“Alchemy Of Souls 2” is finally here, and here are my feelings on the premiere episodes.
Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.
“Alchemy Of Souls 2” is easily one of the most anticipated shows of the latter half of this year, as expected. There has been some skepticism because the leading actress changed but I believe if you’ve been following closely, you sort of saw that coming miles away because the screenwriters have hinted at this being the eventual situation. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attach yourself, or control feeling a bit sad, but I still believe it should have been somewhat expected. And regardless of whether the community accepts it or not, its here. I also hope no hate is directed at either actors, its a role and a character, lets keep it civil.
I have been very skeptical of the drama, and even though I’d say its one of the most interesting projects of 2022, I still have many issues with its writing, editing and execution. To what level exactly remains to be answered, I don’t know just how much my opinion will change, but with the premiere episodes of “Alchemy Of Souls 2,” I’d say I am still as skeptical, if not more.
The first obvious question is how on earth a person whose body was supposedly burned came back to life, The Hong sisters explanation for that is one of the most convoluted writing they’ve EVER done and they’ve done a lot of that. If you watch their dramas then you know.
Its so messy and so convoluted to the point it becomes slightly offending and laughable. It offends me because they think of us the viewers as some sort of dumb people who either can’t understand anything or would follow whatever they decide to write because the cast is talented…. you can’t possibly expect us to be this gullible…. Do you?
I know dramas get made with money in mind, but could you have at least tried to mask it a bit better?
They went out of their way to originally explain how Naksu’s body is dead and gone and she’s stuck inside Bu Yeon’s body. They constantly spend hours over-explaining their own plots through VERY obvious narration then contradict their own writings the moment they corner themselves, make it make sense. I am not even talking about basic logic, but the logic they set. The math isn’t mathing.
So, according to them, the body is still that of Bu Yeon in the literal sense, however, master Lee healed the petrified body and Bu Yeon’s soul was clinging onto Naksu’s energy, so now, its still technically Bu Yeon’s body but it looks like Naksu because of her energy that made her face resemble that of the original soul shifter’s body.
If you don’t understand what I wrote above, I totally get it, I can barely keep up and I am actually really trying my best over here.
I know, I know, the screenwriters will slowly unravel how this came to be, but this makes me even more skeptical of the entire idea behind a 2nd part, to begin with. The first part was already way too long in my opinion, and despite the fact that the 2nd part is only 10 episodes long, I can’t help but wonder, why was the 1st part this long and the 2nd part this short?
Also, the main driver of conflict, Jin Mu, and his entire story arc is very weak and conveniently handled for the sake of extending the run time, there is just no other argument to this. The fact that he is still able to slither his way into the kingdom has to be one of the dumbest writing decisions of a 2022 kdrama, by a landslide. I don’t think he makes for the ‘compelling’ villain the hong sisters are aiming for.
Also, why was the wedding of Dang Gu and Cho Yeon canceled like that? I would love to assume its because her mother told her to say those things not because she genuinely believes them. I mean sis, your dad is the one in the wrong, what are you on about? I also hope this has not been done simply for the sake of extending the episodes count.
On the positive side, I loved the chemistry between Jae Wook and Yoon Jung, more than I expected. She’s come a far way and her acting has also improved. Jae Wook tends to have good chemistry with everyone he acts with which helps out as well. I don’t have much data on Yoon Jung yet in regards to this.
I liked their banter, I liked the way some key scenes from the 1st part played in reverse for the 2nd part. That was great directing and writing.
I liked how much she sounded like Naksu, but a simpler, more innocent version. She’s in for a shock once she finds out who she is.
I liked the way the entire story of Jang Uk is being handled. I found it interesting how he just wants to die and will try to use the body of his lover to accomplish this unaware its her body. The irony. Also, this makes me so sad. Jae wook is so talented and so much fun to watch.
I don’t know whether “Alchemy Of Souls 2” will have a happy ending, but in short, Naksu is not a nice person, per se. She killed so many people including innocent ones to avenge her father. She was an opportunist and used Jang Uk to a certain extent. We can make the argument that she’s been groomed, but still, it does and should NOT in theory excuse her actions. It can explain them, not excuse them.
Generally speaking, The Hong sisters are not really afraid of giving sad endings if they feel it matches their overall story, they’ve done it before. I don’t know whether in this 2nd part we’ll focus on Naksu atoning for her actions, but I sure hope so because them ending up together without this being done would feel rather forced and against some of the ideas the Hong sisters have been reiterating throughout this drama run time.
They didn’t shy away from presenting Naksu for what she was, a ruthless killer, and while we can also make the argument that what happened 3 years ago and her subsequent imprisonment are some sort of punishment, it still wouldn’t feel enough in my eyes since many innocent people died because of her.
Those happenings were sad and awful, but is it as awful as killing all those innocent people based on one man’s words and thats it?
Thats up for you to judge. I know what my opinion is on that. I also know these are characters, not the actors. There is a clear distinction.
Regardless, I am excited to see how the 2nd part unfolds.
So have you guys seen the premiere yet? thoughts?