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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheo Yong: The Paranormal Detective" Episode 6

2014/03/16 | 914 views | Permalink

Apparently Cheo Yong has a good reputation among the police force as a detective. A specific point is made of the fact that he's been called in to handle this case specially, although as far as I can tell the case in question has nothing to do with the man's actual skills as a police officer. I mean, yeah, there's a ghost there, but given that Cheo Yong's ability to see ghosts is a secret they didn't call him in just because ghosts might have been involved.

There is, in fact, little evidence that anything supernatural is going on at all outside of the opener where the body is discovered. For the most part this episode is just an extended standard police investigation. Not a terribly exciting one, given that there aren't really any suspects in the murder case, and the clues don't really leave a whole lot to be desired. Yes, we do have one foray into the supernatural, that ends up not really accomplishing a whole lot. Foreshadowing maybe?

That's really about the best defense I can offer. This episode is, by and large, almost completely pointless. None of our main characters seem to actually learn anything from their experiences. In fact, the drama's still trying to make a point of the fact that Na-yeong's a teenage girl ghost and is excited by silly things. This works at points- of course she'd be vain about her appearance even if Cheon Yong is the only one that can see her. But there's a limit to how much humor can be drawn from this point when there's a murder investigation going on.

Even the ending is fantastically lazy. The writing draws out the tension from the final confrontation with the killer in the most uninspiring possible way. Does the drama seriously expect us to believe that Cheo Yong, the guy who has attacked entire armies of thugs in past episodes, is waylaid by this random guy who sneaks up out of nowhere? Either give the man a serious opponent or don't bother at all!

Ironically, the final setpiece does make use of some supernatural elements- namely the ability of characters to appear from out of nowhere for a tactical advantage. Normally this is bad scripting, but "Cheo Yong: The Paranormal Detective" is literally a drama about ghosts. And yet it's flesh and blood humans who bamboozle the action sequences in this way. It's all terribly annoying- I really wish this drama would make better use of its framing device instead of just using it to add mild flavor to a rather mundane police procedural.

Review by William Schwartz

"Cheo Yong: The Paranormal Detective" is directed by Lim Chan-ik, written by Hong Seung-hyeon and features Oh Ji-ho, Oh Ji-eun and Jun Hyo-seong.

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