve eradicated crime, and real world where the poor regular scum live. Of course they’re wrong, and Kim Kang-woo is a cop trying to solve a murder. He also has a separate agenda: to find his missing brother. Things that are happening ‘now’ in Smart World are the result of things that happened in the past, and the two worlds ‘converging’ is all about figuring out exactly what those things are and who is responsible for them.

There is a lot of back and forth, running around, and sci-fi mumbo-jumbo about implanted chips that can erase memories and control strong, negative emotions, as well as alien intelligence, missing people, and murder. At the midway point I was wondering if I preferred the past, present, or future, but it came to me that having to split my interests in half left me half invested in both. For it being sci-fi, I found the acting to be a little melodramatic at times, though not horribly so (with the exception of the bad guy/s, who telegraph things loud and clear — no question whodunit). It was not a great drama, but it was moderately entertaining if you have a mild interest in this kind of thing. You might say “damned with faint praise,” and not be wrong.

In case you’re not going to watch it, or you’ve seen it already and would like to know my final gripe, you can read it after the jump.There is a detective who helps Yeo Jin-goo as a college kid and Kim Kang-woo as the future cop. He’s okay and a sufficiently quirky to be interesting, however I was a little peeved at the ending which I found to be ambiguous. It turns out that he’s augmenting his cop pay by doing manga and he’s just finished one that appears to be telling the tale of everything that just transpired. Is this a real “cop out”? Did it happen, or was this his storytelling?

Also, Kim Kang-woo more closely resembles Yeo Jin-goo than the kid who plays his college-aged youthful incarnation, the actor who played the doctor brother in Strong Woman Bong Soon. I kept expecting him to turn out to be YJG as an adult and even though I knew he could not be I felt annoyed every time he referred to himself as the other twin.

#circle, #kim-kang-woo, #yeo-jin-goo