OCN’s new viral epidemic series The Virus starts this Friday (I know! Where does the time go??) and it looks like a fun ride… well, if you enjoy being creeped out by apocalyptic mutant viruses out to destroy the human race. What’s not to like? Eom Ki-joon headlines as Hazmat Hero, the CDC viral specialist who heads up an emergency task force when a virus with a 100% kill rate spreads throughout the population. I do enjoy that this show’s ragtag team will consist of nerdy do-gooders with high IQs.
Eom Ki-joon stars as the team’s prickly leader, a humorless sort who lost his daughter to a contagious infection two years back. He’s more emotional than the other scientists on his team, and throws himself headlong into his work. The first thing anyone would say about him is that he’s a workaholic, but he’s also the kind who will stop at nothing to get the job done, sometimes leading to irrational, reckless behavior.
Lee So-jung and Lee Ki-woo play the calculating rational thinkers on the team, who will butt heads with Eom Ki-joon over his every move. Lee Ki-woo’s doctor is warm where Eom Ki-joon is cold; he’s popular with other doctors and nurses, and is a good-natured sort. But he doesn’t understand the hero’s need to run around in the field and hang his life on his work, and the two will have a contentious relationship even though they’re technically on the same side. The still of Lee Ki-woo with the random measuring scale of nothingness cracks me up. Is it the visual equivalent of That is one tall drink of water?
The hero does have a loyal faction on Team Virus — Jo Hee-bong plays a veteran member of the team who owes his life to Eom Ki-joon, and so he’ll take the hero’s side blindly. Yubin plays a motorcycle-riding, eyeliner-happy hacker who doesn’t like to speak unless she has to, and generally ignores most people. But she’s harbored a one-sided crush on the hero since her first day on the job.
Park Min-woo plays the team’s maknae, who was scouted out of school to work all sorts of high-paying jobs in the private sector, but chose the low government salary to work at the CDC, wanting to do good. Outwardly he grumbles at Jo Hee-bong and Yubin for being Eom Ki-joon’s minions, but secretly wishes he were one of them. How cute.
The 10-episode series will follow the outbreak of an unknown virus that kills its host within three days, and the fate of the population will rest in the hands of this special task force. No pressure. I hope it’s as creepy and epically apocalyptic as possible. I do expect more God’s Quiz-meets-Vampire Prosecutor procedural than anything, but if you take any of those shows and add a killer contagious virus on the loose, you end up with something good, right? Right?
The Virus will air one episode a week on Fridays and premieres March 1 on OCN.