My Absolute Boyfriend is the latest robot-themed romance to debut in k-dramaland, following Are You Human Too? in 2018 and I’m Not A Robot in 2017. In this girl-meets-robot story, Young Goo, played by Yeo Jin Goo, is a love robot, designed to give unconditional love and to be the perfect boyfriend. He is programmed to love Eom Da Da, played by Bang Min Ah. She works as a special effects make-up artist and has already broken up with the so-called “perfect boyfriend,” although in reality he was not that great. Although actor Ma Wang Joon, played by Hong Jung Hyun, is attractive and talented, he’s too self-absorbed to work hard at his relationship with Eom Da Da and keeps it a secret. Young Goo arrives just in time to heal her broken heart.
How perfect is Young Goo? Don’t read ahead if you’re worried about spoilers, but he tries really hard, whether that means cooking up a cozy meal wearing just an apron or decorating himself with Christmas tree lights to save on power. He works tirelessly to make all Da Da’s wishes come true and then some wishes she doesn’t even know to have yet. His kindness helps her recover from the breakup, but she’s not sure it’s right to have feelings for a machine, even if he’s a better boyfriend than the actor she broke up with. How can a human boyfriend compare with a robot that’s programmed to please? He can do everything except be human.
As far as robots go, it’s easy to forget Young Goo is a beautiful bundle of circuits, since he’s so enthusiastic about pleasing the woman he loves. Yeo, who recently earned raves for his role in The Crowned Clown, has a lot of charisma for a walking computer.
Would it really be possible to fall in love with a robot? That’s something fiction needs to imagine as creating lifelike robots becomes increasingly possible. As humans come closer to making robots in their image, robot-themed romance, whether it happens on the British program Humans, the original Swedish version Real Humans or in the very wild west of Westworld, are a popular new variation on the forbidden love theme in film and television. Whether fictional lovers are kept apart by family feuds, economic, religious or age differences— or even human and not-human differences—there’s a special appeal to love that survives obstacles.
My Absolute Boyfriend is based on manga series Zettai Kareshi by Yuu Watase which was published in shojo manga magazine Shojo Comic. Here’s a trailer: