I hadn’t expected to like Find Me in Your Memory as much as I did because there isn’t a single person in it that’s on my favorites lists. However, I soon realized that didn’t matter at all. Why?… Because the acting is good, the chemistry between the male and female lead is superb, the storyline moves swiftly, and the plot is romantic. I happily went from episode to episode, anxious to find out what would happen next.
Lee Jung-Hoon is an amazingly successful HBN news anchorman, known for being tenacious in getting his interviewees to reveal truths they had been hiding from the public. After Actress Yeo Ha-Jin appears on Lee Jung-Hoon’s News Live to plug her upcoming movie, the two accidentally become linked as a romantic couple. Wanting to rectify the situation without it harming her movie, Ha-Jin proposes they fake a romance just until the movie is no longer showing in theaters. So as not to tarnish either of their careers and reputations, Anchor Lee kindly agrees to go along with the idea. However, because the movie is a hit, the fabricated relationship ends up lasting longer than either of them expected and it doesn’t take long for the alliance that began with a white lie to become a reality.
Lee Jung-Hoon was diagnosed with the rare condition hyperthymesia when he was a young boy which affords him the ability to recall past events in his life with extreme clarity. The only people aware of his condition are his parents, his doctor, his doctor’s son (who happens to be Jung-Hoon’s best friend), and his immediate supervisor at work. Sadly, eight years ago, Jung-Hoon’s girlfriend was the victim of a horrendous murder and although he has been successful in going on with his life, his hyperthymesia makes it impossible for him to let go of the past. Jung-Hoon, an anchorman for HBN News, earned the nickname Gentle Tyrant because although he is kind he is also amazingly skilled at bombarding his guests with powerful facts – politicians, businessmen, idol singers, and top stars all receive the same treatment when they appear on his show. Jung-Hoon was the recipient of the Most Trusted Journalist award and he’s made Lee Jung-Hoon’s News Live the single most successful news program on South Korean TV.
Yeo Ha-Jin had been pursuing a career in ballet when a tragic motorcycle accident cut things short and left her with selective amnesia as well as the inability to dance again. Having to choose another career path, she decided to try her hand at acting and made it big – securing herself a place in the top 10 of Korean celebrities. Makeup, clothing, jewelry… if she wears it, you can bet everyone will be clamoring to buy it. Although Ha-Jin is sweet, kind, and soft-spoken the public has only seen her play villainess supporting actress roles in TV dramas. Her movie debut role happens to be unlike anything she’s ever done before, a complete opposite from what her fans are used to – she’s the female lead in a love story – and she has her fingers crossed the film will be a big success. As she’s waiting to begin a new project, Ha-Jin keeps busy by attending signing events, being part of public service announcements, and working as an advertisement model.
Since childhood, Jung-Hoon’s best friend has been Yoo Tae-Eun. Tae-Eun’s father had been Jung-Hoon’s doctor as the boy was growing up but Tae-Eun took over that role when he became a neuropsychiatrist. He cares about Jung-Hoon as both a friend and doctor. Coincidentally, Tae-Eun had been Yeo Ha-Jin’s doctor after her motorcycle accident, painstakingly treating her during her horrible bout with depression and memory loss.
Yeo Ha-Kyung is not only Ha-Jin’s manager but her younger sister, as well. The siblings reside together, Ha-Kyung micromanaging almost every detail of the star’s life – what and when she eats, her exercise routine, her bedtime, work schedule, and even much of her downtime. Ha-Kyung loves her sister very much and does everything in her power to protect her, both emotionally and physically.
Yoo Sung-Hyuk, a professor at a major university, was fascinated with Jung-Hoon’s condition and began monitoring him when he was a young boy. He is constantly trying to get information about Jung-Hoon from his son, Tae-Eun, and is excessively critical of Tae-Eun’s abilities as a doctor. To Professor Yoo, Jung-Hoon is not much more than a lab rat, someone he can use to further his career.
The actor who plays Anchor Lee Jung-Hoon is the very talented Kim Dong-Wook. He began his acting career through several short films but it was his role in the fantastic Kdrama Coffee Prince that first garnered him attention and earned him his first of many awards -a Netizen Popularity Award. His first two Best New Actor awards were for his role as a national ski jumper in the 2009 movie Take Off, which happened to be the second most attended movie in South Korea that year. A year later he became a musical theater actor with parts in a total of four different productions. But it was his role in the 2012 period thriller The Concubine that really made people sit up and take notice. A few years later, his acting in the film Along with the God’s: The Two Worlds earned him three Best Supporting Actor awards. The Kdrama Special Labor Inspector was the vehicle through which he secured a Best Actor award, two Top Excellence awards, and one Grand Prize (Daesang) award.
By going to my True Beauty review you can read a bit about Moon Ga-Young, the actress who plays the part of Yeo Ha-Jin.
Despite their being famous, Lee Jung-Joon and Yeo Ha-Jin are both very kind, personable, down-to-earth folks. We can’t help but cheer for them to make it- separately and as a couple. Their flirting is darling and warm with a smidgen of awkwardness in the mix, and the chemistry they have together is wonderful, which means Kim Dong-Wook and Moon Ga-Young had to have clicked in real life to have made such a charismatic couple on screen. I wasn’t surprised one bit to discover they won the Best Couple Award for their performance in Find Me in Your Memory.
At first, we might think having hyperthymesia would be fun – like being able to relive your 10th birthday over and over again or perfectly seeing the first time you went to Disneyland whenever that memory was triggered – but that condition might be more challenging than what we could even imagine. I thought it was sad that Jung-Hoon referred to his hyperthymesia as an illness and not an ability. But the show clearly points out the downside of the condition, which is something I had never thought of. In Find Me in Your Memory, Jung-Hoon goes through the unimaginable tragedy of witnessing his sweetheart’s murder and having her die in his arms. Going through something like that would be inexplicably difficult and it would probably take years to get the memory of it to stop haunting you. But for a person who has hyperthymesia, that heart-wrenching incident would be forever etched in their memory and they would be able to recall every little detail of it with clarity (as if it had just happened) 10, 20, even 30 years down the road. There’s a scene in the show where Jung-Hoon’s mom and dad are talking and… well, that’s all I want to tell you. You’ll know the scene when you see it because it’s heartbreaking. By the way, if you’re interested in watching another Kdrama whose leading man has hyperthymesia you can check out Remember, which is on my perfect score list.
As I watched this drama unfold I couldn’t help but think about one of my most favorite romantic Kdramas, Lie to Me. In both shows, the female and male lead characters, because of a misunderstanding, enter into a fake relationship for the sake of one person’s career and in the process of trying to fool the public, sincerely fall in love with one another. Lie to Me keeps that idea going through all of its 16 episodes while Find Me in Your Memory adds in a sub-plot – a psychopathic man who has murderous connections to both Jung-Hoon and Ha-Jin. Lie to Me has a light feel about it where Find Me in Your Memory is much more intense. I really enjoyed each of these dramas and highly recommend you see both.
I don’t want to inform you of any details in the show’s excellent sub-plot but I will give you a broad, one-sentence overview – a psychopathic killer seeks revenge on Lee Jung-Joon and Yeo Ha-Jin has a stalker.
Find Me in Your Memory is definitely worthy of being placed in the romance genre. There’s more than one kiss (several more) and they are genuine – the kind of kissing people who are in love engage in. It’s good to have a romance drama whose characters actually participate in the type of physical affection real people use to say “I love you.” And as I mentioned before, the flirting in this show is quite good.
Things are pretty much wrapped up about a half-hour before the show ends which gives us just the right amount of time to receive a decent closure on each of the characters’ lives. There is an instantaneous passage of time – two years, to be exact – and we see just how the characters have progressed professionally and personally which helps us easily say goodby to the people we’ve come to care about. It’s a good ending.
Those of you who are avid Kdrama fans will enjoy one of the drama scripts Yeo Ha-Jin is given to consider being a part of – Romantic Nurse, Director Choi, which is an obvious take-off on the real-life popular drama Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. I love it when writers encompass subtle little things from other Kdramas into their own.
I consider Here We Are, performed by Jooyoung, to be Find Me in Your Memory’s theme song. It a lovely ballad filled with really pretty harmony. The fairly intense chorus seems like an entirely different song than the calm verses but somehow they complement each other. Solji from EXID sings One Day which begins with a quiet calm, builds to an emotional crescendo, and ends peacefully like the way it started. A soft piano, along with some violins, are the main accompaniment to the pretty ballad Two People, sung by Suran. Likewise, While the Memories Are Asleep, sung by Kang Seung-Sik of Victor, features a piano for its verses. All of the music on the soundtrack is perfect background ballads for a love story.
Thousands upon thousands of romantic city lights illuminating the night skyline as well as lovely pink cherry blossom petals falling in a shower are just two of the many perfect backdrops for the charming main couple. Kudos to the wardrobe folks who found clothes for Ha-Jin to wear throughout the show. She has such beautiful and varied clothing which keeps right in line with her profession. However, when she’s home they did a great job dressing her like a regular person – with baggy sweats, disheveled hair, and very little makeup.
As far as love stories go, Find Me in Your Memory is really good. It’s very entertaining, slightly suspenseful, quite romantic, and has wonderfully likable characters. If you have a Kdrama romance watch list, make sure this is on it, and don’t let it sit too long before turning it on.
Swiftly moving storyline
Main characters’ chemistry
Thumbs up acting
Music is romantic
A couple minor “oops”