K-Pop and K-Dramas: My Holo Love

Screenshot from ‘My Holo Love’ (2020) starring (left) Ko Sung-hee and (right) Yoon Hyun-min. Copyright goes to Studio Dragon and Netflix.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I wasn’t actually recommended this one as much as I just saw it on Netflix. Netflix really has been my go-to for K-drama stuff, just because it’s so easy. This one drew my attention mainly because it was short and I was in a bit of a time crunch. I was a bit put off by the premise of this one just because I thought the hologram aspect of it would be weird. For those of you who are more unfamiliar with this show, it follows Go Nan-do, an introverted genius working on a multi-purpose hologram. When other companies attempt to steal the product, the hologram is slipped into the possession of an un-assuming Han So-yeon who eventually befriends and then falls in love with the hologram. She is unaware that her new neighbor who never shows his face is the creator of the hologram, as well as the spitting image of it, attempting to get his product back. The falling in love with the hologram piece of this is what made me really skeptical, but this show did not turn out how I initially thought it would. As always-SPOILERS. Read at your own discretion.

The Good:

  • The main male character. No perfect boyfriend syndrome here! This male protagonist is not toxically masculine or lacking in sensitivity. In fact, he’s kind of the opposite. He suffers from social anxiety as well as a lack of hopefulness for his life. Both of these things are aspects of his life that he works out as the series goes on. You eventually find out that he created his hologram self to a be a perfect version of himself. A version of himself that can express emotion the way that he wishes he could. It’s only through the support of friends and family that he’s able to realize that this is something he can achieve himself. He’s not perfect or overly passionate and romantic. He really strikes you as a character that could really exist because he actually has real human problems. He’s definitely all the better for it.
  • The main female character. She also feels very real and very human. She deals with social anxiety as well and has trouble navigating her life at work. This is partly because she has a condition where she cannot process or remember faces, so her co-workers often feel that she is slighting them. She initially uses her new hologram to help her navigate life at work, as the hologram can recognize her co-workers. Eventually she gets to the point where she has to work through her own problems. One of them being the fact that she fell in love with a hologram. She is never too girly or too tom boyish. She doesn’t feel like some high standard or the type of character that is really hard to relate to. She feels possibly the most human of any female protagonist from a K-drama that I’ve ever seen.
  • The hologram. I really thought this character would be weird. I was pretty much convinced of it. But they really went out of their way to make this hologram feel more human and less weird. The hologram develops his own thoughts and emotions and makes his own sacrifices for the happiness of others. Though he has also fallen in love with Han So-yeon, he must come to terms with the fact that he isn’t a real person. Often times when the two protagonists have a romantic moment, it was instigated by him to make sure they are both happy. In the end you can’t help but see him as a sentient human being. You really do feel sorry for him at the same time you’re really happy to see the protagonists together. I did not expect them to so successfully humanize him in the way that they did.
  • The romance. Just like how the characters felt realistic, the progression of this romance also felt realistic. They don’t particularly like or dislike each other at first. She is definitely wary of him because of his history in trying to steal the hologram back from her, but she soon discovers that he’s a kind soul with a few issues. But what I like here is that she doesn’t try to fix his problems nor does she let his behavior slide because of them. She becomes emotional support for him, but she encourages him to fix his own issues as she knows that it isn’t her job. When both characters change for the better it’s because of their own willingness to. But they both remain incredible support for the other throughout their struggles. That’s where they really bond and that’s what makes them so good together. And the scene where he’s carrying her home is far too precious.

The Bad:

  • The side-plot romance. I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to like it. I really liked Go Nan-do’s sister and I thought she deserved so much better than the love interest they gave her. There were some points where it felt like I was supposed to really like it and some points where I felt like I was completely justified in hating it. He helps her sometimes which is good, but he’s also way too business minded and often put that over her. I just didn’t really feel this one.
  • The villains. This really could have done without the dramatic moments of other companies trying to steal the hologram. It didn’t really seem to serve the plot and the villains existence came up pretty inconsistently throughout the show. There really could have been another way that Han So-yeon ended up with the hologram. The villainy in this show just ended up being forgettable and on the boring side.
  • Love triangle. I’ve said it before and I will say it again- I really don’t like love triangles. This is probably more of a personal preference thing, but I just don’t think they’re ever written that well. I didn’t find this one to be an exception. The fact that there was a moment where Han So-yeon was choosing between the hologram and the actual guy was so bizarre to me that it took me out of the story a little bit. And it wasn’t just because he’s a hologram, because he was a very human hologram. It was because by the time she starts spending time with Go Nan-do, she has already found out that some of the romantic things she thought were done by her hologram were actually done by him. Not only that, but she falls in love with the hologram pretty quickly without much build up, unlike her relationship with Go Nan-do. It made sense for her to still care, but there were things that definitely made me question why she still felt the way she had.

I actually thought this drama was good! It definitely exceeded my expectations! It’s not the best drama I’ve ever watched, but it’s something I would watch again. I was really surprised at just how human this supernatural plot was made to be. I grew so much more attached to the characters than I thought I would. If you haven’t made the time to watch this one yet, or if you saw it and dismissed it because it looked kind of weird, I would highly recommend giving this one a second chance. It’s adorable and another one of those shows where you can just turn your brain off for a second and watch something cute.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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