Kolorful Palette: Records of a Night Watchman
I was hesitant to draw this drama since I’m not honestly loving it, but in case I don’t keep watching I wanted to at least draw my favorite character, Sang-heon. He’s a badass night watchman turned reclusive man of mystery, and in my humble opinion he’s a bit of a scene stealer too.
My primary reason for getting excited about this show was the fantastical setting and funky costumes. When else am I going to get an opportunity to draw such interesting-looking scenes? The unique setting is almost enough to keep me tuning in, but it’s hard not to get a little bored because it feels like this drama has no direction. I wouldn’t care if it was hyper campy or super serious (both can be good) but instead I feel like I’m in a whirlwind of perpetual randomness. The characters and story elements are all introduced in vague and arbitrary ways, and I’m actually pretty confused a lot of the time. The thing with fantasy worlds is that they still need to have rule-sets, and once those rules are established, the world needs to stick to those rules for us to get invested in what’s happening. If it seems like absolutely anything could happen at any give time, it’s pretty difficult to feel any suspense. If magic and ghosts are omnipotent when it’s convenient, my suspension of disbelief is not going to last long.
All that being said, it does seem like Records of a Night Watchman found a little more focus this week, and Jung Il-woo’s charisma has certainly helped to make his scenes a lot more compelling, so maybe there’s hope. I found the childhood version of Rin extremely annoying (I don’t stomach bad child-acting well) but I adore the little ghost girl so this week was a big upgrade for me (although I have no idea who that ghost girl is…is that something I should know?). The whole ghost trio is pretty amusing, so at least there’s some fun to be had, even if I’m not exactly on the edge of my seat.
And then there’s Sang-heon. I feel pretty confident that everyone is a fan of him. He’s strong and calm, and does what’s needed to be done, even if it means fighting his king. He’s the guy you want around in a crisis, and and he always looks cool while doing his thing (in a humble “I don’t even realize I’m freaking awesome” kind of way). He was my favorite character in the first two episodes to begin with, but the hooded outfit and the blacksmithing really kicked it up a notch. The shot that I drew is when he’s scaring off a thug without much more than a look. He’s pretty much dripping deadly confidence, and although he may not be the most developed character around, who is in this show? Sometimes the simple characters work, and he is a prime example. His absence in Episode 4 was a bit of a travesty, but I get the impression that his role is going to grow (and it should, at least if the people running this operation are smart).
Overall, I think the premise for this drama has a lot of potential to be interesting and unique, so I really hope it continues to improve. It would be a shame if it just served to showcase how straying from standard formulas doesn’t work. I for one enjoy seeing K-Dramaland mix it up, so I’m going to tune in for one more week in support of the idea.
Next week…The Three Musketeers! At least there’s always more fusion sageuks waiting in the wings.