K-Drama Review: “Circle”, A Riveting Traipse Of Sci-fi Story That Redefines Thrill-bending Writing

By  | 

Unpredictably written, Circle threads the alternating timeline premise with a brilliant execution of the main heroes’ perspectives

Halfway to 2017, I have sealed my benchmark Korean drama with Circle. I was in a constant eureka moment while watching the series unfolds without knowing where it will lead me as a viewer.


Title: Circle:  Two Worlds Connected
Distributor:  TVN
Theme:  Science Fiction, Bromance, Thriller
Length:  12 Episodes
Broadcast Period:  22 May 2017 – 27 June 2017
Overall Rating: 
Rewatch Value: 
Plus Factors: Bromance at its Best, Exciting Plot, Intelligent Writing and Directing
Oh No Moments: Not for casual drama watchers
Related Dramas: Nine Times Travel

The series made me work like a diligent student prepping up for a thesis presentation, with how I take notes of the plot’s bends and twists in case I miss something.  *chuckles  

It ambitiously taunts a revolutionary science fiction premise that is risky and exciting at the same time. Every episode just keeps on unlocking a revelation after another, making me decide that it is futile to decipher its trajectory.

I felt fulfilled on the closure of the twins’ journey to be with each other, owing to how the writer elaborated all those reasons why I had to have faith that they will get a happy ending.

Circle effortlessly drops an auspicious chronicle which is unafraid of possible limitations along the way. As an avid K-drama follower, I was scared and happy at the same time on how TVN pushes to present this cutting-edge plot owing to how nifty writing and intelligent scene-execution would make or break the story.

The future setting framing is impressive in giving a picture of a technological dependent future for human race. The imaginative “stable care system”, which controls the harmful human emotions of the smart earth residents disabling their wicked tendencies, creates a fundamental plot that establishes the variance between the interchanging space-time continuum.

Circle leans to an amazing sci-fi story perceptive to viewers, who may or may not be a fan of the genre. It gives a lingering lesson on the value of human’s memories as well as how happiness needs to have a validation on the path it takes to achieve it.



Intelligent and Gripping Writing

The two storylines converging to resolve the central conflict are intricately woven, with ample insertion of unexpected scenarios that catch the viewers off guard. I mentioned how for a change I did not over-analyze where the story is heading. The writing is on a mission to manipulate the small details supporting the major bends of the tale.

Whatever is happening on the first part of an episode is brilliantly translated to the problem being tackled on the second part of the episode.  This is a scribbling challenge hard to transcribe due to high risk of breaking the story’s consistency.

But the writer has effortlessly connected the dots neatly. The simultaneous narrative building propelled the primary addictive hook along with seamless cliff-hangers.

Outstanding Character Depictions

I swear I cried when the twins embrace each other in the waning episode. *chuckles Lead actors Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Kang Woo give justice to the unfortunate brothers, who are separated by greed yet reunited by faith. They match the witty writing as thinking characters, who are also adept to hit depressing faces when they seem to feel hopeless on the setbacks thrown at them.

The bromance is so fulfilling because the journey to get there was full of tribulations and brotherly love. The supporting cast parade provide a favorable showing. It helps that there was no surplus of unnecessary characters, which in a way contributed to the smooth flow of the storytelling.

Groundbreaking Narrative Mixed With Traditional K-Drama Approach

As an initiating drama for the sci-fi genre, succeeding stories that will thread on the same path has a lot to learn from Circle. That is to be decisive, direct and coherent.

In the drama, the electrifying mind-boggling sessions derive its driving points on scientific researches that link technologies to human brain. Well, it’s more of the abuse by human on the advancement of that technology borrowed from a supposed alien.

Still following the standard well-rounded chronicling approach, Circle utilizes science plot but targets human emotions through the conflict’s core.



Woo Jin’s Agonizing Fate

For people who are not used to the sci-fi genre, Woo Jin’s story is a bit heartbreaking. After all that he has done, my emotional heart hoped for an ever after with his twin brother in a way where miracles could be used to save the day.

Given the sci-tech pretext already entrenched, making his character survived as a clone disappointed me a bit, because they could have just frozen him while on coma to explain why he did not age at all – when he woke up. *chuckles

To be honest, the narrative is well-expounded that you tend to overlook the small lapses. However, it would have been nicer if they did it on the part where they cloned Woo Jin.

They did not explain the happy faced selca he had at Minister Park’s office. Nevertheless, Circle always finds a way to enlighten doubts, which is probably why they inserted that dramatic frame, citing how memories breathe life to a person for me to be appeased.

I think the whole memory makes a person’s gist of the story is a valid point, but it lacks emotional justification.

Time Constraint

Although everything was explained in 12 rounds, there are details that have to be expounded for viewers like me who wants the whole picture spread nicely. With the given fragments where I was left to decide whether I will analyze it or not, it would have been perfect if Circle elaborated the alien and cloning plots.

Employing it as impetus to the central conflict is acceptable, but it would be nicer if the backgrounds of the scenarios were discussed clearly.




As the first science fiction Korean drama, I am amazed at the smart writing and wickedly good maneuvering of the twists in the story. Since the surprises have to be linked from the present and future timelines, I applaud the clever team behind the production because they really did not give a room for the audience to predict what would happen in the story.

Circle never went wrong for being ambitiously inventive. It never showed any signs of defiance, and was always sure of the track it was taking. The brave movement of the story plus the incorporation of brotherly love would just blow your mind away.

Itis the best written and directed Korean drama for 2017 so far.  I also do applaud the wonderful synergy of the cast, who powered the brilliant writing for the stunning end result.

It might not draw curiosity from the general public because it is not an easy watch. But it is an absorbing drama experience for faithful K-drama watchers, who seek to try something new and extraordinary other than the usual regular stories.

Circle runs 12 episodes – so if you decide for a weekend binge, be prepared not to sleep as it tends to push you to unravel layer after layers by continuously watching.


How does this story make you feel?

Loading spinner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.