“Death’s Game” Part 1 Review- Excelling Beyond The High Expectations

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

TVING has recently dropped the 1st part of its highly anticipated series “Death’s Game”, let us talk about it!

I, like almost everyone, was immensely excited about this one. All of us were excited and for several reasons. The cast lineup alone was exciting enough for anyone to tune in even without knowing the details.

and the end result?

As good as I had expected if not even better than that. Truly marvelous.

Note: review contains minor spoilers, specifically that of episode 1

The writing and directing

The drama is based on a webtoon and this version is being written and directed by Ha Byung-Hoon, this is his first writing credit but he’s been directing for some time, he directed some of my fav underrated dramas including Go Back Couple and 18 Again, which also featured Lee Do Hyun.

I liked his directing in those two projects and I am pleased to say also equally impressed with his writing. The writing is concise, direct and doesn’t waist any minute. This could also be due to the fact that the drama is 8 episodes in total and split into two parts.

According to what I read about the webtoon, it wasn’t up for long, I think roughly a year which explains the episodes count.

So, Death itself is upset that Yi Jae mocked her which is… as a motivation for this is somewhat absurd thus far. I mean, the dude tried his best and while he did struggle with low self esteem due to his circumstances, he was never intentionally malicious. To hold him this accountable at the lowest period in his life where he’s about to commit suicide is a bit much.

For death to want to punish him so harshly is somewhat odd considering some of the people he ends up being reincarnated as, especially the gangster character who goes around killing people as the drop of a hat at his boss’s orders.

I mean if death wanted to ‘punish’ someone, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to target actual garbage?

I suspect what death is doing to Yi Jae is because she’s leading him towards something…. as in she wants to punish a bigger target, it was apparent on episode 3. Maybe she wants to punish Park Tae-U, who is now the head of Taekang Corporation.

I hope this is the conclusion because otherwise, its hella excessive and extremely unfair.

He’s also incarnated as some lives who pass by very quickly and I think its to teach him lessons about life and death and how it should not be taken for granted.

I think the rest of the lives he’ll take on will tie back to Park Tae-U in one way or another and he’ll either have a showdown or end up being reincarnated as him in his final life. Either way, I have immensely high expectations and am so excited for part 2.

Other than the complaint I had above, I loved the writing for part 1.

The casting and performances

Everyone who is anyone is in this drama.

When I saw the lineup, my immediate thought was ‘it has got to be good considering some of the actors who picked it are known for being picky with their projects.’

I was also amazed they were able to cast this many famous faces for small, but vital, appearances. and also so so happy as I am sure all of you are.

I love Seo In guk but I felt in the past couple of years he’s been struggling with his project choices, and while I do believe he’s immensely talented, his eyes for projects haven’t been it. So, when the casting news came out, the one I was happy for the most was him, I wanted to see him do well, he deserves it.

To be the head of such a project is an immense honor and he’s receiving praise for his performance, he’s also, expectedly, not as much in it because his character dies early on but I am glad he got this opportunity.

The casting includes some of my favs EVER, so this was such a treat. The storyline is amazing and the actors who keep appearing are also equally amazing. It was such an amazing experience all around, I couldn’t stop watching once I started, 4 episodes are not enough you guys.

This goes without saying, but the performances are 1000%, everyone gives his/her all, it was such a treat. To see such amazing actors unite for this project, I am in awe and thankful to have seen it.

I particularly loved the vibe of Kim Ji-Hoon and his performance as the villain, without spoiling another popular past drama, he’s done it before and was so good. Honestly loved seeing him play a villain again.

Everyone was great, EVERYONE.

Closing remarks

“Death’s Game” part 1 was an amazing watching experience, and I’d have to say among my favorite kdramas of 2023. Of course, we have to see part 2 to completely judge it but this part did such a good job setting up for the 2nd part.

I am not a huge fan of the splitting of parts but if its always going to have such high production value and amazing actors attached to it, then it’s an annoyance I am willing to take any day.

Its 18+ and has some graphic scenes, so proceed with caution. I think almost all of the people who’ll watch or have watched this like it, given that they don’t mind the graphic nature of the project.

Otherwise, if you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Have you guys seen Death’s Game part 1? did you like it?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~

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