Another wonderful drama has just ended! I Remember You was such a compelling, well-written drama. The story is unique, and not your average stereotypical Korean drama. The writer knew exactly what she was doing with its intricate plot and complex dynamic characters. This drama is really thought provoking, and makes you ponder over many different things such as morals, ethics, nature vs. nurture, family, love, etc. One of the major themes throughout the show was about monsters, and whether they are born or created. Ultimately we learn in the end that you choose who you want to be.
It’s too bad the ratings did not reflect the quality of this awesome drama. It’s been an ongoing trend recently with some real quality dramas receiving dismal ratings. As conveyed before, I never look at ratings as an indicator of how good a drama is. If a drama can make you feel sad and even empathize with psychopathic serial killers, I’d say that’s quite a feat. I’m so glad I got to watch a drama of such high caliber with phenomenal acting performances elevating it to another level. I think at some point, I began to question if I was a psycho or not myself.
The story line overall was tight and consistent throughout the whole entire run. I felt very immersed and engaged with the drama right from the start and I became very attached to all of our complex characters who had so much depth. The ending was rather open-ended which I believe was on purpose. In fact, I wasn’t sure what kind of ending I wanted and what would become of our characters. Despite the openness and some unanswered questions, it still felt satisfyingly uplifting in the end, which I don’t think is a bad thing. I feel like there was enough story material for the drama to go on for a total of 20 episodes. However, I think the writers wanted to leave it to our imaginations to see the continuity of our characters for ourselves because simply, life moves on.
Now, I want to touch base briefly on the actors and characters portrayed. First up is Seo In Guk as Lee Hyun. This is my first time ever seeing Seo In Guk play such a mature, complex adult role and he was just fantastic. I also must point out that of all the characters he’s acted, this one is definitely the sexiest and most charismatic role he has done to date. Lee Hyun isn’t exactly a psychopath but more of a sociopath. Everything he does is very logical and lacking in the EQ department. Seo In Guk was outstanding in his portrayal of Hyun who comes across as a cold sharp-tongued profiler but hidden deep inside is the emotional baggage carried on from his childhood. It was Hyun and Min’s story that made me feel so invested in the drama because it was so highly complex and tragic due to all the betrayal and guilt they endured. They’re both so emotionally damaged, it was heartbreaking to see how difficult it was for them to move on from their past when neither of them was to be blamed.
Park Bo Gum was absolutely brilliant as Min/Lawyer Jeong as well. I lost count of how many times his character broke my heart and made me cry. He played the part of an evil serial murderer so amazingly well—those creepy smiles of his sent chills down my back every time. Even though he was a murderer, we couldn’t hate him because you realized he was just a lost innocent child who craved attention and love from his older brother. Park Bo Gum’s acting was seamless going back and forth between those two polar opposite sides of himself. During the moments where his hyung was taking care of him, he always let out such a genuine smile that made him just so precious. He definitely deserves an acting award for this role and he’s another rising star to keep a look out for.
At first, I wasn’t sure who was creepier: Choi Won Young’s Lee Joon Yeong or Park Bo Gum’s Min. I’d say our mysterious autopsy doctor, Lee Joon Yeong, probably was. He was another highly complex character and probably the biggest monster out of them all. It was through Lee Joon Yeong that we were able to see inside the mind of a psychopath. Boy, was it an intriguing ride! Because he is a psychopath, he believed all of his own actions thus far made sense and were beneficial to those he had actually harmed. In the end we know his actions were immorally wrong and illegal. Choi Won Young killed it (pun intended) in this role and honestly I really just want to applaud everyone in this drama. The acting and chemistry was just top notch.
Last but certainly not least is Cha Ji An, our only female character played by the forever youthful looking Jang Nara. Ji An has become one of my favorite leading female characters so far because she defies all the stereotypical traits found in Korean dramas. She’s no damsel in distress and can put up a good fight with men twice her size. Ji An definitely holds her own despite being the only woman in her team. She’s strong, independent (albeit a little reckless at times) and very compassionate. She’s a go-getter and isn’t afraid, whether it comes to solving crimes or just showing her affection to Hyun. (Remember the kiss that that caught Hyun off guard leaving him with the deer in headlights kind of moment that usually female leads have?). She’s just so kick-ass awesome. I’ve always liked Jang Nara as an actress and I think this was something different for her and she nailed it with a stellar performance.
Although romance in the drama wasn’t the main focus of the show, I think it was rightfully so because of the complex web of relationships between our four leads. However, I loved how low key our couple was in the drama. Sometimes you don’t need all that crazy fire and passion for romance but just two people who slowly grow to like each other and realize their importance to each other. What I loved about Hyun and Ji An was their simplicity. It was very touching. They shared very few words with each other but their common empathy for each other’s emotional pain helped them slowly rely on each other and develop their growing bond. I think the moment they learned to open up and comfort each other was a monumental step for the both of them. They were always there for each other when they needed it the most and that’s what really counted.
Even their skinship was simple. Either Hyun was always patting Ji An’s head or Ji An was always holding Hyun’s hands whenever he had nightmares. They were already acting like an old married couple before they became official. I think that’s why even the small simple moments always felt so special. No need for grand gestures. Rather than kissing, I always found hugs and hand holding so much more intimate and romantic. Although most people would prefer to see their OTPs always making out, I’m content with simply warm embraces and hand holding. Hyun’s forehead kiss was super sweet too. To me, forehead kisses mean: “You’re precious to me”.
I also loved how they called each other dangshin (당신) which is the word for you in Korean. From what I know, dangshin (당신) is rarely used because Koreans hardly use the word you in sentences. It’s often used between married couples to express something like dear or darling. So when I first started hearing Hyun and Ji An addressing each other as dangshin (당신), I was very surprised and perceived it as a very intimate way of addressing each other.
Oh and Hyun’s confession using 15 plus alpha! Only Hyun would use math to express his feelings towards Ji An. It’s so nerdy but fitting. 15 plus alpha is his way of saying that there isn’t a number that can be calculated to show what she means to him. Can we all just have a moment to have a collective sigh? *Siiiggghhh* Who knew math could be so romantic? It is a very unique confession indeed.
This was truly a gem of a show, and I’m immensely sad that it’s over. I just want to say: thank you to all of the production staff and actors for all your hard work in bringing us this incredible drama. It was such an epic journey and fascinating ride, and I will definitely remember you.