109 Strange Things is a South Korean Romantic Sci-Fi Drama starring Choi Tae Joon and Jung Chae Yeon
109 Strange Things is a 6-episode web drama; it spins the tale of a robot (Choi Tae Joon) sent from the future with a mission to protect an unemployed philosophy student (Jung Chae Yeon). The storyline is how the two form a bond that goes beyond time and reality.
What I like about short dramas, is that they have a beginning, a middle and an end and do not continue for decades, like some series that just make you lose interest after a season or two.
109 Strange Things is a short series by any count, with only six episodes, it was worth watching in one fest of continuous streaming accompanied by a lot of junk food.
The only problem with some short dramas is that even if they are short, they are still too long, and even one episode is more than needed if you get my meaning. This is the case with 109 Strange Things, of which the first strange thing was me watching the show.
The writers tried to cram the drama with as many conflicting concepts, that you lost the whole point of the storyline. Essentially, what you had was a robot from the future falling in love with an unemployed philosophy student, which by itself poses many existential questions that I won’t go into now. With this wobbly mainstream, they added a lot of currents that just made this into a whitewater rush to oblivion. You had time traveling, a robot, a romance, a family with issues, and people looking for work with some baddies too. Each concept demanded much more time to evolve into a deeper story, but with only six episodes, I guess most of the meat was cut out, leaving the only skin.
The main question that should have been addressed is the issue of robots and humans, and can a Robot understand the concept of love? This isn’t the first time a robot-human relation has been televised in South Korea, which raises the question of whether the women there are seeking a replacement for their men? Or do the men feel inadequate and want to cyborg up to the occasion?
The romantic notions of the series were, perhaps the only saving grace, and Choi Tae Joon and Jung Chae Yeon were a very cute couple caught in a shoestring budget to provide reasonable feelings. The actors did very well with what they had, in this instance, I cannot blame the actors but the writers and producers.
The bottom line of 109 Strange Things is that this series was not worth the time, effort or money invested in developing it. You could use the money to create a more focused series concentrating on the couple and whitewashing out all the annoying subplots that had no place on set.
Conclusions: Good idea, good performance, bad plot, sub-level script, poor series.