Apparently the last couple of episodes weren't enough of a downbeat tone for director Lee Seong-joon. This one too, at least initially, continues to have its character mope around in general angst and depression over death. Maybe it's heartless for me to think this, but Seong-yeol and Yang-seon really need to move on. Death isn't some new surprising occurence in this drama. It's hardly fair to prioritize a couple of deaths more just because the main characters happened to know them personally.
The tone does rebound...sort of. Unfortunately the whiplash is really tough, because the harsh tone coupled with the return to lighter comedy really just emphasizes that Seong-yeol and Yang-seon appear to have recovered from their grief way more quickly than seems reasonable. The bigger problem, though, is that the exposition regarding what has happened in the story so far has mainly just made me realize that not very much has actually happened in the story so far.
Seriously. Up until now almost all of the energy has been dedicated to tracking down a book that contained information which didn't really seem all that remarkable and rare. So now the main characters have to locate another plot token, and not much immediate progress is made in this direction due to the aforementioned light comedy. The problem with comic relief in a situation like this is precisely that it feels like filler when characters are talking about all this more important stuff that they're supposed to be doing.
The camp elements which made "Scholar Who Walks the Night" enjoyable early on have very nearly disippated completely. Gwi barely makes a presence at all, and when he does he doesn't actually do a whole lot. I get the feeling that "Scholar Who Walks the Night" is stalling for time- there isn't actually that much plot to get through, which is why certain obvious plot points (like Yang-seon not knowing Seong-yeol is a vampire) are still being played with even after the halfway point.
"Scholar Who Walks the Night" is getting to be dangerously obfuscatory. The action in the present isn't entertaining enough to enjoy the drama in the moment, and I lack faith at this point that any of the secrets yet to be unveiled are actually as interesting as the drama is currently pretending. Never mind the big mysteries- I'd settle for a small mystery coming loose at this point. Or just anything that isn't a serious attempt at romance / drama.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 11"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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