July 14, 2006

Losing one's memory

Suffering from amnesia is one of the most common plot devices used in movies and drama serials all over the world. And it is highly effective as frequently movies or drama serials that employ this plot device manage to get sky high box office or viewership ratings.

Based on JUST the Asian TV drama serials that I have watched before, I have already seen the amnesia storyline being used in the following serials:

  1. Hoshi no Kinka (Heaven's Coins) - a 90s Japanese drama serial starring Noriko Sakai and Yutaka Takenuchi where the hero forgets the love of his life, a deaf nurse (played by Noriko Sakai) after an accident in Tokyo.
  2. Winter Sonata - the ultra famous Korean drama that defined the Korean Wave starring the bespectacled Bae Yong-Joon and Choi Ji-Woo where the hero (played by Bae Yong Joon) forgets the love of his life, his high school sweetheart (Choi Ji-Woo) after a car accident.
  3. Stairway to Heaven - another Korean drama starring Choi Ji-Woo who this time is the one who loses her memory of her childhood sweetheart (Kwon Sang-Woo)after being knocked down by her evil step-sister.
  4. Meteor Garden 2 - Taiwanese idol drama starring Jerry Yen and Barbie Hsu (Big S) where Dao MingSi (Jerry Yen) the rich and bad-tempered hero loses his memory after an accident, forgets about the love of his life (played by Big S), gains a new identity as a nice but poor chap and falls in love with the girl who takes him in after he loses his memory.
  5. Prince Who Turns Into a Frog - Taiwanese idol drama starring Ming Dao where the obnoxious heir of a hotel chain (Ming Dao) forgets who he is after a botched kidnapping attempt, gains a new identity as a nice but poor chap and falls in love with the delivery girl who takes him in after he loses his memory.
  6. Save the Last Dance For Me - Korean drama starring Eugene and Ji Seung where the only heir of a large conglomorate (played by Ji Seung) loses his memory after a robbery attempt, gains a new identity as a nice but poor chap and falls in love with the simple country girl (Eugene) who takes him in.

As you can see, the plots are really similar especially 5 and 6... In all cases, the amnesiac protagonists always have someone they are together with before losing their memory but end up liking someone else after losing their memory. This conveniently leads to an interesting love triangle as the viewer will be really curious to know whether the amnesiac will go back to his old love or stay with the new love once he recovers his memory. The drama generated thus provides much anticipation for the viewers which of course leads to high ratings which leads to more advertising revenue which leads to very happy producers and TV stations!

But the thing I don't understand is how is it that a person can forget who he is but can still remember every other thing that he knows i.e. business savvy, medical know-how, language skills etc. Is there some other part of the brain that stores all these other info? Wouldn't there be some form of brain damage to these other parts of the brain? And how is it that a person involved with such a serious auto-accident has no injury to any other part of the body besides the head? And with no scar to show for it as well! Isn't it strange???

However, even stranger is the fact that audiences (yours truly included) still love these dramas even though they have watched similar storylines umpteen times :-P This shows that the amnesia plotlines work very well so... be prepared to see much more of the same in the future !

1 comment:

linda said...

You forgot the korean drama 'Fantasy Couple'!

A spoiled rich girl hires local handyman to fix her shower, but when they have a heated spat over her dissatisfaction and lack of payment, she pushes him overboard and dunks his tools into the ocean right along with him. Later, after a quarrel with her husband, she herself gets drunkenly pitched overboard and loses her memory. The local handyman takes advantage of this, and makes her believe that they're a actually couple.