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W–Two Worlds writer, Forest of Secrets PD team up for sci-fi thriller

I’m totally excited for the next drama from innovative star writer Song Jae-jung (W–Two Worlds, Nine, Queen In-hyun’s Man)… and I’m also terrified to let myself get invested in another of her inventive fictional universes that raises a million questions and doesn’t answer any of them. But come on, if she’s writing a new drama, I’m going to be watching it. She’s heading back to tvN in the coming year to pen a new sci-fi action thriller called Memories of the Alhambra, and she’s teaming up with PD Ahn Gil-ho of tvN’s critically acclaimed Forest of Secrets for the project. Talk about your dream teams.

Song Jae-jung will again be tackling alternate realities in this new drama, this time through augmented reality (AR) computer games, in which AR technology enhances sensory input from the outside world, distorting and changing what a person sees. The story begins, as the title suggests, at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. The hero is an investment company CEO who travels there on business, and ends up staying at a cheap hotel run by the heroine, a former guitarist. Together they’ll get swept up in a peculiar situation. You mean like getting sucked into a tablet-portal to an alternate world where everyone is a comic book character? No? Okay, just checking.

I remember Nine starting out with this same kind of otherworldly feel, as our characters traveled to a foreign locale steeped in mystery and beautiful ambiance, so I expect Memories of the Alhambra to use the palace to similar effect. I’m most excited about this being a sci-fi action thriller, because if anyone could create a believably intricate, pulse-pounding alternate universe, it’s this writer. Let’s just hope she has some satisfying resolutions up her sleeve this time.

Memories of the Alhambra will be a 16-episode drama on tvN. Some reports say that it’s being planned for a September airdate, but the time slot hasn’t been confirmed. Let the dream-casting begin!

Via Sports Chosun

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Good points- it will have a good first half. It will probably look awesome. FOS PD is a bonus.
Bad points- has the potential to loose steam (again) half way through, and not answer its own questions (again).
*adds it to the Coming Soon aka A Year Away watch list anyway*

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Spot on

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Ikr? I have a huge soft spot for this writer, so I know I'll end up watching it anyway.

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I'd rather not root for this until the show happens because *ehrm, IHYV-While You Were Sleeping* but I guess I would like tl give it a try.

I hope it's more of a Circle thriller rather than W overtwisted plot.

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This makes me want the FoS writer and the PD for W to work together. Please someone make that happen!

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Now THAT I would 100% watch.
*is it weird that I'm saying this and haven't even seen FOS?* *what kinda bias is that* *lol*

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Oho, that sounds good. A dream :(

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This mostly impossible. Since PD of W work for MBC.

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does the FoS writer work exclusively for tvN then? Surely we could dream of this team on MBC. 🙏

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That was actually my first thought too, when I read the title of this article. I'm too scared to completely root for this drama, but I'll be looking out for it.

BUT... if the FOS PD is working on this project, does that mean we won't get that FOS s2 (not this coming year at least)?
I hope it doesn't another PD will direct FOS

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After spending several months in Spain, the title and setting sure has me interested. I never actually made it to the Alhambra so I am looking forward to living vicariously through the characters to witness its beauty.

Honestly, at this point I can just tell myself to not get my hopes up for this writer to fully carry her stories through the second half. I will just enjoy the first part and turn the plot hole-seeing part of my brain off when the time comes.

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I'll take the PD and put a hold on the writer, W-Two Worlds was a frustrating let down.

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What Yoo Seung-ho needs. A good project with an extended brooding shower scene. Alternative working title, W-Ruler: Forest Master of the imaginary robot cat.

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+1

I chuckled at the working title XD

On a serious note I was thinking how good it'd d be if the lead role gets offered to him.

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Well I should say I am very HAPPY with this team but I'm also insecure about the prospect of Forest of Secrets 2nd season... I know it's still in talk and nothing's set yet but it better stick with the full team of the first season or don't make it at all... and I hope this new drama doesn't get in the way

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Sounds pretty interesting.

IMHO, stories with intricate mythology or world building usually flow better with a tight cast - maybe 2 to 4 characters taking up most of the drama time. The interaction and story logic is much easier to keep up with. (e.g. Goblin, Signal, Circle, Doctor Who)

The "failed" ones usually become too ambitious and try to include everything and everyone into the story. This is rarely manageable from a writing perspective and the mythical/world logic falls apart. ( e.g. W, Manhole, Reunited Worlds)

If they're being ambitious, then it would be best if they based it off a famous book (rather than a manhwa/webtoon) where the author has already thought through the mythos and carefully built up the characters and story. (e.g. Middle Earth, Narnia, most of Jin Yong's books, Harry Potter)

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I've realized after watching k-dramas the past few years that it doesn't really matter who the PD is. It can be the most beautifully shot drama, and still be so inconsistent. That was W for me, and I couldn't even finish it. I really liked Nine and QIHM, but I could feel the difference in quality without her co-writer.

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Agreed. A beautifully shot drama cannot hide the flaws in the writing.

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Do you mean you loved nine? For me even if I didn't finish nine, but I could sense this was going to be awesome, while W started on a good premise but the logic of the story failed to make sense to me when a creation falls in love with the master, that was kind of ridiculous and even the pretties couldn't make me stay. Hope it will be more like nine this time.

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Yes! Nine was the first of her works I watched and I was impressed (even if it got a little cray towards the end).

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A pd work is not always to make everything pretty. It's also how he handle scene and how their actor acting also. While i agree the acting is responsible of how actor give their effort, but the director is (and also the material) also take responsible. And just like actor, director has ups and down also.

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Oh, definitely. There are plenty of actors who have had hammy performances in dramas I didn't like -- not because they weren't capable, but because the PD didn't manage or utilize their talent well. Revolutionary Love is one huuuuuuuuuuge example (great writer, terrible PD -- literally unwatchable lol). I personally think I value writing just a bit more though.

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A lot of people say this but I thought that Nine was far more confusing and incoherent than W. Much of the themes for W were clearly developed in Nine but Nine lost all direction at the end and made little sense overall. I always thought of Nine as her training wheels.

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And Nine definitely could have benefited from being four episodes shorter, because those last few were rough (and QIHM, which was also co-written earlier with Kim Yoon-joo, was so much stronger because of the length IMO).

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And yet QIHM made no sense overall either. And the OTP did nothing for me. Watching him humiliate and berate her constantly: making her feel worthless because she wasn't as smart as him is not my idea of "romance". It's the least favourite of her works for me.

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I liked the plot of Nine, but I loved the characters of W. Like, every single one. Whereas in Nine, I was a bit frustrated by the fact that the female lead didn't actually DO anything. (Meanwhile: Go, Yeon Joo! Save the world with your medical smarts and drawing!)

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This writer's female characters are always a bit too passive and silly for me. So I liked W the best because Yeon Soo was *slightly* better. But she was still just an overgrown fan girl who spent a weird amount of time unconscious.

What is it with her female characters being hooked up to IVs?

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The team's credits are enough to get me hyped for this show. Definitely going to be checking it out. Let the castings begin!

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I wonder what the "peculiar situation" will be? And why this setting in particular? Anyways, W Two Worlds remains my fave k-drama despite its flaws, and "Queen In Hyun's Man" is in my top five kdramas. So I am interested to know more about the plot of this drama as it still seems vague.

On this note, this makes me wish that LJS and HHJ can be reunited as the H/h for another of this writer's dramas, and it's on cable, so we can get more freedom with the romance aspect! There was so much chemistry between them off-screen too, I've been watching the bts for W and it made me wish that we saw more of that on-screen (especially in the last episode).

Anyways I just hope that if this gets made, that it will be good and balanced between the romance and the suspense, and that the twists will be in line with the plot. I also hope that this time she uses a more stable writing style. This writer is very creative and her male leads tend to be swoony (badass, intelligent, dependable/protective, etc), but she seems to be a bit erratic in her writing style.

In conclusion I look forward to more details about this project!

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Every. Single. Thing. You said!

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I wish the romance will not heavily influenced the drama

Cough W cough WYWS cough

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I've liked the dramas from Song Jae-jung so far. Out of the 3 mentioned, W was my least fave. But dang, another sci fi thriller??? The plot is intriguing.

A big part depends on the cast, but I'll probably give this drama a shot if I like the leads. I won't have huge expectations or anything though.

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As long as it's better than W, which was a poorly written mess. And I know it can be better since both Nine and QIHM were solid.

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AR? Dreamteam? Spain? *buys a comfortable plushie, popcorns, a ton of other snacks.*
I'M READY FOR THIS!

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Yessssss...Can we have Lee Jong-suk and Park Shin Hye together again????? Pretty please👼👼

P.S.: I already miss Lee Jong-suk on my screen❤️️

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I... I don't know how to feel about this.

._______.

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Tbh I'd rather have the writer pen a non-medical drama. I'm not worried about who she'd be paired with because I'm confident the drama producers wouldn't choose any schmuck to direct what she wrote. Or, even better, let's have her and the director of FoScollab on another drama together.

I haven't watched this particular writer's other dramas before but I found W to be really disappointing. I don't know why the heroine was written to be so insufferably childish and dumb (despite the fact that she's supposed to be a doctor doing her residence - just because you point out that the character is stupid doesn't make it any better show!) Like, all I want are heroines that are not weirdly infantilized or Candys who have to suffer the whims of their GEENIUS BILLIONAIRE CEO bosses. Is that too much to ask? And let's not forget the head scratcher of an ending for W... Nope. Can't trust this writer right now. Will likely pass.

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the writer of FoS

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I just finished watching QIHM and the heroine was a really good character. She was flawed and adorable and importantly, realistic AND practical.

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Eh. This show already sounds way too expensive

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I haven't watched Forest of Secrets so I'm not sure what to expect of the pairing. But like what the other beanies mentioned here, I'm wary of the writer's tendency to putter out on the second half of the series.

And this is just an honest opinion but the tentative title sounds a bit pretentious/hipstery. If it's a sci-fi thriller, I humbly think they could come up with a better title.

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But W plots was not that good tho. Sure it has a cool concept but the writing did falter after the second half. Having said that, I'll probably still watch it anyway especially.
Ohh... as long as this doesn't effect FOS S2 of course~

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I didnt finish my sentence
*especially with FOS PD

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"heroine, a former guitarist" *hacker voice* I'm in

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Wow, being from the South of Spain myself, I can't help but feel excited. Hopefully they will pick favorites of mine as leads so I can drop by and see them in person, haha!!
I loved W so I am moderately optimistic that I would like the plot. At least I'm sure that the show will look gorgeous. For the ones that never visited, know that it is written in one of the Alhambra towers, that "there is no biggest sorrow in life than being blind in Granada". Aaahh, I know I'm biased about this city 💕😊

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I am from Galicia and I've never been to the south because "it's there and I can go anytime"... I see myself going now to see the shooting of a kdrama 😂 (just kidding, I've been wanting to go for a really long time to Granada, Sevilla, etc., I heard in the south people are warmer and more talkative 😂)

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Is it like sword art online anime theme?
AR is great but I am afraid about the execution
SAO is anime and it is a drama

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I've watched W before and I enjoyed it. I think I'll check this out after I've seen its trailer.
Is Nine worth the shot? I haven't watch kdramas for the past few months & I'm currently looking for watch worthy shows for the xmas break. :-)

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Yes the time travel part might be confusing but the logic is well written. The directorial style is not as flashy as W or some of the newer dramas though. From this writer, Queen In-hyun's man would be an easier watch and focuses more on the romance.

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Thanks for the tip!

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Sci-fi action and thriller - but what about zombies?

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Whatever she does, she should please plot out an ending way in advance of the drama shooting. I’m not ready to have my heart broken again over another crappy ending. ☹️ It spoiled what would otherwise have been a pretty iconic drama (W) experience.

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i like d premise and since its realistic.. resolution automatically will make sense.. this is an easier concept to work with..

W was a tough concept to begin with in the first place..

AI world..
i want a superhuman samurai cheese fest too!!!,,

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I, for one, am excited for this writer's next drama! I really enjoyed W despite its flaws. Hopefully this time though she'll recognize that she needs to try to fill in the plot holes. W was a good drama, but could have been one of the most amazing dramas ever if the plot holes had been filled. I'm definitely going to be watching this!

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Please cast Lee Joon-gi, I love to see him in a Sci-fi

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oh good idea, Teacher also kind of looks futuristic but it needs to be a good script

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I'm in! W started out good, but got too convoluted in the end. This writer has produced some solid dramas before. As long as she stays on track and doesn't try to introduce too many elements towards the end, this could be good.

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W was her best work IMHO. I find it hard to connect with her OTPs and yet behind all the time-wimey twists the driver of her plot is often romance. W was her best work in this regard but even it suffered in the romance department. I'm hoping a collaboration will help bolster this.

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Romance and gaming world are my favorite combinations. E.g. Love 020 and Sword Art Online 💜 another currently ongoing anime but I forgot the name lol.

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Both are good at intricate plotting and great twists. But Stranger had better characterisation and female characters. So maybe we can enjoy a Song Jae-jung drama where the female lead doesn't spend half her time unconscious hooked up to an IV.

All jokes aside, Stranger and W are two of my favourite dramas ever so I'm super excited by this.

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As always with SJJ, interesting premise, but damn W was such a letdown for me. I was so invested in it but everything just went downhill in the latter half and I still have bitter aftertaste even if it's been more than a year already. Nonetheless, I will keep an eye on this one. Excited for casting news!

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Won't be watching till it's over and I hear reviews. W was so disappointing, and when I read in an interview this writer say that the ending of the show was not important to her, I knew why. C'mon drama writers, endings make or break your reps.

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i like this movie so much

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Yay Song Jae-jung! All 3 of her works are my all time favourites. Nine & Queen In-hyun’s Man seemed to spark off the time-travelling trend and 'W' was fun, thrilling and full of originality. Can't wait.

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One of the biggest misconceptions of dramaland is that W was well-written. It was really not. A weak story build on a narrative logic the writer couldn't quite get the handle on.

Forest of Secrets, on the other hand, is a bona fide masterpiece. So perhaps the PD will help make up for the writer's shortcomings.

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I guess a lot of people are worried about this because of the writing flaws they saw in W. I, for one, am excited because of the beautifully written logic of Queen In Hyun's man :) It's probably the most satisfying time travel drama I've ever seen, plot-wise, so I'm going to put my faith in this project (especially with such a talented PD at the helm - dream team is right!)

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