The Netflix sci-fi mystery series, released worldwide on the streaming service on Oct. 7, currently sits at No. 8 on Netflix’s Global Top 10 chart, having been streamed over 7.44 million hours from Oct. 10 to 16.
The series revolves around a woman in her 30s portrayed by Jeon Yeo-been, who struggles because of a big secret — she sometimes witnesses aliens that seem to only appear to her. She leads a relatively normal life apart from these sightings, with a steady job and a steady boyfriend whom she’s been dating for four years.
She becomes convinced that the aliens kidnapped him and during her efforts to find him, she reunites with her childhood best friend and UFO enthusiast, portrayed by singer and actor Nana.
Together the pair embarks on a journey to find him.
“Glitch” was written by Gin Han-sai who is also behind the hit Netflix series “Extracurricular” (2020) and directed by Roh Deok behind the hit romance film “Very Ordinary Couple” (2013).
Although defined as a sci-fi mystery, the narrative switches between mystery, sci-fi, thriller, and comedy as the two friends search for the truth.
According to director Roh during a press interview at a cafe in Samcheong-dong last week, she understood the pair’s journey as ultimately being the protagonist’s search for herself.
Roh hoped the global audience could relate to the protagonist and her courage.
“I think Ji-hyo was on this quest to complete the missions that all of us are expected to go through,” Roh said. “The final stage [of her 30s] was marriage. Maybe she could have gone on and lived her life as it was. However, she chooses to deviate from that path, which, from the perspective of an individual, could be a very big event for her. I hoped the audience could relate to Ji-hyo’s worries and situation [instead of viewing her case as unique or unbelievable].”
Although as different as night and day and with plenty of faults, the two friends are there for each other no matter what. Some viewers commented their relationship was close to the genre of GL (girls’ love, a subculture of homoerotic romance). According to Roh, she said that she had discussions with Gin about the degree and extent to which the relationship should be portrayed.
“Two sorts of aliens appear in ‘Glitch,” Roh explained. “One is a presence that is seen only by Ji-hyo, and the second is the ‘real’ aliens that Bo-ra and Ji-hyo meet inside a UFO. For the former, the design of the alien was conventional, or what the audience would generally picture an alien to look like when they think of one in their minds. What was important was that they [the aliens] were situated in everyday places that we’d see, such as cafes or convenience stores so that the audience would feel that they don’t fit with their surroundings. For the latter, we [the staff] let our imagination run a little wilder — since they’re now in the UFO, we thought the audience would be more open to different alien forms.”
According to Roh, the main plot point of “Glitch” is neither the journey to find the missing boyfriend nor the journey to prove the existence of aliens.
Roh also explained the ending of the series, when Ji-hyo makes an unexpected decision about her relationship.
“Si-guk [the boyfriend] was like the last stage for Ji-hyo in her attempt to lead a normal, conventional life,” Roh said. “After her journey together with Bo-ra, she found a way to trust herself, and she knows that she can now lead an independent life […] It [her decision] was a symbol showing Ji-hyo’s process of becoming an adult.”
BY LEE JAE-LIM [email@example.com]