TV / Movies

K-Drama Premiere: Black Stirs Mysterious Landscape + Enigmatic Characters

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Black, OCN’s new fantasy-detective story offering, opens a supernatural world where grim reapers and a death-seeing woman are set to co-exist.


I chose to see the second week run of Black to answer some questions raised during its opening week before I can formulate the premiere recap.  My decision was right since I got the gist of where the story is heading to.

OCN has my full trust on the cop dramas they produce.  But it is really the promise of delving in the death angels’ world that signed me up for Black.


Pilot Week Recap

Kang Ha Ram (Go Ah Ra) has secluded herself because of her ability to see forthcoming death of a person.  Through a detective’s inspiring message, she decides to prove that she is not cursed and vows to help prevent impending death through her gift.  The detective who offered to work with her, Han Moo Gang (Song Seung Heon), belongs to a low ranked police unit and is famous for always throwing up at the crime scene.  His kind heart relents to agree with Ha Ram who has predicted an upcoming hostage situation that would kill a person.  Unfortunately, they got the wrong person as Moo Gang ends up becoming the victim and is shot to death with the deranged hostage taker.  Moo Gang is pronounced dead by his doctor fiancée.  Prior to the accident, he uncovered a secret from her past that she did not tell him about.


When a masked man visits Moo Gang’s corpse, the body magically rises from the dead.  Ha Ram, who learned that the detective she recently met is her old hometown oppa, she rushes to the hospital but finds him on the street unable to recognize him.  With a bullet inside his head, the people around Moo Gang think that his memory loss and strange behavior came from the accident and not because of the grim reaper possessing his body.


In the realm of grim reapers, Black, a pure bred grim reaper is fed up of the human-turned-grim-reaper newbie assigned to him.  He ordered him to escort a soul on his own, but the troublemaker vanished leading him to the mortal world where he is also tasked to collect Ha Ram who almost committed suicide if not for the help of young chaebol Oh Man Soo (Kim Dong Joon).  It turned out that Black took over Moo Gang’s cadaver turning the once compassionate detective to a grumpy grim reaper in human form so he can trace his insurgent partner.

Realizing Ha Ram’s peculiar ability, he offers to work with her but the latter turns him down out of fear that she will endanger people in preventing death like what almost happened to her first love.


Premiere Week Verdict?

I needed four episodes to get the whole picture of the grim reapers’ world but this thrilling drama is adamant to throw in clues and twist easily.  The series is heading to unravel the mysteries as the plot maneuvers to reveal the connection of the back stories to the present time line being dealt by the characters.

It is frustrating and making me curious at the same time since it keeps building up simultaneous conflicts to be resolved in the future chapters.  The pacing and premise are so far stimulating as the witty humor and trademark dark tone of OCN specials remain intact.

I don’t recall Goblin playing Sherlock Holmes so there’s no way Black can be compared to last year’s hit Goblin.  Black is bound to be pretty on its own projected narrative, if everything will be neatly explained in the upcoming episodes.


Black will be OCN’s 16-episode weekend treat at 10:20 PM.

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