Mythical creatures, robots and aliens, please take a back seat. This k-drama addict fell in love with a hologram. Well…almost.
K-dramas never fail to surprise us with what and whom a human can fall in love with. My Holo Love is one such drama that shows us love can possibly exist between a human being and an AI hologram.
Cast: Yoon Hyun-min, Ko Sung-hee, Choi Yeo-jin, Hwang Chan-sung, Lee Jung-eun Director: Lee Sang-yeop, Yoon Jong-ho Written by: Ryu Yong-jae, Kim Hwan-chae, Choi Sung-joon No. of Episodes: 12 Streaming on: Netflix
Plot: Han So-yeon lives a solitary life due to her face blindness disorder. She finds company in a life-like hologram ‘Holo’ and falls in love with him. While Holo’s appearance is identical to its creator Go Nan-do, both of them have opposite personalities. Go Nan-do falls in love with Han So-yeon and lo behold, the most loved drama element, a love triangle is formed. Together they discover secrets from their past and find closure.
My Holo Love has a fairly predictable storyline. Surprisingly, that didn’t stop me from watching this series till the end. There are two factors that worked in the drama’s favour – since it is such a simple plot, I’m glad they wrapped it up in ten episodes. Anything more than that would have been a drag without plot twists. Second, the sweet scenes between Holo and So-yeon will make the audience want to reach the finish line. Of course, the hope that logical questions that arise while watching the drama may eventually have answers is also a contributing factor.
A heartfelt story
Love and AI may seem conflicting but I strongly feel AI has a high chance of changing the way we love in the future. If you’ve watched Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Scarlett Johansson, you’d know what I’m talking about. My Holo Love reinstates the fact that in a world where communication and connection is developing rapidly, loneliness is growing at a faster pace. It also shows its audience that irrespective of flaws, everyone deserves love.
Humans are meant to interact and make connections but we tend to keep to ourselves for the fear of being judged. So-yeon develops a friendship with Holo because she is able to be herself with him. On the other hand, Go Nan-do and So-yeon find that their loneliness and struggles serve as a common thread that brings them together.
The drama also addresses a very important question that arises when we talk about romantic relationships. Is love alone enough or is skinship and physical intimacy equally important for a relationship to thrive?
Holo: So-yeon’s sunshine in the rain
Han So-yeon’s face blindness prevents her from interacting with others for the fear of being hurt. Holo encourages So-yeon to overcome her fear. She finds comfort in Holo and slowly opens up to him. On the other hand, So-yeon helps Holo understand and feel human emotions.
There are several simple, straightforward interactions between Holo and So-yeon, which are adorable. Holo guiding So-yeon in the kitchen, both of them enjoying a drink in the terrace, So-yeon planning a vacation for them without Holo’s knowledge, So-yeon’s dream of enjoying the virtual Northern Lights and kissing Holo are some of the cute moments that straight off come to my mind.
Yoon Hyun Min as Nan-do and Holo
I have to give it to Yoon Hyun Min for his commendable acting as Nan-do and Holo. Both the characters played by him are polar opposites and he pulls off both with ease. While I wish Go Nan-do and Holo weren’t extremely diverse in terms of character, Yoon Hyun Min manages to bring both to life. He is believable as the ever cheerful Holo and equally convincing as the cold Nan-do.
Diction, pronunciation, and delivery of dialogues
The choice of words, diction and dialogue delivery tells us so much about the character, and is important to convey the right message to the audience. There is clarity in the pronunciation of words, and the dialogues aren’t burdened by exposition. The conversations don’t have an element of surprise. Instead they are more suitable to the tone and setting.
Yoo Jin and Chan Sang
Personally, I liked the love story between Yoo Jin and Chan Sang more than that of the lead pair. There was ample build up for the audience to believe that this was meant to be. Yoo Jin and Chan Sang may be from rival companies but they slowly connect over how both of them have to clean up the mess made by others. Chan Sang slowly moves out from his father’s shadow and stays true to his conscience because of Yoo Jin. They talk about their problems over a couple of drinks and meet often, which seems more convincing. Yoo Jin isn’t fully convinced of Chan Sang’s genuineness and takes her time to trust him. Both these characters had far more human traits than the lead pair.
Death of logic due to overdose of emotions
My Holo Love has several plot holes on the way to its happy ending. Throughout the drama, there were several “but why?” moments in my head.
Here are some questions that defy logic in my opinion:
Why did Nan-do want to sell Holo to the public? Considering he doesn’t want the world to know about his own existence shouldn’t he keep Holo to himself? How did he assume that his identity wouldn’t come out one day?
Even if Nan-do could get away without revealing himself to the public, what was the reason behind making Holo physically identical to himself? Doesn’t that defy the whole purpose?
It is shown much later in the drama that Go Nan-do had developmental disorder as a child and So-yeon was his only human friend. His mom created Hello, a virtual AI interactive, to be a good friend to him. If this had been shown in the earlier episodes maybe the audience would have had a better understanding of his character and actions.
For heaven’s sake, if someone doesn’t pick your call in an emergency, always leave a message! I wanted to scream “Leave a message!” everytime someone tried calling another person over and over again. I mean, isn’t that logical?
Also, why was it so hard for Holo to tell So-yeon that they were being followed by the detective during their date? While watching the drama one knows that So-yeon is aware that Holo is not yet available to the public and that there is always danger lurking in the form of competitors and others. Why did he have to call Nan-do and ask to replace him?
Last but not the least, So-yeon not being able to distinguish between a holograph and a human is beyond my comprehension. Lack of logic in movies and dramas is a given but lack of obvious logic is, well, frustrating.
Reason for love between the lead pair is not persuasive
Go Nan-do falls in love with So-yeon when she accidentally kisses him when drunk. She may be his only long lost human childhood friend but that isn’t enough reason either. So-yeon, on the other hand, thinks of the times when Go nan-do saves her, and pretends to be Holo to comfort her. She is able to relate to his struggles and instantly shifts her attention from Holo to Nan-do. Holo tries to help Nan-do and So-yeon face their feelings for each other. I’m assuming this was necessary to convince the audience of the lead pair being together.
The refreshingly sweet scenes between Holo and So-yeon makes it hard to accept overused K-drama elements. The use of cliché elements like hate at first sight turning into love later, love due to an accidental kiss, and the piggyback ride to show the development of Go nan-do and So-yeon’s love story makes it rather forgettable.
That being said, the last episode consists of a good amount of lovey-dovey scenes between the lead pair, which I admit is cute.
Holo and Go Nan-do: As different as night and day
Like I mentioned before, Holo’s and Go Nan-do’s characters are as clear as black and white. One is cheery, views life through rose-coloured glasses while the other is as cold as ice. There’s no in-between. Nan-do’s character does a sudden 180 when he is in a relationship with So-yeon, which is not convincing. The hot and cold behaviour of Nan-do is confusing as well. I wish both the characters had more depth to them.
My Holo Love is a breezy romantic drama with AI thrown in for good measure. Watch this series without bothering too much about logic and consistency. The sweet moments in the series are worth your time.
This drama has beautiful OSTs. I’ve shared my favourites below.