Korean series ‘Glitch’ brings science fiction, suspense and a sense of humor to Netflix


Hong Ji-hyo (L, Jeon Yeo-been) and Heo Bora (Nana) team up to find a missing boyfriend who may have been abducted by aliens in Netflix's upcoming streaming series. "Failure." Photo courtesy of the Busan International Film Festival

Hong Ji-hyo (L, Jeon Yeo-been) and Heo Bora (Nana) team up to find a missing boyfriend who may have been abducted by aliens in Netflix’s upcoming streaming series “Glitch.” Photo courtesy of the Busan International Film Festival

BUSAN, South Korea, Oct. 6 (UPI) — Sci-fi suspense comedy Failure looks to become South Korea’s next big hit on Netflix, with a mix of genres and a twisted plot that ultimately revolves around its two female leads.

Failure premiered Thursday at the Busan International Film Festival, a day before it hits the global streaming platform, which has been home to several blockbuster Korean dramas since. squid game a Extraordinary Lawyer Woo.

Director Roh Deok, who did the 2013 romance very ordinary couplehe said that the show is “not limited to one genre”.

“It’s a buddy comedy and it also has a bit of sci-fi, suspense and mystery,” he told the audience at a screening of the first four episodes of the 10-part series.

Failure tells the story of Hong Ji-hyo (Vincenzo Jeon Yeo-been), a 30-year-old office worker whose life seems relatively stable, if uninspiring. She has a job and a long-term boyfriend, Lee Siguk (Lee Dong-hwi), who wants to take the next step and move in together, even if it seems like Ji-hyo is just going through the motions.

However, we quickly learn that things are not as strict as they seem in Ji-hyo’s world. The phones, televisions, and computer screens around you break down regularly, mixing electromagnetic static with a rapid stream of confusing images and ominous messages.

Ji-hyo also occasionally meets a small gray alien fresh from the central cast of UFO, with a skinny body, oversized head, and large eyes. (And, for some reason, a baseball helmet.)

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He tries to convince himself that it’s all in his head, but things change when Siguk disappears. Was he abducted by aliens? Or was he the ghost in a relationship that had been stuck in neutral for four years? Mysterious crop circles and a terrifying doomsday cult also enter the mix.

Ji-hyo’s search for answers leads her to a UFO forum and a motley crew of conspiracy enthusiasts, played to comedic effect. It’s her close encounter with one of them, tattooed YouTuber Heo Bora (former K-pop star Nana), who becomes faults gravity center.

The two share a past that is slowly revealed as they team up to solve the mystery of the missing boyfriend, and it is their growing bond that grounds the divergent, sometimes jarring threads of comedy, mystery, darkness, and otherworldly oddities in display.

Either Failure can tie all of these threads together into a satisfying whole and, in the process, become South Korea’s next hit on Netflix, remains to be seen. But the first four episodes are packed with enough twists, cliffhangers and surprises to keep the audience guessing and probably wanting to come back for more.

Failure appears as part of the “On Screen” section of the Busan International Film Festival.

The streaming category first appeared last year with three selections, including the hit Infernal. In 2022, nine titles will be released, including the world premieres of seven Korean-language series.

Failure was written by Jin Han-sae who wrote the popular 2020 Netflix series extracurricular. The series airs Friday on Netflix.

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