With the days getting shorter, the leaves turning and a definite chill in the air, all my thoughts turn towards all the wonders of fall. Of course, being a lover of all things slightly creepy, Halloween is one of things I look forward to most this time of year so I decided this month it’d be fun to take a look at some of the spookier dramas out there, to keep you entertained on these long, dark evenings.
Who Are You (후아유)
Originally airing on tvN last summer, Who Are You is the story of a detective, Yang Si Ohn, played by So Yi Hyun (소이현), who wakes from a six-year coma to find she can see ghosts. Determined to get her life back to normal, Si Ohn goes back to work, managing the police department’s lost and found with a rookie detective, Cha Gun Woo, played by Ok Taec Yeon (옥택연). While the lost and found may seem like a safe enough place for a hot-headed rookie and a veteran who sees ghosts, it ends up being a place of terror for Si Ohn as the items collected often bring with them the unsettled spirits of the deceased. Unable to escape the presence of these ghosts, Si Ohn uses her new-found ability to solve cold cases and bring peace to those who have passed but there’s one ghost who haunts her more than any other, that of her deceased fiance, Lee Hyung Joon, played by Kim Jae Wook (김재욱). With both Gun Woo and Hyung Joon at her side, Si Ohn sets out on a dangerous quest to find the truth behind her fiancé’s death and the accident that put her in a coma six years ago.
While the basic premise of this story is pretty predictable there was at least one unexpected element that I really enjoyed and that was the presence of Hyung Joon. With Si Ohn waking from a six-year coma, to find that the man she loved was dead, it gave her an interesting perspective on Hyung Joon’s presence and it put a unique spin on a typical Drama Land love-triangle. Struggling to process Hyung Joon’s death, Si Ohn welcomes the presence of the man she’s always loved and isn’t eager to let him go, as it means having to accept his death and move on. Lucky for her, Si Ohn has Gun Woo around to help her adapt to this new life and though things start off pretty rough between them, as the story progresses so does their relationship and I have to admit, Gun Woo is pretty darn adorable once he decides to take on the responsibility of protecting Si Ohn. Beyond the love-triangle, Who Are You provides a fairly decent mystery and I found this drama to be an entertaining change of pace.
Bride of the Century (백년의 신부)
Airing on TV Chosun this spring, Bride of the Century tells the story of a century old family curse and one girl brave enough to love despite the fact it may cost her her life. Starring Lee Hong Ki (이홍기) as Choi Kang Ju and Yang Jin Sung (양진성) as Na Doo Rim/Yang Yi Kyung, this drama takes the whole idea of a doppelgänger and runs with it in all the right ways.
As the firstborn son of Taeyang Group, Choi Kang Ju never gave much thought to the rumors of a family curse until his fiancé, Yang Yi Kyung, disappears right before their wedding. Desperate to keep Yi Kyung in the good graces of the Choi family, her mother, Ma Jae Ran, played by Shin Eun Jung (신은정) happens to meet Na Doo Rim who, coincidentally, looks exactly like the missing Yi Kyung. Convincing Doo Rim to play the role of her daughter, just until Yi Kyung can be found, Doo Rim suddenly finds herself being thrown into the arms of Kang Ju. While their relationship starts off rocky, true love eventually blossoms and together Kang Ju and Doo Rim are forced to overcome all sorts of trials, not the least of which is the ghost who’s been haunting the Choi family for a hundred years.
Bride of the Century was one of those dramas that really surprised me, not only with its original story but also with the quality of the actors involved. I’ll be the first to admit that the only reason I started watching this drama was because it starred Hong Ki but it didn’t take long for me to forget all about my fan-girl feels and get completely caught up in the story. Doo Rim was so sweet, Kang Ju was so adorable and the family ghost was so creepy, I just couldn’t get enough. The only disappointment I had with this drama was at the rather mellow ending which, after so many episodes of intrigue, really made the drama feel flat. Still, it was a great drama up until then and the ghost played an interesting role that really had me scratching my head and I liked that.
The Master’s Sun (주군의 태양)
Originally airing on SBS last fall, The Master’s Sun is the most recent work of the Hong Sisters and as one would expect, it’s a romantic dramedy in which a down-and-out heroine by the name of Tae Gong Sil, played by Gong Hyo Jin (공효진), meets and eventually falls for a rich yet wounded jerk of a CEO by the name of Joo Joong Won, played by So Ji Sub (소지섭). While at first glance this may sound like any other romantic comedy out there, the Hong Sisters gave The Master’s Sun a definite twist by adding a fantastic element of horror that immediately takes this drama from ordinary to extraordinary.
After suffering a serious injury, Tae Gong Sil wakes to find that she can see ghosts. (Sound familiar?) Drawn to Gong Sil’s light, these ghosts frequently beg her to help them find peace in the afterlife. Haunted by countless ghosts, Gong Sil’s once successful life has crumbled as she desperately struggles to find peace in a never-ending nightmare. It’s during one of these missions to help the unsettled dead that Gong Sil stumbles upon Joo Joong Won and makes a surprising discovery. For some unexplained reason, the slightest touch of Joong Won makes the ghosts around Gong Sil disappear. As you can imagine, finding a way to escape the relentless requests of the dead is like finding an oasis in the desert and Gong Sil immediately clings to her new-found peace. Of course Joong Won isn’t happy to be Gong Sil’s new obsession but he decides to keep her around once he realizes Gong Sil’s oddities may be able to help him solve a mystery that’s been plaguing him for years.
The Master’s Sun is seriously one of the best dramas I’ve ever watched. The chemistry between Gong Sil and Joong Won is fantastic, the side characters range from sweet to sassy to down-right creepy and the ghosts themselves have such interesting stories to tell that you never really find yourself hitting that mid-drama slump. When you add to all of that a slightly more intense element of horror than those used in the previously mentioned dramas, you’ve got yourself an instant Halloween favorite.