Here is the verdict – If you haven’t watched Korean dramas yet, you are missing out on the simple pleasures of life. I’m not a Robot is heartwarming, fun and full of love. Major spoiler – It’s not really sci-fi.
It took me a couple of episodes to warm up to Kim Min Kyu, our hero. Kim Min Kyu is rich and lonely. Literally lonely, since he suffers from a rare allergy. An allergy to people. He cannot come in physical contact with another human being. So he spends his days being mean to the people in his corporation and building a card castle for the fifteen solitary years of his existence. Yoo Seung Ho’s acting is adorable. You want to hug him through his tears and cheer on his victories.
Enter Santa Maria team, the code name of a group of endearing misfit scientists. Lots of bromance, friendship and loyalty just entered the picture with these guys. With the scientists comes a humanoid android robot- AG3. She uses deep learning to recognize emotion and build a connection. That’s not all. Her face is an identical copy of the lead scientist’s ex-girlfriend.
Jo Ji A, our heroine, is having a tough time in life. She likes to invent stuff with heart, but no one seems to want to buy her stuff. I personally loved one of her inventions. An umbrella that can become transparent with the click of a button, and then opaque if in the rain you want to kiss your special someone. The umbrella obviously doesn’t really give you privacy, but on screen does play out cutely!
You know, how serendipity plays a role in the most endearing love stories? Instead of AG3, Jo Ji A goes to Kim Min Kyu as his personal robot. She is not at all convincing as a robot, but Kim Kin Kyu is desperate for company. He is even more desperate for a friend. “Friend mode” in the so-called android robot was a hilarious concept. Every time Jo Ji A slipped and gave away that she was as human as human can be and not a robot, the scientists would disguise it as “friend mode”.
The inevitable happens. The hero falls for the heroine. No wait… hero falls for the robot.. who he doesn’t know is the heroine. Right about now, are you laughing at how unbelievable the premise is? I am not a Robot makes it work. Beautifully. Kim Min Kyu and AG3’s scenes have a vibrance and vulnerability which the actors make believable. If you are worried about Kim Min Kyu’s human allergy, don’t worry. He still gets his kiss under the rain. One of my favourite telephone conversations follows after that kiss, so come talk to me about it once you have seen it…
I lost count of the number of insanely funny moments and equally as many touching ones. I even developed a maternal sense of pride in the robot. That’s how good the show is! Makes me care about a robot even though it is not a sci-fi series at all. I’ll risk a minor spoiler – The robot AG3 walks out unsupervised into the outside world one day. It was a surprisingly touching journey. Because by now I was rooting for all the good guys (and robot).
Things get a little slow around the middle of the 16 episodes long series, but the chemistry between the leads, memorable characters, satisfying character growth and the lovely fresh music all manage to leave this warm afterglow that makes you want to sigh and find someone to kiss in the rain, and then find friends and family to return home to…
I watched with subtitles on www.viki.com where part of the fun is the live comments by other viewers. So remember to keep comments on.
Thank you thank you to Katelyn for the recommendation and the gorgeous cover pic.
Thank you indi di for your call that always makes me long to write more.
Thank you Lazywiz for the inspiration that finally made me write after 3 months of 0 writing.
Video credit to uploader