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My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 19-20

It can be hard to recognize and appreciate what you have until you lose it, especially when it comes to people in your life. And it’s even worse to realize that you had a hand in your own loss, and to be faced with the knowledge that you hurt someone you cared about. The only thing that can salvage the situation is honestly, but before our heroine can be honest with anyone else, she’ll have to get honest with herself, first.

 
EPISODES 19-20 RECAP

After turning down Wang-joon’s proposal, Da-da goes home to find Diana in the studio with Young-gu. Young-gu is mostly unresponsive after being left behind by Da-da, but Diana decides to have a little fun — and kisses him. Something inside Young-gu resets, and when Diana backs off, he doesn’t even recognize Da-da. He shoves her aside and greets Diana, “Hello, my Girlfriend.”

Da-da tries to stop Young-gu from leaving with Diana, but he yanks his arm away and snaps at her not to touch him. Diana says that she’s Young-gu’s true owner, and invites Da-da to her house if she wants to have more “fun.” She drives away with Young-gu, who barely glances at Da-da before leaving.

Yeo-woong finds Wang-joon drinking alone at home, which is very out of character. He tells her that Da-da believes he wanted to break up with her, and that the flower boxes were just an excuse, and that she’s absolutely right. Yeo-woong tells him firmly to admit it and redeem himself, and not to give up on Da-da if he truly wants her back.

Diana makes her staff throw a very awkward welcome party for Young-gu, and she lets him pull a card from a box to choose his new name. He picks “Ken,” though he figures out that all the cards say “Ken,” and Diana squeals that it must be his x-ray vision.

She dresses him up in a three-piece suit and has a maid give him a haircut. When the maid drops the scissors, Diana picks them up and cruelly stabs the maid’s hand. Young-gu seems disturbed at first, but he tells Diana that he likes everything she does.

At Kronos Heaven, Bo-won is still locked up and begging Director Go not to send Young-gu to Diana until they figure out why he’s malfunctioning. He says the company can benefit from studying Young-gu’s longing to be loved, and Director Go lets him out and asks him to explain. But In-hyuk saunters in and says it’s too late — Young-gu is with his rightful owner.

Director Go yells at In-hyuk for acting without permission, but In-hyuk says he saved Director Go’s career. He gleefully informs Bo-won that he’s finished at Kronos Heaven, and when Bo-won turns to plead with Director Go, Director Go turns and walks away.

With nowhere else to go, Bo-won ends up at Da-da’s studio. She tells him what happened, and how Young-gu acted like he didn’t know her. Bo-won explains that Young-gu was reset when Diana kissed him, causing him to lose all of his memories of any previous girlfriend.

What’s strange is that Young-gu is programmed to reject another woman who tries to kiss him, forcefully if necessary, and especially if Da-da is there in the room. Da-da says she got angry at Young-gu and ignored his pleas to stay with him, and Bo-won doesn’t have to tell her that her rejection damaged Young-gu to the point that he couldn’t fend off Diana.

Da-da asks if this can be reversed, so Bo-won tells her that she has to kiss Young-gu again. Unfortunately, if his programming is working again, he’ll do what he can to prevent it, so it won’t be easy.

The next day, Da-da drives to Diana’s mansion to try and get Young-gu back. Diana makes a show of fawning possessively over Young-gu and tells Da-da to buy her own dating companion if she wants one. Da-da asks Young-gu if he truly doesn’t remember her, and when Diana gives him permission to move, he just asks Da-da who she is.

Having lost interest in Da-da’s entertainment factor, Diana orders her removed from the premises. Da-da makes a desperate dive at Young-gu with her lips, but he stops her with a hand to the forehead. He declares her a threat, and when she tries to kiss him again, he tips her into the fountain. Okay, but that was pretty funny.

Bo-won goes for a walk to think of ways to help Da-da kiss Young-gu, and he nearly runs directly into Yeo-woong as she exercises. She grabs him and yanks him around by his bad shoulder until he manages to wiggle out of her grasp. But he slips on a baseball and falls, and in the process of lunging to catch him, Yeo-woong accidentally kisses him. Poor Bo-won runs away feeling violated, but Yeo-woong is left grinning.

That evening, Da-da tells Bo-won that she went to Diana’s and tried to kiss Young-gu, but she failed. She says that Young-gu seemed fine, but Bo-won shows her a picture of the battered Zero-Seven after Diana was through with her. He says he doesn’t want to lose another robot that way, so they have to get Young-gu back soon.

Wang-joon throws a fit the next morning when he can’t reach Young-gu and has to run his own errands. At a clothing store, he encounters Young-gu, who doesn’t even recognize him. Wang-joon is baffled to see Young-gu calling Diana “Girlfriend,” and when Diana treats him like the staff, he’s so confused that he just watches as they drive away.

In the car, Diana’s employee Director Park tells her that the guy in the store was famous actor Ma Wang-joon. Diana vaguely recalls the name from seeing her maids watch the video of his hugging event, and she considers requesting his face for her next android boyfriend. ~shudder~

Young-gu suggests they go on a date next, so they head to a ritzy hotel (where Diana introduces them as “one person and… this.” GAWD she’s horrible). They’re taken to the rooftop bar, and when Da-da tries to follow, she’s denied access. But Wang-joon shows up and uses his star power to charm the concierge into letting them go upstairs, claiming that he’s scouting locations for his next drama.

Once they have permission, Wang-joon asks Da-da what she’s doing here, and she’s deliberately vague. She asks him the same question, and Wang-joon confesses that he saw her following Young-gu so he followed her. Da-da thanks him for his help, only saying that there’s a reason Young-gu is with another woman, and goes upstairs without him.

Diana finds Young-gu’s idea of a date boring and orders him to entertain her. She asks if he’d do anything for her, and when he says he would, she tells him to jump off the building. He hesitates but eventually agrees if it’s what she wants, and he hops up onto the railing just as Da-da arrives.

Da-da remembers the photo of Zero-Seven after Diana was through with her, and she rushes at Young-gu, grabbing his arm just as he’s about to jump. She screams that he could have been hurt, and though Young-gu pulls away from her like before, something about the way he looks at her seems different.

Diana asks why Da-da is freaking out, since Young-gu wouldn’t die if he fell, he’d just get broken – and as his owner, she gets to decide whether to break him. She tells Young-gu to get rid of Da-da, and he takes her back down to the lobby.

Before he goes back up, Da-da says that Diana is trying to harm him and asks why he still wants to be with her. Frowning a bit in confusion, Young-gu simply replies, “She’s my girlfriend.” Oof.

Da-da is late for a concept meeting with Wang-joon and her team, but she manages to be professional as she explains her ideas for Wang-joon’s character. Completely out of character, Wang-joon tells her that he trusts her judgment, before and now. He sits placidly while Da-da applies his makeup, watching her when she leans in close.

When they’re finished, Yoo-jin drags an oblivious Kyu-ri out of the studio, leaving Da-da and Wang-joon alone. Seeming meek and even scared, Wang-joon says that he thought about it, and Da-da is right (about his wanting to break up). He says he was exhausted and had started taking it for granted that she was faithful no matter how mean he was to her.

He says that after breaking up, he realized how much he needs her. He asks her to give him one more chance — all he asks is that she be open to the idea and let him prove himself. His request makes Da-da cry, but she doesn’t give him an answer, and he leaves.

Diana and Young-gu are still on the roof, though Diana has decided that dating is boring. Young-gu says he liked their date, because even the smallest things are fun with the one you love. He asks Diana about her hand, which he’s noticed is always gloved, so she removes the glove and shows him her robotic hand.

He says with awe that it’s pretty and asks what happened. She tells him that when she was fourteen her house caught on fire, but her cousins didn’t even try to help her escape. She asks why Young-gu thinks they did that, and he says that maybe they also wanted to live.

But Diana says that it was because they would have inherited her money if she died. They’d taken her in when her parents died, but they hadn’t really cared about her, and had been horrified that she’d ended up with a prosthetic hand.

The worst part is that she tells this story as if it’s hilariously funny. Despite her cheerful storytelling, Young-gu says sweetly that it must have been hard for her. Diana looks moved for just a moment, then bursts out laughing.

As they’re leaving, Young-gu looks out over the city lights. Something in his chest clenches, and he experiences a blurry, glitchy memory of Da-da’s face as they looked at the same lights. Diana notices that he blanks out for a minute, but Young-gu doesn’t tell her what happened.

Da-da goes into Young-gu’s “Love Room,” and is reminded of him saying that he wanted to make loving memories with her. Her eyes welling up with tears, Da-da whispers, “Liar…”

Still worried about Young-gu’s glitch, Diana has Director Go and In-hyuk come check him out, but they find nothing wrong. Director Go asks if he’s said anything strange like wanting to be loved, and Diana laughs at the idea. But as soon as they leave she tells Director Park that they’re going to Switzerland to talk to the head of Kronos Heaven and have Young-gu re-examined, because she’s uneasy about the fact that he was used by someone else.

At night, Bo-won sneaks into Kronos Heaven with his employee card, which hasn’t been deactivated yet. Director Go catches him on the computer, and Bo-won shows him that the odd patterns Young-gu developed with Da-da all disappeared when Diana reset him. He explains that Da-da is the key, and that Young-gu needs to be with her so they can figure out why he was having problems.

In-hyuk joins them and sneers that Bo-won should give up, because Young-gu is living in the lap of luxury. Bo-won nearly punches him, but Director Go stops him. In-hyuk reports that Diana is taking Young-gu to the head office in Switzerland, and plans to replace him with a different robot if there’s anything wrong with him.

Da-da goes through the concept pictures she took of Wang-joon in his makeup, and she can see the misery written all over his face. Bo-won bursts in gasping breathlessly that Diana is taking Young-gu to Switzerland in the morning. He wants to rescue Young-gu, but Da-da has given up, believing that there’s nothing more she can do. She gives Bo-won back the ring that Young-gu gave her, saying that Young-gu was never hers to begin with.

As Diana and Young-gu are preparing to leave the country, a struggling Bo-won is brought to Diana, having been caught lurking in the garden. He demands that Diana give Young-gu back, saying that he thinks of Young-gu as a brother, but Young-gu denies knowing Bo-won and agrees with Diana that he’s crazy.

Desperate, Bo-won rushes at Young-gu with one of those glitch-fixing syringes, but Young-gu just grabs his wrist and squeezes until Bo-won stops. Bo-won is dragged out, kicking and screaming.

In the Love Room, Da-da reads Young-gu’s book, “The Happy Prince,” and the story about the statue that gave up everything for others and received nothing in return reminds her of Young-gu. On the last page, she finds a note that reads, “The only person that I love is my girlfriend, Eom Da-da.” She thinks of all the things that Young-gu did for her that she never truly appreciated, and how, at the end, she ignored his pleas not to leave him.

Diana is almost ready to leave when she realizes that nobody packed her dolls, so she goes inside to do it herself, leaving Young-gu in the driveway unattended. Da-da runs up to him and says she’ll regret it if she lets him just leave. She asks if he’s really forgotten her and everything they did together, and when he still doesn’t recall, she sobs that it must really all have been programming.

Young-gu says firmly that he’s a robot that functions based on his programming, and tells Da-da to stop bothering him. Da-da finally starts to accept that her Young-gu is gone, and she agrees that he’s just a machine that can start all over with a kiss.

She turns to go, but Young-gu asks, “Did I really like you?” She turns back and sobs that he liked her so much, it made her feel sorry. He asks how she felt, and Da-da starts to cry all over again. Before she can answer, Diana returns, and she mocks Da-da for having no pride.

She summons Young-gu back to her side, and he hesitates, but then he joins her. Afraid to let him go without being honest, Da-da follows them and yells, “I liked you too! No, I still like you. So please don’t go. I’m sorry I’m late. I get mad, and it’s so annoying, but thinking about how much you must have been hurting, my heart buzzes just like you said. It hurts so much! So please don’t go.”

Young-gu stares at her until Diana tells him to hurry and get in the car. He seems conflicted, then his eyes go blank and he walks past Da-da to join Diana. Da-da calls his name pleadingly one last time, but he gets in the car and rides away.

It starts to rain, and as he looks out the window, the rain triggers more fuzzy memories for Young-gu — bringing Da-da an umbrella when it rained on the drama set, and later when she brought him an umbrella while he waited for Bo-won at the pier. He tells the driver to stop the car, muttering, “I have to go back to Girlfriend.”

Diana orders the driver not to stop, but Young-gu grows more frantic, and the car suddenly stops functioning and slows to a halt. Diana grabs Young-gu’s arm and snarls that she’s his owner, but he retorts, “You’re not my girlfriend,” and jumps out into the downpour.

Da-da is stumbling along the road, not paying attention to where she’s going, sobbing, “Lies, it’s all lies.” She doesn’t notice a van honking at her until Young-gu swoops out of nowhere and spins her to safety.

Young-gu tells Da-da, “I”m sorry, Girlfriend. I’m sorry for not recognizing you and hurting you. And this isn’t programmed… I love you.” He kisses her, and this time, Da-da enthusiastically kisses him back.

 
COMMENTS

Hooray, this is exactly what I hoped would happen! I think that a lot of viewers (myself included) haven’t gotten invested in Young-gu’s “love” for Da-da because we know it was just programming — he would have felt that way for whoever kissed him. And for a while, his switching loyalties to Diana and forgetting Da-da held up the theory that his new behavior wasn’t real feelings, it was just a glitch. But then he managed to override his programming and remember that Da-da is the one he loves, and even this “I love you” sounded sincere and not just something he was saying because he’s supposed to say it. I feel more convinced now that somehow, Young-gu has developed the robot equivalent of “real” emotions. I also like that, instead of Da-da forcibly kissing him to get him back, Young-gu independently made the choice to kiss her and reset himself, because now it finally feels like he has agency and the ability to decide what he wants for himself. Hopefully from here on out, he’ll seem like less of an automaton and more like the unique type of person he’s becoming.

This episode was a classic case of Da-da not appreciating what she had until she almost lost it, and I’m glad she’s finally gotten to a place where she can admit that she cares for Young-gu. I’ve been very frustrated by her casual dismissal of Young-gu’s feelings until now — even if she felt they weren’t genuine, he did, and she never acknowledged that to him or herself. It’s a major plot point in previous versions of Absolute Boyfriend that the girl does eventually return the android’s feelings, so I’ve been curious why this version wasn’t playing things that way, but now I understand… Da-da admitting her feelings now packs a stronger punch when she thinks she’s losing him. She knew that having Young-gu around made her feel better about her breakup with Wang-joon, but I don’t think she truly connected to the fact that she liked having Young-gu around because he gave her the feelings of security and love that Wang-joon hadn’t for a very long time, and those feelings caused her to develop feelings of her own.

The problem we have now is that Wang-joon is feeling the exact same thing about Da-da, of not appreciating her until he lost her. At least he sincerely admitted that he wanted to break up, but that he made a mistake and regrets it. I believe him that he thought they could always just get back together, but I don’t think it was his plan all along like he said, it was just his way of justifying what he did (“It’s okay that I deeply hurt Da-da because I never really meant it.” Respectfully sir, that’s BS). I still don’t know how this version of the story will end and who Da-da will choose, but I’m all for making Wang-joon suffer for a while considering how badly he treated Da-da. I know that’s not her intention, but Wang-joon should feel the weight of what he lost. He needs to process the reality of life without her, and feel what it feels like to lose her for good, because if they do end up getting back together I want him to never, ever treat Da-da so callously again.

Until this episode I’ve viewed Diana as scary, definitely mentally unstable, but generally irrelevant to the story. Now that she’s a big part of the plot and we know more about her background, I wish we’d been told about her sooner, because she’s actually quite multi-layered. She became the heiress to an obscene fortune at a very young age, was lied to by her greedy family, left to die in a fire by that same family in the hopes of getting her money, and has had to fend for herself ever since. Honestly, who wouldn’t develop some really bizarre coping skills under those circumstances? Diana is clearly playing out her inner turmoil on the robots, almost as if she’s trying to prove that, despite her own robotic hand, she’s still a human being and not at all like those “things,” as she calls them. And I’ll bet that Young-gu was patterned after one of the cousins who didn’t try to save her (and likely Zero-Seven was, too) which is why Diana continually forces him to prove his loyalty, since her real cousin betrayed her. I have no clue where the plot plans to take Diana, but now that we understand her a bit more, I hope she at least finds a way to be at peace with herself and stop taking her issues out on everyone around her.

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I am finding this series increasingly bizarre. The robot that didn’t once act like a robot since he opened his eyes with Da Da is now acting like a total robot with Diana. Don’t they realize this is undermining the message they are trying to shove down our throats? That means Young Gu didn’t start to act out of character as he developed feelings for Da Da, he was acting out of character with Da Da since the beginning (which makes zero sense because even a Korean drama cannot argue this was fate with a robot!). If Young Gu acted with Da Da like he did with Diana in the beginning then the change of his feelings would have been so much more convincing. Also he gets reset if he kisses another woman??? That is weird and makes a mockery of his supposed love.

And why would Da Da rush to kiss him before she learns what Diana did to 07? Are they seriously suggesting she already has feelings for him? It doesn’t make sense at all for her to get jealous and possessive now.

Considering the robot was made to give love Diana needs 09 a lot more than Da Da. While we saw only the ugly end of her relationship with Wang Joon it is clear that he loved her and gave her love. Her workmates love her and her parents did as well. She is not starved of love as Diana is. I almost wish that rather than making Diana a caricature antagonist they told her story and how a love robot gave her what she needed and changed her for the better (and this is no sci fi, they are already trialling robots with elderly etc. as companionship).

I must say Da Da has glorious hair.

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I think this weird behavior of Young Gu as you've pointed out is not what you interpreted it to be. Young Gu is not more robotic with Diana nor more human with Da Da. It is supposed to come across as Young Gu being warm with Da Da and cold and perfunctory with Diana. Alternatively, think of it as fate although it sounds ridiculous on a robot.

I do agree however that the show would have been much more effective if we see Young Gu as more robot like at first with Da Da and then more and more human as their relationship developed. Instead they are resorting to pseudo heart palpitations. That was so hilariously bad. I thought Young Gu was suffering from the terminal illness trope - robot version.

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Every time his heart palpitates painfully, I think he needs to drink some WD40 😂. Like, show me the crawling to cupboard, opening a small can with shaky hands and chugging down like coolaid.

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I'd totally watch that show you are writing.

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Diana is really the one in need of a robot’s love. She’s like a female version of ML in I’m Not A Robot, just much more sinister. Her distrust in humans makes it believable for her to rather give her love to a robot.

Dada on the other hands was having normal relationships. Wang Joon did her bad, but it wasn’t excessively cruel or something. Her heart broke but she’s seemingly strong enough to recover on her own. Even if Young goo’s companionships is desirable, it’s not normal to love a nonhuman emotional companion. It’s like she wants to romantically love a dog or cat almost.

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I didn't watch Are You Human Too except for selected clips. That drama didn't seem to have as much problem selling the FL's loving the robot, I wonder why.

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I hated the romance in Are You human Too and found it utterly unconvincing so... mileage varies?

But in this case, DaDa has known he's a robot right from the beginning where the female lead in AYHT thought he was human at first.

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Majority love the romance or rather they love Nam Shin III, so much that he earned the nickname of Shinnamonroll or something like that.

Unlike Yeo Jin Goo who is well loved, I can't say the same for Seo Kang Joon. He started on a disadvantage. Many hated him after that Cheese In The Trap debacle. Somehow, he successfully turned the opinion around after his role as Nam Shin III. It also proved his acting skills, I shall see if he continues to be good in his new drama.

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@outofthisworld
Exactly! I started Are You Human disliking Seo Kang Joon because of Cheese in the Trap. Regardless of whether it was his fault or not a drama I had been enjoying was ruined for his sake. So I watched Are You Human not because of but despite him, had no expectations of the romance, didn't expect one with the robot (or the human for hat matter, he was such a monumental jerk!). But he did such a good job in both roles that I was immediately impressed by his acting.

I came to My Boyfriend with expectations of a romance with Yeo Jin Gu as the higher billed actor and expected romance and comedy. I got neither. The romance is half-baked and the comedy nonexistent. I had only ever watched Hong Jong Hyun in Moon Lovers so I was not his fan either. I had thought at the time the best looking guy in a show full of pretty has the crappiest character. I had not so far found Yeo Jin Gu convincing as a romantic partner but I was ready to be convinced. Hasn't happened yet. Let's see if Hotel del Luna will manage it?

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@moonbean

I'm starting to see a trend. I am always in the minority. In CITT, I preferred BIH because I was convinced Yoo Jung is a psycho. Even then, I didn't like the way the story went towards the end. I thought it was rather ridiculous though I wasn't team YJ.

Moon Lovers "best looking guy" - eh.....I always thought that title belongs to the lead? That fandom is also strong.

I need to forget this drama when I start watching Hotel Del Luna. I hope it will be good.

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@moonbean Gosh, you didn't like Hong Jong hyun in Moon Lovers? That's where I discovered him. I loved his evil look, what was it, the black around the eyes? I don't remember, but I started searching for everything he'd been in.

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@outofthisworld
I wasn't a fan of either actor before CITT but I was enjoying the story as it was unfolding until they decided to change tracks.

I am also known for not always going with the majority, hence my "best looking guy" comment. These things are all subjective right. I know many will think this sacrilegious but I never found Lee Jun Ki that handsome (ducks behind furniture to protect self).

Yes, I also hope Hotel del Luna will bleach this from my memory. I am hoping even if the romance isn't convincing the comedy will be there.

@linda-palapala,
I did not dislike the actor after Moon lovers, I think he did a very good job as the crazy villain and found him very good-looking but can't say I became an immediate fan and looked for his other works or watch any drama because he was in. I'd say his portayal of the different characters in Mother of Mine and Absolute Boyfriend made me a fan so I will give his dramas a chance from now on.

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@moonbean

It's a bit of a squeeze behind the furniture 😉

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I have very fond memories of Are You Human Too, for one it is the first drama I liked Seo Kang Joon in. I totally supported and wanted the romance there. I believed in the feelings of the leads so I could suspend any disbelief and want them together.

I went back to look at some scenes yesterday after watching Absolute Boyfriend to compare these two again to see if my views have changed about that drama but no. That drama explored most of the things ignored here. Nam Shin III was programmed to give love ("The rule is to hug when one cries") but not necessarily romantic love like Young Gu. The robot acted like a robot, an artificial intelligence that learns. Everything including feelings was a discovery for him and we watched him learn to love in a romantic way. The heroine thought he was a person first, then learned he was a robot and treated him as such (her nickname for him was Tin Can). For various reasons they got closer and started having feelings without realizing what they mean and started protecting each other. The heroine struggled against the idea of having feelings for a machine at first but at some point couldn't hold back anymore. People around them queried about it. The reactions were what you would expect to be natural given the situation, not unquestioned immediate acceptance.

And maybe one of the keys was that the robot did not have a human rival. He had no rival at all for the heroine's love.

The world of that drama made much more sense. There was another story to tell beside the romance so the relationship of the couple developed within that larger context organically (no robot following the girl around calling her "girlfriend" nonstop). So they got to know each other as people. Overall, that was a much better written and acted drama that really explored the relationships between humans and humanoids - including the reaction of a real person who had a robot with his face walking around pretending to be him. It wasn't all about the romance. Could one be friends with a robot? One of the most touching moments for me was the robot's desire to call a guy who loved the human Nam Shin "hyung". And that hyung tried really hard to treat Nam Shin III as a machine but fell for his charms in the end. He was just so likeable and irresistible that way. Kind-hearted, innocent and naive like a child.

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You are making me consider picking up AYHT. I didn't have a good impression of the drama except that Nam Shin III was really good. Robot romance is usually the last thing I'd go for.

You have provided an excellent write up. I can see how and why Nam Shin III made his way into the audience's hearts.

This is exactly how they should do it with Young Gu. I wanted to see how Young Gu learned, changed and become increasingly sentient. We didn't get any of that. Young Gu straight away stuck onto Da Da and followed her like a puppy. He's programmed that way and then we are just told it's real love. How do we know it's true? Because Young Gu is having phantom heart palpitations. Okay........

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@outofthisworld
I didn't view Are You Human Too as a romance drama. I liked it as a drama, not due to the romance. It's just in the end I bought the romance as well.

Especially if you are squeamish about a robot romance just view it as a sci-fi exploring human interactions with robots and at what point do we start treating a machine that looks and mostly acts like a human as a human?

Does he answer all the questions? No. But at least it raised them. There was also comedy in it (I loved the scenes with her father and the guys at the dojo). And excellent acting from Seo Kang Joon in two very different roles.

An example of how they dealt with heart palpitations kind of situation, there were times Nam Shin III was very sad and felt like crying but physically he couldn't cry. So they acknowledged that and used his desire to cry to show that he is feeling.

I thought that drama was much better than the attention it got.

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@outofthisworld @moonbean AYHT I liked the first half of the drama. Where it went downhill for me was when they brought in the human and made him evil. They had plenty of time for him to change but waited til the very end. The last half fell flat for me so I stopped watching. Then I thought the ending was just plain dumb. That was when I started questioning, okay, you're off to a happy ending with your robot - for a few years until you start aging and he doesn't? I suppose since he's a robot he'll stick with you til the end though.

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@linda-palapala
They could "age" his face modelled after the human? LOL.

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AYHT was much better drama. Romance in Absolute boyfriend doesn’t make sense to me. In AYHT robot and human organically developed respect and love because they protected each other and learnt about each other over the time. In Absolute boyfriend it doesn’t make sense why robot loves Da Da. Most of the time she treated him badly and didn’t appreciate him and his efforts. And then when he is gone she just out of nowhere understands that ‘oh my... I love him!’ Da Da doesn’t deserve Young Gu love and he has no reasons to love her. So Bong fought and did so much for NamShin III so he developed new rule for her and it made sense. I can’t say this about Absolute boyfriend

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PS. I forgot to say one of the important relationships was the mother who was cruelly separated from her son and made a robot with her son's face and gave the love she would have given to her son to the robot. What choice would that mother make between her real son that she has't seen for years and the robot "son" who had been her companion?

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He did act like a robot a bit, but I think that what we are missing is that Da da breaks all machines. We haven't hit on that reality for a while, but I think everything flows back to the fact that she breaks machines and effectively "broke" Zero Nine from the start. All his developing emotions stem from her ability to break machines, which is also why the engineers will not be able to duplicate what happened to Zero nine.

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I went back to watch the earlier scenes when Da Da and Young Gu just met, he was already acting very human like. Are you differentiating acting human and being able to feel emotions? I find it very difficult to differentiate these two here.

I guess I'll just have to use his heart palpitations as an indication. Throw in WD40 to lubricate the cogwheels of love.

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So I'm watching the movie Antique aka Antique Bakery with Ju Ji Hoon and much to my surprise there is Yeo Jin Gu playing young JJH. He couldn't be more than 10 years old. So he's been acting practically all of his life.

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Gosh! That's so long ago.

I have not watched any of his earlier dramas as a child actor. Circle was my first and I really liked him in there.

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He was also the young king in The Moon Embracing the Sun

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Interesting idea but the other machines Da Da "broke" completely stopped working, they did not randomly start doing things they shouldn't be doing. So to me your idea would have only been effective if the other machines also did random things around Da Da rather than just not working.

It is unfortunate for my drama watching but I have a very logical mind and if it doesn't make sense logically I cannot accept things on the face of it. That's why I am having great difficulty buying this romance - either side of it. I feel like I am constantly being told that they like each other rather than shown in a convincing and logical way.

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Good point Athena! The one you said dada broke young goo from tbe start. I can see it now, how he is developing all these errors while with Dada and not with Diana.

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"Bizarre" is the word I've been looking for to describe this drama. And I'm beginning to wonder if we're giving it a lot more thought (depth) than the writer intended.
Thanks to the review/comments and to the apparently few of us who are watching it (@growingbeautifully @outofthisworld and @geliguolu who are far more able to analyze than I am.
I subscribe to Viki on fb and there are more than 80 comments from fangirls who are ga-ga over the robot/Da Da relationship. I'm gobsmacked.

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Now I am even more convinced of the ending. They can't piss the fans. This said, they could have tried harder to make the romance work even if fans are easily satisfied.

Although I don't buy robot romance, they could made this really cute and funny and I don't mind watching just for laughs. But the drama has actually failed to pull off the romance unless one is a hard core fan.

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Yeah, they must have learned their lesson with The King Loves (which btw I always rooted for Wang Rin to get the girl). On the re-watch it's so obvious who she liked from the beginning. But that's another HJH drama...

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Is it good? Should I watch it?

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@moonbean Do you mean should you watch King in Love? "Good" is subjective - I liked it but I was an HJH fan.
It's more than loosely based on Kublai Khan's grandson, half Chinese (Mongolian) half Korean and how he was disliked and alone because he wasn't full Korean. It starred Im Siwan as the first lead, so fans expected him to end up with the girl (Yoona). His best friend was HJH, who also falls in love with Yoona. It's pretty obvious she fell for HJH from the start.
I've never seen such a fan war - it was really scary.
Parts of it were good, esp HJH was at his best and the part of Wang Rin was tailor made for him. Even though he was 2nd lead he ended up with the girl. Im Siwan fans were absolutely furious and in a way I don't blame them because the promos made it seem like Im Siwan and Yoona would end up together.
Parts of it aren't very well executed I suppose, esp toward the end, but it was still good and the music is gorgeous. The costumes are gorgeous, the actors were gorgeous. I thought it was made more like a Chinese historical fantasy than a K-drama.

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@moonbean King in Love novel, the Prince (Im Siwan) not only loved Yoona, he also loved HJH's Wang Rin.

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@moonbean

@linda-palapala gave up a great write up. People either love it or hate it. Most probably hate it because I assume Im Siwan has more fans.
I started the show liking only Im Siwan, I didn't care for HJH or Yoona(the horrors of Ramen!). Im Siwan didn't disappoint but I wasn't at all prepared for HJH to win me over.

The fanwars were ugly. It's a little like in the Reply series. I just laughed at the absurdity of it all. Maybe I've never been a true fan of any actor so I have no qualms if his character loses the girl. Some equate losing the girl as losing the lead status. I don't understand why it must be so.

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@outofthisworld The horrors of ramen - ha, ha! That's when I rolled my eyes and stopped that idiotic drama.

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Thanks for the info. Sounds interesting. I will check it out when I have time. If for nothing else, the second lead getting the girl doesn't happen very often!

Also, tell me more about the novel. That sounds intriguing. So there is a book the story is based on and the king is "in love" with both?

I am lost at "The horrors of ramen"?

I never understand fan wars. If I find a romance unconvincing and want one party to end up with someone else it's not because of the actor but the narrative and in that vein I blame the writers for mucking up (not necessarily in giving the girl to the wrong guy but not convincing me about the romance they are pushing). I have deep scares from Reply 1988.

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@moonbean

The Horrors of Ramen can be found in K2 where Ji Chang Wook bares his body(strategically pixellated of course) , doesn't bat an eyelid, taking down mean thugs in a public bath but gets innocently wide-eyed at Yoona twirling and cooking ramen.

Reply 1988 - I was on nobody's ship. Happily watched the drama for the parents. Maybe it's an age thing.

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@outofthisworld
Believe me when I say it's not an age thing. :)

I have seen K2 but don't remember that at all. Must be because I binged after it was done and didn't read recaps or comments.

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@moonbean Re novel King in Love - I haven't read it only heard about it. Not sure where to find it now. Wang Won (Im Siwan's role as prince) loved his bodyguard/friend Wang Rin in every way, even physical. He also loved Eun San in every way. In the novel he is also ruthless and puts both Wang Rin and Eun San through terrible ordeals. Most of the web novels are like that. Very explicit. The drama hints around at the love in a playful manner, Eun San teasing Wang Won and Wang Rin about being so close.
Also in the drama, the three of them did love each other, but as friends. They each sacrificed themselves to protect the other. That was a nice part of the drama. But some of the drama was a bit juvenile, imo.

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That sounds like Frozen Flower. Is it about the same king?

Lol horrors of ramen. That’s also when I couldn’t take it anymore and gave up K2. As much as I am interested in ISW and HJH, someone will have to pay me to sit through another Yoona drama.

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@geliguolu

Prime Minister and I was fine until they chickened out, brought out the exwife and ended on that stupid handshake.

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Right? If the robot romance was more comedic, I’d be ok with it. Instead we keep seeing poor Young Goo’s hurt puppy face.

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This is a fully preproduced drama that was shot last year so whatever the storyline and ending it was decided long ago and cannot really be changed. So I think Young Gu was the end game planned since the beginning - which I strongly suspected since the beginning as the more famous actor was playing the robot. I was ready to be convinced if the story was told right. However, they have not done it well, thus the drama struggling to find a broadcaster so long and then receiving the channel's lowest ratings ever.

I wonder if this wasn't fully preproduced if they would have changed anything and if so what.

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Ah, I wondered whether or not it was pre-produced - I thought not since it seemed fangirls were dictating the relationship. Weren't different actors offered the roles but turned them down? I heard T.O.P. and Chung Jung Myung? Thought I don't know which actor was offered which role.

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I also think the same way. Usually the lead gets the girl and it's usually the more famous actor.

Since I started this drama knowing full well that it's a robot romance, I too was prepared to be sold. Actually, my bar wasn't high at all. Make me laugh and half the battle is won. I'm not into cheesy romance but comedy, any time!

If this wasn't fully preproduced, I think they would have cranked up Young Gu & Da Da lovey dovey moments more. There's been a lack of them in the recent episodes.

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@outofthisworld
If this wasn't fully preproduced, I think they would have cranked up Young Gu & Da Da lovey dovey moments more. There's been a lack of them in the recent episodes.
Plus it seems robot 9 has been a little depressed lately too. What is his brain computing?

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Was 09 depressed? I am not sure. Yes, he has been eavesdropping on Wang Joon and Da Da's conversations and seems affected adversely. Truthfully, I get very confused at times because I keep thinking Young Gu is human. There's absolutely nothing robotic about him so I may have unconsciously treated him as part of any human love triangle.

As I write, I see the problem with this show and robot 09. We don't really know how he works and where the boundaries are blurred between robot and human. How can we ride on his journey when we don't even know where it started?

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@linda-palapala
I hadn't heard of TOP and my search resulted in this:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/10/kim-haneul-and-top-are-top-contenders-for-absolute-boyfriend/
So this drama was planned for a veryyy long time (clearly without much preparation as indicated by the crappy writing)

Chung Jung Myung was apparently up for Ma Wang Joon:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/04/yeo-jin-gu-and-chun-jung-myung-up-for-absolute-boyfriend/

@outofthisworld
Would more lovey dovey moments convince you though? I find them more jarring than anything as I am not convinced of the romance.

What I meant regarding would they have changed anything was in regards to what would they do to sell the romance. There is no comedy and the romance isn't working so why would viewers tune in? Romance doesn't necessarily mean more lovey dovey moments but making the viewers believe that these two people feel deeply for each other. That's where they failed with me.

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@moonbean

Would more lovey dovey scenes work for me? Yes! I could have just dropped this drama and cut loss.

The drama kept bringing me back on hopes that they will tackle some of the questions and issues I have been curious about. It isn't complete dud and maybe I will give it an B for effort and D for failing to follow through.

Lovey dovey without substance or chemistry works purely for fans. That's why producers go to great lengths to get popular actors because they don't have to work so hard to sell the drama.

I'm the type who can't watch any drama even if I like the actor(like I will never watch MoM) but I think I am in the minority. So I need to be sold. Loving the romance doesn't happen automatically.

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@outofthisworld

I also can't watch any drama for an actor but I have a very bad habit of getting sucked into a drama once I start even when it's bad. I hardly ever quit no matter how crappy it gets (see Abyss or this for example). I am trying to cure myself of this, life is too short and there are enough good things out there to fill my time but unless I quit early on (1-2 weeks) I keep going. The only dramas I quit beyond 2 weeks were Fluttering Warning and Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter.

I haven't started MoM as a HJH fan. I had only ever seen him in Moon Lovers at that point and his character was awful there. For some very odd reason I was in the mood for a weekend drama but most of them don't appeal to me. The storyline of a successful career woman's noona romance with a subordinate caught my attention and gave it a try (and what did I just say about getting sucked into things?)

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@moonbean I only watch dramas for the actors...but my favorite actor doesn't mean I'll keep watching. For instance, JuJihoon's latest was awful, couldn't watch, Jung Kyung Myung's latest couldn't watch., etc. But I can't just watch any drama if I don't like the actor.
Notice the actress doesn't matter...
with the exception of Bai Lu in The Legends. Xu Kai is an adorable cutie pie and I initially watched it for him but for the first time ever, I'm watching it for Bai Lu, the actress and the role are both awesome.

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You hit the nail on the head. The biggest flaw of this drama is that the story is not well thought out and planned. They decided the sequence of events (Wang Joon will reject Da Da cruelly but then want her back, but in the meantime Da Da will for for the robot) but made no effort whatsoever to convince the viewers on the feelings of the characters. They are treating the viewers like robots who would believe things because the said so.

They haven't gone into ant of the moral, ethical, logical or practical dilemmas of "liking" and "dating" a robot. The only person who raises these as the voice of reason is Wang Joon but they sacrificed his character so much for this romance that nobody is taking him seriously.

I am not surprised at the fangirl comments nor the support for the romance. I have seen even stupider and less convincing lovelines supported by some viewers.

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I wonder what they were trying to achieve when they decided to adapt this story. If all they wanted was a fluffy sweet romance which will satisfy fangirls, they aren't off the mark. Although I think they could have done better because I have seen fluff and sweet and this drama isn't even doing well in these aspects.

Fluff wasn't all they did though, I can see that the drama did try to raise some debatable issues like romancing a machine, the potential dangers and so forth but they only happened like you said through Wang Joon or they are dealt with half-heartedly.

They should have cut out all the unnecessary side plots like Wang Joon's manager threats which took up a lot of time. For Diana, she could have been interesting if only they had gone more in depth instead of painting her as a pure cracko.

When I read comments in other forums, I always block out those fangirl comments, you can't get anything meaningful insight from them. Unfortunately for this drama, there's hardly any. Some minority are against the robot romance and the majority are just gushing over YJG's cuteness and lambasting Wang Joon for taking too much screen time.

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I would say they are off the mark even with that objective as not all of us are satisfied with the romance and given the right fluffy sweet romance we could all be those fangirls (see The Secret Life of My Secretary for example, nothing in that drama worked except for the romance).

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This drama is 40 1/2 hour episodes, right? So we have a ways to go for it to turn on it's head.

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I hate how they made Ma Wang Joon wrong or cynical for raising questions about human loving a robot. His concerns are valid. Not only is it not normal, it’s truly dangerous if Young Goo is reprogrammed by a hack or a glitch. If evil 10 can switch sides with a kiss, so can 09, and there’s no guarantee that Dada can reclaim his consciousness before he hurts someone.

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Exactly! Interesting comment above too about her breaking machines.

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@linda-palapala

Will we ever get a noble idiocy line from Da Da to Young Gu?
DD: I don't want to break up with you but I must before I break you up.

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@outofthisworld I was actually thinking more in terms of there being the noble idiocy line from YG... "I'll re-program myself to forget you (and disappear), so that you can have love with a human being ." There were hints dropped as to this possibility from long camera shots of YG's face ... as if he is growing in awareness that WJ's concerns are note-worthy.

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@growingbeautifully

My comment was purely made in jest.

I think you are on something. I can see Young Gu going that noble idiocy route. I'm fine with that but I don't want Wang Joon and Da Da back together. Just because Da Da doesn't get to be with Young Gu means that she has to go back with Wang Joon. Everyone should go their separate ways.

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@outofthisworld
LOL. yeah. I recall her initial horror at having to take care of such a complicated machine when she could not even use her phone without gloves. That weird characteristic of hers has been forgotten for many episodes now.

My initial comments were the same ... she should definitely not end up with the robot, but neither should she or need she be with Wang Joon.

There needs enough time for him to prove himself the changed man, before we can accept him, but even then, Da Da surely meant it when she broke up. It seems so wrong if in the end she agrees to take up again with the same guy who hurt her.

I'm not confident that kdrama rom-coms dare to go the way of there being no gotten-together pairing for the finale.

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@growingbeautifully @outofthisworld Personally, I've never figured out what the two of them see in her.

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@linda-palapala Yes, me too. Sad but true. I actually quite like Minah as an actress, but maybe the script did not give her enough to work with or she's not experienced enough yet to know what to do with a bland character.

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@linda-palapala

I don't have hopes that Wang Joon will change. In the first place, he is not as bad as some of his actions come across.

The drama has been showing that Wang Joon truly loves Da Da and he is also a nice person on the whole. When he was kidnapped and held hostage in Diana's mansion, he had an opportunity to call for help. At first he wanted to call his manager but he was afraid to put her in danger so he ended up calling 09. He also tried to be as considerate towards 09 as possible.

His biggest issues is the way he deals with his relationship with Da Da and how he took her for granted. The ending of this week's episodes was also one of those incredibly dumb moves of Ma Wang Joon.

He has already proved that he will go to great lengths to protect or save Da Da but whether he's the person Da Da should be with, I am not convinced.

I also think that Da Da doesn't love Wang Joon any more. So if they get back together, it wouldn't be fair to Wang Joon either. So best each go their own way. Like you said, I too am skeptical the drama would go this way.

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Oops! My comment above was actually a reply to you @growingbeautifully

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@linda-palapala

Da Da the professional make up artist is fine but whenever she gets together with Young Gu, the two are like pre-schoolers. It's neither sweet or cute, just juvenile. But who's to say one can't be happy in this sort of relationship? Remove the element of danger and I can see Da Da living happily ever after with Young Gu.

I am sure there already exist people out there who prefer to live with machines than humans.

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@linda-palapala @outofthisworld @growingbeautifully
I also don't think Wang Joon is as bad as the show is pushing and some viewers are saying (I haven't seen the last episode yet, I am still behind).

But once Da Da claimed she has feelings for Young Gu I think all is over for Wang Joon and yes it would be unfair to him at this point if she goes back to him because she can't be with Young Gu. And after the way she forgot about Wang Joon so quickly and fell for someone else (a robot no less) nothing at this point would make me believe she could love Wang Joon again. This was also part of the reason I find the robot romance so unconvincing. At the beginning of this drama Da Da was in love with Wang Joon and was ready to marry him. In a very short period of time she suddenly fell for a robot. Does that mean she did not love Wang Joon anymore anyway? Or was she so angry at Wang Joon that even a robot was better? I have no idea what that means because I don't see any personality in Young Gu to make someone who was deeply attached to someone else until recently to fall for him that suddenly.

I also don't see why Young Gu would fall for Da Da beyond programming. I can't say the same for Wang Joon though. They have been together for a long time. he must know her enough to find things to love even if we haven't been shown. Their flashbacks were quite sweet. She secretly supported him for 7 years without complaint so he had reason to love.

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@moonbean

I think it's reasonable that Da Da can forgive but can't forget what Wang Joon did to her. She even knows that Wang Joon still cares for her but she has probably been hurt too much. Therefore I can accept why she wouldn't take him back.

All your questions and more were asked by Wang Joon. He knew that he hurt her badly but did it wrecked her so much that she had to find love in a machine? He too could not come to terms to losing her to a robot. He questioned and blamed himself for failing Da Da so badly that she had to turn to a robot for love. These were parts of the drama which I thought were done wonderfully. I wanted to see more of it and not just from Wang Joon who seems to be the only one raising questions but I want to hear Da Da's thoughts too. No luck with her perspectives. After the initial reluctance with Young Gu, Da Da is now firmly head over heels in love with Young Gu.

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Thanks @lollypip. I'm glad to see you back and hope that you've recovered fully and are doing fine.

This episode had me puzzled. It was too sudden a turnaround for Da Da who appeared to me to have never harboured all that much emotional connection to Young Gu. I can accept that she liked him as a friend, but never saw the romantic connection, that would get her to want to be kissed by him.

I too wish that there was a lot more of Diana that we were told and that we could have her story. I agree with @moonbean that giving Diana a redemptive arc, and some much needed healing, would have been different and a great idea. It would have elevated this story beyond the usual rom-com fare.

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When episode 9 ended, I was pretty sure that Young Gu was only pretending to be reprogrammed with Diana's kiss... that it was his decision to leave Dada who doesn't want to love him back (and who went to Wang Joon that evening). Now I'm not so sure... though still during watching this episode, I was convinced that Young Gu's reactions to Diana's behaviour was to distract her (and so protect the other people from being hurt more). I also thought Young Gu's refusal of being kissed again by Dada more stemmed from his conviction that she is not sincere... so he was stubbornly sticking to his "programming"... (and I do think that Dada originally wanted to kiss him only to get him back, to preserve the old Young Gu... what's a fine reason for me... and understandably not enough for Young Gu). Now I think I'm probably giving the show more credit than it deserves... 😆
I somehow wish they more showed us the learning process of our robot... sometimes Are You Human Too did better. Or I don't know what it is. But with Shinamon I was fully invested in the romance (and in the questions of what it means to be a human)... and here I'm just an observer... who even doesn't care much with whom Dada will end up...

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Something... not "sometimes"...

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@dorotka I am also often confused by Young Gu - when is he behaving according to his program and when is he not, can he override it at will, without effort?

At this point, it may be easier if Young Gu is actually a human who thinks he's a robot.

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At this point, it may be easier if Young Gu is actually a human who thinks he's a robot.

That thought has actually crossed my mind as well.

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How can Zero Nine even forget Nam Bowon?

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