South Sonder Verdict: My Holo Love (2020)
I usually like to avoid watching TV shows or movies that involve human beings falling in love with things they they really should not be feeling affection towards because it just feels weird. Like, when people fall in love with sea creatures, demons, or half-human, half animal mixes, I'm like "...yeah imma head out. 🥴"
But, Han So-yeon's story was so captivating from the very beginning that I just could not pass up the opportunity to keep watching and learn more about her story, how Holo is involved, and why the developer of Holo was so drawn to it all.
My Holo Love (also known as 나 홀로 그대) is about a lonely woman who falls in love with an A.I (artificial intelligence) program named Holo. This drama focuses on main female protagonist, Han So-yeon played by Ko Sung-Hee. Han So-yeon works in marketing at a glasses company, but, she suffers from a face blindness disorder which causes her to to live her life as a recluse, not interacting with others. However, her WHOLE life starts to change when an AI program called Holo appears in front of her one day. This drama is full of action, romance, murder, corruption, and themes that critique the importance of bonds in society. It's a LIMITED series on Netflix that came out on February 7th, 2020, so check it out on Netflix before it's too late.
Throughout this drama, I was able to fully appreciate the amazing, scary, yet addicting storyline, the on-screen chemistry amongst the cast, the portrayal of real emotions (even from the robot, Holo), and STUNNING imagery.
I like how every episode was important and that it wasn't riddled with filler scenes or unnecessarily drawn out romance scenes. They'd go from hiding from the feds to kicking ass in scenes reminiscent of a John Wick fight scene to trying to understand the limits of Holo's artificial intelligence.
I think the best part about this drama was how realistic it was. I can honestly see this plot actually occurring in real life. I mean, we are already seeing the power of virtual reality advance rapidly every single day. On February 14th, 2020, a South Korean mother was reunited with her late daughter by wearing virtual reality goggles. Despite only standing in front of a green screen, to everyone else around her, they would've only seen the green screen, but the mother was able to communicate to and see her daughter. Lee Hyun-suk, the director of VIVE Studies in Seoul, South Korea said that he hopes that advances in technology can be used to comfort people.
This is similar to what Nan-Do, the developer of Holo, was trying to do, as well. He wanted to create an AI program that would not only comfort its users, but aid them in all of their daily activities whether that be performing their work duties for them, acting as a confidant and therapist, or just being there for them so they wouldn't feel alone (even if they were).
However, as the storyline unfolds, we begin to see the potential negative consequences of Holo, especially if it gets placed in the wrong hands.
The performances by the actors and actresses in this drama were absolutely phenomenal. There was great character development for just about everyone experienced, including a character who I initially thought was a terrible and sneaky human being, but ended up redeeming themselves.
I, especially, enjoyed Yoon Hyun-min who played Nan-do's character the most. He played opposite characters so perfectly, both as Nan-do and Holo, that I genuinely thought they were two different actors. I love the range of emotions that Nan-do went through trying to figure out why he wasn't able to love, but the artificial intelligence program that he created to be the perfect version of himself could, despite Holo not even being real. We got to understand the trauma that he experienced as a child and how that affected his growth into adulthood, his coincidental connection to So-yeon, and what his human like hologram, Holo, meant to him.
This drama was so captivating yet realistic that I felt like I was literally in the show. I've never seen a show with this kind of plot, so it was definitely out of the box, but that's what made it more interesting. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I was torn between wanting to finish everything in one day to dragging it out and watching it until the end of time so that I could appreciate and savour every single, action-packed moment.
With all of that being said, this drama is definitely one of the most original Korean dramas I've ever seen and is definitely worth the hype. I really hope that we never get the point where we rely on artificial intelligence to completely take space of human interactions and human relationships. Social media and growing up during the Digital Age has already done enough detrimental damage to the way that we interact and communicate with other people around us. I don't want us to get to the point where we all live in our own bubble, growing attached to something that isn't even real and has the potential of shutting down, being erased, or revolting against us like iRobot. I know that a lot of us in the world have grown attached and dependent on technology. It almost feels like we can't even survive without it, but I feel like advancing it to the point where people would rather isolate themselves completely away from human beings, can no longer cope or get through the day without living in their own virtual, dystopian world is an extreme that we'll NEVER be able to get back from. This drama was as romantic and exhilarating as it was eye-opening and I greatly recommend it.