Vampire Detective is the latest vampire drama on the block. Ironically, everybody’s been petitioning for the return of the highly successful Vampire Prosecutor from the same network but OCN chose instead to bring in a new drama franchise entitled Vampire Detective with an entirely new cast. Is it as awesome as Vampire Prosecutor? Read my review and find out!
Vampire Detective Drama Trailer
Check out the Vampire Detective trailer.
Vampire Detective Drama Summary
Private Detective Yoon San (Lee Joon) is a regular good guy who goes through a near-death experience for which he searches for answers. His problems are compounded when he becomes a vampire while in pursuit of a case.
San pursues the elusive truth behind mysterious happenings with his new gang — the charming and Mother Hen-ish Goo-Hyung (Oh Jung-Se) and the street smart Gyeo-Wool (Lee Se-Young) while solving difficult cases along the way.
Vampire Detective Drama Trivia
Vampire Detective is written by Yoo Young-Seon whose chief work under his belt seems to be the Film Festival material The Wicked. I haven’t watched it but it looks creepy and suspenseful.
More familiar to us is Lee Joon who is multi-awarded for his work in Heard It Through the Grapevine. (Rats that seems like a noteworthy drama but I haven’t watched it yet!) Most people remember Lee Joon as the Gap Dong villain.
Full disclosure: I haven’t seen him in dramas yet (I was too scaredy cat to watch Gap Dong) but the internet is rife with good reviews about his performances. And WTH. This poster is going to give me nightmares!
There’s also Oh Jung Se whom I just love in dramas. He always gives such a reliable performance and there is always a comedic flavor to his performances. I saw him last in Age Ending in Nine Boy (weird title but all four brothers had ages ending in 9 and it was supposed to be their unluckiest year).
Incidentally, Lee Se-young and Oh Jung Se were in Age Ending in Nine Boy together but the former was only a cameo. LSY looks awesome with her colored hair and I first thought she was an idol group member. Ignorant me! Turns out she used to be a child actress hence a long long line of films and movies under her name.
Vampire Detective Initial Review
Vampire Detective is currently airing so I’ll write my initial impressions for now. Full review later on once Show has wrapped up.
I’m so so so excited to tell you that I surprisingly ENJOYED THE SHOW. I purposely wrote that in caps lock because I’m blindsided. I went into this drama not knowing anything. I saw the trailer, read the summaries, and even watched the 15-seconder intro and it was all SUPER boring and predictable.
So, imagine my surprise when underneath all that boring and predictable wrapper was a GREAT and highly ENJOYABLE show. In the dramaverse, happy suprises like these are always super welcome!
I’m having a hard time pointing out the winning elements but I’ll try my best.
THREE Things I enjoyed in the First Episode of Vampire Detective:
1. So far no second wasted on Vampire Detective
I enjoy watching suspense and revenge dramas but often, I never start these shows. I find that they’re often obsessed with set-up that I have to sit through several episodes of back story designed to make viewers understand why the main lead is so downtrodden, angry, and out-for-justice. Like a worm squirming under your boot before you squish it, as Yoo-Seul’s mom would say in Page Turner.
Which is what I liked about this show. The writer and director knew enough to just give us the gist of San’s heartbreak. He had a guy friend and a girlfriend, they go on a case, and gf shafts him. To be accurate, she (attempts to) kill him and the next thing you know, we’ve jumped forward to the present where San is living an entirely different life. Not only is the script narratively tight, it also makes us guess at whatever’s not been revealed.
I hate to say this but it’s the total opposite of Goodbye Mr. Black where I still have to get through a total of 4 episodes before I get to the meat of the story. Like, you know you’re in for a good story but to get there, you have to squirm through a handful of episodes. Ugh.
So anyway, enough venting. (Sorry about that!) Vampire Detective is tight. There was never a dull moment for me!
2. All characters in Vampire Detective are Grade A and solid
Whoever cast the actors and actresses in this project had a very good eye. The vulnerable San, the motherly Goo-Hyung, and the ballsy Gyeo-Wool made a fantastic world real to me. They sold me in their relationships and what they are setting out to do. Hell, even the dragon doctor and his sexy nurse were fun.
3. The internal logic is holding up
Don’t you just hate it when you need to check Logic and Common Sense out the door to enjoy a drama? I’ve had to do it so many times I’ve lost count. Happily, the laws governing this vampiric universe are holding up. They’re by no means original but I’m just glad the plot isn’t swimming in holes.
(Except for the one where I wonder WHY the vampire pair’s clothes disintegrate along with them???)
So far, I understand that the regular vampires can’t stand sunshine but I’m guessing San will be breaking all the vampire norms because he’s the ONLY one with the super strain. Narratively, Show gave us a good reason why San is the only one with this blood and it’s all very believable.
I also liked that in the beginning San was a weakling who couldn’t run far. I’m guessing that while San might see his transformation as a curse, his newfound abilities will actually be a boon for us.
“The world continues to change and I’m changing along with it. The feeling of this nice breeze while standing on the blade of a knife. Whatever is waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, will it be a blessing? Or will it be a curse?”
With the additional crime procedural aspect in the mix, I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment of Vampire Detective. (Hah! Who knew?!) I’m anticipating it as much as Marriage Contract even!
I’d love to do weekly commentaries but there are only so many hours to a day. (Day job, new dramas, new books, new animes…) So, I’ll do a final review once the series is done. Don’t forget to circle back once drama finishes!
Show, please don’t disappoint me!
If you haven’t watched it yet, catch Vampire Detective now!
My love to you,