Drama Recs: I Am Not a Robot
With the season winding down and another season getting ready to start up, you may be feeling the impact of the drama drought as the summer dramas come to an end and the fall dramas have yet to begin. In these times, it’s always worthwhile to turn back on and enjoy previous releases of the year before another season begins. I Am Not a Robot aired during the winter drama season, and if you have yet to check it out, now is the time.
Though the drama didn’t receive high ratings during its run, the story is unique, interesting, and certainly worth your time. The plot revolves around young and rich CEO Kim Minkyu (played by Yoo Seungho), a man afflicted with a rare condition making him literally allergic to human contact. As the story progresses, his condition is explained by a series of psychological traumas that begin to come to light.
Jo Jiah (Chae Soobin) is a smart, young entrepreneur who is outspoken and brash in all the best ways. At the beginning of the series she has a chance encounter with Kim Minkyu that ultimately goes wrong because of his intense, defensive demeanor (not to mention his arrogant attitude about the situation), which results in the creation of a grudge. Her ex-boyfriend, Hong Baekkyun (Um Kijoon), has built a working robot (named Aji 3) based off of Jiah with the intention of giving it to Minkyu to test out. Naturally, something goes wrong, and an accident causes Aji 3’s battery to malfunction. Fearing the response he’d get from withholding the robot, Baekkyun reaches out to Jiah and begs for her to take the place of his robot while they wait for the part they need to get it working.
Jiah reluctantly agrees after being offered a salary she can’t refuse, only to find out upon delivery that she is faced with Kim Minkyu. One of the most unbelievable portions of the story is just how foolish Minkyu is, as he never truly realizes that Jiah has taken the place of the robot.
The drama is billed a romantic comedy, with the early portions focusing on the comedic aspect more than anything. But beware: there’s a fair share of total melodrama as the conclusion nears, with the atmosphere of the story shifting significantly upon a major revelation.
Still, the combination of comedy and light romance is nice, and watching the two fall in love with each other (not to mention Minkyu’s obvious lack of allergy to Jiah from the very beginning) is addictive—you’ll definitely get sucked into the drama. Jiah is faced with the sad reality that Minkyu must live with, and Minkyu struggles with his own emotions as he grapples with the idea of falling in love with a robot.
Though the initial synopsis seems laden with cliches such as the introduction of a young, rich CEO (that we would all love to fall in love with in a perfect world) and that of a female protagonist from a more humble background, the story never fails to suck you in. What is really intriguing from a psychological standpoint is the idea of an allergy to human touch and its origin, as well as the factors that shaped Minkyu into the person he is today. We’re spoiler-free here, so if you find yourself intrigued, then it's time to check out the drama!
Jiah is a lovable female protagonist for her personality, which completely contrasts with that of Minkyu’s, and it’s these differences that begin to bring Minkyu out of his shell. The story highlights the importance of deep human relationships, which is certainly an important motif for the drama to depict.
Commercial ratings are not always an absolute indicator of a good story or the quality in the portrayal by the actors. Though there are many well done dramas constantly airing, it’s often difficult to sort through so many mountains of visual content. Nevertheless, I Am Not a Robot is something you should give undivided attention to among other winter dramas. A hit in multiple genres, the drama is sure to have you hooked in no time.