Picture By Arushi Rawat
The Korean Zombie drama of the Decade that brings us what Hollywood can’t.
Created by Kim Seong–hun and Kim Eun–hee—the South Korean director and writer, Kingdom is a collaborative project of epic proportions. What sets Kingdom apart from standard zombie fare is its historical narrative and interpretation of the creature's mythology. This show offers an inventive mix of horror and historical-fiction, which in turn gives an unexpected edge to the story and allows the storytellers to do something unique with the genre.
In this post-pandemic world, discovering this series might truly change your take on the zombie genre. The silence and vibe almost resonate with bits of our world right now, for it is calm yet terrifying, bringing you closer to loved ones but being paranoid about getting infected. And you thought you'd never be able to relate to a zombie series?
Despite its nature and genre characterization, Kingdom, though, is truly a zombie epic that feels like one of those domino displays that cover the entire floor of a warehouse. Dazzling you with the intricacy of its cause-and-effect mechanics until the very end, the show's last tile falls, and you're left with a flattened remnant of what used to be. It's more than just a zombie show, though: at its core, Kingdom is much more interested in picking apart systems of power and how stubbornness and an unwillingness to see the truth can lead to catastrophe.
These are not sluggish walkers of the new-age zombie films. Their visual style is unique, and make-up effects are realistic. The gore looks very real & these zombies have more in common with the monsters of World War Z than classic Romero movies—they turn fast, and they move quickly, which makes it a lot more interesting.
Ju Ji-hoon plays the role of a crown prince like a master of the craft. If not for him and all the supporting cast's efforts, the story would have fallen apart, and the show wouldn't have been so exciting.
The excitement that it starts with never fades away. At the end of each episode, the viewers are left with the cliffhanger that compels them to watch the next one, and then the next, and before you know it, the season is over. You have to wait another year to see what's in store for the Joseon empire, which is full of deadly zombies, corrupt hierarchies, and gut-churning violence.
Functioning as a gore-centric, albeit politically-charged take on the genre, Kingdom explores relatively uncharted territory, and in turn, achieves the sentiment of experiencing an age-old tale for the first time. The show blends water and oil, and the mixture works to a surprisingly effective degree.
Kingdom manages to keep us hooked onto a genre that has been over-explored several times by giving a "fresh" take, which it executes with well-developed characters, storylines, and an almost scenic production design. It leaves us wanting more, and often at cliffhangers with an "oh damn" moment because it seems we can never predict things in an apocalyptic world. So, if you're interested in being even more shocked this year, this might be the series of a decade for you!