2014/03/22 | 1107 views | | Permalink
Between genius doctors, genetically enhanced super beings, brooding intelligent detectives and other manner of male leads OCN's crime series are focused on, they have a bit more of a classical approach to offer as well. Vampires. "Vampire Prosecutor" and "Vampire Prosecutor 2". As unfortunate and lacking in creativity a title as it may be, the series itself is a pleasant watch that finds its place as a solid piece in OCN's original content range.
Min Tae-yeon (Yeon Jung-hoon) was living a peaceful life with his sister until she was murdered. During a car chase with the criminal, he received a far more shocking revelation. Vampires exist and now he is one, courtesy of a man the mysterious suspect stabbed during the accident that followed and who bit and turned Tae-yeon before he died. Working as a prosecutor and along with his team and aided by his ability to see a victim's final moments when he tastes their blood, Tae-yeon takes on all kinds of cases, eventually stumbling across some which are clearly related to what happened to him; a truth he is most desperate to find out.
The biggest strength of "Vampire Prosecutor" is oddly not the guylinered vampire, neither the actual cases. Sure, those work quite well and it is often hard to guess the outcome of the individual episode cases and culprit. The stories also work as social commentary, as per OCN method, but those would be nothing without the glue to bind them together. And that is the characters and the actors' chemistry.
The cast are simply adorable together. Their camaraderie and interactions are fun, but also the overall tone of the series is lighter than, for example, 'Special Affairs Team TEN', where the characters don't quite bind as a group. The people found here feel more like a family at times. They argue, doubt each other, give tough love when needed, but they always believe in each other's skills and good intentions. It is also endearing to see how that affects Tae-yeon. Due to his condition, which is what his vampirism feels like, he is naturally withdrawn and kind of putting up a facade. At the same time, however, his heart opens up for this team and this makes their bonding even nicer to see.
Some romance is in place as well and it does kind of bring the work down a bit, mainly due to how it harms the character of Yoo Jeong-in (Lee Young-ah). Jeong-in is an interesting and very likable woman. She takes charge, does her work well and works well in the team. But because the notion of a vampire and his mistress is enticing for audiences, she often ends up victimized and turned into a damsel in distress for Tae-yeon to save. Of course, in order to achieve that, the writers have her make some very out of character and silly decisions at times.
The second season is also sadly less impressive than the first. While the camaraderie is there and there are some nice and creative episodes, the villain feels more annoying than actually scary and the individual cases are more disconnected from the main plot, something which stretches to Tae-yeon's character. It somehow feels like he is doing his own thing while occasionally joining his team and mostly not being mentally present. This does sully the group appeal, even though there is more effort in the bonding department to partially balance it out. It will hopefully be addressed in season 3 though.
"Vampire Prosecutor" is a stylish and fun production, offering just the right balance of drama and laughs, the supernatural and the criminal, as well as action and plot. While the excitement does die down at parts, it has enough entertainment value and a likable enough main character ensemble to keep viewers invested and enjoying. If the creators can get back on track with the group bonding and focus the central plot a bit more into a less confusing and more intriguing form, the future of this series will be bright and its viewers pleased.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Prosecutor" (Seasons 1 & 2)"
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