Korean Drama Review: Vampire Prosecutor

Vampire Prosecutor is available on DramaFever.

Via The Voice of A Seagull

SYNOPSIS:

Prosecutor Tae Yoon (Yun Joong Hun) is haunted by the death of his sister, several facts make him believe that his sister died by the hand of a vampire. Soon, Tae Yoon also joins the other side,  when a car accident forces himon the ground gasping for air in the rain. He is on the verge of death, but is suddenly saved by a vampire’s bite. The bite turns him into a vampire. Also at the scene, Prosecutor Tae Yoon sees a vampire take another person’s life.

Believing that this vampire is also the killer of his little sister and countless other victims, Tae Yoon commits to tracking this vampire down. Prosecutor Tae Yoon uses his authority to find out more about the victims and hunt down the vampire serial killer. Thus, Tae Yoon has a heavy workload, investigating the cases assigned to his team and finding the vampire serial killer.

Prosecutor Tae Yoon suppresses his urges for blood by meeting up with other non-violent vampires that get blood from a blood bank. His friend is also a vampire. The friend was a former doctor, but now deals blood out of his bar. The bartender has volunteered to help Tae Yoon with his search.

While becoming vampire creates some impediments, like wanting to suck the blood from his co-workers, it also creates some benefits. Prosecutor Tae Yoon is now stronger, faster, and most importantly can use a drop of a deceased person’s blood to see what happened in the last few moments of their life. Obviously, Prosecutor Tae Yoon is winning. Due to his gift, Prosecutor Tae Yoon is assigned to a special division that solves the city’s really hard cases. Tae Yoon asks his best friend, Hwang Soon Bum (Lee Won Jong), from the police force to join him. Soon Bum is the only person outside of bartender, who knows Tae Yoon new status. Therefore, Soon Bum helps protect  Tae Yoon’s identity, by covering for him while Tae Yoon is away doing vampire things.

The rest of Prosecutor Tae Yoon’s team includes the newly minted prosecutor, Yoo Jung In (Lee Young Ah), and a police intern, Choi Dong Man (Kim Joo Young). Prosecutor Jung In is suspicious of Tae Yoon’s cryptic behavior and question’s his allegiance to his work. Jung In is also hiding something in her background, therefore she is reluctant to throw stones. Over the course of the series, Jung In and Tae Yoon develop mutual respect for one another as they solve cases. Intern Choi Dong Man is the determined fresh faced member of the team. Dong Man’s character serves as comic relief  in conjunction with Soon Bum. Other characters include Prosector Tae Yoon’s mysterious and overbearing boss, Jang Chul Oh and the attractive medical examiner who discretely passes Soon Bum vials of the victims’ blood.

Each episodes, the team participates in a murder investigation and trial. It is kind of like Law and Order, but has the additional storyline of a vampire trying to hunt down other vampires. Additionally, the writers make it a point to showcase the thought process of the criminals to the point that the audience may sympathize with their plight.

REVIEW:

If you like Law and Order, Sherlock, or Luther, you will definitely enjoy this drama. It is dark, thrilling, and suspenseful. I would go as far to say it is one of the best Korean dramas that came out in 2011. The last 2 episode put it over the edge. Questions of morality arise when characters have to decide what ordinarily deplorable acts are necessary for the greater good. Luckily for us, this drama has more time to grow, because season 2 is supposed to some out this year. My one concern is re-watchability. Thus, when I watch this again for a potential ratings increase I may get bored. I usually require a year wait between re-watching law and order episodes.

Top 5 Reasons to Watch:

Cast Dynamics and Storylines: There are very few instances when the whole cast in a drama is outstanding. There is not a character that I don’t like and each adds value to the drama. See also Coffee Prince and Protect the Boss. The characters each have a clear specified role and viewers are able to connect and predict how each character will act given certain circumstances. At the same time, the show devotes time for the audience to discover each character’s motivations through flashbacks. There is also something for everyone a manly man, strong willed woman, funny loyal best friend, all powerful boss, cute young guy, and hot woman. The serious planning and hard work of the writers shows, this series that the potential to captivate several demographics.

Yun Joong Hun as Prosecutor Tae Yoon: Yun Joong Hun is a brilliant lead for a character who is on a Hero’s Journey. His ability show the complexities that his hero undergos is impressive. Joong Hun succeeds at portraying a character that is entering a whole new way of life as a vampire, searching for his sister’s killer, and solving deplorable murders. On top of these issues, Tae Yoon is also suffering from his inability to deny his attraction to his headstrong co-prosecutor, Jung In. There is minimal love in this drama, though there are hints of a coming romance between Tae Yoon and Jung In. Not to mention, he exceed expectations as the strong silent type.

Lee Young Ah as Yoo Jung In: Viewers watch Jung In rise from a insecure prosecutor to a woman that is confident in her convictions. The reason for Jung In’s transition into the world of prosecuting criminal is explained in later episodes, helping to cement her as a headstrong character. Jung In is slowly convinced that something is going on in the prosecutor’s office and something is fishy with Tae Yoon.  The once complacent Jung In starts to ask questions and unknowingly enters a cat and mouse game with Tae Yoon. Young Ah’s appeal is in her ability to express her character’s angst in reaction to constant suppression.

New Cases to Solve Every Week: The guest stars are usually amazing and can hold their own. Moreover, the cases are intriguing and I was rarely able to predict the killer. Some of the cases include: death in a fight club; home invasion of an renowned artist; psychic predicts death of host who defames him on t.v.; reality matchmaking show contestant killing; and a death on set that mirrors the scene from the movie.  In addition to the amusing concepts for the cases, the writers often implicitly permit viewers to question whether you should sympathize with the killer and whether the victim deserved to die. Essentially, things don’t turn out they way you expect them to, nor do they turn out how you want them to.

Cinematography: There are no scenic backgrounds, but the way this drama is filmed, edited, and paced keep you on the edge of you seat. Some may find the constant fluorescent lighting annoying and dry, but it grew on me and added to the angst and creepiness. The action scenes do sometimes leave viewers in the dark literally and the speed of the camera often fluctuates.  However, these techniques force viewers to pay attention. Also watch for the special effects when Tae Yoon is tasting the blood, chasing scenes, and the fighting scenes.

Highlights:

    • If this is a true representation, then interns in Korea have a lot of responsibility
    • Bum Soo is the type of semi-shady cop viewers like
    • Everyone one who plays a person with a mental illness or goes crazy does freaked me out
    • Wardrobe is amazing, even though it is mostly black
    • You have to wait a long time for them to get real guns, but they do arrive just in time
    • Law firm shell company is genius
    • Whenever the team has to interrogate persons of interest, oftentimes it turns out to be hilarious
    • The power of a blood transfusion
    • Mafia ties
    • Vampire Club/ Blood Bar

Ugh…

  • Jung In is always left out
  • Bath of Blood
  • Vampire strength inconsitently varies
  • Boob shots started to get annoying
  • The ending for the doctor
  • Where in police procedure, does it say not to carry a real guns and to go to places without back-up
  • Not impressed by the SWAT team

The unique appeal, great cast, and seamless writing of this drama warrant 4 stars. As a person that does not care for scary movies, I enjoyed this. If you don’t mind blood and creepiness, then give it a try.

Up Next: Secret Garden, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, or Coffee Prince.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Korean Drama Review: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho/ My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox « Public Investigation

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