"Vampire Detective" starts out with a bang and a bite, as our heroes and villains are introduced, mysteries are opened and relationships established. The series offers a lot of action and crime solving, but there is more than meets the eye to the story and characters involved in it. I have questions, a lot of them and if a series can create enough investment for one to have them, I call that a solid start.
Judging from the preview to episode two, what we have is a drama using the episodic format OCN has favored a lot until now. The problem with shows diving right into that format is that we have little time left to really get to know and warm up to our main characters and their own conflicts. It is therefore quite fortunate that "Vampire Detective" first introduces the main plot before going back and following the path to its untangling.
Yoon San (Lee Joon) has the stock backstory of losing his love and giving up on his career as a police officer, but the element of being betrayed by that love and her connection to our main villains is really intriguing. It is clear that the series will place our heroes against a secret vampire society or cult and everyone will obviously be connected to it in some way. In itself this could be boring, but by creating a hero who is likable enough and unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle of this mess means it is worth sticking around just to see his story.
"Vampire Detective" plays it smart with how much it reveals about its characters though. San clearly ticked the wrong people off long before he became a vampire hybrid. It is not clear whether he quit the force or was kicked out. Yong Goo-hyeong (Oh Jung-se) might be a comic bromantic relief, but his past and the reason behind his clearly strong emotional attachment to San are still a mystery as well. The series makes you want to know more about them.
The biggest question now is, will all of the rest be answered or are the creators only going to move forward and address the big ones? It is also hard for me to understand how much they want us to know at this point. The mysterious female villain is definitely Lee Chung-ah's Yo-na, as the creators are not careful when showing glimpses of her face at all. Her very character poster also looks like that of a villain. Is this supposed to be a big reveal, in which case they think we are blind and/or stupid, or are we supposed to know this already?
Whatever the case, the first episode is good enough for me to really like the idea of coming back for more. A lot of shows in this genre try too hard with the fanservice, action and humor when starting off, making style their primary concern. I am not saying I do not enjoy a sweaty, topless Lee Joon or Oh Jung-se as his nagging wife, but I appreciate that I do not need to shut my brain off to enjoy this. Give me more.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 1"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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