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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 15

2015/08/26 | Permalink

I think Gwi's just making these evil schemes up as he goes along. Really. The guy never seems to have an actual plan. He's always being surprised and simply responds by terrorizing as many people as possible without any regard to how this is supposed to fit it to his long term designs. More often than not Gwi just expects other people to do his dirty work for him, then he doesn't even bother to check up to see if they did it correctly. One might think that an immortal invincible vampire would be a tad more patient and farsighted.

...Well, not necessarily. Think about it. Have you ever had a boss who, for whatever political reason, was impossible to fire? How competent was this person? Did they use this position to take risks with a big potential payoff, or did they just act like a big blustering bully who expected to be given credit for everything without personally doing any of the actual work? From that angle at least, Gwi manages to be somewhat true to life.

Unfortunately this is all kind of tangential to what "Scholar Who Walks the Night" is actually about- Seong-yeol's endless moping. He has to take a breather here to recover from his ill-advised fight in the sun. And while I hate to be picky about vampire rules, that Seong-yeol was this effective in unguarded sunlight at all rather lessens the extent to which "Scholar Who Walks the Night" can genuinely be called a vampire story.

While I can't perfectly guess what will happen in this drama going forward, it's hard to imagine the ending is going to be all that satisfactory at this point in part because "Scholar Who Walks the Night" is undermining its own moral ambiguity. It's strongly implied this episode that vampires don't actually need human blood to live at all, which especially makes a mockery of the way the dialogue constantly goes on about how terrible it is that Seong-yeol is a monster except that maybe he isn't.

More than any technical problem, though, the main issue with "Scholar Who Walks the Night" is that it's just kind of boring. I feel like I've seen all this material before- not in other dramas, but this one because "Scholar Who Walks the Night" keeps repeating its own plot points even when new more interesting angles are available to be explored. I suppose that's fine enough for those of you who are in this for the Seong-yeol / Yang-seon loveline, but I'm not terribly impressed.

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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