Writer Park Jae-beom-I appears to have a rather curious fixation with not allowing the vampire part of the drama and the medical part of the drama to actually interact in any way. It's a perplexing creative decision- what's the point of having a vampire surgeon who can use his vampire powers to affect surgical outcomes if he never actually does it? Would "Good Doctor" have been entertaining if its main character only acted autistic outside of the operating room? Granted, that drama had its problems. But at least it was structurally sound.
By contrast, I have no idea what's even supposed to be going on in "Blood". We've established all the characters, their quirks, and their motivations but they're not actually...doing anything. Ri-ta just kind of fumbles around the margins of the story, not really able to act because we're getting almost no serious emphasis on surgeries. It's really hard to care about whether or not a patient survives when they don't even have a personality.
About the only way this drama attains any synergy at all is through the rather bizarre moral lesson that we should not hire vampires as hospital staff, because they'll get all worked up in blood vendettas for no good reason. It's not at all clear to me why Ji-sang decides to chase after those guys again- they already beat him up once. And what's with this drama having vampires use their powers in broad daylight? Well, moonlight, whatever. The point is they're acting out in front of witnesses.
Bizarrely, it's the comic relief here that's the closest we get to entertaining. I'm actually starting to like that stupid robot- not because it's actually funny, but because I can understand what the robot's purpose. The robot exists to make dumb jokes. And after the random doom and gloom of vampire wars coupled with the random doom and gloom of medical uncertainty, I could really use a laugh.
I find myself increasingly convinced that "Blood" never really made it out of the basic planning stage. Somebody just said they should toss vampires into a medical drama and never really stopped to think about how to actually make this compelling and interesting. There aren't even any dramatic stakes for pity's sake- the very rules about which vampires can die in what way are arbitrarily rewritten here. Vampires didn't become popular because people like paying attention to the arbitrary vampire rules.
Review by William Schwartz
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 4"
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