vampire detective : a review of sorts

Yoon San didn't sign up for this. he didn't sign up for his girlfriend shooting him seconds before she and his best friend blow up by means of a car bomb, for the PTSD and trauma of the accident that lingers after he survives, for the grumpy detective and the thug girl he now works with as private investigators. he didn't sign up for any of it.

especially the whole getting turned into a new and improved breed of vampire. did not sign up for that at all.

vampires were never my thing. I remember my cousin telling me about this new book Twilight when we were kids, and how she raved about how awesome it was, but if I'm being completely honest, even if I had wanted to read Twilight at that young age, I was too scared of vampires to even think of it. years later, after people started making fun of the series, I joined in, even though I knew nothing about it. I still haven't read the Twilight saga, and I haven't decided if I ever will, but I admit I do enjoy a good paranormal/vampire story every now and then. especially if Lee Joon is in it.

he is so cute help

Vampire Detective is a show about Yoon San, a police cadet turned secret agent turned PI turned vampire who is dealing with the aftermath of betrayal and loss. he works with his former boss and now friend Goohyung to solve whatever gives them money--whether it's taking photos of cheating couples or actual cases. when they stumble into a vampire syndicate during a case, they gain the unwanted attention of the vampire leader Yona, as well as find another partner in the gangster-like Gyeowool, and one of them gets turned into a vampire (guess who). our three merry detectives go on to solve various mysteries, all the while trying to uncover the darkness lurking around them in human form. when a women who looks a lot like San's dead girlfriend surfaces, alive and well, he will do anything to find her and get her out of the vampire group. but San's bit off more than he can chew, even if he is a super vampire, and people will die because of it.

okay. first off--I'm still confused about what kind of vampire San is. he doesn't need to suck blood. he can go outside in full sunlight. he has superhuman strength, and apparently doesn't need to eat. he doesn't get ragey at the sight or smell of blood--in fact, it almost helps to focus him instead of making him go ballistic. so what is he? I know they explained that he has a new strain of blood, but they really didn't go into much detail or explanation other than that. San's vampireness is just kind of...there. which I'm not complaining about.

this dweeb


San's growth as a character is frustrating. before everything goes crazy, he's a bit of a cocky, smiley kid, who loves his job and his girlfriend a lot. when both of those things are taken away from him in one fell swoop, he retreats into himself, turning cold and reclusive. without Goohyung to drag him out, I have no doubt San would still be holed up in his room--and would never have become a vampire for sure. as he gets better, however, he invests himself in his work, and at that point, a fraction of the old San returns. He's a more mature, less happy-go-lucky version of himself. however, when Yoojin reappears, he throws away everything he's built up after the accident and races desperately to find her.  when the inevitable happens, San loses those closest to him AND his renewed hope all at once. it's almost heartbreaking to see him lose everything all over again.

in general, I liked the plot. specifically, the private investigator angle. I've gotten over my disdain for the paranormal, but this vampire subplot didn't make sense. it still feels like the writers gave us some of the puzzle pieces and then purposefully hid the rest, keeping us permanently clueless and confused. did the syndicate fall with the leaders' deaths? the blood industry stopped instantly? there feels like there should have been more of an aftermath, but since the ending was so bland (more on that later), the wrap-up didn't exist. it was also frustrating to watch really interesting cases get solved, and then have some vampirical nonsense tacked on at the end. I was honestly looking forward to some well-written vampire hi-jinks but got let down in the end.

my reaction to most of the vampire plot

some of my favourite cases, though, were 24 Hours, The Girl I Killed, and The Broadcast of Death. 24 Hours is the first case that takes place after San gets all vampired. Like the title implies, the three detectives have 24 hours to solve a case...or else. The Girl I Killed is later on in the series, where Goohyung goes to a high school reunion and is forced to look back at an unfortunate and unsolved death of a friend (I love this one because it's pretty well done--I figured out who the murderer was before they announced it, but not by much. it's also got one of the greatest ship moments EVER). The Broadcast of Death takes place at a house, in the middle of nowhere, as the investigators try and unearth the mystery benefactor who may be the cause of several on-screen murders (also more shippiness).

what really drew me into this show were the characters. I've already discussed San and his character, but I love the other two just as much. At the beginning, I wondered about Goohyung's connection to San and why his constant concern over him was so significant, so now that I know their history together, his guilt and the way he covers up his emotions with dramatic flair hurts even more.

I love how playful and yet serious he manages to be, and how they both would do anything to protect Gyeowool--even though she really doesn't need it. Gyeowool's growth as a character is also wonderfully done; I fell in love with the sulky girl who used her foul tongue, fists, and heavy make-up as a shield to hide her fear, but seeing her slowly open up, accept her coworkers' love and praise, and find her true passion made me love her even more. I would totally watch a follow-up show centering around her, vampires or not.

 the other supporting characters--Sera, the doctor turned tattoo artist, Detective Park, Yona...they were all interesting and lovable (well, maybe not Yona. but interesting). the only characters in this entire show that I did not like were Yoojin, San's girlfriend, and Taewoo, his best friend. AKA the reason why I don't like how this show ends.

me @ the writers: DO YOUR JOB

I'll be completely honest--I lowkey ship San and Gyeowool, and it's hard not to. GOD BLESS THIS SHIP.

 let me tell you, I live for ships that consist of glances, short conversations, and small moments. I love those ships. because they keep you guessing--you know something is there, just under the surface, but it takes a little effort to get there. the end game is worth it, though, because most of the time they are precious and adorable. Case in point, Bellarke and Stydia. and soon to be added to this list, Sanwool. or something.

especially when he looks at her like this...

these two are such a team. even when they don't admit how they feel or that they feel at all, they work together so flawlessly. it's the little things, like how San literally becomes a vampire BECAUSE he was protecting  Gyeowool, like how she gets quite jealous and then pretends she isn't, like how he compliments her--"You'd be good at that. You're good at everything."--like how when they're dared to kiss each other and she doesn't and you can see on her face how mortified she is because she actually wants to...and San's not too comfortable with the situation either.

sadly, my ship really doesn't sail (well, since the ending DOESN'T FREAKING MAKE SENSE we don't know for sure, but I'm about 99% sure that San will never want to date anyone ever again, after what Yoojin did to him). but that doesn't stop me from watching them interact and squealing a lot. so yes, that's part of my grievance with Yoojin. but just like I don't understand the vampire subplot, I don't get her. so your best friend is going to betray everybody in your operation and kill your boyfriend. do something about it! I don't see how asking to be the one holding the gun and then getting turned into a vampire is a good plan. or how it makes anything less painful. maybe she chose those things to save San, even just for a little bit, but it still made me go "Ehhhhh??"

ehhhhhhhh no.

saying I hate Taewoo is a little harsh. he's not my favourite person. but as a villain, he's pretty okay. seeing how his greed and jealousy ate him up made what happened make so much more sense, and I actually disliked San and Yoojin more in the backstory episodes, because they are definitely partly to blame for what went down. San, like I said earlier, was cocky and the chosen one and everybody liked him. he got under Taewoo's skin too easily. and Yoojin literally played with his heart--she probably didn't mean to, but she should have been more aware of what she was doing to him. the way she was one thing around him, while they were away from San, and then to jump into San's arms the moment they reunited, shutting Taewoo out--well, I almost don't blame him for going off the deep end. almost.

finally, I have a bone to pick with that ending. *shudders* WHY PD WHY...unless they're setting up for a season two (which I doubt is happening but I would still totally watch), why would you write such an awkward, empty ending? I mean, Gyeowool got her moment to shine, but where was San? off hiding in his room again, no doubt. but seriously, if you're going to use the magical 'one year later' that most kdramas use as a crutch, make sure SOMETHING happens. with Vampire Detective, everything was exactly the same as when the syndicate fell. *headdesks*

saaaaaay whaaaaaa

overall, I liked Vampire Detective pretty well. obviously I have a few misgivings, and I may just wipe those last two episodes from my memory, but I did enjoy the anticipation of a new episode every week. I'm also becoming more and more impressed by OCN's shows--so far they're all more action-based shows with strong character development. Neighborhood Hero was okay (Lee Soohyuk, man), and now that Squad 38 is airing after Vampire Detective, I'm actually paying attention to it, whereas I don't think I would just randomly start watching a show about scammers and modern day tax collectors. *shrugs* we'll see if it's any good.

also, I don't think I mentioned this, but I LOVE Goohyung's actor. I'm sure I've seen him in something else. He's currently in A Beautiful Mind, I think, which is a show that I may end up watching but probably after it completely airs. I have too many shows as is.

if you like detective stories, great characters, and underdeveloped subplots, you should totally check it out. all twelve episodes are available here. if you do watch, have seen it, or love Lee Joon as much as I do, let me know! I love discussing dramas with others, and my sister keeps yelling at me because spoilers.

but for now enjoy some smiley Lee Joon

here's a playlist I made with some of my favourite fmvs for this show, as well as some behind the scenes and young Lee Joon being an idiot. literally.

[ here are some shows I'm currently watching and may end up reviewing ]

hello monster: I will review this one! someday. I just love it so much that it's difficult to cover every amazing aspect of it objectively.

I promise. Bogum deserves your love
beautiful gong shim: no, I don't just watch action-based shows, though my recent reviews have all been from that genre. I love me some silly rom-com. so if you're looking for wigs, Bang Minah, and Nam Goongmin FINALLY getting a good role, this is the show for you.

this show is not serious at all. I die of second hand embarrassment half the time.

another oh haeyoung:  drama drama drama. but I'm watching it for the fact that it revolves around the art of Foley and sound making (which has always fascinated me) and really good side characters (Sookyung and Jinsang may kill me yet).

squad38: tax collectors who make me want to hug them because their job sucks and Seo Inguk as a smarmy scammer. what could go wrong?

literally looks so good

doctor crush: *screams from on high* PARK SHIN HYE IS BACK. let's just say, even if this show goes south and gets all dramatic on me, I'm still going to watch, just for this actress who I kind of feel like I've gotten to watch grow up. following Pinocchio, she's actually a self-sufficient girl who doesn't give a crap, instead of a doe-eyed girl who lets guys walk all over her. perfect.

lucky romance: oh my gosh. this show. I can't sum it up in the proper words, because it's ridiculous but awesome. but I have so many new favourite actors--plus, it's got Lee Soohyuk, so what else could you want?

the amount of yellow in this show is my FAVOURITE

he is actually me

never mind, Lee Soo Hyuk in mustard yellow is my favourite now

have a great weekend!



  1. This looks really good, I might watch it when I finish up IZombie.


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