A Poetic Tragedy | Are You Human Too?

Seo Kang Joon.jpgWhat a brilliant drama this was. Ending last night, Are You Human Too? may have had a rough start initially but somehow it did continue to deliver for the most part. How a science fiction ended up turning into a tale of filial loyalty is something I still don’t understand completely. Nevertheless, I would say the flaws of this drama were far lesser than all that made it shine.

Kim Sung Ryung Seo Kang Joon.jpegThe heir to a business conglomerate known as PK Group is ostracized from the his family on the grounds of marrying somebody beneath his social class. His wife, Oh Ro Ra (played by Kim Sung Ryung) is a computer engineer dabbling in research on creating artificial intelligence. Due to the being cast away by his family, the man lives with his wife and son in Czech Republic. On a visit to Seoul in order to conduct a series of lectures on AI, Ro Ra’s husband is declared dead. It remains unclear whether he committed suicide or was murdered, but as a result, her son, Nam Shin is kidnapped by his grandfather as the next in line of the big business. Ro Ra is left shattered and goes back to Czech Republic after failing to take back her son. She finally creates the robot she dreamed of and gives him a face just like her son. As he grows up, she keeps updating her technology till she finally creates Nam Shin III (played by Seo Kang Joon).

Seo Kang Joon Gong Seung Yeon.pngThe robot is fed all sorts of information regarding interpreting human emotions. He knows that he is not supposed to physically assault humans and also to offer a hug when somebody is crying. On the other hand, the human Nam Shin has been raised among the greatest security despite a lack of parental love in his life. On learning about where his mother is, he creates quite a scene by assaulting his own bodyguard, Kang So Bong (played by Gong Seung Yeon), so that he can divert attention towards her in order to board a plane to the Czech Republic. However, he is being tailed by an assassin working for somebody within the company, who wants this heir killed in order to have power over the business. In the Czech Republic, both Shins end up running into each other, but the assassin makes sure to run over one of them, the human Shin to make sure he is dead.

Seo Kang Joon Gong Seung YeoThis huge accident leads to Nam Shin III impersonating the human Nam Shin and being sent to Seoul to make sure that nobody can take over the company. Finally escaping isolation, our robot learns so many lessons about how humans function and communicate with one another. He is like an ongoing experiment as he begins to show the lengths his concept of emotions can go to. However, despite the central plot culminating into a battle for power, all the peripheral story arcs tend to focus on the battle between humanity and monstrosity. It is often the robot reminding the humans about what makes all of them human, while the humans around him pretend to behave like bloodthirsty beasts out hunting for their prey. Nam Shin III was definitely provided a good mirror to human society, and it’s about time I handed out my commendations. First of all, Seo Kang Joon’s double role of both the human Nam Shin and Nam Shin III was very well done, simply because even the slightest nuances revealed who was the person in front of the screen.The ability to create such a perfect foil to his human self proved to be an added bonus for how terribly different both characters were. My other special mention goes to Gong Seung Yeon, who shined as always and I always enjoy her time on screen. Lastly, Kim Sung Ryung truly grew in leaps and bounds with a role different from her previous roles of chaebol mommy. I highly recommend Are You Human Too? to whoever wants to peer into themselves and learn about what makes them human.