K-Drama Review: “Memorist” Daunts With A Series Of Twisted Crime Cases That Are Shocking To The Core

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Unraveling the adventures of a cop with superpowers, Memorist presents an unnerving spectacle that compels viewers to contemplate about what is right.

Consistently keeping its momentum until the end, Memorist impressively trails the process of solving crime cases with an added twist of superpower elements. Though, a lot of crime as well as superpower themed dramas are out there, Memorist differentiates itself on its approach of how the story was plated to the audience.


Title: Memorist
Network: tvN
Theme: Crime, Thriller, Supernatural
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 11 March 2020 – 30 April 2020
Main Leads: Yoo Seung Ho | Lee Se Young
Highlights: Confounding puzzles and mysteries | Main leads worth rooting for | The squad that shone every moment
Overall Rating:
Re-watch Value:
Related Dramas: He is Psychometric | Voice | I Can Hear Your Voice

It might seem easy for a person who has supernatural powers to solve cases. But, Memorist realistically portrays that might not be the case and depicts the various problems in detail that involves corrupt and powerful people. In this drama, just because the main lead can scan people’s memories does not mean that he can overpower his opponents. Rather, his powers are his weaknesses that are often used against him.

The writers of the drama have been extremely creative as they manage to fool the audiences every week by making them follow the red herring and wrong character suspects.


Quick Plot Round-up

A young man named Dong Baek (Yoo Seung Ho) suddenly emerges in front of the world stating that he has the ability to scan people’s memories trhough touch. Experiment tests reveal that the youth was indeed telling the truth. As a result, he became an overnight celebrity with people taking an interest in his life.

Yoo Seung Hoo

Years later, Dong Baek becomes a police officer where he uses his ability to solve various crime cases. However, he is not free from trouble because of his reckless actions as well as being under the continuous public scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Han Sun Mi is a genius crime profiler who despite of her young age, got promoted to a very high position because of her strong competency. A serial muder case brings Sun Mi and Dong Baek together. But as they dig deeper into the mystery, the hidden truth about their individual pasts also starts unraveling.



Righteous hero who fights for justice

Chasing all the bad guys is the telepathic detective, Dong Baek, a role perfectly executed by Yoo Seung Ho. Considered a national treasure because of his abilities, a lot of people love Dong Baek. But at the same time, there are people who schemes his downfall, since he might pose a threat.

Thus, not only must Dong Baek solve the difficult crimes but he must also survive the dirty politics. Challenges are many such as the press waiting for Dong Baek to make a mistake and the creation of scandalous news about him. There is also the human rights activists who believe that Dong Baek is violating people’s right to privacy, and the higher ups at the police department.

Unfazed by all the threats surmounted on him, Dong Baek persistently continues with his resolve to bring justice. Following his principles on what he thinks is right, he disregards hierarchy or order of things and does things in his own way. While, he puts up an arrogant front, deep inside he feels the pain from the memories he had scanned.


Female protagonist who leads the force

Leading the police team to solve a series of grotesque murder mysteries is Han Sun Mi, portrayed by Lee Se Young. A competent crime profiler, she has solved many difficult crimes with her intellect. Subject to the envy of many, she rose to the post of a Superintendent at a very young age.

Determined to punish everyone who has done wrongs, Sun Mi does not give up even when it seems like the investigation has reached a dead-end. A one of a kind leader, she does not cling to emotions. Rather, she uses logical reasoning to deduce the crime puzzles.


Squad to dote on

Though Dong Baek may have a lot of enemies who continuously attempt to cause his downfall, there are also people that he can rely upon. The trio of Dong Baek, Koo Kyung Tan (Ko Chang Seok) and Oh Se Hoon (Yun Ji On) is the ultimate best. They bicker continuously but there is also love and understanding.


Dong Baek might not directly state it but he does feel hurt from people not considering him normal and avoiding him. Luckily, his teammates treated him just like any person and trusted him. Whenever Dong Baek gets accused of anything, they were the first ones to stand up for him and defend him.

The trio squad also added a bit of laughter for the viewers with their comedic acts, thus providing a bit of relief from the ever so intense narrative. Additionally, Han Sun Mi and her team, Kang Ji Eun (Jun Hyo Seung), and the metro team provided great support to Dong Baek.


Intense chase for the Eraser

A serial killer with a twisted view of justice, who punishes only wrong-doers, Eraser proves to be a formidable opponent for Dong Baek. From the very beginning, Dong Baek and Sun Mi were put at the end of their wits with Eraser’s challenges.

The first appearance of Eraser in the drama makes a mark when an offender who is about to get away with his crimes gets brutally murdered in a gathering. What comes as a shock is that none of the witnesses have any recollection of how the murder took place hinting that Eraser has the power to erase a person’s memories.

Having no recorded data about Eraser’s identify, the investigation proves to grueling one as Eraser continued with the killings. Along the murders, also begins a game where Eraser leaves hints and trails for the main leads. During the pursuit of Eraser, many other hidden cases of injustice gets revealed.


Different kinds of evil

Dong Baek has got many enemies who keep trying to disadvantage him throughout the series. What Eraser is doing is not right, but the people being punished by Eraser are the greater evils. If not for the killings by Eraser, the crimes of these evils might have never been exposed.

The evils at the end includes corrupt politicians, businessmen, journalists, prosecutors and police officials who seek personal benefits without valuing human lives. There are many heartbreaking stories of the victims which were shut off because of the interweave if these evils.


Memorist Series Afterthoughts

Definitely one of the best crime thriller series, Memorist raises the bar for this genre among K-Dramas. As always, Yoo Seung Ho does not disappoint. He makes us love every aspect of the character, Dong Baek. On the other hand, this drama also showed viewers a new side of Lee Se Young. She brimmed to her fullest potential as Han Sun Mi in this series.

Fully plot-driven, the drama is devoid of romance but we get to see an interesting dynamics of the characters. Dong Baek and Han Sun Mi make a great team as they bring out the best in each other because of their similar goals.


The creators of the drama does a great job in maintaining the suspense about Eraser’s identity. Throughout the series, there was no way of knowing who Eraser truly was. The writers did an excellent job in misleading us to many other suspects. Also, when the secrets were finally unveiled at the end, they provide an extremely shocking and unexpected twist.

What was great about this drama was also the fact that Dong Baek’s ability had more limitations than strengths. This puts him in equal footing as everyone else. Therefore, the challenges that followed too, induced more thrills.



With intense storyline, engrossing suspense, and cliff-hangers, Memorist is a nail-biting roller coaster ride. There are too many details presented in each episode that if you blink, you will miss it. Induced with a lot of anxiety-filled moments, this drama is better suited for binge-watching.

Memorist at the beginning looked like a typical crime thriller series, but it offered so much more as the story progresses. The drama deals with some thought-provoking questions such as whether justice brought outside the purview of law is right or wrong.

Multiple crime cases are shown which at the end are interconnected with one key element. This served as the biggest reveal of the series. Creatively written, the drama also delves deeply into the world of policemen and journalists by introducing various terms specific to their line of work.


Images Credit: tvN

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