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Island korean drama review
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by unterwegsimkoreanischenD Flower Award1
Jan 15, 2023
6 of 6 episódios vistos
No geral 9.0
História 9.5
Atuação/Elenco 10.0
Musical 7.0
Voltar a ver 9.0

Mythical worlds, demonic realms & human tragedy mixed with luminous impulses + even humorous tones

'Island' is a KDrama released on streaming platform TVing.
Alas! The unspeakable bad habit à la Netflix is obviously ​​spreading rapidly: break series into half and then wait a couple of months before the story continues. Really? It's frustrating. Not just for me, obviously. And not for the first time. Same here. KDrama has always been doing great with solidly telling a story in one season, how long it may take... (In that sense, going global turns out to be an unnecessary step backwards.)

I would also like to mention in advance, I was a bit disappointed. Something was missing. A spark of whatsoever. Maybe another streaming-platform-malady: a compact binge-worthy story is often (I think) paying the price by losing some of its intensity. The story doesn't grab me that much, I rather watch. So there's a loss of potential there (I think).
Still it is entertaining to watch and has its moments.

In "Island" time and space become relative in many respects. What the still remembered past is for some, a past, long-forgotten life it is for others. What is a demon for one person can be a human being for another, since both forces are at work. What is 'here' can be a completely different place at the same time. The KDrama provides insights into archaically cruel initiation rites for demon hunters and also presents a contemporary exorcist who combines youthful KPop freshness and traditional priestly garment. There are also the traditional haenyeo - female divers who for ages have been diving just like that for abalone and the like. (After "Everglow" and "Our Blues" Go Doo-shim has probably subscribed to this role for life :-) so it seems...)

Well, demons are rarely a pretty sight when they do show their true colors. Yet, assigning "Island" to the horror genre to me seems exaggerated, as zombies & co. nowadays regularly show multimedia presence. Let's call it fantasy. Still, it's pretty gloomy overall. The night is in no way inferior to the day when it comes to screen time. In addition, some people fall victim to gruesome, demonic transformation processes and sometimes, if possible, hunt for human flesh themselves. The good news: there is no shooting around. Rather, the sword is drawn. Either in forged iron decorated with rich ornaments, or the lightsaber, or the crucifix, which should also not be underestimated thanks to its symbolic power, or - if all else fails or no one else is around - a few movements versed in self defense should do.

(Note: Some may locate the KDrama with its demonically inspired story in the world of fairy tales. In the tradition of Buddhism, however, evil in the form of demons (who prefer to eat human flesh) has its solid place. Likewise in the ethnic religion of shamanism, which is still practiced in South Korea today. Eventually the Catholic Church has also recognized the existence of demons with the tradition of exorcism of devils or demons since ancient times.)

Apart from the exorcism of demons, "Island" also contains complex and dramatically intertwined relationships, karmic guilt and the principle of hope. Then there are feelings that are far more than just sympathy. And in it, underneath and around, there is humor and depth, heart and pain, plus something for the eye.

"Island" combines a KDrama-like successful mixture of moods that knows how to unite mythical world, demonic realms and human tragedy with luminous impulses, heroes in a wide variety of robes and even humorous tones. The pace might pick up at times, yet the KDrama isn't about frenzy, but more of the grave kind. It offers an epic story, that transcends time and space and is excellently entertaining at the same time, if you are not deterred by the somewhat spooky characters that inevitably appear every now and then.

With the first season alone, the story (unfortunately again) is not yet told to the end. So it could break down quite a bit in the course of the second season. However, I doubt it. In any case, I'm looking forward to it.

EDIT: After the end of Season 2:
Luckily the story doesn't collapse. It consistently ties the threads to a coherent ending... or: who knows what the end would look like... I would say, a third season might not be completely absurd...
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