K-Drama Review: “Zombie Detective” Entertains and Thrills With Its Comical Story With A Unique Protagonist
Both entertaining and intriguing, Zombie Detective grabs viewers attention with its unlikely combination — zombie as the main hero and human as its enemy.
If you are not yet convinced by that concept, keep reading, and maybe you’ll give this drama a shot. I’m sure you won’t regret watching it, most especially if you are a huge fan of comedy K-dramas!
TITLE: Zombie Detective
THEME: Comedy, Zombie, Fantasy
LENGTH: 12 EPISODES
BROADCAST DATE: 21 SEPTEMBER 2020 – 27 OCTOBER 2020
MAIN LEADS: Choi Jin Hyuk & Park Joo Hyun
HIGHLIGHTS: Kim Moo Young | Quirky Supporting Characters
Quick Plot Roundup
Set in the peaceful city of Gangrim, Zombie Detective follows the story of Kim Moo Young (Choi Jin Hyuk), a zombie trying to blend with the human populace.
But before actually living with the people, his first existence began as he found himself lying on a landfill. He has no memory of his past or even who he is. Unknown to him what his true identity is, he examined his body and actions. His rotting body was filled with flesh wounds and holes — yes you read it right! And when he tried to speak, he can’t voice out proper words.
With those signs, he concluded that he’s a zombie! But, unlike zombies that we know — the aggressive type and with ravenous appetite — he’s surprisingly a kindhearted one. The other way round, he is afraid of people.
Because of that, Moo Young trained himself to walk and talk like a human being for him not to get noticed. He adopted someone’s identity, who is a private detective. Thanks to his strong sense of smell and fighting skills, he has earned money for him to get by.
However, he realized that something’s missing. He wanted to know his past, why he became a zombie, and his real identity.
Like a blessing in disguise, he met the overly passionate current affairs writer with strong sense of justice, Gong Seon Ji (Park Joo Hyun). They work together to find his past and along the way, they found out how he is related to one of her previous cases.
The one-of-a-kind hero Kim Moo Young
Throughout its 12 episodes, we witness the journey of the zombie, Kim Moo Young (Choi Jin Hyuk), trying to live with “what-we-thought-of” his target — the human.
Although he is for a fact a real zombie, on the contrary, he was threatened by the living. He has a heart of gold! Before turning into a zombie, he remembers nothing about his identity, past, and the reason why he became like that.
While he mysteriously had the chance to somehow be born again in a form of being a zombie, he witnessed —through a different perspective — the cruelty of people. But because he was a human before, he is well aware of his actions, thus, he still know what’s the right thing to do. He chooses to live within the boundaries of people, and can’t stand injustice.
The quirky supporting characters
Aside from the lovely main leads, each of the supporting characters had their own charm too. One of the closest to Kim Moo Young — the two clumsy neighboring detectives who look like they’ve come out of the ’80s. Although they were shown as incompetent in their field of work, they have a softer side when talking about their loved ones.
The female lead’s fun-loving family who always bickers but care a lot for each other at the end of the day, the three clever kids, Seon Ji’s sassy friend, and amiable police station gave delight to the show. They brought Seon Ji’s brother in law’s movie scripts to life in a slapstick humor style.
Living up to my initial expectations, Zombie Detective did not disappoint until the end. It got me hooked from the very beginning. There were no boring moments at all, and the scenes were also unpredictable. It gives the thrill, and at the same time, lets you go with its flow.
The uncanny concept of making the “zombie” as the focal character was a really interesting idea. One of its strengths is the comic relief it presented is not overdone, just the right touch. All aspects, including the mystery behind Moo Young’s death, were intriguing. Plus, the synergy between the characters are great. They shine whenever they are on screen together.
What truly capture my attention was right from the very first episode, the scenes were really funny. Every minute, I find myself laughing at the scenes of Seon Ji’s sister and his brother-in-law. Overall, it has essence and a unique context — the world from a zombie’s [as a protagonist] point of view.
I can’t find the right words to really convince someone to watch this drama, but the least I can say is this should definitely be on your watch list.
As I have written in my premiere review for Zombie Detective, it will likely appeal the general audience. And I am really glad that my initial assumption was right. The whole drama is wholesome, warm, and comfortable in its own way. It has particular charm and radiant energy that will never fail to make someone laugh, or put a smile on someone’s face.
Though having just 12 episodes in total, the narration was kept concise and the excitement was maintained. The writers have finely woven the sub-plot of the murder case connected with Moo Young’s back story and his relation to Seon Ji.
While it has a light take on the supernatural concept, it mixes mystery and comedy elements fairly. If you need a break from heavy dramas, I highly recommend Zombie Detective.
Streaming Site: Viu