I never had any interest in watching Korean dramas as both subtitles and dubbing bother me. However, recently, I kept seeing season two of a show I never heard of before popping up in Ireland’s Top 10. It must have been there for at least a month or two. I ummed and awed about giving it a try when my fella and I said we’d watch the first episode and see how it went (he’d been wondering what it was too).
It’s not every day there’s a K-Drama on Ireland’s Top 10. I’m not going to lie, I thought the first fifteen to twenty minutes weren’t great. I kept looking over at Josh giving him a look as if to say, “how did this make it to the telly, let alone the top 10.”
Shortly after though, the show suddenly picked up and caught my attention, which kept me interested to see the next episode. Then the next. Then the next. Before I know it, I’m finished season two and googling every five days when season three will come out.
Arisu, an aimless, video-game-obsessed young man suddenly finds himself in a strange, emptied-out version of Tokyo in which he and his friends must compete in dangerous games in order to survive. During his battle for survival, Arisu meets Usagi, a fellow player in these deathly games who join together to embark on their journey of life or death. The two set out together to unravel one mystery after another to find out the truth as to why the games exist. Along the way, the pair meet friends and foes, form enemies and allyships and embark on a mission that will either see the group successful or dead.
One thing this show does amazingly is make the antagonists so easy to hate at the beginning but somehow make you root for them at the end, a feature I personally love in tv shows and movies. The bad guy turned good might be a trope that’s been done before, but for me, it never gets old – especially the way it’s portrayed in ‘Alice in Borderland’!
As for the more detailed contents of the show, I, unfortunately, can’t say too much without spoiling it. However, I can say from episode four onwards the writers start to tug on the heartstrings and make you wonder: “if it’s this savage in episode four what will the rest of the season bring?” In one way I didn’t want to know and in another, I couldn’t find out fast enough. For a show that didn’t give me a good first impression, it completely transformed my opinion and made me love it.
I am now a fan of Korean TV, whether it’s dubbed or not.
Since then, I’ve watched ‘Physical 100’ with Josh – a Korean reality show where 100 contestants battle it out to see who has the strongest physique in Korea. ‘Alice in Borderland’ not only hooked me but made me intrigued as to what other gems Korea has produced in terms of television and film.
One thing I have to repeat is bring on season three – and pray for me it’s renewed because you won’t want to see me if it’s not!
If you watch ‘Alice in Borderland’ after reading this – you’re welcome.