I am a big mythology fan. The addiction started with Greek and Roman mythology, which became incurable with the Korean. Though I’m not specifically a vampire fan, this drama has to do with mythology, so it’s a yes for me. And that’s why I started this; with Ahn Jae Hyeon playing a great role of course.
What’s different and rather intriguing about this drama is that the story is not the typical vampire story. The vampire here is not a mythical creature of another world, falling in love with a human girl and biting her to become one of them. I’m not alluding to anything, don’t get me wrong! The vampire here is an infected person trying to go back to his original humanity. The whole plot revolves around science and medicine and tries to explain the unexplainable through them. And I’m loving that.
I’m aware that the drama is receiving so much hate. Only a day after episode 2 was released I decided to start watching, and by coincidence I read some comments on the show (I almost NEVER read comments; my blood pressure is high enough because of my students) and I was like; Oh!! Shall I just not?! But, because I’m a non-conformist and I only believe my own judgment – though I respect others’ - I gave it a try. Thanks, Me!
So our protagonist Park Ji Sang (Ahn Jae Hyeon) is the descendant of an infected couple with a virus that totally transforms the human cells, and turns the person into a humanoid vampire. Because he’s the only infected person with true vampire blood, Park Ji Sang is the perfect weapon that can be used to serve the goal of the leader of the infected, Lee Jae Wook (Ji Jin Hee). Lee Jae Wook believes the infected are not monsters or hateful creatures, but super beings, so instead of trying to become humans, they only have to acknowledge their superiority and rule the world. To achieve his goal, Jae Wook needs the pure-blooded Ji Sang. Ji Sang, on the other hand, dreams and works to become a human being.
Let’s take a look at our heroes first:
Park Ji Sang lived his life believing he’d never be able to become a human. His mother’s death left him no choice but to try. His effort results in leaving him in between; he’s neither a vampire nor a human. He cannot consume blood or show off his strength. And at the same time, his cold body and vampire-ness prevent him from getting close to human beings. In his own realm, he struggles to suppress his nature and bring out another nature he’s not even sure exists. If only his heart were as cold as his body! Poor one! He can neither help people with his all nor ignore them.
I know that some people claim that Ahn Jae Hyeon got the role – and his previous roles - because of his gorgeous looks; and it might be actually the case. But, that doesn’t negate the fact that the young actor is talented. Yes he’s not impressing me here – not yet that is and I finished episode 8 - but he’s doing a very good job for an actor who only has 4 works on his record. C’mon, even if he was a genius; there's no way he’d perform like a veteran! The guy is obviously doing his best and he’s doing alright. He’s the perfect portrayal of a vampire. He’s adapting really well. Give the young man some time people!
His pale face, fine eyes, black hair, and that long neck make a perfect vampire material. The makeup artist is talented. When the veins just pop out as he transforms! Oh my! I enjoy just looking at him in both forms. I love his smirk; he’s just too adorable for his own good. I believe he’ll be able to silence the haters before the end of the drama, and he has a long acting journey to show his talents.
Our villain Lee Jae Wook is a classic portrayal of an antagonist: charismatic, well-mannered, and well-educated on the outside; evil, ruthless, and overly ambitious on the inside. In the name of science and medicine, he holds nothing else sacred and does whatever it takes to proceed with his theories and researches. The way he actually goes to church and confesses shows a rather dangerous Faustus who actually sold his soul already.
Ji Jin Hee is doing great. He’s the only one who’s impressing now; not so much though. I love his evil grin and his bloodthirsty eyes. But..
Dear writers and/or directors;
What’s with classical music and wine? I mean, who on earth has inspired the idea, that villain always listen to classical music, recline in armchairs in front of a work of art, and sip wine?! What a refined taste villains have! I’ve always had this question ever since I watched the insane Chae Do Woo (Kim Kang Woo) in A Man’s Story.
Now our heroine. I know what you’re thinking. I know many people are not watching or have quit the drama because of Goo Hye Sun. I respect you people. I would like to disagree a bit here. I’m not a fan of hers and I know she’s not the best actress out there. But in this drama, even if she’s not nailing the role, she’s not ruining it. She might not have outstanding skills but, at least she tries. I can see her trying, unlike many actresses receiving so much love and not even caring to exert any amount of effort. She might not be the best actress to pull off the arrogant and sassy Yoo Ri Ta, and she has those moments of will-you-please-bend-your-head-down-a-bit or lower-that-gaze but she’s doing …alright. Many would have presented a more bumptious, more scarred, more confused, and more talented Ri Ta; but since we can do nothing about it, Goo Hye Sun is pulling it with her all - no matter how much that ‘all’ is.
The fated love between Ji Sang and Ri Ta which is developing slowly is not being presented exaggeratedly. Many of their moments are cute and funny. I laughed my head off more than once watching the couple. Since there are no silly love triangles; I hope Ri Ta can warm up the frozen heart of Ji Sang. He was not born to be sad! *protective mode*
I’ll mention the things I hate about the drama before talking about what I mostly love. One; Kim Kap Su. For god who keeps giving the man roles?! I just simply detest him. It has nothing to do with his skills; he just gets on my nerves. I simply cannot stand him.
I was so glad to see Kwon Hyun Sang (LOVED him in Queen of Ambition) and Jo Jae Yun (The best thing in Gu Family Book and Liar Game), but the more I watch this drama the more disappointed I get. They have very little screen time! And they’re showing nothing of what they actually have. *cries*
And since I mentioned the wine and classical music point, I’ll head to the last point. Who exactly is the stylist? Where did she receive her degree? What is this? Excuse my French but all outfits look like rags. Goo Hye Sun doesn’t have a great body to begin with, and her clothes just spoil any chance of her passing for having one. Jin Kyung has a killer body, but her outfits are a no-no and that rouge!! C’mon people!!
Calm down Me! Breathe in, breathe out!
Now the things I love the most about the drama are actually the characters Aramis and LUUVY. Jung Hae In for me is forever Aramis. If any of you guys watched the Korean version of The Three Musketeers you’ll understand how I feel. When I saw his name in the cast, I jumped around. Yaaaaay Aramis! He plays Joo Hyun Moo; Ji Sang’s confidant, a scientist, and a doctor. He’s fun, lively, caring, and talented. His interest in women – though unrequited obviously - is manifested in the robot he invented: LUVVY. And how I love LUVVY. I wait for the scenes at Ji Sang’s house just for him. His comments and the classic songs he plays that fit the situations hilariously are the best.
The drama is set in a hospital. I like medical dramas because I learn many new things. But, compared to the many moments where I’d feel utterly clueless, watching medical doesn’t really help my life a lot.
The drama tackles the power struggle in the hospital, and how patients are compromised in the middle. It says something about human/vampire ambitions. It gives a tribute to people’s loyalty to a place or an idea. And it presents a very critical question; how much authority shall be given to scientists to experiment their hypotheses?
What is a human? What makes us humans? What gives us the right to label ourselves as humans? Is everyone a human because they’re born so? And is it really worth it; being a human?