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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 14

2015/08/20 | Permalink

Seong-yeol continues to sulk. Admittedly for better reason than usual, since Yang-seon now seems to be genuinely frightened of him, for good reason. From my end, well, maybe it's just that all the vampire-induced massacres, but I feel kind of desensitized to the problems in Seong-yeol's love life. The main plot, namely the new round of anti-Gwi plans, continue to lack much inspiration. Although interestingly Gwi's own plan isn't really all that good.

Think about it. Gwi's one advantage is that he's completely indestructible. In theory Seong-yeol's cloak will make Gwi more indestructable, but what exactly is Gwi going to do during the daytime that he hasn't already been doing in broad nightlight? His entire goal has been to rule the world for some reason, and the problem with ruling the world is that you have to spend most of your time inside doing paperwork. Really, if Gwi gets his hand on the cloak chances are he's just going to get bamboozled into coming outside in proper daylight, then he gets decloaked.

Although going by the cliffhanger the sun doesn't seem to be that big a deal to vampires anyway. That's the main part of "Scholar Who Walks the Night" that's screwing up the tension for me right now. There's no convincing logic to any of the fights. Tactics don't really factor into anything the characters do- what's the point of setting up traps if no one sets them off?

I do have to admit that I like the performances at least. While I'm not terribly interested in Seong-yeol and Yang-seon, I did like his relationship with Myeong-hee. And putting that in context of Seong-yeol's present day difficulties, it's easy to see how Seong-yeol is able to approach a mental breakdown here. He's just been through too much lately- although strictly speaking Seong-yeol's been under heavy stress for over a century at this point.

If I'm trying to be perfectly objective "Scholar Who Walks the Night" isn't a terrible drama. The issues are just...I don't know, maybe it's just a matter of expectations. For me the characters have never really gotten beyond mere archetypes, and yet the actors are putting their all into these performances, like this is a serious matter of life or death. Strictly speaking the story is a serious matter of life and death but it's hard for me to focus on that when so much of the plot is just doomed romance.

Review by William Schwartz

"Scholar Who Walks the Night" is directed by Lee Seong-joon, written by Jang Hyeon-joo and features Lee Joon-gi, Lee Yoo-bi, Changmin, Lee Soo-hyuk, Kim So-eun, Lee Hyun-woo and more.

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