“Beyond Evil” is the newly premiered psychological thriller JTBC drama starring Yeo Jin Goo and Shin Ha Kyun which follows two people in the police force as they track down a serial killer that immerges 20 years after disappearing.
But how good is it actually? And does it live up to expectations or what? Lets discuss “Beyond Evil.”
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
You guys know I am a sucker for good psychological thrillers, I think this genre has a lot of potential and its more difficult to run out of ideas to incorporate to a script about this genre. You could do so much, but again, many fall victim to the clichés and repeat overly used plot devices to drive their dramas forward.
As you can read from the title, “Beyond Evil” genuinely surprised me, I didn’t expect it to be this good or this intriguing. I was pleasantly surprised and I am here to talk about why I was, and what it has to do with exposition.
I have a particular nitpick with kdramas, they often rely on narrating as much information as they possibly can about our leads in the first episodes, this is called exposition. However, a good script would show, not tell. Of course, showing requires more attention to details and becomes difficult if you rely on that, it’s a lot easier from a writing perspective to just spill everything and leave it at that.
I respect it a lot when writers surprise me and use as little exposition as they can. “Beyond Evil” did use exposition but cleverly and sparingly. Let’s discuss how it greatly benefited it.
While the first episodes give some form of narration, it doesn’t rely on it; instead, it shows you the characters expressions after certain events take place. They use it sparingly to distinguish characters but keep it to a minimum. When possible, “Beyond Evil” went without it, and used it when needed to confuse us.
Shin Ha Kyun’s character is left ambiguous, you can tell he is not in his right mind and is struggling mentally, a given considering his past, however, they use exposition to make you trust him despite what his actions might appear to be on first look. They don’t justify everything he does, but enough to keep you on your toes.
That’s clever writing.
The same goes for Yeo Jin Goo’s character which I am surprised by. I didn’t expect him to be such a stuck up and a questionable character. I like it.
As I was watching, I found myself immersed, since there isn’t much dialogue to rely on for information, we start looking for clues trying to identify who is the likely murderer. I can see already many comments about people guessing who it could be.
Most shocking case scenario would be that Shin Ha Kyun’s character is the killer. However, I highly doubt it. If it does turn out to be that, I would not only be immensely surprised but also happy, happy not that he is the killer, but happy that a screenwriter dared make the first male lead a cold-blooded serial killer and confused us with his so-called nice act.
That would a huge plot twist, but my guess is, the screenwriter won’t likely take that route. I’ve already seen similar writing techniques used, and 90% of the time, it’s just a false positive.
The screenwriter will try to mess with us and lead us all over the place, I am so prepared for this and so excited to see next week’s episodes.
This could easily become just another thriller but there is also hope since I can see the screenwriter is trying their best to confuse us by presenting various variables and suspects in the first episodes.
16 episodes are often too much for psychological thrillers, I sincerely hope the screenwriter has enough material to carry out the drama. We’ve stumbled on a potential sleeper hit.
This goes without saying that Shin Ha Kyun and Yeo Jin Goo are just *chef kiss*. I could write 6 pages about their acting in the premiere of this drama alone. They’re just such amazing actors it’s impossible not to be mesmerized by them.
Shin Ha Kyun walks this fine line between making you feel sorry for him and making you question whether you should be doing that. He is the perfect actor for this role.
I didn’t expect Yeo Jin Goo to pick such a role, especially since the character is also questionable, but I love that he’s trying it. I hope this character continues to be like this, it’s far more interesting than your basic ace detective with a cut-throat moral compass. I believe he has a reason why he suspects Dong Shik so much and it can’t just be based on gossip, so I am even more intrigued and excited about next week’s episodes.
So these are my thoughts on “Beyond Evil”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.