Episode 5 of Memories of Alhambra Drops to 6% Ratings as the AR Game Fully Moves to Real World for Jin Woo

I’m legit flummoxed and frustrated with tvN Sat-Sun drama Memories of Alhambra, and those are not the f-words I wanted to feel towards this highly anticipated drama. Five episodes in the directing is way wonky, some scenes are dragged out unnecessarily and the pace is off with how events are being revealed and character interactions used. Episode 5 saw more character chemistry between Hyun Bin‘s Jin Woo and the precocious teenager Min Joo than with female lead Park Shin Hye‘s Hee Joo. I’m loathe to spend time to dissect what is going wrong other than saying it’s not working, the drama isn’t gelling in emotional or action-packed ways to make me tune in for anything other than Binnie watching. The ratings also went down to 6.829% while jTBC‘s totally unexpected hit Sky Castle hit new ratings high of 9.539%. Please let the screenwriter have some magic fix in store for episode 6 to turn things around because there remains so much potential for Memories to be a fresh work to push K-dramas into yet another level.

The following events happened in episode 5 but I didn’t feel any visceral emotional drawn from any scene: Jin Woo was attacked at the hotel by AR Hyung Seok and falls down 6 floors but and is discovered by Hee Joo, he’s rushed to the hospital and severely injured from the fall but not from the AR sword fight with AR Hyung Seok, Hee Joo is worried about Jin Woo, we learn about Hyung Seok’s estrangement from his dad who prefers Jin Woo and the impetus for why Hyung Seok ended up with Jin Woo’s ex-wife, Hyung Seok is still dead in the real world, Jin Woo’s current wife the spoiled actress Yoo Ra shows up in Spain, and AR Hyung Seok arrives in the hospital to continue his battle with Jin Woo’s avatar and Jin Woo can still see the game prompts despite not wearing the contact lenses, and finally Jin Woo is saved from AR and real life death by the arrival of Hee Joo as Hyung Seok cannot battle Jin Woo when she is present. Whew.


Episode 5 of Memories of Alhambra Drops to 6% Ratings as the AR Game Fully Moves to Real World for Jin Woo — 61 Comments

  1. I don’t know about 4 female lead. But 2 supporting actor Jo ja-hyun and kim byung-chul acting was amazing in dots also goblin. They all deserve success, sky castle was amazing??. Jtbc slowly beat tvn in weekend drama after mr.sunshine. I thought science fiction drama not ahjumma cup tea because the story about game was hard to understand.

  2. I still enjoy this drama very much. Ep 5 gives me more AR fighting scenes, more backstory of Jin Woo/Hyung Seok & his dad, cute interactions between Min Joo & Jin Woo. I like to watch action-packed drama rather than melos, so this genre is more for me than the one Ms Koala likes. There is no point trying to explain the rating. If you don’t understand the story, the easiest way is to tune it out. Why try to document the events to non-viewers when your motive is so obvious? Do you think anyone will care? Those who remain watching clearly do not need your listing of events, this has never been your blog style because you used to write above average recaps rather than a half-hush piece of trash.

    • I agree with your point on writing about rating for every single episode with most obvious motive to generate traffic and ofc the fanwar between the two tvn’s most hyped dramas… Another being “Boyfriend”. When BF rating going down, there’s the nonsesical writing about wanting the rating to drop so that the drama can be enjoyed to the fullest but when MA dropped in ratings, there’s the posting trashing it. Like i said before, whatever rawks your boat. If you really love the drama, who cares about the ratings.

      • Boyfriend (encounter) really boring even the viewer want sjk appear and say “I came to end this war!” And save song hye kyo from disaster.

      • Not even properly researching that there’s a football game which has 18% ratings airing in the same time as Moa, and instead trying to say the drop is due to low quality.

      • Totally agreed. I know that the plot is going a bit slow, but i still enjoy it. Ep 6 was good too!

  3. The story is entertaining although your point of view is showing that you didn’t enjoy the drama from beginning so I hope you ignore the drama and write about what you like .

    • Yeah lol, it’s weird that koala keeps dissing this drama since she personally doesn’t like it. But a biased article doesn’t make a drama bad IMO. Like how my ahjussi barely had 5% rating overall, but it was one of the best drama of the year, I feel MOA is a quite good drama, better than the writer’s last drama W, in fact. It’s a shame that you just gave your own opinion about why you think it’s poorly made and there is no story progress? But the last episode was quite good and honestly, the story has just started making panning out so it’s sad that you keep saying it’s not good just because the rating dropped. After all rating success doesn’t mean a drama is successful, or else park shi hoo’s drama ‘my golden life’ doesn’t make the drama itself is brilliant just because it had higher ratings. Korean viewers love makjang so they’re sticking to it, even I myself enjoy it. But both these shows are very different story wise, so please, just write about shows you love. Don’t give biased reviews just because you yourself don’t like it. Because right now many of us still love the drama.

      • The problem it is her blog take it or leave it so with respect to her,
        I don’t understand some people who didn’t enjoy something why are you following or bother yourself to write about it , ignore it and for ratings don’t be consider measurement of success many korean watch this drama on Netflix and being hot topics on Internet sites like Nate and Naver .
        I don’t ask anyone to watch but at least something you don’t like in first place how will you give a proper view about it .

      • @Nilerose oh yeah how could I forget about Netflix. Considering this is airing simultaneously in Netflix means something right? It looks so gorgeous in Netflix so more internet savvy people would watch it online that make more sense. I guess you’re right that since it’s her blog she can write whatever she likes but it just hurts that every week there is these type of posts. While I come straight from watching every week episodes and especially this week has been the best one lol. Anyway, there goes my rant and I guess next time I will just not bother anymore haha.
        PS: So many typos in my post above. Sorry guys.

    • This is a personal blog though. She’s not a legit drama critic and her views are highly subjective. I don’t understand why you’re demanding her to write a certain way or that you think it’s unfair that she’s ‘biased’. It’s a blog! Damn right it’s going to be biased.

  4. So far.. I love this drama.. the more episode I watch the more I love this drama.. it get me engaged.. wondering what will happened next and what the writer has to unfolded each episode.. The more I curious the more I love! This is my highly anticipated drama so far.. I’m watching this and Fluttering warning, and been patiently waiting everyweek ? Yup! My drama choices are nit everyone favorite.. but I still love to wait and watch them when the new episode released!

  5. A reason memories of alhambra will be success.
    1. Fantasy crossing reality plot (the show features various elements melodrama, fantasy,suspense and thriller also CGI effect)
    2. Dream drama god pairing( fans hb and psh have been anticipating Moa as their comeback drama after several years).
    3. Hyun bin continue flop after rampant, negotiation, world within, Hyde jekyll me and many more lols.

  6. I’m happy that I’ve stuck this out moreso because it’s making me think which is a rarity for me as I love lazy watching and have everything spelt out however MOA has those twists and turns and although the OTP is really JW and AR it’s one of those dramas that I actually look forward to in the weekend. Although the ratings have taken a dip in Korea I can see that international viewers comments on kiss asian are as keen as ever and the fun part of deciphering each episode is actually amusing. I posted a few articles back my own theory about HJ and her involvement in the scheme of things so Im patiently waiting for the outcome….

  7. People don’t care, but there is a drama with bad ratings which is good KBS ” JUST DANCE”. Kind of social comedy drama .The Young actors and senior actors are doing great. It make me think of The 2 bigs dramas that everybody is raving about with stellar casting ( = marvel) versus a little drama ( = little miss sunshine, whiplash). Big budget / Sundance movies. Big Stars versus underated actors Chris hemworth, Chris Pratt / Paul Dano, Miles teller. If you get what i mean …

    • Just Dance is really good, i watch it while waiting for sky castle and alhambra but it turn out to be my favourite at the moment
      Its charming in its own way

    • Just Dance is my fav drama too. The otp really have good chemistry. Something i crave So long from my otp. And the story has heart. Complex yet feels simple,

    • Yeah, sadly people think higher rating already certifies that a show is good, but in reality it could be that dramas rich in content can be understood by only a certain group of people. Even lot of award-winning movies didn’t do good in box office so does that mean they are not good movies? MOA has been garnering good reviews even the drama didn’t have high viewer rating so we need to keep that in mind too. Besides I was never fan of dramas like dots or mr.sunshine so the rating games never bother me or I never understood it lol.

  8. I’m emotionally invested in the well being of Jin Woo and find the storytelling very refreshing and different. He has thoughts of killing his friend and he did it in a game that had consequences beyond his imaginations. So is he guilty, should he also be punished?I dun think we should focus on why the love angle hasn’t taken off. I like the pace this is going! Definitely looking forward to the next episode.

  9. It seems like this time we share different opinion. I dropped Boyfriend because the plot is boring and mediocre, the leads have zero chemistry and don’t give me the urge to look for their romance at all. Sky castle is a good drama indeed but i personally prefer this one as it’s a new concept that deals with AR game that may not be ahjummas cup of tea so the ratings means nothing to me, i dropped dramas before that were considered a hit (yeah i’m looking at you dots, goblin) as long its a fresh storyline, i am always in waiting for whats gonna happen next.

    • Encounter is utterly boring and there is nothing much happening in the drama except regular lunch and dinner dates. I am sad that PBG decided to come back with this drama. Gone are the days when we would watch him in exciting projects like coin locker girl and I remember you. It’s also frustrating to watch song hye kyo playing same roles over and over again. She gets typecast with roles like of rich women, previously which was that winter the wind blows.

      • Isn’t this the second time she is playing a rich character can fan of moa just support their drama without bashing encounter

      • I ‘m enjoying Sky castle too. And last empress is a drama with no sense but so entertaining to Watch.I’m happy that some of you like Just dance too.

  10. I don’t think that the director and the writer are a good match. I’m continuing to watch for the twisty-ness of the plot (which has now fully entered into Black Mirror horror territory) but the director seems to be one who likes to pull the viewer out of emotional connections versus into them. I felt a lot more pulled into the story by this point with all the writer’s previous shows.

  11. Memories of Alhambra is still the best despite the low recieved ratings because it keep me wondering as each episode ends. People can diss this drama all they want. All I know is if the drama keep me waiting for each episodes to unfold then that’s what I call an excellent plot. Memories of Alhambra is an AR game and not for viewers who’s looking for a sweet romantic melodrama theme so no need to bother about if the rating will climb up higher. The way Jin Woo’s character is written and directed is very well played. Looking at Hyun Bin portraying Jin Woo is a tug at my heart. I love the chemistry between Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye though I don’t really like her acting. I can see the connection from both actors. The story is starting to develop and i also love the pace. Waiting for every weekend is killing me.

  12. Don’t quite agree – not sure why you are frustrated with the drama. I think it’s becoming great – yes the ratings went down but I supposed it goes up again today as it did last week. I thought ep5 was a great episode because literally I fear for jin woo’s life. If you are looking for romance probably that’s why you feel disappointed? The romance is the only part that’s not firing on all barrels (Hyun Bin is, so is the directing which I love and the story is on point) but I’m feeling that it’s intentional especially at ep5. Its romantic only for the female lead but absolute sheer terror for Jin Woo which is totally hilarious for me. Or maybe it’s unexpected but whatever it is – I’m loving this show.

  13. Does a story have to be romantic for it to be good? It’s been stated on multiple occasions by different characters that Jin Woo has been married twice with little success in each relationship. And is technically still married. Yet, you’re in a hurry to see him have chemistry with PSH’s character. If the writer wanted to sell the romance angle, I doubt she would’ve made Jin Woo still married, to his 2nd wife. It’s quite possible that there may not be a romantic angle at all in this drama, which would be perfectly all right, as that’s not what the dramas about. As for me, I’m more curious to know what happened to Chanyeol’s character. Is he still alive, even in the game? Where’s his body if he’s dead in real life and will he ever get to meet Jin Woo? I hope there’s closure for his character. Any drama that can keep me at the edge of my seat is worth watching. Currently airing romantic kdramas nowadays are sooo boring. Here’s looking at you, Encounter. If it were unknown actors in that drama, I doubt that the ratings would be even 2%.

    • Heh? Tvn reruns encounter get 2% rating. I saying before that this time was 3rd flop project. Just like lee jun ki, binnie has bad luck with good and successful project.

      • Hyun Bin is a terrific actor, so no, I don’t think at all that he has bad luck this time. He has played this role quite well and seeing how AR is an integrated and inevitable part of this show, I feel no other actor would have been able to pull this off so well. His introvert and reticent character arc really work here.

      • @sky when you said about other actor taking this role, suddenly I imagined Gong yoo taking this role and OMG, he must be so cool!

      • Getting a drama that is good and a winner in the ratings takes a certain measure of luck. I’m not loving MOA right away like I did W but it could end up finishing strong, ratings and storywise. Or not, who knows?

        Most actors who are busy are going to have duds but I think Lee Joon Gi got a solid outing ratings-wise in Lawless Lawyer. It ended in the 8 to 9% range if I remember correctly which seems to be considered very good if not outstanding in the ratings department.

  14. Honestly? It’s been six episodes of Hyun Bin and his game and all PSH did was act like Cha Eun Sang no. 2 except a ditzier version of her. This drama would be as good without her and her being a savior feels so plasted over. If this is what she chose after 2 years of hiatus then I wonder why. All she’s doing there is crying and acting like a caricature. The oppa character is pointless, the ex-wives are pointless. How long is PSH going to keep acting those types of roles? We get it, you are called crying queen or w/e in Korea, but it’s too excessive. Doctors was great career move compared to this.

    • I think many PSH fans are disappointed in her choice as well. Even with Cha Eun-sang she has way more screentime and involvement in the main story than her character here. I think she might have been “deceived” by the dual character description, but so far Emma has 0 screentime and Heejoo is being more candy-like than usual. Though she should have forseen this with how Song Jaejung wrote Han Hyojoo’s character in W.

      Agree with the useless supporting characters as well. We get it, Hyun Bin’s character is tragic but do we need 2 ex wives to drive home his story? One is enough, the other feels like a typical 2nd lead bitchy character that somehow most K-dramas feel a need to include.

    • Honestly as a long-time fan of Shinhye I am disappointed too. I’m going to keep an optimistic mind because her other character has yet to be shown. But still, actors can’t keep making the right choices. All actors have duds and flops here and there. At least right now this drama has not yet flopped, so at least it helps to keep her name out there.

  15. I could understand why Ms.Koala is not feeling the drama. And to factor in how highly anticipated MOA was, plus all the hype generated by both leads, the bigger the disappointment one would feel. This genre is not for everyone. Either you love it or you don’t.

  16. I don’t understand the various digs on encounter.miss koala never mentioned encounter in her commentary.if you enjoy MOA,good for you but please let’s those of us that enjoy encounter have our peace of mind.

    • Hi Alexghana; We the collective of MOA are not having a dig at Encounter we are merely expressing our thoughts as to how Koala has an immense dislike of MOA which is totally fine as everyone knows her way or the highway but she actually delves in and dissects the episode and that is why the commentary that follows picked up and on it and made the comparison of a drama which is Encounter that Koala gushes hard over.

  17. I really do think there are alot of filler scenes.
    Maybe the production team wants to make use of the overseas shooting location as much as possible but imo the events in Spain can be condensed into 3 episodes.
    Right now there are more questions instead of answers. I can get why people are frustrated by the slow pace.
    Other than that, I think the actors are doing a great job. HB and PSH’s romance line hasn’t started yet but I can feel the chemistry between them.

  18. I just finished watching episodes 5 and 6 together and it’s a bit let down because the story is all over the place now. From episodes 1 to 4 is very good and intriguing but yesterday and today’s episode is dragging. Still will continue to watch the drama because Hyun Bin performance is Daebak. The chemistry is good between Park Shin Hye and him. Glad that the preview for episode 7 got me hook on again to see what will unfold ahead for Jin Woo. This drama would have been better if there’s no romance related.

  19. I love this drama from the beginning ot now and never care about the rating because nowadays rating isn’t reliable anymore. Knowing the drama focused more on the male lead, I appreciate the actors choice very much because Hyun Bin is amazing in carrying his character. So that’s the winning price already for the production because I was never a fan of his but the drama really changed my view about him… So inlove with him and his performance. Fighting MOA…

  20. Off of topic but as a french , kdrama lover since 2004, before french people know about Kpop and South korea and my friends treated me as an alien back then. 2018 a popular french singer filmed her new clip in Seoul for her return . So Happy ! Check it on YouTube ( jenifer. notre idylle)

  21. I’m thinking of dropping this drama now because the writer doesn’t make any sense for episode 6. What happen to Jin Woo injuries? It’s being forgotten and all the wife complications is all over the place. I was hoping the autopsy wasn’t drop and when will he meet the Emma lady. I’m more to the game plot then the romance side for this drama. Hope next week episodes get me hook back on the ride. It’ll be a waste since Hyun Bin play his character so well. This man really have bad luck when comes to picking a good production. A waste of his talent.

  22. These two episodes are filler. Probably to prepare viewers for the love line which is coming next week.
    Coupled with football game, not surprised ratings drop.
    I need the drama to pick up pace next week. Se-joo has been Mia-ing for way too long, Emma has been on-screen for a few seconds but we have heard nothing since, and the rules of the game are still not explained.

  23. I feel like you’re being a little dramatic about your loathe of the series. I mean, I don’t like Encounter for all the reasons you like Encounter. Meh. To each their own, I guess.

  24. i think MOA is one of the great dramas that been airing lately it has all the factors to make one hook to watch the drama. I am eagerly waiting for it every week. Maybe people who dont like it doesnt get the concept of AR. But for me it is the best drama so far.

  25. Hyun Bin stole my heart with his handsome face and brilliant performance. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role. He really drawn me into his character to feeling his fears and regrets. OMG I really love Memories of Alhambra because it’s a very captivating. I love the pace and the chemistry developing from the main leads. Waiting to see what happens to the brother and president Cha. He seem more like the real rival who’s going turn Jin Woo’s life upside down. I’m curious about the Emma game character. She’ll probably be the key to help Jin Woo beat the game.

    Hyun Bin is so smexy…

  26. I really love Memories of Alhambra so far and am looking forward to the next few twists and turns… Waiting for him to return to that cafe and talk to Emma already! He’s Level 5! I would have rushed over immediately instead of hieing off back to Barcelona/Korea… Supporting cast is great (Min Joo, secretary and the exec) and yeah so far, I’m not sure how that awful second wife is integral to the story. Even Jin Woo is not sure why he married her, haha. Not yet feeling the romance but Hyun Bin is gorgeoous with his hair wet!

  27. I enjoy ep 6. The story flows well and I can still follow. Agree with @varms that the supporting cast is really great, Min Joo is cute and his secretary is actually quite cool. There is something wicked about Professor Cha (he was in W playing the father of female lead and has this craziness that is giving me the chills, he is a great actor)… Wish the second wife can vanish but unfortunately their divorce paper is not yet signed… I don’t care about any new romance because he is still a married man. The gaming part is so exciting, how can people diss it while I eagerly want to know more? Can’t wait for ep 7 🙂

  28. Regardless the ratings, I am enjoying the drama. It’s a very refreshing plot with twists that keep me engaged. I like that the team is challenging themselves with a whole new genre and very forward thinking in the scriptwriter. I love the CG effects, very well done. But I pity Cha’s role, always drenched in rain and wearing that bloodstained outfit. And what’s not to love whenever Hyun Bin flashes his dimples.

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