'MEMORIES OF THE ALHAMBRA' STAR #PARKSHINHYE'S CAREER SHOWS HOW NETFLIX IS SPOT ON WITH ITS LATEST K-DRAMA
THE FACT THAT ACTRESS PARK SHIN-HYE IS HELMING THE PROJECT HAS MANY EXCITED FOR THE UPCOMING NETFLIX SHOW
Netflix has become more or less a savior for all K-drama fans after having added a plethora of Korean dramas over the last few months most of which have been huge hits with the fans of the genre. The streaming service seems to have understood the global demand for K-drama and is banking on the crazy fan following that these shows – much like K-pop – enjoy. The latest in this list is tvN’s upcoming 'Memories of the Alhambra'.
There are many reasons why we believe this series will hit the spot with most K-drama fans, from screenwriter Song Jae Jung’s proven brilliance to the beautiful stitching of romantic and fantastical elements in the story. However, it is the fact that beloved actress Park Shin-hye is helming the project that has most of us excited for the show.
Shin Hye Park attends the Coach Fall 2018 Runway Show at Basketball City on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Getty Images)
Shin-hye is one of the most popular stars from South Korea, having begun her career at the age of 13 in 2003 with the SBS drama ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ Since then, she has been a part of some of the biggest K-dramas of all time. ‘Heartstrings,’ ‘Pinocchio,’ ‘Doctors’ and ‘Flower Boys Next Door’ are some of the great shows that were made better by her presence.
However, it was after the release of her film ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ that her star power became undeniably evident. Just 52 days after the movie’s release, the ticket sales reached 12.32 million, making it the third highest grossing Korean film of all time. This love that fans clearly seem to have for her is undoubtedly going to get transferred onto her upcoming show ‘Memories of the Alhambra.’
For her biggest fans, like the Dubai resident Rhiana, it is her "exceptional grasp at playing romantic roles" that makes her the perfect fit for the role of Jung Hee-joo opposite Hyun Bin's Yoo Jin-woo. "She was able to play different personas with ease and had a cute element to every character she played," gushes Rhiana.
Radha from India echoes similar sentiments. She says, "Park Shin Hye is a queen and watching her on-screen has always been exciting for me. Her acting melts my heart. Her beauty totally entices me," adding how she is waiting restlessly for the new drama 'Memories of the Alhambra.'
After all, it has been nearly two years since Shin-hye's last project, and fans are excited to see her back in action, to say the least. For Thinlay Yangchen Lama, the prospect of seeing her again is compelling, she says, "[Shin-hye] always seem to work with great directors on shows that have great storylines. So, her acting and also, storyline of the new series excites me." If 'Memories of the Alhambra' is as good as the 'Heir,' then fans can rest assured it is going to be a beautifully romantic series, promises Lama.
As for what makes Shin-hye so appealing, each of her fans has a different reason. "She is cute, has amazing acting skills and she had chemistry with Lee Sung-kyung, Lee Min ho and Lee Jong Suk," says Lama, adding why it is easy for anyone to adore her.
Rhiana adds, "The first Korean drama I watched had Shin-hye as the lead and I was immediately hooked. It was able to jell humor, happiness, and sadness all into one. If you're not into K-drama you should watch one with her starring in it."
Now you know why we are so confident about the success of 'Memories of the Alhambra.' There is no way the K-drama is going to fail on Netflix with Shin-hye at the center.
“Memories Of The Alhambra” And “Fates And Furies” Score Strong Ratings For Premiere Episodes
tvN’s new weekend drama “Memories of the Alhambra” and SBS’s new weekend drama “Fates and Furies” are both off to a strong start!
The first episode of “Memories of the Alhambra” aired on December 1 and scored average nationwide viewership ratings of 7.5 percent, peaking at 8.5 percent in real-time ratings. This made it the most-watched program in its time slot for cable channels. In tvN’s target age group, the drama did well with an average of 5 percent in ratings and peaking at 5.6 percent in real-time ratings. Though ratings for cable channels are aggregated in a slightly different manner, “Memories of the Alhambra” claimed the highest ratings among all programs in its time slot for both cable channels and public broadcasting channels for their target age group.
SBS also premiered their new Saturday drama “Fates and Furies” on December 1, and the drama scored nationwide viewership ratings of 7.2 percent on average. Real-time ratings for the drama peaked at 8 percent in a scene where Lee Min Jung is walking in the rain after being humiliated, and Joo Sang Wook comes running after her to comfort her. The drama tells the story of four men and women whose lives are intertwined in a story of fate, anger, greed, and desire, and the drama captivated viewers with its fast-paced storyline and emotional moments.
For Saturday-Sunday dramas, KBS’s “My Only One” continues to dominate with nationwide ratings of 31 percent for their December 1 episode. MBC’s “A Pledge to God” scored nationwide ratings of 11.9 percent while JTBC’s “SKY Castle” came in at 7.5 percent.
For cable channels, OCN’s “Priest” had ratings of 2.0 percent while Channel A’s “Coffee, Do Me A Favor” scored ratings of 0.6 percent.
Catch the premiere episode of “Fate and Furies” below!
4 Things We Loved & 2 Things We Hated About The Premiere Of “Memories Of The Alhambra”
Dec 6, 2018
One of the year’s most talked-about dramas has finally arrived! “Memories of the Alhambra” stars Hyun Bin as Yoo Jin Woo, a hotshot CEO who shows up one night in the Spanish city of Granada, hoping for a bed at a rundown hostel owned by Jung Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye). What happens next is actual magic (or high-tech wizardry, at least).
We’ve got two of K-drama’s hottest stars on our hands here. Not to mention, “Memories of the Alhambra” is written by Song Jae Jung (of “W” fame) and directed by Ahn Gil Ho, who bought us “Forest of Secrets.” The question is, does the drama live up to its sky-high hype? Check out four things we loved and two things we hated about the first couple of episodes.
Warning: spoilers for the premiere episodes ahead!
LOVED: Hyun Bin’s return to TV
The last time we saw Hyun Bin on the small screen was nearly four years ago. Now that we finally meet him again in all his crisp linen summer blazer glory, all we can wonder is: how did we survive for so long without Binnie?
In “Memories of the Alhambra,” Hyun Bin’s character Jin Woo heads to Granada after a mysterious phone call from Jung Se Joo (EXO’s Chanyeol), who’s trying to find a buyer for the augmented reality game he created. We get to see many different sides of Jin Woo along the way. Yes, he’s a vain, pampered CEO. But he’s also a huge geek who cheerfully sword-fights with thin air, giving no thought to how ridiculous he looks. We also see that he’s a heartbroken ex-husband, regarding his now pregnant former wife with quiet devastation.
HATED: Not enough Park Shin Hye
As you can tell, Jin Woo took most of our attention this first week. Park Shin Hye’s Hee Joo, on the other hand, doesn’t get very much to do in the first episodes. In what screen time she has, she mostly enables Jin Woo or reacts to things he did, which is pretty disappointing. Her character is described as a mysteriously alluring classical guitarist, but so far she comes off less “mysterious,” more “downtrodden,” and there’s hardly a guitar in sight.
Park Shin Hye has played some great, multi-faceted characters in the past. It’s okay if she’s not really a take-charge type in this drama. But we still want to see her as a complete, unique person, not just as a foil to the male lead. Here’s hoping we find out more about her next week.
LOVED: The augmented reality concept
“Memories of the Alhambra” is that rare thing: a K-drama with a completely new concept. It’s the first Korean drama to tackle augmented reality gaming, and it does so in a thrilling, inventive way. It’s a huge relief that the graphics are top-notch too!
The exotic, sun-bleached elegance of Spain provides a perfect backdrop for our journey into the game. We get to explore the mysterious old city of Granada alongside Jin Woo. We never know which statue might come to life, or which long-forgotten knight could come riding around the corner. There’s no clear line which shows where the game ends and where real life begins, which is eerie and unsettling in the best way.
LOVED: The unexpected comedy
One of the dangers of a high-concept drama is that it ends up taking itself too seriously. Luckily, our writer Song Jae Jung knows how to balance the high stakes with a bit of cuteness and fun, just as she did in “W” – in the first half, at least.
Jin Woo, in particular, has some great interactions with the people around him. It’s a treat watching him trying to eat ramyun while Hee Joo’s sister Min Joo (Lee Re) dances around the hostel kitchen, flinging her hair in his face. Even better are the reactions he gets at a local restaurant, where he keeps coming back to fetch an in-game weapon from the bathroom. If we were in that poor, confused waiter’s (incredibly sexy) shoes, we’d assume he had a bladder infection.
HATED: The classic Rich Guy/Poor Girl setup
Tale as old as time, song as old as a chaebol grandpa. This is a story of a rich, arrogant leading man and a poor but hard-working heroine, aka 75 percent of all dramas ever. It’s uninspired at best and lazy at worst. We’ve even seen both these actors do it before (Park Shin Hye in “Heirs” and Hyun Bin in “Secret Garden“).
It’s easy to see why such a well-trodden trope is tempting in a drama like this one. The concept is completely new, the plot could go to some strange places. You might want to ground the story in a familiar dynamic, giving the viewers something to hold on to. There are less irritating clichés to fall back on though, just sayin’. But there is hope yet! Just look at that final scene.
LOVED: The time jump at the end
It looks like episode 2 is going to end on a pretty standard note, as Jin Woo offers Hee Joo untold riches in return for the rights to the game, which was created by her underage brother Se Joo. As she considers his offer, we suddenly flash forward a whole year and find Jin Woo on the train, under the same looming clouds that came for Se Joo.
Future Jin Woo has traded his slick suede shoes and breezy blazer for bloody Converse and a bulletproof vest. He walks with a limp and holds not one but two guns like a pro, as a cold-eyed killer stares him down. Um, WHAT? We’d just about come to terms with the drama’s concept and we already had one mystery to solve: what happened to Se Joo? Now it looks like Jin Woo’s whole world has fallen apart. What has the game done to him? And where’s Hee Joo? We can’t wait to find out!
Nicely said. Hated the fact that Shin Hye has short part in the first two episodes and I'm hoping this is because everything is being introduced to us but if this continue they will lose me no matter how great the writer is. I'm hoping for more interaction with the two leads in their next two episode because I will hate the fact that Shin Hye waited for this and it will not work out for her.
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