After all the hype, teasers, visual posters and more, SBS premiered its new drama “My Demon”, let us discuss 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.
I would definitely say that I didn’t have the highest expectations going into this drama, but I was still surprised by how cringey some parts of it were. I also had issues with the direction and the casting, let us discuss the drama.
For the cringy part, it should be expected considering the plot of the drama. It is very typical for a fantasy K drama. Despite that, I was still surprised by the way that the director and the writer focused so dramatically on the good looks of the actors Instead of what you would want them to focus on, which is the story itself. The director seems to want to focus on the beauty aspect and the beautiful shots without coherently tying them together in any meaningful way.
This brings me to the 1st point, the direction.
The director for this project is named Kim Jang-Han who has a co-directing credit and a directing one for “Do You Like Brahms?” I watched that drama and I particularly do not remember having an issue with the direction, so what gives this time?
Like I said, he is concentrating on the beauty aspect, and everything looks beautiful, but it feels like he’s concentrating on making things look beautiful opposed to focusing on the story. I was like, ‘sir, if you want to direct a music video, I bet they’ll take you in.’
Added to that, the last 10 minutes of the 2nd episode have one of most disjointed consequences in a kdrama I’ve seen in some time. It seems he was trying to aim to make you sort of doubt everyone with a montage of them doing ‘scary’/odd things, but oh dear God, did it feel like he was trying too hard and not sure how to tie the sequences together. I gasped.
The screenwriter behind this drama is the same screenwriter who wrote Mr. Queen, which is considered one of the best historical K dramas in recent memory. I recall liking it, but at the time I also remember that I felt the drama was way too long. I believe it was 20 episodes. But in that drama, the leads shared great chemistry and the very ridiculous intriguing premise of them being together attracted a lot of attention, hence it worked out well. Will it work out with this drama “My demon”? I wonder.
If the director and the screenwriter of your story are focusing so much on just how good looking the actors are instead of focusing more on the story itself, you begin to suspect they are not that confident in the story that they have to tell.
The casting is also an issue for me. Yoo Jung is cute and she can act, however, I don’t feel she’s suited for this role. She’s a 99-liner and still so young, it feels like a younger person trying to cosplay as a CEO. It does not suit her. This is a personal opinion by the way, I see her fluctuate. And when Song Kang stares, she stares back intensely with the same lack of expression back, is she mirroring or am I seeing things?
This could also be a direction issue, but I am not on set so I can only speculate.
Song Kang acting is brought up again. He definitely took it slow in 2022 and 2023, so I thought maybe some improvements would be noticed. He’s still similar.
I said this before, I think his performance varies depending on who is directing him. I say this because in “Sweet Home,” he was notably better. He’s set to reunite with that same director for the 2nd season, so we shall see.
Regardless, he still struggles with emoting. He has blank expressions, a lot. Its same criticism a lot have been discussing so nothing new.
And for the last thing that drew my attention is how this drama is going to be 16 episodes. And when I read that on the Wikipedia page, I paused and asked ‘why?’
If we’re considering the way that the story has progressed so far, I don’t know in what world would this type of story require a total of 16 hours to tell. People might not realize it but filling 16 hours’ worth of content that is engaging is going to be difficult.
Does this screenwriter have enough to say in consideration with what the demon was doing or not? And if she has those things to say, are they worth spreading into 16 episodes or not?
So, it says he can self-combust, but ‘rules’ are kept vague or unknown. This means he might die, will we spend 16 episodes going over that? Or not?
Now, these are only initial speculations, and my speculations could end up being unfounded. If that’s the case, then I’m definitely going to be happy about it because it meant that the project was worthwhile. If not, it would be sad.
Personally speaking, I feel like this drama will find massive success among international audiences regardless of its performance Nationally. For its first episode, it recorded 4.5% in ratings, which is quite honestly abysmal for an SBS weekend drama. They have been promoting this drama a lot, and I mean a lot. Focusing so much on the star power of the two leads which should have, in theory, granted them something in the 7% range.
I wonder whether the dramas ratings will continue to rise or not, or whether it will hover around that range.
It’s also competing in the same time slot as the drama ““The Story Of Park’s Marriage Contract.” Personally speaking, I felt more drawn to that drama as I felt they focused more on the story.
I would say that both dramas are focusing on marriage contracts, which in essence means that both of their plots, despite using very different methods to get there, are essentially very similar when you look at their base.
So what did you guys think of My Demon premiere?