TVING’s newest drama “Yonder” is here, and its an interesting sci-fi that poses questions about life and death, what does it mean to be dead? How do you identify it in a world where a dead person’s memory can be migrated and looked at? Let’s discuss the drama below!
Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.
“Yonder” has been on my radar for some time as I found the concept behind it to be rather interesting. I think the first three episodes were very nice.
“Yonder” is a story that takes place when a man received a message from his deceased wife of an invitation to an unknown space called “Yonder” where he can meet her. Shin Ha Kyun plays Jae Hyun, a journalist from Science M who continues his empty life after his wife’s death, and Han Ji Min plays the role of Lee Hu, Jae Hyun’s wife, who faces a new life in “Yonder” after her death. Jae Hyun is invited to the world of his dead wife and after choosing the world after death, he will have the most special reunion in the world in “Yonder.”
The director of the drama had talked about doing a movie script for the novel which the drama is based on and failed to do so, he says he’s been able to do a better job with the novel being released on an OTT platform as a drama instead.
I find this interesting because thus far, the drama feels like a movie of some sort but also doesn’t feel that its has enough material to fill a drama. So I am guessing things pick up towards the 2nd half of its run. The first three episodes were roughly 25 to 30 minutes long cutting the introduction and ending credits, so I wonder what he meant by that to be exact. I say this because the majority of k-movies are roughly 2 hours long. We’ll find out soon.
The performances in this drama are great as you’d expect, but at times, it all feels a bit too abstract for my taste. It feels as if I am watching set pieces rather than ‘real life in 2032,’ I wonder if this editing and directing is a deliberate decision from the director’s side.
There are many moments in the drama where the dialogue was amazing and so profound. There are many amazing scenes that are so quotable. I loved those scenes.
“Yonder” is interesting as a concept but I feel that I am yet to be fully invested in the drama. This doesn’t mean I won’t check out the 2nd half, but I wanted to feel more of a connection to it. The story is very heartbreaking considering how he lost two humans who were so dear to his heart.
Its on two levels, one level is what I believe the director wants to deliver as a ‘feel’ while we watch the drama, and the other level is my perception of what he’s trying to deliver. I think he deliberately wanted us to feel somewhat disconnected from the entire story judging by the set design and some of the actors’ gestures and movements in certain scenes. However, I would have loved if the story was approached with a bit more of a ‘sympathetic’ tone because its such a heavy subject that isn’t always suited to be taken in such a direction. But honestly, this is a very subjective opinion and I know some people might counter this with a very interesting different point that I also find to be true, something that is the opposite of what I’d personally like it to be. Two things can be true in this instance.
“Yonder” poses interesting questions about life and death and what it means to be alive. It opens the door to very deep conversations on this topic that I believe many people tend to avoid due to the seriousness surrounding it.
With Ethics and morals integrated into such a heavy subject that is deeply personal and tragic, it makes for very interesting conversations with many points that couldn’t be further from an intersection, but at the same time hold validity in the grand scheme of things. I think the conversations this drama brings up are very interesting and worthy of talking about.
Aside from what I think we as humans can collectively label to be “morally and ethically horrible” when it comes to using this service, there are many intricate details where its use hovers around a gray area where each one will have a different approach. And it can get very heated. This is because what everyone defines as good or bad can be different.
The fact that in the service, you can make up memories and you can add details based on very limited interactions is a slippery slope that I think some humans will easily take advantage of. On a corporate and personal level.
The idea itself to preserve someone’s memories in this case comes from a deep personal desire to hold onto a dear one. However, as you guys know once money and corporations get involved, its a whole different situation. Can it be exploited? How and where should we draw the line?
I hope “Yonder” helps answer some of these questions with its 2nd half.