Memory – First Impression

Show premiered last week, slightly a year or so later than last year’s stellar performance known as Punch. It’s difficult not to compare both dramas, as both have a protagonist who’s 1) an unscrupulous lawyer and 2) diagnosed with terminal brain disease. Granted, our protagonist here is diagnosed with an early stage of Alzheimer’s, which gives him a better advantage than over at Punch, but both guys are equally heavy-handed in work dealings, which puts them both firmly in the anti-hero category.


Lee Sung Min is our protagonist Park Tae Seok, a star lawyer in a big law firm, although not all of his colleagues are in awe of his capabilities. His new underling, a young idealistic lawyer Jung Jin (Lee Joon Ho of 2PM) is utterly unimpressed and even disgusted, by Tae Seok’s unyielding methods of obtaining evidence and coercing/threatening opponents of his clients, and was ready to resign by the end of Episode 1. Tae Seok has no qualms of demeaning others if it means achieving his goals, which immediately draws a parallel between him and Punch‘s Park Jung Hwan (Kim Rae Won).


On top of being an unethical (of sorts) lawyer, Tae Seok is also a pretty irresponsible Dad who places his work as top priority. The task of running the household falls squarely on his wife’s shoulders, Seo Young Joo (Kim Ji Soo), whom we eventually learn is Tae Seok’s second wife and also appears to be long suffering with an increasingly rebellious son (likely bullied at school) and a husband who’s almost always not home. It’s double whammy when she finds inside Tae Seok’s wallet a hidden photo of Tae Seok and his first wife and son, although she pretends it’s nothing.


Tae Seok’s ex-wife Na Eun-seon (Park Jin Hee) happens to be a judge, and likely a well-liked one at that. Methinks the reason behind her divorce with Tae Seok is because of the death of their son. It must be some bad joke played by Fate to have Eun-seon’s son’s death anniversary to fall on the same day as Young Joo’s son’s birthday, both of which Tae Seok forgot, being drunk from yet another dinner function. In his drunken state, he actually returns to Eun-seon’s place, only to earn a slap from Eun-seon for actually forgetting it’s their son’s death anniversary.


I think the first two episodes were solid in setting up the story and introducing us to the main players. It may not be addictive like Signal or Pied Piper (it’s actually comparing apples to oranges here, but I mentioned these two dramas because of the similar airing period), but it certainly has the heart-rendering element. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be danger lurking around (here’s looking at the potentially dangerous second generation chaebol Shin Young Jin [Lee Ki Woo]). I’m also interested in knowing which exactly will be the last case Tae Seok takes on before his Alzheimer’s progresses. And I hope Show’ll gradually stop reminding me of Punch.

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