[K-DRAMA] Scholar Who Walks the Night (2015)

warning: may contain spoilers

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Once upon a time, there lived a vampire in a palace during Joseon dynasty..

Plot:

There lived a vampire “Gwi” during Joseon dynasty who ruled the palace. Only a few knew of his existence including the King who had no choice but to follow him. The King served as a puppet for many generations since Gwi was the one controlling them. Kim Sung Yeol is a human turned vampire who lived for hundred of years in search of a memorandum by Crown Prince Junghyun. In that memorandum, the only way to kill Gwi can be found. One day he meets Yang Sun, a young woman who crossdresses as a male bookseller, who promised to look for the book. Due to some circumstances, Sung Yeol saved her life and they kept on crossing paths afterwards. Will Sung Yeol eventually find the memorandum? And what’s the reason why Yang Sun pretends to be man? Can the King, Crown Prince and Sung Yeol combine forces and oust the vampire?

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Opinions:

Hmm.. how should I start? I wasn’t planning to watch this, but since I miss watching historical dramas, I started to look for one. Then I saw the poster for Scholar Who Walks the Night. Vampires and Joseon period? It sounds absurd and exciting at the same time, since vampires are technically a concept from the West so I wondered if it would match. I also read quite good reviews from this drama, and I knew most of the actors that appeared, so I gave it a try. The first episode was so funny. I can’t get over Lee Joon Ki’s transformation to a vampire. It was surreal and funny that it gave me goosebumps. I mean, that’s probably one of the hardest scenes to do, to make it realistic, but Joon Ki did a great job. Lee Hyun Woo as the young Crown Prince wasn’t suitable or is it just me? And I laughed so hard when I saw Chang Min with a moustache for the first time. lol The first episode was promising, but the rest of the show didn’t live up to its expectations. I regretted watching it.

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Every single time I finished watching an episode, I was contemplating whether to continue watching or not. I promised myself to finish watching a drama if I started it, but sitting through 20 episodes was so tough for me. I think it was around episode 14 or when Chang Min took over that I had the slight urge to continue watching. Finally, there’s like a goal as to where this drama is heading to. In most parts of the drama, I didn’t know what they were up to, they were only interested in that damn memorandum. The storyline was quite confusing since they kept on doing flashbacks which I found sometimes unnecessary. There should have a flow with the story, but since they kept on doing flashbacks, they made it seem like they forgot to shoot that scene thus making it a flashback scene. I wasn’t sure if the writing was not really good or the subtitles was just subbed badly. 12 episodes would’ve been suitable, but dragging it till 20 episodes was way way too much. It was so boring to death.

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The actors weren’t the best choices for their respective roles. I think it was only Lee Joon Ki that really matched the role well, and Soo Hyuk for the looks of a vampire. I hate to admit, but Lee Joon Ki is really the saving grace of this show. Without him, this drama would’ve failed harder. They also focused on the romance between the two leads, but I didn’t find the connection or chemistry between the two. It’s like watching older brother and younger sister together. I would’ve believed if they were siblings instead. Lee Joon Ki and his first love, Kim So Eun matched better in my opinion. If Kim So Eun and Lee Yu Bi would’ve switched roles, I think the outcome could’ve been different. I wished they reduced the romantic scenes and showed more about Gwi’s past.

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Characters:

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Lee Joon Ki as Kim Sung Yeol — Lee Joon Ki is an amazing actor. That’s all I can say after finishing this drama. He looks beautiful too, even prettier than the female lead. Watching him transform into a vampire during the first episode was both funny and amazing, and he pulled it off. I feel so bad for him because he did so well in this drama, but it seems like he’s only the one doing it right. His acting skills is really on a different level compared to his co-actors. Casting him to be Kim Sung Yeol was the perfect choice. And him in  a historical drama again is nothing new. Since he keeps on filming historical dramas, it seems like I’m more used to seeing him in hanbok rather than normal clothes. lol I know he’s suitable in Joseon Dynasty, but I hope he stops it and goes back to modern dramas for a change. Honestly speaking, most of his historical dramas didn’t do well, but it wasn’t his fault at all. I hope that in his next drama, he will be wiser in choosing his projects because his talents are incredibly wasted. I hope he will choose another action drama since I absolutely loved Two Weeks.

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Lee Soo Hyuk as Gwi — I loved his portrayal in High School King of Savvy and was excited upon hearing him casted as a vampire in this drama. Many people have always compared his looks to a vampire, and I also thought that he looks like one the moment I saw him for the first time. I guess I was left disappointed, because after watching this drama, I wished he wasn’t casted instead. His looks may pass as a vampire, but his acting isn’t at par with his looks. I felt that it’s a challenge for Soo Hyuk to portray a main villain and I think he wasn’t ready yet. I couldn’t feel that he was scary and he just doesn’t leave a deep impression as a villain. I thought that he was just reading his lines and didn’t show a lot of emotions. It’s definitely hard especially when he’s acting alongside Joon Ki who’s been in the industry for so many years. It wasn’t cringey acting though, but I expected more from him.

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Lee Yu Bi as Jo Yang Sun / Seo Jin — I liked Lee Yu Bi’s portrayal in Nice Guy and Gu Family Book, but not so much in Pinocchio. I was surprised to see her as the female lead this time since she looks like a kid. I bet she and Kim So Hyun could be friends. This time she portrayed a character pretending to be a guy. Well, this plot has been used many times, but she doesn’t look like a guy to me, she still looks like a kid. Casting her alongside Lee Jun Ji was such a huge mistake. She wasn’t suitable for the role at all. I thought that the second lead, Kim So Eun, could do better. Like Lee Soo Hyuk, I thought that she wasn’t ready to be a lead yet, unless she gets casted in a high school or youth drama.

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Shim Chang Min as Crown Prince Lee Yoon — The last time I’ve seen him act was in Paradise Ranch which was years and years before. As an idol turned actor, I think he did quite well. I mean, it’s not his main ‘profession’, so it’s forgivable. Although there were times when he’s quite awkward, he did improve on the latter part of the drama. I wish that he doesn’t try historical dramas again, because he doesn’t suit this style, with the moustache and all. I hope he sticks to modern dramas instead, but I hope that he focus on his idol career instead.

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Ending:

As stated in the memorandum, it requires three things to defeat Gwi. A strong vampire who’s a match for Gwi — Sung Yeol, a person with good leadership who will lead the people — Crown Prince Lee Yoon, and a descendant of Gwi — Yang Sun. This is the reason why Yang Sun was asked to live as a guy during her entire life, so that her real identity would be hidden and so that she wouldn’t be sacrificed to Gwi. Apparently, Sung Yeol only needs to drink a little of her blood so that he could gain ‘power’ and fight Gwi, so she doesn’t necessarily need to die. It took 20 episodes and 200 years to kill Gwi. I’m wondering that Sung Yeol lived for so long, yet it took him so long to eventually find the perfect plan. It was weird how Sung Yeol survived, but Gwi died from the collapse of the underground palace. I guess drinking blood from Jo Yang Sun gave him power and since Gwi was exposed to sunlight, he probably didn’t survive. It was also weird how they fast forwarded to a few years and suddenly the two leads meet again. Of course, it was a good ending and it was wrapped up well. Probably one of the few things that I liked about this drama.

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Final Thoughts:

Seeing the plot about vampires in a historical drama looks appealing, but you better think twice before watching this drama! 20 episodes was too long for a plot like this and it was so draggy that I want to drop the drama already. The actors too, are all so popular, and oh so beautiful to look at. They all looked so pretty visually, but they didn’t live up to expectations, except for Lee Joon Ki, who hard carried the entire show. Usually, you find a drama boring because of the writing/storyline, but this one was a combination of bad casting and writing. If you’re a fan of Joon Ki, you might either appreciate the drama more or be annoyed with the terrible writing. I usually like funny historical dramas, but this is definitely not my cup of tea.

Rating: 4/10

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ewonderhub
    Oct 09, 2016 @ 02:51:27

    So much interesting

    Reply

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