Since my return last Saturday to blogging (and the incredibly warm welcome back I received from everyone, thank you so much for that), I wonder if observant readers might have noticed something missing in that very first post. While I talked about upcoming features for movies, tv-series, anime, books and boardgames, there was absolutely no mention of Korean dramas. And if you know me well, you might remember that I’m a huge fan of those. So why then were they missing? Have I lost interest in them somehow? Well, I can answer that very quickly and decisively: that would be a hell to the no. Due to various reasons I just haven’t watched any of them recently, but that fact has changed over the weekend where I started not just with one, but two new shows. Both have started their run quite recently and are still ongoing, so I can’t bingewatch them, but have to wait for new episodes to appear each week. And in both cases that wait is excruciating and a real test for my patience. Because OMG are these shows both off to a good start. So why not share a first (spoiler free) impression of these in this post that I want to dedicate to the first and foremost authority on all things Korean drama: Kay. If ever you want to find out more about the amazing world of Korean dramas, that’s your first stop. So press that link already, and go support and follow! Okay, that said, onwards with this post!
Flower of evil
One of my all time favorite Korean dramas has got to be Lawless Lawyer. While it’s hard to call anything perfect, that one came close to perfection with it’s intoxicating mix of suspense, humor, action and a terrific storyline. Lead actor Lee Joon Gi was one of the reasons that one worked so well, as he played a character that immediately succeeded in winning you over to his side because of the energetic way he portrayed him. And now Lee Joon Gi is back in a completely different role, one that is pretty much the exact opposite of the one he played in Lawless Lawyer. In Flower of Evil he plays a loving husband called Baek Hee Sung. He lives a quiet life, working hard as a metal working craftsman and raising his young daughter together with his lovely wife Cha Ji Won, who is a homicide detective. But Baek Hee Sung has a dark past, and beneath his friendly demeanor might lie a terrible monster that is on the edge of rising to the surface. Cha Ji Won is about to find out that the man she has been married to, has been hiding some chilling secrets from her for all these years….
If the first two episodes are anything to go by, this is going to be one heck of a thrill ride. While this might seem like a story we have seen thousands of times, you can bet that this Korean drama will take it in a unique direction we haven’t seen before. I never thought I would say this but Lee Joon Gi is scary as hell in this role, and being used to seeing him play heroic roles, it’s only a credit to his acting abilities to see him in something so completely different and succeeding at it. However Moon Chae Won who plays the role of his wife has also pulled out all the stops as the tough as nails detective she portrays. I like the way the series so far is build up, with an overarching storyline that links episodes together, while at the same time having a police case that is wrapped up in a single episode. This show has just started airing, but with two terrific actors in the lead roles, and an engaging mystery storyline that seems to add new layers with each episode, I would be gravely mistaking if this series is going to be a failure. Highly recommended!
Since Flower of Evil so far had only two episodes released I was looking for something else to satisfy my craving for Korean dramas. So after a bit of digging I came across this one with the relatively simple name: Train. Since this one was an OCN original, a network that is usually responsible for the darker shows like for instance Voice, I decided to give this one a go. And boy am I glad I did for this series is something completely different than what I expected it to be, and is fast becoming one of my all time favorite Korean series. I can’t tell you too much about this one, because the less you know, the better it is. But just a small synopsis can’t hurt so here we go. Seo Do Won is a detective with a tragic past, but who is good at his job, and is relentless in pursuit of justice and catching the criminals. But then someone very close to him loses her life, and Do Won’s life changes forever. But not in the way you might think. As he chases the killer his path takes him not only to this world, but to a world not too different from our own….
Yes, if you think that last sentence seems weird or that I maybe made a typo, you would be right. That is, it being weird, not being a typo. For train is a serial killer show mixed with supernatural elements. And boy oh boy is this series a treat. Just like Flower of Evil I have so far seen only two episodes, but this show immediately grabs your attention with it’s very first scene, and doesn’t let up for a single second afterwards. With plenty of action, chills, and a gripping storyline that has you guessing with each new clue revealed you will be on the edge of your seat. But a show like this is only as good as it’s stars, and actor Yoon Shi Yoon, who plays the role of Seo Do Won, so far has portrayed his character brilliantly. A bit of a loose canon, but with a lot of heart, this is exactly the kind of character an audience will like. I have no idea yet where this show is going to end up, but these first two episodes have left me thirsting for more. Luckily Train has released 8 episodes so far, so at least I won’t have to wait just yet and I can watch a few more. Time well spent I assure you!
Where to watch this?
Well, these show aren’t available on Netflix. But you can watch them for free on the (legal) website Viki. (Or simply download the app from the appstore) If you haven’t got a subscription, you will get the occasional commercial, but that’s nowhere near as annoying as for instance most YouTube videos. And yes of course subtitles are provided (You didn’t think I knew Korean right?) If you have become curious about these series, just press the link I provided and watch them. And while you are there, explore any other shows that might grab your interest. For now I will leave you with a gripping trailer of Flower of Evil, that while sadly without subtitles, still gives a very good impression of the show. And yes of course I’m doing this totally on purpose to make you even more curious! Thanks for reading, see you at the next post!