“Jirisan” Episode 1 And 2 Review- A Bit Underwhelming.. But There is Potential

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

Jirisan” has premiered this week and here is a review of its 1st and 2nd episode.

It is not an underestimate to say that “Jirisan” was considered one of the most anticipated kdramas of 2021. The casting news have been out for a while now and promotional content began to roll a while ago as well, but how does the premiere fair amid such high expectations? Hint, it didn’t fair too well, personally speaking.

Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.

“Jirisan” has some of the biggest names in the industry, from the PD who worked on “Sweet Home” among many other hits to the screenwriter behind Netflix’s hit drama “Kingdom,” and the star-studded cast, it almost felt as if nothing could ever go wrong…. Turns out, it can still start off odd regardless.

First things first, let us discuss the elephant in the room, the bad CG, the bad special effects and why it could become a serious problem for the crew.

Before I begin, I think its important to share some news to help you understand what I am about to say and why I said it. “Jirisan” wrapped up filming a while ago and the drama has a budget of over $27 million.

With this in mind, one can’t help but ask…. what is going on with the special effects? And why are they so glaringly bad?

I know what you’re thinking, ‘but, Jass… filming conditions could be dangerous… do you want the crew to suffer?’ Here is the thing, the premise is not easy, I’ll give them that, however, considering how long the drama has been in production and the fact that each episode cost over 1 million dollars to make, the outcome is laughable.

It is quite apparent from the first 15 minutes, I wanted to immerse myself in the drama and I was getting there, but then, the… the rocks… guys… I was dying laughing. The situation the characters were in was dire and it looked quite dangerous, but the special effects did an amazing job at taking me out of the experience so much so that I began to laugh.

It is so easy to tell the difference between green screen scenes and scenes shot in the wild. The 2nd episode also features some quite odd editing and special effects. They photoshopped a tree and did it dirty, how can you screw up a tree? Its standing still…. Whats going on?

Also, the saturation for the 2nd episode was quite odd. The editing for “Jirisan” thus far is quite odd and makes the entire experience feel awkward.

My question is, why make a drama about such a premise if this is the best special effects you can do with one million for each episode? This must’ve taken months of planning if not more, if the situation seems impossible to film without causing severe harm to the cast and crew….then why go ahead with it and butcher it like that? I am sincerely curious.

This could be brushed off to be honest with you, however, if they continue to rely on CGI, this will become a huge problem. I don’t know how much they plan on using it so I am speculating right now, but my guess is, the criticism regarding the CGI will only become worse if they continue to use it excessively with this level of quality.

The second issue might be tied to the first one. The two episodes feel so hallow, they not only feel awkward but oddly underwhelming. The cast shares zero chemistry, it feels like a bunch of people just gathered around after meeting for the first time trying to have normal conversations on camera. Nothing about it feels ‘human,’ the entire way it progressed felt odd. I never felt that with a drama by screenwriter Kim Eun Hee… so I am genuinely puzzled by this.

As I said, the cast doesn’t have chemistry at all, its been a while since I’ve seen a cast that feels so distant. There is a lot of focus on building chemistry with your co-stars in kdramas, so far, “Jirisan” doesn’t have that feeling, yet.

Screenwriter Kim Eun Hee is phenomenal, there is no denying that, this is why I have such a hard time understanding this premiere. I’ve never been this underwhelmed by one of her kdramas since… since I could remember.

I am also struggling with the timeline of the drama. It feels all over the place and I wished they used dates instead of just years because it confused me especially in the 2nd episode.

The ideas the drama has are potentially interesting…. I say potentially because I feel that it could go either ways with such a type of plot.

Now onto why I believe there is still potential.

This is a discussion of the premiere, only the premiere so I could change my mind later on. I can see that happening depending on the direction of the script. Setting aside the editing and the CGI, it could still be tolerated if the plot is that good.

I can see the screenwriter is trying to infuse supernatural elements with this premise, such an interesting idea to be honest with you. It has great potential and room for growth. It could also end up being a boring experience, it will be interesting to see where screenwriter Kim Eun Hee takes the script.

Personally speaking, I realized that I really don’t care much for what happens in mountains after watching “Jirisan” premiere. The story didn’t captivate me thus far, the first episode got me excited for the second one, but the second one failed to capture my attention the way I thought it would.

This is a personal opinion because I can see the majority doesn’t agree with me just by browsing forums and social media.

I honestly had high expectations. When you have a massive budget, a star-studded cast, and a production team like no other, you expect quality and “Jirisan” doesn’t convey that in my opinion.

I hope the editing team sees the comments about the quality of the CGI and improve upon that. In regards to all other things, there isn’t much they could do because its been completed already. Let’s see how this ends up.

So these are my thoughts on “Jirisan” premiere, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.

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~


  1. Tbh I’m afraid that they will go like The King Eternal Monarch or Alice. Both of them got interesting premise, but the execution my god. I’m traumatized by it and don’t really immerse myself to much now and lower the expectations with new drama that I watch

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