Aliens that do not come to Earth ready for romance with their reincarnated love from the Joseon dynasty have just not been a thing in Korean drama. Science fiction as a genre is a very rare one even in Korean cinema. Yet perhaps Dramaland is ready to tackle it as more than romance garnish for a change. Enter “Circle”.
A mysterious disappearance and the arrival of extraterrestrial life in 2017, a mysterious murder in 2037. The story of “Circle” takes place in two timelines and it deals with a world experiencing its first alien contact and evolving through it. The citizens of the future attempt to end violence by controlling human emotion with its technology.
Korean drama has almost no contact with science fiction aside from “Joseon X-Files – Secret Book”. The genre has been used as a gimmick in romantic and action shows before, from time traveling detectives to romantic 400-year-old aliens, but it has not seen true focus. Can Dramaland pull off good sci-fi? I think it can and I hope “Circle” can at least do the genre justice.
Multi-writer dramas are not new and the aforementioned “Joseon X-Files – Secret Book” is one of them, but we know the “too many cooks in the kitchen” saying. Good cooperation and dividing of tasks is crucial here, because it is a rare genre in Korean television, the story takes place in two timelines and it has a mystery element which needs to make sense.
A good cast can go a long way in making the characters and their stories approachable. Good writing is a necessity, but if the focus here is more on the story than the people in it, a good cast can still elevate those people. Yeo Jin-goo and Kim Kang-woo are competent actors. They are joined by promising rookies and seasoned veterans, making the cast refreshing.
From aliens to abductions and from lost memories to emotion control, there is plenty to explore in the premise alone. I already have a theory about how the two timelines and specifically two characters in them connect. The fact that “Circle” is interesting enough to already toss theories out for makes me hopeful. Given its short duration, we might be in for a thrilling ride.
There is a lot I am worried about here and I try to keep my expectations low for a genre I have been wanting to see in Korean drama for quite some time. That being said, “Circle” has undoubtedly delivered some exciting promotional material, it has a solid cast and an intriguing premise.
“Circle” begins its run on May 22nd and will air every Monday and Tuesday at 23:00, on tvN. It is directed by Min Jin-gi, written by Kim Jin-hee-III, Park Eun-mi-I, Ryoo Moon-sang and Yoo Hye-mi and features Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Kang-woo, Gong Seung-yeon and Lee Gi-kwang.
Written by: Orion from ‘Orion’s Ramblings‘
Joseon X-Files – Secret Book