Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 7

TL;DR: Why did you have to ruin something I was enjoying so much?

Everything was great through part one! I was really looking forward to talking about how Professor Han is in full-blown evil scientist mode, what it means for us as the narrative continues to pull away from Woo-jin’s perspective and focus more on Bum-gyun, and the revelation that Gyu-chul made a run for it after hiding all the crucial data.

And then part two happened, and I just want to scream. (Trigger warnings for suicide and child sexual abuse, for the record.) Continue reading “Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 7”

Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episodes 5 & 6

TL;DR: We’ve hit the midpoint, friends, and that means we have several new answers and new questions.

Jung-yeon carried the emotional weight of these two episodes, which was a welcome surprise. As more of her secrets get revealed, Woo-jin becomes shrouded in mystery himself, and that is a fun narrative switch I did not anticipate. Continue reading “Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episodes 5 & 6”

What we know and don’t know about Jung-yeon

I am very excited about this week’s episodes of Circle because we now have confirmation that Jung-yeon is a constant in all timelines. As such, I thought it would be fun (and possibly even helpful) to do a quick overview of what we know about her and the questions that are still waiting to be answered.

Byul, aka The Alien (2007)

What we know:

  • Emerged, naked, from a ball of light in front of the twins and their father
  • Was taken in by the father
  • Doesn’t express emotion (and her comprehension of it is also lacking)
  • Has super speed and/or strength (see: saving Woo-jin from death by car)
  • Left with the twins’ father

The questions:

  • What is she? Where is she from?
  • Why did she come to earth?
  • Why did she leave with the twins’ father?

Continue reading “What we know and don’t know about Jung-yeon”

Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 4

TL;DR: Hear that high-pitched noise? That’s me shrieking. (With a couple of don’t fuck this up chants thrown in the background for good measure.)

I am so close to trusting this show with my heart. It is a delight to feel on the edge of my seat again and even to be happy when I’m wrong about something. These little details, these plot twists—these are the kind of things I like to be surprised by. Continue reading “Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 4”

Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 3

TL;DR: I wasn’t expecting to shriek in both disgust and delight, but I did, and I am so happy about it.

Circle continues to surprise me in a way that is reminiscent of the first half of W: Two Worlds. (Dear god, please care about your ending, please.) It is so much fun when small details come back and reveal their plot relevance. I had initially thought that episode two’s female student’s nosebleed was just a convenient way to give Jung-yeon a dramatic entrance; turns out it is far more sinister than that. Continue reading “Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 3”

Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 2

TL;DR: I’m glad none of my group project partners in college were ever this creepy or awkward.

My already high interest in this show has ramped up now that Jung-yeon (and some other women!) had actual dialog. While I would have preferred getting insight into her character instead of her being an enigma for Woo-jin to stare at and obsess over, I’ll admit it made for a vaguely creepy tense half hour of television. If Jung-yeon really is an alien, she has come a very long way from the silent but protective (maybe?) observer she used to be. I guess after she figured out the concept of clothes, the rest of the human learning curve was simple. Continue reading “Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 2”

Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 1

TL;DR: There are some choices I would not have made if I were in charge of this show; if I can get over that, I may end up really enjoying this drama.

Easily my biggest concern about the show right now aside from the misplaced Phantom of the Opera musical cue is how overwhelmingly male this show is. By my count there were four female characters: possible alien Han Jung-yeon, who appeared naked in a ball of light and has yet to speak in her grand total of three scenes; Kim Min-ji, victim of a kidnapping twenty years ago and now murderer; the thus-far unnamed woman Bum-gyun presumably tasered off a rooftop to her serious injury and/or death; and the Smart Earth lady who I’m half convinced is the futuristic version of Siri and not an actual flesh-and-blood woman. Aside from some extras in the background, that’s the grand total of female representation in the first episode. Continue reading “Circle: Two Worlds Connected, Episode 1”

4 Hopes for Circle: Two Worlds Connected

After the utter failure that was my attempt at watching new kdramas in March, I am extremely excited to get back in the game with Circle. I absolutely adore speculative fiction, which doesn’t often pop up in kdramas, especially in science fiction form. Even though I did not finish the last dramas I tried that starred Yeo Jin-goo or Kim Kang-woo, I’m excited to have them back on screen. Along with Gong Seung-yun, whom I quite liked in Heard It Through the Grapevine.

Please don’t disappoint me in your choice of projects! Without further time-wasting, here are my four hopes for Circle: Two Connected Worlds.

  1. Han Jung-yun has a plot/character arc of her own. Okay, so maybe I’m a bit jaded and distrustful right now, but I would really love it if Jung-yun got to be significant in her own right. From what I’ve heard so far, the show may run the risk of her being a key the men use to solve the mystery as opposed to her own person. Give her a life of her own, please.
  2. The show tackles the Smart/General Earth divide in a way that provides commentary on the real world. Come on, you don’t pit an on-the-surface utopia against a dystopia and then just fail to do anything with it. (Well, you wouldn’t if you had respect for your world-building and the ways speculative fiction can be used to tackle Big Questions and turn the mirror back on the audience.) Make me believe that you’re doing this for some other reason than set-dressing and the rule of cool.
  3. The future feels appropriately futurish. And alien-ish, too, since the extraterrestrial takeover is a thing. I want it to feel like a world-upending 20 years have passed between the two timelines. Make me believe the writers cared about their world-building and all the ways the future and the present have diverged—and stayed the same.
  4. The mystery is a fearful, delightful ride. I want to be caught off guard, outwitted, and terrified for beloved characters. I want to have just enough clues to put pieces together on my own and still be surprised by what the writers come up with. I want to be invested in unraveling the mystery. Give me first-half-of-W-feels, please—just remember to care about the ending. >.>

Will you be watching Circle? What are your hopes for the show? Let me know!