Won Mi Ho is the only daughter of her father who runs Daehan Group. Her arrogant and selfish attitude causes her to make a big mistake that eventually angers her father into banishing her to Jeju island. There, she is assigned to work as a high school ethics teacher. Unbeknownst to her, the island is where evil roams free. She meets other individuals on the island and together, the characters join forces to live. (Source: AsianWiki; edited by ENKII) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Island" (아일랜드) written by Yoon In Wan (윤인완) and illustrated by Yang Kyung Il (양경일). Edit Translation
Where to Watch Island
Cast & Credits
Mythical worlds, demonic realms & human tragedy mixed with luminous impulses + even humorous tones'Island' is a KDrama released on streaming platform TVing.
Alas! The unspeakable bad habit à la Netflix is obviously spreading rapidly: break series into half and then wait a couple of months before the story continues. Really? It's frustrating. Not just for me, obviously. And not for the first time. Same here. KDrama has always been doing great with solidly telling a story in one season, how long it may take... (In that sense, going global turns out to be an unnecessary step backwards.)
I would also like to mention in advance, I was a bit disappointed. Something was missing. A spark of whatsoever. Maybe another streaming-platform-malady: a compact binge-worthy story is often (I think) paying the price by losing some of its intensity. The story doesn't grab me that much, I rather watch. So there's a loss of potential there (I think).
Still it is entertaining to watch and has its moments.
In "Island" time and space become relative in many respects. What the still remembered past is for some, a past, long-forgotten life it is for others. What is a demon for one person can be a human being for another, since both forces are at work. What is 'here' can be a completely different place at the same time. The KDrama provides insights into archaically cruel initiation rites for demon hunters and also presents a contemporary exorcist who combines youthful KPop freshness and traditional priestly garment. There are also the traditional haenyeo - female divers who for ages have been diving just like that for abalone and the like. (After "Everglow" and "Our Blues" Go Doo-shim has probably subscribed to this role for life :-) so it seems...)
Well, demons are rarely a pretty sight when they do show their true colors. Yet, assigning "Island" to the horror genre to me seems exaggerated, as zombies & co. nowadays regularly show multimedia presence. Let's call it fantasy. Still, it's pretty gloomy overall. The night is in no way inferior to the day when it comes to screen time. In addition, some people fall victim to gruesome, demonic transformation processes and sometimes, if possible, hunt for human flesh themselves. The good news: there is no shooting around. Rather, the sword is drawn. Either in forged iron decorated with rich ornaments, or the lightsaber, or the crucifix, which should also not be underestimated thanks to its symbolic power, or - if all else fails or no one else is around - a few movements versed in self defense should do.
(Note: Some may locate the KDrama with its demonically inspired story in the world of fairy tales. In the tradition of Buddhism, however, evil in the form of demons (who prefer to eat human flesh) has its solid place. Likewise in the ethnic religion of shamanism, which is still practiced in South Korea today. Eventually the Catholic Church has also recognized the existence of demons with the tradition of exorcism of devils or demons since ancient times.)
Apart from the exorcism of demons, "Island" also contains complex and dramatically intertwined relationships, karmic guilt and the principle of hope. Then there are feelings that are far more than just sympathy. And in it, underneath and around, there is humor and depth, heart and pain, plus something for the eye.
"Island" combines a KDrama-like successful mixture of moods that knows how to unite mythical world, demonic realms and human tragedy with luminous impulses, heroes in a wide variety of robes and even humorous tones. The pace might pick up at times, yet the KDrama isn't about frenzy, but more of the grave kind. It offers an epic story, that transcends time and space and is excellently entertaining at the same time, if you are not deterred by the somewhat spooky characters that inevitably appear every now and then.
With the first season alone, the story (unfortunately again) is not yet told to the end. So it could break down quite a bit in the course of the second season. However, I doubt it. In any case, I'm looking forward to it.
EDIT: After the end of Season 2:
Luckily the story doesn't collapse. It consistently ties the threads to a coherent ending... or: who knows what the end would look like... I would say, a third season might not be completely absurd...
Honestly, what happened?I want to start by saying - splitting it into 2 parts is dumb and I truly do not understand the logic behind it. I refuse to call it a season, because it is not - it’s the same story, same arc, same characters, direct continuation, no?
The 6 episodes we’ve got were truly just an introduction to the characters and plot - nothing less, nothing more. And I don’t even think the introduction was that good for a lot of the elements.
Van has no personality and the only interesting and entertaining aspect of his character were the few reactions he gives when interacting with Mi Ho. That’s it. I love Kim Nam Gil, I do, but this role ain’t it.
Mi Ho is fine and I love her chemistry with other characters. The issue was - for a fantasy driven action flick, they wasted too much time telling us who she is in the present time. We don’t care. I couldn't care less about her struggle for power in her father’s company and the nasty aunt. I did not need a lengthy set up on why she had to go to Jeju. Only 6 episodes - time is precious, why are we wasting it? Also, this is a side rant, but every time the magic happened and Da Hee made the moaning sound I was like: girl, this ain’t the sound you should go for in this situation…
Surprisingly, the character I was the least excited about ended up the most fun and entertaining. Kang Chan Hyuk aka Father Johan. Eun Woo should take more roles like that, fitting his personality. Yes, the more "emotional" scenes were often lacking, but overall this is a lot better than many of his previous performances.
The cold emotionless lead is just not his thing. I liked how Father Johan was honestly a rookie compared to the forces he had to go against and he was too confident for his own good. I especially loved him testing Van and how far he can push before Van starts punching back.
Eun Woo as a cheeky priest was to die for. The child became a man. Man of faith and man of kinks for many viewers.
Production was painfully questionable in the CGI department. Just the manifestation of the power/energy was great. The barrier set by “the villain” looked amazing. But then, the design of the possessed was laughable, the execution was wanky. I liked the tree spirit monster, but that’s it. The worst of it all? The CGI models for the actors when they were doing the crazy fighting scenes - the movements were just bad. Then we also have the awkward scenes where the use of harness and lines could not be more obvious. I don’t think they practiced enough…
Overall, a mess. As much as I had fun watching it and joking about it with other users on feeds, the quality of the show itself is just bad. I’m so confused… What happened? I assume they had the budget, the cast was also good… So why was the end product just mediocre at best?