The marketing for "Blood" has been so across-the-board I had no idea what to expect in the first episode. Even granting that, "superhero origin story" was pretty far off from anything I would have guessed. Ji-sang (played by Ahn Jae-hyun) is a vampire who, in true familial tradition, has dedicated himself to saving human lives. It thus comes off as little surprise that there are other vampires out there who find Ji-sang's very existence to be ethically offensive.
So far "Blood" is a little short on actual explanations, but you know, I'm actually pretty OK with that. Most of the plot holes aren't really terribly relevant. I can totally believe, for example, that Ji-sang's family is able to afford these huge houses because they've got a bunch of vampire gold stashed away somewhere. Similarly, the existence of vampires' furry friends is also mostly believable. I'm assuming supernatural creatures have union guilds to deal with circumstances such as these.
Jokes aside, the drama's interesting mainly because it feels mostly plausible. In the first place I'm surprised that the superhero doctor trope doesn't show up more often. Let's just face it. In the real world, there aren't really that many supervillains lying around that necessitate putting on a cape and tights. But there's no shortage of sick and wounded people who could absolutely benefit from a physically invulnerable doctor who can also see blood conduits flowing throughout the body.
In terms of directing technique, this is also some of the best use I've ever seen of medical subtitles. What makes it so fun is that the production team appears to be fully aware of the fact that using medical terminology to explain vampire superpowers is kind of silly. At one point they even go to the trouble of explaining what trick-or-treating is. Yes, obviously the Korean audience is probably lacking familiarity regarding that specific cultural custom, but all the same. The information here is being doled out at a pretty reasonable pace.
"Blood" is at just the right mix now in terms of a strong, solid narrative hook. The only real complaint I can think of is that lead actors Ahn Jae-hyun and Ku Hye-sun don't have any screentime. Heck, Ku Hye-sun doesn't even show up at all until the preview. But there will be plenty of time for that relationship later. Right now it's vampires, doctors, ancient conspiracies, all that good stuff laid right out in front so blatantly that I can't even fault the obvious absurdities. This might actually be fun.
Review by William Schwartz
Directed by Ki Min-soo
Written by Park Jae-beom-I
Network : KBS
With Ahn Jae-hyun, Ku Hye-sun, Ji Jin-hee, Jung Hae-in, Kim Kap-soo, Son Sook,...
20 episodes - Mon, Tue 22:00
A vampire and a surgeon struggle to treat terminally ill patients for the justice of life.
Broadcast starting date in Korea : 2015/02/16
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 1"
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