Circle: Two Worlds Connected Review
‘Circle’ has just come to a close, and I, datcheebie, am here to present to you a review about this suspense-packed and quite experimental drama with Yeo Jin Goo, Gong Seungyeon, and Kang Ki Woo leading.
|Number of Episodes||
|Original Release||May 22 – June 27, 2017|
At first, I didn’t really know what to think with all this futuristic world and alien kind of thing. This drama is interesting in the sense that it’s layout is very different. For those who have watched ‘Signal’ (read my review here), although this drama does have 2 worlds that are “connected,” they are not really connected in the sense that the characters from 2017 can communicate with those in 2037. However, with an unaging alien and technology revolving around memories, it is fair to say that the two worlds, 2017 and 2037, are indeed connected.
Yeo Jin Goo plays the role of Kim Woo Jin, a top student at Handam University in 2017. However, life is not easy as his father abandoned him and his twin brother and left with Byul, an emotionless alien who possesses knowledge of extraterrestrial advanced technology. For ten years, Woo Jin works hard to focus on surviving, putting his painful past behind him and convincing himself that aliens do not exist. On the other hand, his twin brother, Kim Bum Gyun (Ahn Woo Yeon) is not so forgiving as he continues to chase down clues to find his father and the alien who “abducted” him and left the twins and their grandmother to fend for themselves. Bum Gyun, however, causes trouble in his chase, and ends up going to jail and receives psychiatric treatment. All of this does not get him to quit however, and he finally gets himself into a kind of trouble that pushes Woo Jin to re-accept his past. They become wrapped up in a series of suspicious suicides at Handam University that all point to “alien activity.” Is it really a coincidence that Byul aka Alien Unni’s doppelganger, Han Jung Yeon, also attends the school?
In 2037, Kim Kang Woo plays the role of Kim Joon Hyuk, who is one of the twins who has completely lost his memories due to what happened in 2017 and is trying to find his brother. 2037 is no pretty place — humans have finally reaped what they sowed as much of Earth is in ruins due to pollution and conflicts and all they can enjoy is poverty. On the other hand, with Human B’s “Stable Care” technology, Smart Earth is one fancy place worthy of a spot among the futuristic cities seen in Sci-Fi movies. This clean and futuristic city boasts a 0% crime rate that is accredited to the “Stable Care System” — basically each Smart Earth Citizen has a chip in their heads that activates a “stabilization” mechanism to stopper any intense feeling that might cause conflict. BUT — is that all they’re doing? Kim Joon Hyuk and his superior, Chief Hong, know what happened back in 2017 and strongly suspect that the lost twin is on Smart Earth. However, who is the mysterious hacker, Bluebird, who seems to have a role in tampering with the memories of Smart Earth Citizens to the point where the unlocked memories of one individual causes the first murder ever in Smart Earth History?
If you like puzzles, I guarantee you will have fun with this drama. With the interplay (or should I say lack thereof), I guarantee that you will find yourself trying to guess whether Kim Joon Hyuk is really Kim Woo Jin or Kim Bum Gyun and also who the heck the Chairman of Human B is. The message in this drama is pretty clear though, even after the first couple of episodes: memories — they make who you are and are powerful because they transcend space and time.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN IN DEPTH DISCUSSION AS PART OF THIS REVIEW THAT CONTAINS SPOILERS! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON’T WANT ‘EM!
Yeo Jin Goo’s maturity blows my mind every time, but Gong Seung Yeon is one amazing Alien Unni. Yes, this is spoiler No.1: Byul the alien is Han Jung Yeon. It’s kind of interesting though, because after Byul’s memory was erased, the drama never gave us the explanation for how Professor Han and Human B found her again and how losing her memories made it so that Byul/Jung Yeon actually could express emotions. This drama is a mystery, so I guess I’ll just have to have this question not be answered, ever.
The drama was interesting in the sense that it starts with 2017 for part 1, then flashes to 2037for part 2, but I almost choked when I found out that the way they ended up connecting the worlds was to clone Kim Woo Jin and place him in 2037 where Kim Joon Hyuk and Han Jung Yeon finally find him and reveal everything about the shady Human B to the world. Bam. Circulate 3. What’s with the name by the way???
I don’t doubt Lee Gikwang’s role’s role (ha. mouthful) in the plot as someone who conveniently is part of Human B’s defense department and has such strong [blocked] memories that easily push him over to the “Good Guys’ side,” but I don’t know — the development of his character wasn’t too convincing for me. I get that as he recovered his memories gradually over time, he realizes the true worth of the painful memories and finally sees what Kim Joon Hyuk and co. are fighting so passionately for, but it was presented in such a passive way to me even though they planted a bunch of flashbacks. Maybe it’s just me? I’m glad he didn’t give in to the Dark Side though (ofc he wouldn’t).
Throughout the drama, I was quite perplexed about the fact that Kim Bum Gyun had glasses even up ’til 2017 — but bam. In 2037 he’s like a 20/20 vision god —????? How??? So, without a need for an explanation, I almost choked when he explains that he received an injection — easy peasy — futuristic technology, duh.
I wouldn’t say I was hooked on this drama, but I can’t say that I didn’t want to watch every single episode. In this sense, I think the writers were ingenious — each episode is designed so that you would have to watch each episode to understand what the heck is happening. If you just watched episode 1 and episode 12 (the finale), you’d probably be very lost — especially with the unaged Kim Woo Jin Clone that/who cam out of nowhere.
This drama makes you reflect — science is “good” but it can always end up in the wrong hands, and these hands are those that belong to the very imperfect human beings who for some crazy reason dream of creating a perfect world. Don’t strive for perfection, as it doesn’t exist. Remember your past mistakes, remember that you will make mistakes, and accept rather than force things.
Thanks ‘Circle’ for a great 6 weeks!