What Mary Thinks: Memories of the Alhambra

Not bad, not bad. ‘Memories of the Alhambra’ starring Hyun Bin and Park Shin-hye premiered this past weekend on tvN. The drama follows Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) – the CEO of an investment company. While in Granada, Spain for a business trip, he encounters Jung Hee-joo (Park Shin-hye) who he has to befriend if he wants to sign a contract that will determine the future of his company and help advance his company into stronger and more stable conditions.

I actually had no plans of watching this drama whatsoever. While I’m aware of who both Hyun Bin and Park Shin-hye are, I’m also not the biggest fan of either of them so I didn’t really have any initial interest in ‘Memories of the Alhambra’ at first (I know I know, please don’t kill me!). However, since the drama was picked up by Netflix, I decided to watch the drama on Netflix out of pure curiosity. While I’m not totally in love with the drama (just yet), I’m also quite content and satisfied with the first two episodes.

I had no expectations going into this drama whatsoever and didn’t watch any of the teasers so I had no clue what the drama was going to be about. I went in with no expectations whatsoever, but came out feeling content and satisfied. Of course, the first two episodes were foundational and introduced our two main characters to us, but it was still fun just watching how different and similar both Jin-woo and Hee-joo are. While they’re on opposite sides of the spectrum socially/financially, they’re both determined and adventurous folks who are just trying to make a living.

As the CEO of an investment company, Jin-woo is experimenting on ‘AR’ (Augmented Reality) games which he claims is going to be the biggest and primary reason for tourist attractions in Granada once it is released. You witness Jin-woo engage in this ‘AR’ situation in the first two episodes which was already cool in itself watching him play the game, but it was also nice to see how the drama was able to utilize this aspect in pushing forth its premise. The future of Jin-woo’s company is reliant on Hee-joo who he needs if he wants his company to grow; she’s unexpectedly playing a far bigger role in his life than he expected and assumed. Of course, I assume this is also how the two are going to fall in love and it’ll be fun to see how Jin-woo and Hee-joo make amends overtime.

The episodes also hinted at Jin-woo’s future a year after he meets Hee-joo which should be interesting. You assume that things are going to go well with how bold, confident, and daring Jin-woo is about his company as well as how determined he is to win, but it doesn’t seem like everything goes according to plan a year later. The drama has an interesting way of storytelling with incorporations of flashbacks as well as scenes in the present to compare and contrast just how much occurred within a year. I’m curious to know what happened to Jin-woo and his company and how his relationship with Hee-joo involved (if it did).

There are also other minor aspects in the drama related to Jin-woo’s personal life, such as his divorce and second marriage. While these characteristics also serve as reasons for his determination and persistence in winning and staying at the top, they’re also minor for now so you don’t care for them as much. Maybe the drama might present more details about these aspects in future episodes to give us more context on Jin-woo’s life. Hee-joo too is a character who we learned a little about in the first two episodes, but she seems like your typical female lead character so far so I’m hoping there’s more to her than what the drama is presenting to us.

Since I wasn’t originally planning on watching the drama, I had no clue who the director or writer for this drama was. However, after seeing who the writer was, I felt a little iffy and doubtful and now I’m not so sure if I want to keep watching this drama. The writer Song Jae-jung has penned other works like ‘W’ and ‘The Three Musketeers.’ I’ve tried to watch her works in the past such as ‘The Three Musketeers’ and ‘Nine’, but I couldn’t get myself to finish them. I did watch ‘Queen In-hyun’s Man’ and liked it so I’m hoping ‘Memories of the Alhambra’ will be just as decent and solid. I’ve heard mixed reviews on ‘W’ with many claiming that it was refreshing, nice, and strong in the first half and then completely disappointing in the second half. I have strong doubts about the writer, but it seems like things are looking so far so good for ‘Memories of the Alhambra’ (as it should). I’m just hoping it won’t conclude like ‘W did and leave everyone hanging in confusion and disappointment.

Also, if you don’t have a reason to watch this drama or is doubtful about watching it, you should just check it out for Hyun Bin at least. I really only remember watching him in ‘My Lovely Sam-soon’, and am finally watching something with him again, but omg, he looks SO good in here. Here I was, assuming I didn’t need to watch this drama because I didn’t care much for either Hyun Bin or Park Shin-hye, but boy am I glad I started it. Thank goodness for Hyun Bin!

Bonus: Extra screenshots from the first two episodes~

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