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Thursday, February 19, 2015

[mslee's thoughts] BLOOD First Impression

File:Blood (Korean Drama)-p1.jpg

This is my first Korean vampire [fantasy/medical] drama and I already anticipated so much the pilot episode. Honestly, watching it live via streaming last Monday was very interesting. The approach of the writer is typically K-drama which deals more on the emotions and the bond between characters like family. 

I am not new to vampire dramas or movies because I have been fascinated with this genre since I can't remember. From Bram Stocker's Dracula, Ann Rice' An Interview with The Vampire to Twilight series, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and the teen show during the 90's, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I am familiar with the typical scenarios and background origin of this myth.

But watching this Korean version, I find some similarities and some differences.

Park Ji Sang is the lead character in this drama. He was born with a virus infection called VBT-01 which he got from his parents that were also infected along with Lee Jae Wook, the villain. This infection led them to be not human anymore because they crave blood like any vampire does. But what's different in the story is that Park Ji Sang was born a pure vampire [so I assumed this is what he is] but grew up. Unlike what I am familiar with, humans once turned vampire either by being bitten or infected, they became half dead, and stopped aging. I also have never seen a vampire being born except in Twilight but the child was half human, half vampire and stopped growing up at a certain age.

Ji Sang has narrated in the first part of the episode that once infected aging also stopped at around 5 years or less. [if i remembered right] So how come Ji Sang grew up from being  a baby? Is he the unique one because he is a pure vampire kind? I guess the two vampires who killed his parents stopped aging because they looked the same 30 years later like Lee Jae Wook.  This one aspect differs from the perception I have  of this genre. Or maybe the writer will have his/her own twist to add his kind of flavors to this genre.

Ji Sang can also live like any human being. I suppose he eats. But what's interesting here is that he felt the craving when he skipped the pills he religiously take. Maybe he felt tired of being different and always on medication. That's when he realized he can become a monster. He has an amazing power and strength that human's doesn't have. He can elevate himself, he has great speed and he can see through a body's insides. His eyes turned different colors when his DNA activates.

These are some thoughts I gather while watching the back to back episodes with subs. Just comparing this to the other ones I see and watched. But then, the difference in the background details made this drama more compelling and riveting because I will be expecting more twist in this version.

[adding thoughts]
This version of the drama reminds me of Beauty and the Beast when Vincent was injected with a new DNA, thus makes him a monster when agitated or provoked. But of course, just a little similarity on how the writer is trying to interpret his own vampire version.

And I love the fight scenes and visual effects already. [thumbs up]

So let me just make a short recap of what happened in the 2 episodes.

As I have mentioned above, his parents were killed by Lee Jae Wook's men. It seemed that his parents distanced themselves from Lee Jae Wook because his goal was different from them. Ji Sang's parents were finding the antidote to cure their infection and be human again. Lee Jae Wook even got cloth samples from a  grave site where people who were buried there also seemed infected and got more people infected for his own reasons.

When he was a baby, his mother ran off with him to hide him from Jae Wook. They left his father to be killed, since it was his choice to protect them. They lived like normal people but he is not going to school. His mother was tutoring him well. His mother continued her research for the antidote. She also makes pills to stop the craving for blood. But she also has this drug that can kill a vampire like what was used on them.

Ji Sang burned their house when his mother died. It was to stop spreading infection if left abandoned. He then tried to stay away from the men who are so adamant on getting him. It was what his mother advised him to be safe as he gained his strength while he gets older. He became a doctor and volunteered even to war zones. Of course, he could not die because he is not human.

He met Chae Yeon in a forest when he first realized he really was different and not human. That was after drinking blood from the animal he kept. He was starting to assess himself when he somehow realized wild dogs were at the vicinity and a girl was in danger of being hurt. He fought with the dogs and won. He met the girl called Chae Yeon. She thought he was a ghost and he did not deny it. He let her think what she liked to think about him. The meeting brought a new found feelings within him.

Chae Yeon's parent's died on that forest. What's more of her past is a mystery. She is now named Yoo Ri Ta, an arrogant and self contained doctor in a hospital. Lee Jae Wook baited Park Ji Sang through the hospital's website. They post something interesting for him to show himself at the hospital and work there. Lee Jae Wook knew he got him where he wanted him. He has an agenda for the two of them.

The first meeting with Yoo Ri Ta was not good as she ran and bumped into Ji Sang, making his eye shades fell and broke. Then they continue to bicker about what surgery must be done at a patient. He replaced her when she could not stop the blood coming, almost endangering the patient. Yoo Ri Ta is the Chairman's only niece. While Lee Jae Wook is the new Director.

Lee Jae Wook knew he is Park Ji Sang. I also noticed that when there is a vampire in the vicinity like his mother, Ji Sang heard a ringing sound in his ears but when he tried to follow, he could not locate who or what it was.  Lee Jae Wook as of now is the only one who knows about Ji Sang.

Ji Sang has a friend who monitors his pills for him. He even changed the dose of the pills so that he won't crave blood when in surgery. The last scene in episode 2, someone changed his pills which are inside a vault in his office. At the surgery room, he became dizzy after he cut the skin of the patient and blood flowed outside. Something went wrong. He stepped back turned away as he saw his nails getting longer. His eyes are turning different. Only Jae Wook seemed to notice his agitations and fear and finding them interesting as he smiled. Jae Wook has Ji Sang under his control.

I wonder what will happen next?

I think the pilot episodes were not perfect, still it made me look forward to some more. The scary feeling a vampire drama usually brings is not yet felt in here. Of course, I am more afraid of open wounds so I tend to close one eye during surgery scenes.

I think this drama will have a different approach. It may not be that scary but the mystery will be felt.

Acting wise, Ahn Jae Hyun has improved and showing he can be funny at the right timing and also stay cool like what his character asked for. Goo Hye Sun has been receiving unfair judgement from netizens but I think she is just playing the role she has been given and contrary to some, the arrogant and self centered attitude were so visible in her character she fits perfectly.

gif and screen caps were previously posted already

for now

this is mslee1107 writing my thoughts


  1. I am weary of watching this drama. I love the female lead in the 5 episodes of Boys over flowers that I saw lol and maybe I saw her somewhere else. But her last drama had too much melo for me and the Korean classic twist making a woman the villain was not an interesting plot twist to me, being a mum turns someone into a monster pfft. Same with Arang, wanting to love when its done by a woman, she becomes a monster. I really dont get Korean writers, the fact father dad used suicide to redeem himself should not have been, there are enough suicides in Asia now even PDs are killing themselves. I think its daftly stupid to use suicide to solicit tears in a drama when its such an epidemic. They are promoting it. Your review seems rather nice. I will check it out. I dont think I have seen the male lead in anywhere before.

    1. i agree about some plots of the K-dramas about suicide, which should not be taken lightly or even be used in dramas. but then I guess it is their culture and it's not unusual for them to take their lives so easily when the going gets tough.

      in this particular drama, BLOOD has been written as different form the typical vampire story. This latest episode somehow showed that humanity is not lost, but the greed is all, about being superior. medicine is going to be used to prolong life. I have not written my review in this week's episodes. but this is where the writer seems to be taking his version of this genre.

      if you read my week 2 review, you would see that I wrote about the lead female and how the netizens bash her for the annoying character she has. but as a viewer i think it was the writer's fault for making her that way.

      well thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

    2. and the male lead was the brother in My Love From The Stars...