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Are You Human Too: Episodes 1-2

KBS’s new drama about an android who longs to be human makes a strong start, with solid characters and a compelling premise that quickly distinguishes itself from other recent android dramas. Are You Human Too looks sleek, feels purposeful, and the actors’ performances are strong and assured. The show manages to ask some weighty questions without taking itself too seriously, doling out cute, funny moments to give itself balance. It’s early yet, but I have a good feeling about this one.

 
EPISODE 1: “Human beings can be manufactured”

The camera slowly pans across a child-sized android body. Its fingers twitch as power flows through it, and when we get to its face, its eyes glow a robotic red.

A woman places a lifelike replica of a human boy’s face onto the android, which is now dressed and covered in synthetic skin. It opens its eyes and introduces itself: “Hello. I am an AI robot, Nam Shin-I.”

Tears fill the woman’s eyes as she gasps, “Shin-ah. I’ve missed you so much. But…” Nam Shin-I steps forward and puts his arms around her neck, and she hugs him as she lets her tears fall.

One year earlier.

The same woman, OH RO-RA (Kim Sung-ryung), stands on a stage in front of a projection calling her “The Korean Einstein of Artificial Intelligence.” She gives a speech explaining her goal to create an android that can’t be distinguished from a real human being, displaying a picture of a boy on the protector behind her.

A tiny voice rings out from the front row… “No!” The boy whose picture is on the screen stands to protest that he’s a person, not a robot. Ro-ra affectionately introduces him as her son, joking that she sometimes wishes he were an obedient robot.

Shin says cheekily that he’s a person who doesn’t obey commands, and she fondly threatens to make a robot that looks like him someday, but he just retorts that he likes Daddy more anyway. After her speech, he asks if she’s mad, but she says she’s not because Daddy likes her the most.

Ro-ra’s phone rings with a call from her husband, but it suddenly stops, and they look up to see a man standing nearby. Ro-ra’s smile drops and she hugs Shin protectively. They’re surrounded by several more men, who wrestled Shin from her grasp and throw him, screaming, into a car.

As he’s driven away, the first man, SEO JONG-GIL (Yoo Oh-sung), explains that the chairman requested Shin. Ro-ra asks why, when he’d said he’d never accept them as family. She says that’s why they don’t live in Korea, and that they’re only in the country for this lecture.

She belatedly realizes that Jong-gil is holding her husband’s phone. When she asks why, Jong-gil tells her thats her husband committed suicide, and was cremated last night. In shock, Ro-ra gasps that he was just visiting his father for a few days, then realizes that her son is currently being taken to that very same man.

Jong-gil says dispassionately that the chairman has decided to raise his grandson, and that Ro-ra’s new bank account balance will be comforting to her. He leaves her crumpled on the pavement, clutching her husband’s death certificate.

Later she finds her husband’s ashes at the columbarium and cries that he must be lonely. She sobs that Shin must be lonely, too, and she vows to get him back no matter what it takes.

The following day, Ro-ra drives her car right through the closed gates to the chairman’s home, a sprawling mansion overlooking the ocean. She’s met outside by Jong-gil and throws the payoff money at his feet. She screams for her son, and Jong-gil motions for his thugs to let her through.

Shin comes out, but instead of being happy to see his mother, he says he likes it here and wants to stay with his grandfather. He says he hasn’t been threatened, but when Ro-ra tries to take him with her, he yanks away and yells, “I don’t want to die like Daddy! He died because of you. I know everything. Daddy had a hard time because of you.” He tells her not to come back, or he’ll die, too.

While Jong-gil’s thugs hold Ro-ra back from following him, Shin goes back to the house and joins his grandfather, CHAIRMAN NAM (Park Young-kyu). Shin says meekly that he said what he was told to say, asking for confirmation that his grandfather won’t do anything to his mother. Chairman Nam growls, “That’s right.”

Ro-ra fights to get to her son, until Jong-gil warns, “Shin will get hurt, too. Does the chairman ever not get his way? That happened to Jung-woo while fighting him. It’s more important that he’s alive, than being by your side.” Understanding dawns, and Ro-ra forces herself to leave and fly home alone, without her husband or son.

It storms that night, and little Shin sits in his room, crying for his mommy.

A year later, in her laboratory in the Czech Republic, Ro-ra finishes her incredibly lifelike android replica of Shin. She cries when Nam Shin-I calls her “mommy,” and he recites, “Rule #1: Hug the person if the person cries.” He steps forward and hugs Ro-ra, exactly as he’s been programmed to do.

On his first foray outside, Nam Shin-I is flummoxed by the stairs, unable to navigate them by his limited body. Ro-ra finds him crumpled at the bottom of the staircase, and she has to perform some repairs to get him working again.

Six years later, 2004. Seoul, Korea.

A fourteen-year-old Shin sits on a fence, watching his grandfather’s horses running in the pasture. In Czech, Ro-ra looks through current photos of her son, deeply affected by how much he’s grown. Using the photos, she upgrades the android’s body, making it taller and more filled-out, and crafts it a new face to match its real-life counterpart.

She slides a watch onto the android’s wrist, which activates him. He opens his eyes and introduces himself: “I am AI robot Nam Shin-II. Oh, Mom. Why did you get so short?” Aw, he’s adorable. Ro-ra explains that he’s taller and stronger now.

She takes him to the staircase and says that he’s capable of walking down them now. After a tentative first step, Nam Shin-II hops down the stairs easily. He turns back to see her beaming at him, and he asks, “How do you smile? I want to smile like you.”

Eleven years later, 2015.

Eventually Ro-ra invents something called “bio-ink” and submerses an updated android body in it. Synthetic muscle fibers grow over the metal core, and when the android sits up, it marvels at its nearly human movement. With his new face, NAM SHIN-III (Seo Kang-joon) can move and smile just like a real human being.

But at times, seeing Nam Shin-III makes Ro-ra cry, thinking of her real son who she hasn’t seen since he was eight years old. When he registers her tears, Nam Shin-III hugs her according to his program, and although she seems a bit comforted, it’s clear in Ro-ra’s eyes that she’s painfully aware that he’s not the real thing.

Three years later, 2018. Seoul, Korea.

NAM SHIN (Seo Kang-joon), now twenty-eight years old, reads an article about his mother on the way to the airport. A team of bodyguards is ready to greet him when he arrives, armed with payoff money in case they have to break the cameras of any paparazzi. Shin gets out of the car, stopping to scoff at a video billboard touting his grandfather’s company, PK Group (an automobile manufacturer), before heading inside.

One eager young bodyguard, KANG SO-BONG (Gong Seung-yeon) spots a woman with a camera and runs to stop her. She hops in the woman’s car and grabs her camera, then looks up to see that Shin and his entourage have gone inside. She grins at the reporter, who turns out to be a friend. HA, sneaky.

They split the payoff money, and So-bong’s friend, Reporter Jo, marvels that Shin’s own guard is the one selling photos of him to the press. So-bong touches a heart-shape locket she’s wearing and grumbles that she can’t get caught using the hidden camera. Reporter Jo puts a watch on her wrist and tells her that Shin is dating a singer, offering to pay double for pictures of the chaebol with his new flame.

So-bong reports to the head bodyguard that she broke the reporter’s camera and paid her off, and he sends her to stand guard outside the VIP lounge with the other bodyguards. Inside, Shin is joined by a girl that the other female bodyguard recognizes as a famous idol singer, and So-bong uses her fake watch to take several pictures of the couple snuggling and kissing.

Once she’s gotten the photos, So-bong excuses herself to the restroom, twirling the camera-watch triumphantly. But a hand grabs her wrist and takes the watch — it’s Shin, who grins as she lies that she took it from the reporter earlier. Suddenly he slams it to the floor, smashing it to bits.

He growls that the photos that have been posted online recently must be hers. He calls So-bong a liar when she says he’s being unfair, and says that he had to kiss a girl he doesn’t like just to catch her. So-bong continues to protest her innocence, but Shin yells, “How dare you lie to me!!” and slaps her hard enough to leave her sprawled on the floor.

Travelers crowd around, taking pictures with their phones, and Shin yells that they probably want to make money. He even feints at a few onlookers as if he’s going to hit them, too, until his bodyguards finally break in and lead him away.

Still on the floor, So-bong reaches for the broken pieces of her camera watch. But another bodyguard, whose name is JI YOUNG-HOON (Lee Jun-hyuk) crouches close and says they’ll discuss this later. The head bodyguard tells Young-hoon that Shin is boarding his one-way flight to L.A., so he trots off to join him.

He doesn’t see Shin in the airplane, but Shin calls and taunts him. He gives Young-hoon a hint that he sees white clouds, and Young-hon figures out that Shin boarded a different flight. Shin asks if social media knows yet that he’s a jerk who beats women, when Young-hoon asks about the presentation he was heading to.

But Shin says that he can’t give the presentation or their new product, the driverless car, will go down the drain. He says he’s disappearing for the good of the business, and he expects his grandfather and Jong-gil (whom he calls “the venomous Mr. Seo”) to be happy.

Meanwhile, So-bong gets a vicious verbal beatdown from the head bodyguard for taking pictures to sell while on duty. Young-hoon returns to the group and calmly tells him to process So-bong’s resignation, and to notify the association so she can’t be a bodyguard again. He tells her that he hopes they never cross paths again, though there’s no anger in his tone.

So-bong takes the camera watch pieces to Reporter Jo, who asks what she’ll do now. So-bong chirps that she’ll be fine, she can always guard some rich family’s dog, hiding her pained expression until Reporter Jo can’t see her anymore.

After So-bong is gone, Reporter Jo gets a call from Shin, and she tells him that So-bong didn’t catch on. She asks Shin why he hit So-bong when they planned this in advance, and tells him that So-bong was fired, but he hangs up on her.

On his plane, Shin sits calmly, seemingly unaware that he’s being watched by a man with a snake tattoo on his neck, sitting a few rows away.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Jong-gil gets a report that Shin boarded a plane to the Czech Republic, as well as one of their men. Jong-gil doesn’t know why Shin wants to go to the Czech Republic, but he tells his toady not to lose him. They stand on a stage (probably at the presentation Shin was supposed to attend) and Toady croons to Jong-gil that soon he’ll stand in Chairman Nam’s place.

Videos of Shin hitting So-bong make it on the news, and Jong-gil apologizes profusely to Chairman Nam for being unaware that Shin was leaving the country. Young-hoon assures the chairman that Shin will be home once he clears his head.

Jong-gil thinks that Shin felt pressured about the presentation that Chairman Nam usually gives, and he kneels and takes the blame for not understanding Shin’s feelings. His daughter, YE-NA (Park Hwan-hee) snaps at him to drop the act, only for Shin’s aunt to bark that she’s brave, considering that she doesn’t even know where her fiance is.

Ye-na just says breezily that Shin will come back, and offers to reschedule the presentation. After Chairman Nam dismisses them all, Jong-gil reminds Ye-na petulantly that he’s her father, but she admonishes him for getting ambitious just because his “insurance policy” isn’t present.

So-bong heads to her father’s gym, where she freaks out when she sees that someone threw something through the television. The guys tell her that “the boss” did it when he saw her get hit on the news, then ran over to PK Group. So-bong freaks out again and goes there herself, where her father is currently fighting with the bodyguards.

They tell him that Shin left the country, so he demands to see the chairman. He says that he taught his daughter not to abuse her strength or throw punches, and that she’s honest even after losing her mother at a young age, and he wants to know what the chairman taught his grandson.

So-bong arrives and tries to drag her dad away, but he’s bent on getting an apology from the chairman. The head bodyguard says that they’re the ones owed an apology, so So-bong quickly apologizes. Her father continues to object, until the head bodyguard tells him why So-bong got hit and fired.

Dad turns disappointed puppy-dog eyes on So-bong, but she just hangs her head as the head bodyguard scoffs at the idea of her being honest. Dad raps So-bong’s head with his knuckles and stalks away, disgusted. She looks up to see the video of Shin hitting her on a news screen and gives a shriek of frustration.

As Chairman Nam watches the news broadcast calling So-bong’s assault an abuse of power by the privileged, he thinks of the last time he saw Shin. Shin had sneered, “Just wait, something fun will happen soon,” before walking away.

On their way to a company meeting, Shin’s aunt coos at Chairman Nam placatingly, trying to cheer him up after Shin’s disappearance. He asks for Jung-woo, and she wonders why he’s asking for his dead son. Chairman Nam reacts badly, yelling that all he did was disown Jung-woo, angry at her for “acting” like her brother is dead.

Young-hoon steps in and tells Shin’s aunt to take Chairman Nam to the doctor, doing his best to make sure nobody heard the chairman’s outburst. Unfortunately, Jong-gil witnessed the struggle, but Young-hoon fibs that he’s just upset by Shin’s “accident” and asks Jong-gil to handle the meeting.

He goes down to help Shin’s aunt wrestle Chairman Nam into the car as he fights and screams for Jung-woo. Jong-gil watches, frowning, as they drive away, and Toady finds him to say that Shin and their man landed in the Czech Republic.

At Ro-ra’s home, Nam Shin-III uses his technological abilities to remotely turn on the kitchen lights and some music, then makes breakfast. He closely monitors her calorie and caffeine intake as she eats, and she warns him to be careful on their outing today so that nobody catches on.

Their ride is DAVID, who designed most of Nam Shin-III’s android body, but Nam Shin-III objects when David playfully calls him “son.” He’s very protective of Ro-ra, refusing to tolerate David’s jokes that he and Ro-ra are his parents. He even insists Ro-ra sit in the back seat instead of next to David, but he’s practically bouncing with excitement at the prospect of going out in public.

Shin has trouble finding his mother, but he hires someone to help locate her. The spy with the snake tattoo tells Toady that Shin is still at his hotel, and Toady instructs him to find an opportunity to make sure Shin never returns home. Snake asks how permanent it should be, and Toady looks to Jong-gil, who muses that his glass of wine looks like blood today.

At the marketplace, Nam Shin-III is excited when nobody seems to notice that he’s not human. He gets impatient at a crosswalk and hacks the signal, and Ro-ra accuses David of giving Nam Shin-III the IP address for traffic control, ha. They continue on, unaware that Shin (and Snake) is less than a block away.

At a cheese stand, Nam Shin-III accuses the vendor of giving them exactly fifty grams less than what they paid for. The vendor is offended until David suggests they weigh the block of cheese and the vendor scrambles to give them the correct amount. Ro-ra tells Nam Shin-III to be careful, but David praises him for catching the slight.

He pulls Nam Shin-III aside and asks him for a favor — to shop by himself for an hour so David can have an impromptu date with Ro-ra. He gives Nam Shin-III some money and pulls Ro-ra away, and Nam Shin-III spends some time marveling at the sights and watching the people walking past.

As Nam Shin-III is smelling some flowers at a stand, Shin stops within a few feet of him, but they don’t see each other. Snake follows close behind Shin as he continues on, but Shin is aware of him now. He buys a white hoodie and hat and quickly puts them on while Snake isn’t looking. He hides in a crowd of people watching some dancers, and Snake momentarily loses sight of him.

Close by, Nam Shin-III also watches the dancers, after having purchased and put on the same hoodie and hat Shin is wearing. Someone bumps into Snake, and when he looks back up, Shin has slipped away. But he doesn’t know it, because Nam Shin-III is standing there, looking identical to Snake’s prey.

Snake follows Nam Shin-III when he leaves the crowd, but he gets left behind when Nam Shin-III crosses a busy street right before the light turns again. Meanwhile Shin gets a call that his man found his mother, but he tells his man that he has a tail and instructs him to go to his hotel room and dispose of everything.

A few minutes before he’s to rejoin Ro-ra and David, Nam Shin-III stops to buy some flowers, as David instructed. The pretty flower shop girl finds him handsome and offers him a rose, but he says, “No, I must purchase exactly one bouquet.” She tries to give him her number at the store, but he just says that he doesn’t need paper and pays her for his flowers. Hee, cute.

As he leaves the flower shop, Nam Shin-III spots something across the street that stops him in his tracks — Shin. He turns, and when Shin sees him as well, they stand staring at each other. After a long moment, they start walking slowly towards each other, eyes locked. But as Shin steps down onto the road, a truck hits him, and Nam Shin-III drops his flowers in shock.

 
COMMENTS

Well, I’m glad I knew that was coming, because that final scene was intense with Shin and Nam Shin-III seeing each other for the first time. Thank goodness I had been warned and knew to brace myself for the Truck of Doom. Normally I find the Truck of Doom a cop-out, but I’m willing to let it go this time, since Shin’s accident is part of the setup and not an eleventh-hour storytelling shortcut (though, sometimes I wish drama writers would find a new, creative way to put a character into a coma). Until that moment, I found Are You Human Too to be refreshingly trope-lite, so I’ll allow it so long as we can avoid such predictable plot points in the future. I really like the story so far, with the bereft mother, her long-lost son, and the android she creates to ease her loneliness. I can’t wait to see how the plot develops, and particularly how Nam Shin-III integrates into Shin’s life.

I haven’t read much about this drama other than the basic premise, but I found myself hooked into the story within the first ten minutes. It’s really not surprising, given that the show is from the writer of one of my favorite sageuks, The Princess’s Man, and the second director of several great shows including Gaksital. I expect that Are You Human Too will offer some interesting insight on subjects such as what it means to be human, and what love is (and having just completed a fantastic video game tackling these exact questions, I’m really looking forward to some fresh angles on the subjects). I like the fact that it’s fully pre-produced, which means there was time to make everything just as the writer and the director wanted without the pressure of a live shoot, especially when it comes to getting the very best performances out of actors and allowing them to stay healthy and rested.

Speaking of performances, I’ll admit that as pretty as I think Seo Kang-joon is (because goodness, he is lovely), my opinion on him as an actor has been mixed — he’s not terrible, but his performance quality is unpredictable. So I’m pleasantly surprised by his portrayal of Nam Shin-III, particularly the way he seems so human yet his eyes still carry an innocent blankness that gives away the fact that he’s a machine. Playing one role isn’t easy, but having to create two distinct, unique characters in one drama is more than twice as difficult, and so far I have no problem knowing whether it’s Shin or Nam Shin-III on my screen at any given time (and not just because of the hair!). Seo Kang-joon is doing a great job embodying two very distinct, separate people — his Shin comes across and jaded and slightly angry, while Nam Shin-III has an endearingly innocent and earnest quality to him that I’m already falling for.

I already find myself invested in the other characters as well, as they seem interestingly faceted and not just tropes. Jong-gil in particular is a conundrum — he wants to gain control of PK Group through his daughter’s marriage to Shin, but he’s also shown moments of kindness, such as when he warned Ro-ra to leave lest Shin be hurt, and he seemed downright meek and almost sweet in front of his daughter. But then he turns around and orders Shin’s murder, and I don’t know what to think. The chairman is also delightfully unpredictable as senility creeps up on him, at times sharp as a tack and at other times regressing by decades. I love nuanced villains, and villains like these are certainly fascinating, because you never know what they’ll do. Even our heroine, So-bong, is no typical drama girl, using her job to exploit her employer and make some money on the side.

My only complaint is that there wasn’t much explanation of what Nam Shin-III is capable of, either physically or emotionally. He certainly seems to feel basic emotions, appearing to display feelings like excitement, jealousy, surprise, and concern. I want to know more about how he operates, like whether he’s really experiencing human-like feelings or if he’s just programmed to react a certain way in certain situations. But that’s really a minor complaint, as this is only the beginning, and we have lots of time to learn more about our sweet cinnamon roll hero and what (literally) makes him tick.

 
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Seo Kang-joon: He's doing a fantastic job. The only other thing I can say is, "WATCH THIS SHOW!"
It's so surprising.
Your statement about not knowing what Nam Shin III is capable of is one reason this show is so intriguing. So many questions, so many ways this drama can go. Fascinating.
It's amazing that Seo Kang joon as Nam Shin III, even as a robot, came across as such an emphatic "person" that you want him to be more of a human than his human counterpart. What will he learn along the way, will he learn human emotions such as jealousy, anger, love and have a heart.

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Been refreshing waiting for this!

My god, I fell in love from the first few minutes! Everything just felt so smooth and slick and well-produced, the drama felt like a movie! BGM is beautiful~

Also, the visuals are no joke. Their eyes o-m-ggggg so beautiful I am blessed from seeing these visuals

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Also, this is the first time I'm watching SKJ in anything, and not only is he spectacularly beautiful, does anyone get Batman-Jung Hae-in vibes when he smiles?

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I knew there was something familiar about that smile! Thanks for putting the price together. He does have Jung Hae In's smile which making s them look alike.

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Looks like I’m going to pick this up! Thank you, LollyPip, for the recap! I really didn’t enjoy the first few moments of this, and haven’t watched more than 5 minutes of the first episode. I felt the conversation between mother and son was contrived and rehearsed when in front of the lecture attendees. It didn’t feel sincere and I was on pins and needles knowing something bad was about to happen that I couldn’t go on. That why I appreciate these recaps—some spoilers are welcome in my world. And what was the video game, if I may ask?

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Yes, @lollypip please let us know what the game is! :D

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Wonder if that video game is called Detroit: Become Human. That video game is released on 25 May 2018 and less then 2 weeks another robot theme which this Kdrama Are You Human Too? aired on 4 June 2018. That video game also explore about Humanity. Have to say really in the mood to watch Robot theme this year.

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That's the one! I've only played through it once, but I have several more play-throughs planned, to see what happens when I make different choices. GREAT game.

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I've heard the game is excellent. I am planning to get it but I am currently addicted to other games which means it would end up gathering dust like tons of my gaming backlog. But I plan to play it one day!

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Thank @lollypip for recapping this. I look forward to this journey of recaps with you and all my fellow beanies. This one will be fun! Dont let us down drama gods!

I completely agree. Strong premiere. SKJ shines as robot. I want to see more of girl and i want her more three dimensional.... then again this is the premiere and we have yet to know her.

Random thought crossed my mind while nam shin robot hugged his mom in this episode: will he eventually realize he was created to fill her emptiness and be hurt that he cannot replace her son?

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Seo Kang Joon face is so beautiful.

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He is beautiful indeed lol..

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Seo Kang-joon is adorable and hot.

The end.

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I am kidding. I mean, that’s not all I have to say. But I am pleasantly surprised by his acting here! He is by far my favorite part of the show so far.

My brain is not working tonight and I can’t find words to actually say anything else, so I guess I’ll save the real comments for next recap!

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Same here - I was totally taken with his acting, esp as the robot. But how did he manage to both seem like a robot yet emote so much!

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And thank you so much, @lollypip! You are such a hero to us Beanies. We love you!

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Hmm..Thank you for the recap @lollypip. I was deciding not to watch it since I have already had my share of robots this year through I am not a Robot. But I might give this a go! I however couldn't help but cringe when I read your description of the mother and the son's banter in the lecture hall!!! Eek! Hopefully I wont feel the same when I watch it on screen!

Keep those recaps coming!

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I almost didn't watch it myself because of the overabundance of robots this year. But this is different and the best by far! But I think it's Seo Kang joon's performance that totally takes you in. I'm so so glad I decided to give it a try. The ending of the 2nd episode - wow.

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This is why I love this site :) Fellow beanies helping each other find what they love :)

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I didn't watch other robot series but will be watching this as the plot seemed more interesting than the others.
The eye candy is an added bonus :)

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Eye candy for sure! But unfortunately it was way to ‘cringy’ for me!!! Eeeeee!!

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The scene was EXTREMELY cringy...not only in the hall, but afterwards so brace yourself!

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I know right! So much cringe! I don’t think this show is for me unfortunately :( I stopped halfway of episode 2 (or episode 3 depending where you are watching it from). I waiting for the next recaps to give my full views because it is spoilery...

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thank you for recap... :)

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guess we have to look BOTH WAYS before crossing streets in the Czech Republic, also...

well, the most memorable Truck of Doom was in Meet Joe Black -- i literally screamed out loud after the second flying impact. gotta give them credit for SHOCK FACTOR in that movie, omg...

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They've teached us watch 3 times before u cross the street 🤖

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Haha I might be the only one who don't feel the first 4 episode. I will wait for the second week to be air to decide either i would like to continue

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You are not the only one! I stopped in the middle of episode 2 (or 3 depending on where you are watching from!)

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Not just you. I wasn't overly impressed either. It seemed like they were trying too hard to show off their big budget. I'm hoping we'll focus more on story and less on the cheesy and shiny aspects soon. If not, I'm out.

I was surprised at how many tropes and cliches there were, even this soon (I have also watched all 4 episodes released so far). I always blamed those things on time crunches of live shooting and lazy writing, but evidently it's not the case. People just like that stuff, apparently! All that combined just made it feel very ordinary in terms of content and story (so far), but in a super-sparkly package. Meh. There is potential for an interesting story, but I'm not entirely convinced this drama is going to give me what I want.

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100% with you!

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There were plenty of tropes (doesn't every single drama have them) but they didn't turn into cliches, imo. Cliches are when tropes go badly. The drama that's turned into cliches for me is About Time, which was gimmicky. I haven't decided whether or not to drop that one yet.

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I loved it! Seo Kang Joon is doing a great job. I didn’t know about truck of doom so I was definitely shocked but it’s ok since it’s the first episode and setting up our show.

I forgot how pretty SKJ is. My eyes can’t handle his prettiness. His acting seems to have improved. I also like his arrogant counterpart, but Nam Shin-III is the best. I already wish Nam Shin-III could be a real boy (already talked about it on the beanie wall). He’s so sweet and caring. I really liked watching him smell the flowers and experience the outside for the first time

Can’t wait to see how the plot plays out!

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I agree with SKJ doing well the two characters. Nam Shin came across as someone a bit obnoxious and impatient (I know he has reasons for that), but as Namsin III, he felt so different. I guess he is improving as an actor, although I already felt that he was quite good in Cheese in the trap.
I hope the story keeps up with the level of the cast and the good production values. So far I'm liking it a lot and the possible conflicts with the robot have so much potential -I'm already preparing myself for a good cry along the way, my guess is that at some point Namsin III will have sort of an identity crisis, not knowing his place in the world or what love is,...or will he long for the love of his mother? ahhh, so many questions. I can't wait to see what happens. 😊

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I'm surprised at how good this show is and why it's been floating around with no broadcaster for a year. Hahaha I'll never understand how networks choose which shows to air and cut. But I'm glad it's on KBS World so I can watch it easily and on the couch without setting up any tech stuff.

Also, a robot that hugs you when you cry? Can we crowdfund one and send it to Yoon Na-moo?

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*plops in my $2 and a pack of ramen*

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*steals the ramen* for uhm... collection tax

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*hands you an egg and some green onions* To.. flavor your collection tax..

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Yessss... tax is delicious. Hard, honest work is for the weak! *proceeds to recite my whole evil plan into your hidden recorder*

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@mary 😂😂 Time to call Detective Do Jin?

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I'm in for the funding. That man needs a hugger who will just instantly hug him when he cries.

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That's the reason I'm nervous about this drama! I wonder why exactly no one wanted to pick it up, and if it means the drama will go downhill at some point.
I'm hoping it had more to do with INAR's poor ratings?
*keeps fingers crossed*

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According to inkinews.com which is my go to site for Korean television ratings, ARE YOU HUMAN? is being broadcast in Korea on KBS2. Scroll down to Mon/Tues to check out the ratings (not bad imho):
http://inkinews.com/
One would think that this drama would be available on Kocowa (KBS being part of Kocowa) but it is not. I am glad DramaFever picked it up but I have a gripe. See my rant below.

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Oh, ha! I just got the Yoon Na-moo reference!

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Thank you, @lollypip, for the recap!!!

I’m liking what I’m reading (as I’ve not officially started watching yet), but oh boy, you put sweet, gentle Lee Joon Hyuk (please stay sweet and gentle in this show... please.... please.... please!!!!!!!) and sweet cinnamon roll Seo Kang Joon— seriously, this is going to be my nickname for him from now on (PLEASE TELL ME YOU PEOPLE HAVE SEEN HIM AND HIS EPISODE OF “The Return Of Superman”.... He’s THE SWEETEST!!!!!!), thanks for that, @lollypip 😏😏— together in a drama and now I’m in my happy place 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

But going back to the Show, I’m excited to see how the writing will progress and start to show the viewers and dissect for the viewers the concerns that @lollypip mentioned above about the different dynamics and the reasoning behind the dynamics and mechanics of Nam Shin-III and how limited—or how far— he can go 🤔🤔

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Oh my gsoh SKJ in ROS was EPIC! HE's such a natural <3

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As I mentioned once I don't think the writer'd chosen Czech Republic "par hazard" as just a cheap country to make some filming and to make it next korean travel destination (many Hollywood movies are made in Barandov studios)

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Oh! I sent the post before finishing...

The inventor of the world "robot" is a czech writer Jozef Čapek, but it was his brother Karel Čapek who with his theatre play RUR stired some waters in 1920, it was even played in NY in USA in 1922, and completely made this word entering the history. There is a factory for human robots like in an island and everything is made artificially even bones, veins, skin, all of the organs and we can't see the difference from regular humans. The only difference is they are made to work, so they don't know the importance of time, so to eat and sleep they have this factory sound going on to remind them that there is a break. They're not afraid of death, they know it's time when they'll stop working...

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If you want to know little bit more:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.

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This is super interesting! So this is where the word robot came from and the wikis say it actually means "forced labor"?

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Yep😄 that's why I know now how to explain the difference between word "robota" and "práce".

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Thanks for the theater/history lesson! This is more than awesome. Writers doing their research, or maybe the writer was inspired by this?

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female inventor and a genius in technology. I haven´t watched a drama in ages and I am not sure if I have time for this one either, but I mean! and it actually shows struggle with the invention not a smooth sailing from get-go!

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Thank you, @lollypip!
I liked the first 2 episodes and Wow! is this a sleek production.

Nam Shin-III is sweet and earnest, but I can't help thinking that the first rule is going to backfire big time down the road....

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What do you mean someone will deliberately cry in front of him to get a hug? Who would do that? *shifty eyes*

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I know I would never! Why would anyone dream of taking advantage of that?

(On an unrelated note, I want to watch Les Miserables with him...)

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Why? XD Is there a random reference I'm missing? Heh~

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Why would anyone ever cry to a musical named Les Miserables?

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I can picture the villain having a dust in the eyes makim him crying and Nam Shin-III coming and hugging him :p

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You heard my thoughts!! Ugh!!

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That will be very funny. :D

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But Ji Young Hoon (Lee Joon Hyuk's character) could have a heart attack :p

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I had to come and laugh at the Toady-Snake naming 😂😂😂😂
Excellent work @lollypip !

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LOL I thought she just had more thoughtful subs. I didn't notice Lollypip nicknamed them.

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The amount of quality content the minions give us is ridiculous. I wish my school had such reviewing community to summarize explain and lectures.

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*to summarize and explain lectures

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It broke my heart at the end of the episode when the possible center plot/theme/motto hit me, robots will never replace human.

I know that the story will tell us that throughout the episodes. And as Nam Shin III as our robot, how can we not disagree with that. I mean look at that boy! I would chose him over hundreds of human I know who lack morality, kindness and basic skills to complete household chores (yes I'm looking at all those south Asian guys who don't know how to turn on a stove)

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Wow, you are recaping this too, thanks so much for all your effort!!!
I think the show is pretty good, the story is interesting and as you said, Seo Kang joon is doing a doing a really good job.

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thank you @lollypip for the recap.

this is my first time watching a drama starring seo kang joon. I love his eyes!. gong seung yeon is amazing as always.

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Stories about robot always bring interesting issues, like the 3 laws of Asimov. The question in this drama, the hero the human or the robot and will we have a second lead syndrom ? :p

I likes the first episodes ! The postproduction is great !

SKJ being handsome is a true fact ! But I like his acting too. He managed well the jerk and cute side of his both characters.

The rest of the casting is great too. I'm excited to see the future episodes.

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OMG! Now THAT's a second lead syndrome to end all others!

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Am I the only one who finds it beyond creepy that his mother created a robot that looks just like him. It's strange. I feel like there are 1000 ways they could have made it far less creepy. One being that human Nam Sin grew up with robot Nam Sin, and he was able to keep in contact with his mother that way. Then it would make more sense the robot could imitate his behavior. They could have still kept the truck of doom. Maybe it's just me, but unless the human Nam Sin wakes up half way through the show and replaces the robot, I'm not sure they will be able to reconcile any of the issues that will pop up.

That being said I will continue to watch the show because the production quality is Bananas.

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I'm dropping by just to say that Namsin III is a cinnamon roll too pure for this world. And also, someone please PROTECT.THAT.SMILE. I'm afraid that at some point Mom might choose her human son over him and that might affect him somehow. He said that Mom was his first priority, so who knows how this will turn out.
In other order of things, I loved that for once the woman, Mom, is the AI genius here, hehe!!

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I'm afraid of that happening as well. I'm a really unfriendly person who allergic to crowds and stuffs. I would choose a robot as my company for thousand times and more.

I can smell a tragedy related to the Nam Shin III already 😪

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I hate the truck of doom. If he grew up on the heavy side. would she be same on the robot lol. Dramafever episode 1-2 running longer. Is it different on tv? The recap all happened in episode 1

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I think dramafever is showing both the 30 minute long episodes as episode 1. Whereas KBS is airing two separate 30 minute long episodes with an interval.

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Yes, I was confused by that at first. I'd only watched ep 1 on dramafever and thought I had to watch another episode to catch up with the recap. Hadn't realised that they put the 2 KBS episodes together into one 1h ep

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He is so solid so far. I can't believe I can separate between Nam SHin robot version and Nam Shin human version. They also have different body language. All I need is when he will show that fire he show in CITT. I hope he will get a chance to show that fire inside in him. His eyes already show kind emotion in his robot eyes.

The premiere look okay but far from my expectation. Maybe this writers has that habit. also I were not hooked in the first two episode off The Princess Man.

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I wasn't sure about the first 50 mins of these episodes. There were too many inconsistencies - and it was in the editing/writing. For example, one minute Shin is kissing a girl, the next instant he's outside to catch security guard girl's watch. Or, security guard girl is still on the floor but Shin is already on the plane - already in the air! Now, I've flown business class, I know that you can get on the plane late, but between getting on the plane, taxiing, taking off and finally being among the clouds would take 45 mins at least.

I know this sounds as if I'm picking on small details, but I felt that the show was choosing visual impact (watch in the air/girl on the floor) over consistent story telling and that made me a bit weary of what's going to happen. Also, these things could have been so easily solved, that they bothered me more.

But then, in the final five minutes, when human Shin and Robot Shin meet, I was completely gripped and I could forgive the show what they'd been doing before.

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I feel like this is a show where I'm really going to have to suspend my belief moreso than normal. There was actually a scene in the next episodes where stuff took place off screen so you saw the aftermath of that and I was watching it thinking what the heck happened!? Already?! It was a small thing, but I have a feeling it's going to happen quite a bit. I still like the show, but stuff like that will sit in the back of my mind.

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To me it felt like a comic book where each frame is exactly where it needs to be, time wise, regardless of logical linear progression. I enjoyed most of. My only issues were: two actors for the part of the so-called 'totally identical' human/android "brothers" and the Truck of Doom, which was the Most Truck of Doom to ever Truck Doom.

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@chingumode, what do you mean two actors? They're both played by Seo Kang-joon. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant.

But yes, that ToD... oh dear.

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Even I am confused by what I wrote...
My kingdom for an edit button.
Truck of Doom. Truck of Doom. Be distracted by the giant Czech driving the giant truck.

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At least the giant Czech was smart enough to figure out which one of them to take out with that ToD.

It must be really hard to actually take someone out with a ToD. I can picture the giant Czech getting in his truck and driving aimlessly through the streets before he finally finds Shin, dodging innocent pedestrians along the way.

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@cloggie
I know, right? The tattoo neck guy was tracking him through the market and then at some point he paid off a truck driver to take him out? When? How? Was the truck driver just waiting on the ring road in case he wandered by? Inquiring minds want to know.

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In 2017 Yang Se-jong gave a break out performance as the clones in DUEL.
Early days but so far Seo Kang-joon is handling the two roles nicely.
In Duel there was the good clone vs bad clone dynamic. I don't know if the story line is going to play out like that in AYH.

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I had no intention of watching this, but gave it a go and I like it so far. I'm intrigued so I'm hoping it gets better and not worse. I do wonder what K-dramas would do without the truck of doom lol. I like the lead girl, but don't love her since she got on my nerves in the next couple of episodes. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the recap @lollypip!

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Oh God... why is this man so deliciously beautiful? Never saw any of his other dramas, so this is my first time seeing him, and I'm impressed. He played both characters nicely and you can tell who's who just from the eyes. Definitely will be watching this drama, happy that it's on KBS world.

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Thank god, there is still LollyPip. If not, this lovely website would be almost empty.

I know that everybody is probably bust with their lives but, I can't help but miss the times when the website was updated multiple times daily, with amazing content.

Anyways, fighting to everybody!

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Truck of doom, really?!? I mean I nearly turned it off right then. Nearly. Because it’s Seo Kang Joon and he’s such a doll. Both of him.

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Seo Kang Joon did not disappoint. Gong Seung Yeon did not have much screen time in the first two episodes, but I heard her character gets annoying in the next two episodes. I guess I'll have to endure that, given how much I love Gong Seung Yeon.

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I am so loving this show! Having already seen ep 3. I guess the Truck of Doom, in this case, was more the Truck Someone Sent To Kill You, so I think the trope was subverted if anything. I am loving Seo Kang-Joon's performance up till now and can only hope that he will surprise us all.

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Thanks LolllyPip for the recap. I am enjoying ARE YOU HUMAN TOO.
This is my first Seo Kang-joon drama. I am impressed with his performance.
I was a bit confused (not with the story so much) but what was being recapped because the heading reads episodes 1-2. I watched episodes 1 and 2 on DramaFever and did not realize that on DF 4 episodes were combined into 2. Once I read the recap I understood what was going on. However reading the recap I was still confused when I read this after the creation of Nam Shin-II:

She takes him to the staircase and says that he’s capable of walking down them now. After a tentative first step, Nam Shin-II hops down the stairs easily. He turns back to see her beaming at him, and he asks, “How do you smile? I want to smile like you.”

That scene is not in episode 1 on DramaFever.
That opened up a little can of worms for me. AYHT is a KBS production. So I figured KBS is part of Kocowa so I can go to Kocowa and see if the missing scene is in their version. Kocowa site is not carrying AYHT. Raises another question. I thought Kocowa and Viki had an arrangement so why is AYHT on DramaFever? Not that I am complaining. If the vise of who gets to stream what is loosening up that is good. Some of the beanies mentioned watching on KBSWorld but I haven't figured out how to access AYHT there yet.
This is all leading to a concern of what else DF or whoever is editing out of episodes. There shouldn't be a time constrain.
Sorry for the rant.
I am looking forward to future episodes. (Well I already have seen episodes 3 and 4 and I plan on hanging around.)
As always it is good to see one of my favorites Lee Joon-hyuk although I was not on the Dr. Ye line.

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A pre-produced drama that looks pre-produced! Really optimistic about this given how the next couple of episodes (3-4 here, 2 on Dramafever) went.

- SKJ doing a fantastic job as a lifelike robot: not giving us a blank stare vibe, keeping motions just off enough to keep the viewer convinced.

- Truck of Doom is kind of meh, but honestly at this point I'm just happy that we didn't get the crushingly obvious 10-20 seconds of truck-barreling-down sequence we usually get.

- How far ahead of the game is Mom? Mom's 1998 and 2004 technology looks like it's from 10+ years later!

- Czech Republic scenery is nice. It may have been just a cheaper location to film, but filming a robot movie in Karel Capek's homeland is a nice touch.

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His slap is epic. I think it's the most dramatic slap of the year.

Can we have a category on this in Dramabeans End of Year Award?

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THE RETURN OF THE TRUCK OF DOOM. OMG I CAN'T

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Truck of Doom: I CAN!

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So far I prefer Nam Shin III's character to Shin and am looking forward to the conflicts that will arise when Shin wakes up and those who fall for Nam Shin III will find a not equally charming Shin in front of them!

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Truck of Doom?

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I've watched the first 4 episodes and I'm SO hyped about this drama! It's totally living up to my expectations, so far!

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I had been excited to watch this show from like ages ago. And finally its here. I have never been so crazed to watch a drama and that too from the 1st episode when it has just started airing.

The start was so sad; poor small Nam Shin losing both his dad and mom. And that Truck of Doom; it had to come but when it suddenly hit Nam Shin, I was so shocked and surprised for a second.
I laughed at that use of hair-up hair-down method to differentiate between two characters played by the same actor. Though I think they can still be differentiated without the hair do. Seo Kang-joon has done a nice job of it.

I have my fingers crossed for this being a great drama.

I hope the drama doesn't blur the line between humans and robots.

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Just out of curiosity, what’s wrong with blurring that line?

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Well because robots don't really feel the emotions or show their own emotions; they have been programmed to act or show a certain emotion according to the circumstances. Robots are not human.

As even Lollypip has written - "But at times, seeing Nam Shin-III makes Ro-ra cry, thinking of her real son who she hasn’t seen since he was eight years old. When he registers her tears, Nam Shin-III hugs her according to his program, and although she seems a bit comforted, it’s clear in Ro-ra’s eyes that she’s painfully aware that he’s not the real thing."

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I would argue that human emotions are programmed too. A self-aware AI with the capacity to learn through experience could theoretically become capable of processing emotions as complex as a human’s.

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That is it; an AI can learn but it can never produce something of its own. Remember Nam Shin robot's 1st rule - If someone is crying, it's a rule to hug them.
For us humans there is no such rule, we choose whom we hug.

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https://www.dramafever.com/news/new-k-drama-are-you-human-too-explains-the-titles-meaning/
Just now I read this article and it has convinced me a bit to watch the drama till the end, even if there is heartbreak.

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And have you watched "I'm not a robot"?

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No, not yet.

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It is a good drama and it might answer your questions.

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I had no intention of watching this (not quite my cup of tea) but I recognized so many familiar faces among the supporting cast in the photos that I'm torn. Do I watch my second 'android love' TV series inside of 6 months?

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Might want to wait until we get a few more episodes and you read a few more comments. I for one was underwhelmed. The first four episodes felt rushed and formulaic to me. I'm quite disappointed because I was really looking forward to this. It's not that it's bad and i'll watch a few more. It just wasn't as interesting and original as I was expecting.

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I saw that some people are speculating that Nam Shin will be the end game romantic interest instead of Nam Shin III, and now I’m worried. I took it for granted that this story was about an android who learns to be human (and finds love on the way). I will be super disappointed if it turns out to be about yet another bratty chaebol instead. What are other people’s impressions? Do you feel like Nam Shin III will be demoted to second lead status later in the series?

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Nam Shin should be the end game and not Nam Shin III. If the story really shows about a robot learning to be human, it will be highly illogical. Robots can't be humans.

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See my comment above. Humans learn to be humans too as their brains develop. Our emotions are the result of physical changes and conscious mental processes (according to the Schacter-Singer model), not some mystical force. There’s no clear reason why they could not be reproduced in a complex AI capable of learning.

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The heart break I think is evident; for us viewers and also I think the lead actress. That's why I don't know why I'm watching this show.

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Two questions:

Does anybody ever call the police in South Korea? The bad guys always seem to get away with everything--nobody even makes a decent effort to stop them. How could someone (supposedly) commit suicide and then get immediately cremated? Where is the death certificate? And then you take the words of an 8 year old boy and just walk away, leaving him with a monster, and you don't fight for him? I mean, there are laws, right? It's not an automatic given that the rich can kidnap and steal a parent's child with impunity?

Okay, that was more than 2 questions, I admit. Here's the last one:

Don't you think a Korean thug would have an awfully tough time going unnoticed in a small Czech town? I mean, seriously?

Otherwise, I like this show quite a lot!

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Pleasantly surprised with episode 1 and with Seo Kang-joon's acting!

I'll be watching...

@lollypip, thank you for the recap!

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I was actually trying to stay away from this show because I just can't take robot stories seriously, but wow. I tried it today because I was bored to death. And surprise! I'm loving it to bits! Though the first part was actually cringy, as beanies pointed out, the scene in the lecture hall. However, watching past that, I stayed glue on the screen craving for more. It is highly recommended at this point! I just hope they can bring the quality until the end. 😊

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Just watched episode 7-8 raw, and it got me wowed so much. Can't wait to watch it with subs.

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Hello Dramabeans, I have been an avid fan of this site for almost 10 years already. You guys were always fast when doing drama recaps! Faster than any sites or subbers or even uploaders out there! Sad to say that it’s not the case anymore :(

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Chaebols abducting grandkids seems to easy in Korea...wow. lol.
Just watched the first 2 episodes. Have to warm up to the female lead that for now if just very loud. ahahah

Interesting that they picked Czech Republic to do create the robot. In fact the Czechoslovakian artist Josef Čapek coined the word "robot". Wonder if they took that into consideration. In his play R.U.R. he introduced this word. These robots were not mechanical, they weren’t all that different from humans themselves. They were biological beings created to do work for humans, more or less indistinguishable from humans in appearance and even with full cognitive abilities. Just like Nam Shin III.

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