49

All of Us Are Dead: Episodes 2-12 (Series review)


Netflix’s latest Korean original takes our teenage protagonists on a harrowing pursuit through a school compound, hounded by bloodthirsty zombies and seemingly forsaken by the adults they trusted to save them. The horde isn’t the only problem plaguing them, however, and they’ll need to navigate not just an escape route but also the increasingly tangled ties of friendship, loyalty, and love.

SERIES REVIEW: EPISODES 2-12

If you’re deciding whether to start watching this show, I’ve written a first impressions post that might give you an idea of what to expect. It also introduces the characters and the set-up, so it would be good to read that prior to this piece. This overall series review will have spoilers (and opinionated commentary), so please only proceed if you’re comfortable with that.

It’s revealed that the zombie virus was an accidental creation; Byung-chan had been desperate to make his son stronger so he could fight back against his bullies, but it had backfired terribly. The bloodshed caused by the zombie outbreak is a brutal manifestation of the eye-for-an-eye ideology, showing how violence simply begets more violence. I wish this theme was expanded upon more, since it’s the core of the show, but alas.

As the zombies rapidly begin to overrun the school, our large band of survivors gets whittled down one by one. Fairly early on, our protagonists lose their best friends; Yi-sak is bitten while escaping, and Na-yeon vindictively smears zombie blood on Kyung-soo’s scratch to avoid having to back down on her accusations of him.

Outside the school, the infection has spread from Hyun-joo, to the hospital she was taken to, to the city at large. Byung-chan displays a surprising moment of humanity when he saves detective Jae-ik from an attack, taking the bite instead. He tells him that his research notes can be found in his laptop in Hyosan High’s science lab, and then uses his body as a shield to hold off the zombies. It’s a confusingly quick change of heart, and a disappointingly anticlimactic death for the man behind it all.

A new strain of zombie soon emerges; nicknamed “half-zombie” by Dae-su, this mutation has all the flesh cravings and super strength of a zombie, but retains the capacity for human thought. Eun-ji’s desperation to find and destroy Gwi-nam’s phone (and his explicit video of her) seemingly preserves her autonomy, but it never amounts to a satisfying revenge arc like I thought it would.

Gwi-nam turns into one of this breed too, and his newfound immunity from fellow zombies drastically (and annoyingly) increases his survival rate. I wish the show explained the development of the new mutation more, because the conditions for turning into one seemed inconsistent and wholly dependent on the whims of the plot.

When Nam-ra gets bitten by Gwi-nam and turned into a half-zombie, the group is divided over whether to exile her to protect themselves, or trust her and let her stay. This is one of the moments where I feel like the writing falls short, because with more depth in the dialogue, it could have been a thought-provoking discourse on whether it’s right to sacrifice a person for the sake of the majority. However, instead of the characters’ own moral beliefs, the focus is on how their unrequited crushes shape their decisions, making the debate quite shallow.

This conflict is also explored outside the school; the governmental authorities’ inaction is held in stark contrast to many parents who were bitten by zombies on their quest to reach and protect their children. It escalates to the bombing of Hyosan to eliminate the zombies and protect the rest of the country from the spread. Again, it’s the question of how far we are allowed to go and how much we are allowed to sacrifice for the greater good.

My favorite line in this show was said by Jae-ik, wonderfully delivered by Lee Kyu-hyung:

“There are things we must pay for with our deaths, and there are things we must atone for while alive.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think the show managed to live up to that line. Characters that committed unspeakable atrocities were often killed off before they could make amends for the hurt they inflicted, which means that their victims never got the proper recompense or closure they deserved. While these characters’ deaths could be viewed as karmic retribution, it’s made less satisfying by the fact that they were killed off by third parties, rather than their victims.

Na-yeon’s dilemma, hiding in a supply closet full of food and drinks but too afraid to open the door to the ostracization of her schoolmates outside, illustrated this point. The show could have held her accountable for her classism, and it could have been a lesson on forgiveness and atonement. However, she was murdered by Gwi-nam right as she mustered up the courage to help her starving and dehydrated schoolmates.

Similarly, the show made an attempt at highlighting a range of pervasive societal issues, but the problem is that it’s really not effective social commentary when it’s just touch-and-go. I do want to give the show the benefit of the doubt and believe that it simply fumbled its execution. However, with the way that so many of these story threads were left hanging or even deliberately cut short without a proper resolution, I can’t help but feel like the show used these topics merely as a means to paint itself as gritty and edgy. (It doesn’t work that way, Show.)

So much of the action is helmed by the male characters, who swing makeshift weapons and shove tables at the zombies in order to protect the group. (Also, why is everyone ineffectively whacking the zombies instead of lethally stabbing them?) Meanwhile, the girls cower back, and a large part of their screen time in the earlier half of the show is occupied by petty catfights. I wish On-jo was a more proactive protagonist, because she was feisty in the first episode, but subsequently her spark slowly dwindled until she was a dull damsel in distress.

JANG HA-RI (Ha Seung-ri) is a breath of fresh air in this regard, with her no-nonsense attitude and efficiently lethal bow and arrows. So is PARK MI-JIN (Lee Eun-saem), a cigarette-smoking rebel who’s tough as nails, though she occasionally falls into caricature with how hostile and confrontational she can get. Unfortunately, these characters are trapped in a separate area of the school, and when they finally convene with our main group, their roles get significantly whittled down in favor of our protagonists.

As to Nam-ra’s story arc, I’m actually glad she became a half-zombie, because that meant we actually got to see her step up and fight. How cool was she, protecting Soo-hyuk and murdering zombies with a well-aimed shovel to the throat! I wish she could have played a more active role than just being their designated zombie radar with her enhanced hearing.

See, the thing is, the girls don’t have to fight as much as the boys — they can demonstrate agency and strength in other aspects. The issue here is that the drama doesn’t afford as much time to anything other than action, which results in the girls getting sidelined.

Regrettably, the show flounders in its pacing, and so much of it feels like running in circles. At first, the containment of the story to a single location raised the tension with a claustrophobic sense of dread. However, as the plot plodded on, it grew repetitive. While some of the strategies that the group devised were interesting, most ended up devolving to 1) running away or 2) pushing forward and shoving the zombies off. And there’s only so many variations of that a viewer can take before it starts to become tedious.

Gwi-nam’s constant reappearing act is a prime example of this. He’s like a cockroach that you just can’t kill! I know the show was trying to demonstrate just how vile humans can be, even more so than the actual monsters, but there’s a difference between reiterating a point and bashing it in repeatedly with a sledgehammer. It got maddeningly frustrating before long, and his villainy started to feel shoehorned in just to add in more torment for our group.

In addition, character relationships with the potential to be compelling, such as Chung-san and Soo-hyuk’s I’ve-got-your-back friendship, are sidelined in favor of prolonged morose pining within the love square. As a result, many characters’ backstories were underdeveloped, and it’s really such a pity because they had such potential.

With such a large ensemble cast, so many interesting and unexpected connections could have been formed, but instead it ended up feeling like our main protagonists and their band of extras. The show had the opportunity to add more flavor with its plotlines occurring outside the school, yet those tended to meander without making full use of the various settings and diverse range of characters.

Admittedly, I haven’t read the webtoon, so without a basis for comparison, I’m willing to view the drama with a more charitable lens. Perhaps the archetypal nature of the characters stems from its origin as a webtoon? Even so, more dimensions could have been incorporated when adapted into a script. That means that the onus falls on the actors to elevate their characters, and while some manage to imbue a charm that goes beyond what’s on paper, others give bland performances that fall as flat as the writing.

Something I really liked, though, was the show’s lack of hesitation to kill its characters off. While some of the deaths veered into predictable territory, others were done really well. Joon-young’s death was one of them; his heroic sacrifice, and his lack of hesitation in making that decision, was such a heartbreaking moment. So was Kyung-soo’s anguished farewell to the friends he had no choice but to leave in order to keep safe.

However, towards the end of the show, the deaths started to become unnecessary. Ha-ri’s brother Woo-jin could have survived to the end without making much difference to the plot, and Chung-san’s self-sacrifice was a lot less impactful than I’d hoped it’d be. If he was intending to use himself as bait in order to allow the others to escape, I’d rather the choice have been entirely his than having him be forced into it by Gwi-nam’s bite, because the latter made it feel more like an inevitable outcome and less like a sorrowful sacrifice.

Also, there’s a scene that I want to criticize. Thanks to a Beanie’s comment on my opening review, I found out that the scene where Eun-ji is stripped wasn’t in the original work, and I was horrified. The assault was depicted in such a violent and graphic manner, and then to have the aftermath shown so explicitly — I can’t see it as anything other than unnecessary, gratuitous exposure for the male gaze.

That scene was filmed from the point of view of the perpetrators, and even the argument that it was meant to unsettle can be countered with the fact that it’s still an awfully exploitative sexualization of sexual assault. It wasn’t filmed in a tasteful way to raise awareness; rather, it was the objectification of a violated female body. Worse still, the show didn’t take the time to address the ramifications of her trauma and let her heal, nor did it give her the avenue to avenge herself. I didn’t like that Gwi-nam’s nemesis was set up to be Chung-san, rather than Eun-ji. I wish she was the one that witnessed and filmed him killing the principal; it would have been a nice reversal to have her hold blackmail over him.

Sigh. I wanted to enjoy this show! I think it says a lot that the moment I came closest to crying was when Dae-su placed the empty wrapper of the chocolate bar they’d shared below the memorial tree. It was an effective and unexpected callback, and it made me miss all the characters we’d lost along the way. There were definitely emotional moments peppered throughout the drama, but I felt that the execution for most of them was quite formulaic, never really deviating or elevating itself above the typical delivery of such scenes.

Also, while I’m not averse to open endings — I actually think they can be even more effective than neat conclusions when done right — this show left too many questions unanswered for it to be satisfying. I’m glad the survivors’ bond has lasted through the timeskip and that Nam-ra’s alive, but it felt like the show was trying to drop too many breadcrumbs for a possible second season that it forgot to give its characters’ struggles the resolution they deserved.

I think most of my gripes with this show stem from my wish that it was more character-driven, rather than have the characters be strung along by the demands of the plot. I suppose that’s hard to avoid in a zombie show, but when you’re killing off characters left right and center, the viewers need to care about the characters to feel the intended emotional impact of their deaths. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get fully invested in the characters despite wanting to, because many of them were half-baked and could be boiled down to a select few character traits.

All in all, the show did shine in terms of its deft cinematography and breathless action. However, under its slick exterior, there was less depth than I hoped for, and it didn’t handle its character arcs with sufficient sensitivity. It’s a decent action flick, but I think it’s a little too formulaic to be thrilling, and a little too bland to be compelling. If you want a zombie show that’s about the fighting and the running, then this one’s for you, but I personally prefer my zombies as a rumination and reminder of what it means to be human.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

49

Required fields are marked *

Namra and Soohyuk are the only reason I finished this drama. Namra, Hari and Minji were the coolest characters. Overall the female lead was the dullest character not helped by the bad acting of the actress.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Namra, Hari and Minji are the best! I was annoyed by all the girls cowering behind the boys too. I don't think the actress playing Honjo did a bad job, though - it's just that her character was a bit of a damsel in distress. All the focus on the crushes really undermined characters decisions - they would have had more punch if, for instance, they kept Honjo and Cheungsan as good friends (their squabbling was great) and made Sohyuk's crush on Namra as something that developed from their interactions instead of making it previous to the events (but then, on second thought - it's a typical teenage crush, pining from the distance)

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Namra and Soohyuk having secret crushes on each other was obvious from their first interaction in episode 1 plus the character chart explicitly stated they liked each other so I wasn't surprised and also their poster together. That poster was the reason I started watching the drama.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

NO DIP SHARELOCK LIKE WTF

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The amount of times the kids faced locked doors you would think they'd plan better but instead it just became a repetitive plot device. The girls really did spend 80% of the screen time cowering behind the boys and that was extremely annoying. In fact all the big sacrifices were made by the male characters except for the teacher.

8
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yay, it's here! Been waiting for this hangout thread, thanks @solstices ☺️
You point out several of the gripes that I got while watching this, but didn't want to share on the Beanie-wall because I had fun watching it and don't want to put off indecisive Beanies from giving it a shot

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"I wish the show explained the development of the new mutation more, because the conditions for turning into one seemed inconsistent and wholly dependent on the whims of the plot." This!
And also the inconsistency in the time of infection and method of killing off the zombies annoyed the hell out of me. Another inconsistency was that Gwinam's powers and recovery ability were a lot superior to the regular zombies' - I enjoy a scary antagonist on a killing spree, and think Yoo Insoo did a great job, but Writers really should have given him a real motivation and some limits... I kept checking if the regular zombies could resuscitate and heal broken bones too

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the drama could have been cut down to eight episodes and mostly focused on the action inside the school, but I really liked it. I liked the students a lot. I understand the criticism of On-jo (and the actress) but she had a quiet strength that I liked. I loved Nam-ra. I liked how the students grew closer and were resourceful.

I liked that there was humor throughout. I thought they did a good job with the emotional moments. I might have been wishing death on Na-yeon, but I thought her supply closet dilemma was very effective. Joon-young's death was heartbreaking. Most of the deaths made me sad, actually, because I really came to care about the characters.

One thing this drama did that most zombie fare doesn't is give an origin story for the infection. I liked that. I didn't really care whether it made sense lol. Since the teacher said he extracted a hormone from mice that was meant to turn fear into rage, I just handwaved that the virus evolved in those that had more rage than fear.

I actually liked the ending. It left an opening for a s2 exploring the half-bie's, but I liked that Nam-ra set the fire because she missed them. Friendship. It was a nice note to end on.

Anyway, it was a fun binge watch. I can see why it's doing well.

4
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, the virus developing in the ones with more anger than fear actually makes sense in a Sweet Home kind of way. I like it! But was Namra pissed off too? 🤔

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Namra had too much self control and restraint which is basically the Korean stereotypical personality. She managed to control the virus through sheer will power. Her WBCs must be made of steel.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

😂

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think her rationality outweighed her fear lol though it did seem like she had a lot of built up resentment.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The ending scene felt like a trap to me. Like Nam ra invited them so that she and her new found friends could feed on some nice human flesh. And also how did she survive for 4 months without any humans around?

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This. The look on the friend's faces was definitely one of shock and horror. Whatever they saw was not good. Also, am I the only one that noticed that Nam Ra acted weird, very dreamlike? She was a quiet person but never had that creepy dreamy quality to her until the rooftop. I was immediately alerted.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"That scene was filmed from the point of view of the perpetrators, and even the argument that it was meant to unsettle can be countered with the fact that it’s still an awfully exploitative sexualization of sexual assault. It wasn’t filmed in a tasteful way to raise awareness; rather, it was the objectification of a violated female body."

I did see there was many Korean that comment on this scene, and the on with the pregnant girl was very uncomfortable and they did not like it. They even question the point of them. I had to stop watching after those scene as to me you should never make a scene in the perpetrators point of view as you degrading the victim....

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree. There was absolutely no point for either of the scenes. Eunji was already being bullied, so her will for revenge was already established, and the pregnant girl was just there, and in the end drama didn't do anything about her. They could have found a baby just like that, no point in bringing up teenage pregnancy

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

The teen pregnancy part served no purpose whatsoever to the plot nor did it raise any "issues" since we barely even know the name of the girl let alone her backstory. It wasn't even plot device it was just there to waste air time.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

About the half-zombie issue and the bombing of the town that fall short of reflecting about what it means to be human, and how society handles individuals for the greater good, I'd like to give a shout-out to Happiness, because it handled this issues in a very interesting and sensitive way!

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

JANG HA-RI (Ha Seung-ri) is a breath of fresh air in this regard, with her no-nonsense attitude and efficiently lethal bow and arrows.

Bingo! Of course, badass warrior women can be cool (think Buffy), but I especially liked Ha-ri because I grew up with archery. And incidentally, her archery wasn't as absurd was what I have seen in some other shows like Empress Ki.

---

And how did everyone interpret the end? When Nam-ra said there were more like her I thought she meant really like her, half-bies. Then she said "They're back" and "I'll be back", which always and forever will bring back Terminator images. When she jumped down off the roof I figured it wasn't half-bies she was worried about and she was off to be Nam-ra the Zombie Slayer, protecting her friends who were in the danger zone without weapons?

8
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had the same though process: "1. she means other half-bies. 2. Oh, she means she's off to slay some leftover zombies". They probably made it ambiguous on purpose... I still have some hope that Cheungsan and Gwinam survived the bomb and are still out there (taking into account Gwinam's survival abilities, it's not so far fetched 😂)

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@lordcobol I appreciate the Buffy reference :)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nah I think it was a trap. She invited her old friends over so that her new friends could eat

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"And how did everyone interpret the end?"

It all depends what you saw on her friends faces. What I saw was horror, shock and worry. So whatever there was downstairs was not good.

Also, I was positively creeped by Nam Ra's weird dreamlike acting when she greeted her friends. That was new. She was a quiet girl but never like that. So something about her felt off to me.

Someone suggested that she basically set the trap for her old friends. I think it's an interesting idea. Creepily serene Nam Ra was off. Since the city was evac'd, you bet she needed food for herself and her herd. And that unambiguously worried/horrified/shocked look on her friends faces that ended the drama. Not good.

IMO, there's no need for Season 2. Drama wrapped up. The virus still exists. There's no cure. Some infected evolved to more dangerous kind of zombies - the ones that cannot be detected so they easily fool humans who let them in. No need to expand on that.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It has its issues but it was a fun ride anyway. My favourites were Soohyuk, Minji, Daesu and Joonyoung. The actor playing Joonyoung was underutilised, would have liked to see more of him but they only gave him screentime in his last episode 😭
I liked Namra but she was too apathetic at the beginning. Why didn't she stop Nayeon when she noticed her touching the zombie blood? There was a surprising amount of filler for a netflix original. If they make a second season, I hope it's more tightly paced.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Namra as much as I liked her was in background for most if the drama like almost all the female characters which I think everyone has pointed out. Hari and Minji also didn't get enough screen time but at least they were active for most of it which made their characters memorable. I also felt Namra and her superpowers always activated per plot convince.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Honestly, I was pretty disapointing between the writting of the characters and the acting.

They made these students being so selfish or selfcentered, that I didn't really care about them. Their deaths weren't so sad, they were too many and they lost their impact.

For the scene at the beginning, the character left her safe place after seeing how disastrous was the situation in the school to get the phones nobody cared about and oh surprise, she was bitten. They needed a strong scene to justify so many stupid decisions...

But the issue is they took more time to present the villains than the main characters.

There were too many characters : 2 groups of students + 2 on the rooftop, one eye ; the army ; the politics and the firefighter ; the 2 cops + the kids + the live streamer...

For the acting, my hope to see Jo-Yi-Hyun to disapear early in the story vanished when she became a powerful human. The actress had the best role and she was so bland and boring u_u The main one wasn't really better neither...

3
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Your dislike of JYH cracks me up since I remember your comments from school 2021 too 😂
I understand she's not a great actress but I do like her and think she has room for improvement. I also think they gave her very little to work with until she became a halfbie.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

She had scenes with Lee Yomi when she slapped her (her character saw a girl acting weird by wiping hier handkerchief on zombie blood, but she said nothing...). But she lacks charisma and I don't like how she speaks, her face doesn't move... I really can't with her 😅

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah I don't understand why she didn't say anything about the zombie blood. It was bad writing for sure.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, my main issue with this drama is it's dispersion: too many settings, too many characters, too many issues brought up that end not being dealt with, and too many episodes. I liked it - specially what they did with all that Netflix money in terms of set design and cool action sequences - but they should have made it a lot trimmer. 8 episodes would have been enough to tell the story if they left all the useless bits out

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

And there was no shortage of useless bits. Most of the plot was filler and the characters were killed of quickly because there were 20+ characters in the first place. This is actually the most number of core survivors I've seen for a zombie drama or movie. Half of them were in jail in the quarantine area which took them barely 4 episodes to reach.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

this.
i saw a Korean review on Youtube and it pointed out the same.
the show digged into many issues than it could managed, and did not solve anything properly.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel kind of silly for enjoying this as much as I did, but I blame the title. Despite knowing better, I legit thought EVERYONE was going to die by the end (lol). That's why I didn't approach this deeply at all, and was only in it for the thrills, action, terror, and zombie-killing... and boy, did I jump and scream and hide a lot! Those zombie-actors nailed it - people shouldn't be able to move like that!! 😭

For me, the only thing that really bugged me was how Eun-ji wasn't set up as Gwi-nam’s adversary. I was really, realllly hoping for a show-down between those two and would have loved for it to end with her killing him for good. Pitting Chung-san against Gwi-nam just didn't have the same impact... so it was a waste of a great potential climax.

Still, I enjoyed this so much. Even if the ending confused me since some of them managed not to get killed 😂

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

"For me, the only thing that really bugged me was how Eun-ji wasn't set up as Gwi-nam’s adversary."

I agree. I kept thinking that they would meet up at some point and was disappointed that they did not.

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought Eun-Ji should have been the one to even kill Gwi-Nam.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, same here.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you @solstices for the in depth review! 12 episodes are a lot to review in one article but it ticks off all my complaints that I have initially!

If I were to go further I really wished there was background crushes from the get go. It honestly made the show dull with all the decision made base on those crushes. And yes, the Namra being half zombie thing could've been such an interesting problem they could've play with even make the decision to keep Namra more impactful coming actually from others instead of Soohyuk.

Honestly, If i were to play favorite, Hari, Mijin, and Daesu is EASILY my favorite and are probably the scene stealers.

And I couldn't agree more with the unnecessary death. I know with this genre we basically play with body counts, and I do wholefully on board with it when it actually gives a huge emotional impact (Isak's, Kyungsoo's, Joonyoung's even Joonseong poor boi :( ). But I feel like few last death were REALLY unnecessary.... Onjo's dad.... Woojin... Even Chunsang.... However, my HUGE sadness over Woojin's death (knowing it's coming) is ironically in contras with my feeling of nothing over Chunsang's death. Which kinda explain honestly for me, the friendships, the siblings, and even the bond between the female teacher and students affected me much more than the (supposed) romantic line. Which bring us back to my first point. Tho I supposed I'm not against it if.. Say... They developed crushes ALONG the period of our show.

Though, I have to say, as much complaints as I still do have (some stories i don't even think means anything to the characters OR the story including the bullies plot and the newborn baby??? ) days after finishing it, I kind of came back for more because I do think they did well the intensity of the scenes, the chill it induces, the characters' survival instincts, and.... my best boi and his beloved badass noona Woojin and Hari (and her best friend Mijin) 😢😢😢😢😢😢

Ps. As much as I love my not known actors Id prefer not to say a thing bcs i don't wanna say anything bad, but literally NOTHING in this whole production helps me to like Onjo.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

*there was NO background crushes

Jdhdssh

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I mostly enjoyed the show. It was a solid zombie romp that definitely had it’s good and bad points.

Good!
The action. Despite most of them not using weapons effectively the dashing around, dodging and just overall variety of the action scenes was pretty impressive. Things kick off quickly, and there’s a bunch of standout scenes that were incredibly tense. The bit in the library with him dashing in and out of rows, and across the top, was great.

Willingness to have stakes. No one was really safe, and they established that pretty early on. Our cast dwindles. Family, friends, teachers.

Mostly realistic problems, and non stupid decisions on how they went about overcoming them. They used their environment, basic supplies, and thought of clever solutions a lot of the time.

BAD.
The love square. I don’t have a problem with the idea of it, but the fact it was used to make certain decisions seemed real dumb. Sure, we want our characters to care about each other, or the times they lose someone mean even less. But they could have kept their feelings in tact and still made sane decisions.

Some of the plot resolutions (or lackthereof). I liked that not everything ended as you’d expect for certain characters, but I felt some of them had stronger motivations than others.

Random moment that really stuck out to me that I’m putting in the bad side of things. What was with the stormtrooper aim from the military? Our FML’s dad was running across an open area, with no obstruction, getting shot at with MACHINE GUNS, and they couldn’t hit him? Did they close their eyes? They managed to tag him when he dove underwater but (and correct me if I’m wrong) isn’t it the case where bullets don’t travel underwater? They stop pretty quickly so seemed like they could have just tagged him as he was running out in the open…

Solid show, that had some great moments, and might have run a bit long overall. Could have been better paced, and if they tightened it up, along with their great action scenes I think it could have been an extraordinary show, instead of just a good one.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Gwi-nam’s constant reappearing act is a prime example of this. He’s like a cockroach that you just can’t kill!" --> my exact thought when he was revived the 3rd time lmao. I was like could this guy ever die???

I'm glad the full show was released on Netflix so that I could binge watch all episodes in 1 go. Otherwise, it would have been hard to come back to it weekly when the momentum was so frequently lost with repetitive sequences. What I like most about the show is how creative and resourceful the students are with their survival strategies. I'm impressed with their impromptu weapons and makeshift toilet. I have a hunch that if I were ever in their situation, I wouldn't have even lasted past the first episode hahaha.

Two things that I wish they'd done differently:
1) The action sequences would have been more fun if the students had figured out earlier (around ep 8-10) that they need to properly strike the zombies' head to get rid of them.
2) The final showdown would have been much more satisfying and impactful if it were between Gwi-nam and Eunji instead of Gwi-nam and Cheong-san. I was desperately hoping that the now-zombie-empowered Eunji could get her proper revenge against the bully. It was disappointing that she was eventually only used as a plot device to inform the military about the half-bies.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for a great review of AOUAD, @solstices ! I do agree with your points and how the show could be better.

Some emotional beats did feel flat and I wanted the story arcs to have more depth. My favorites would be Hari, MiJin, Namra and SuHyeok. I also like Cheongsan and his male friends. I did find Onjo annoying because I dont like damsels in distress but I liked her friendship with Namra.

I did want EunJi to get her revenge and her attack on that boy was not as satisfying as it should. But it would be best if she had banded together with the other group to defeat GwiNam. I suppose they needed her to get to the camp. I didnt like NaYeon but I found her death sad and anticlimactic. I actually wanted her to be redeemed but alas.

The show was lacking in depth and emotional beats to make it truly spectacular. There were some sacrifices that didnt make sense like Onjo's father. He couldve made it alive to help the teens since he only needed to lock it from the outside. The action scenes were great though. I also hoped that there was more explanation to the half-bies or atleast shown why select people become one. I just didnt see a connection to why GwiNam, EunJi and Namra were one.

I also wanted the Detective with the kids to have more contribution to the story instead of getting locked up in quarantine.

Overall, this was still a good watch despite its shortcomings. I expect the young cast to make it big after this show. They are a talented bunch and wish them the best. I only recognize Cho Yi Hyun and Lee Yoomi but I expect most of them will be more well-known through this show.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not gonna lie, I probably would have just peed out the window.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Its funny that they had that whole sequence about toilets which I thought was realistic but then completely forgot it 2 episodes later. They were stuck in that tiny closet for the entire night and nobody had to pee? More importantly why is no female character ever on her period in these survival dramas? I want to know how anyone runs away from zombies when they have severe cramps because I can't even get out of bed. If the world was ending I'd still just stay in bed. How did they have so much energy to run and fight when they hadn't eaten in 3-4 days? I know teens have a lot of energy but they also eat a lot.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really like most of side characters such as Joonyoung, his scene is my most favorite and memorable. Following by Kyung-soo, the best friend. I thought that he's one of the final survivors but damn the writer you're so mean! And Gwi-nam really made this drama interesting. They are the scene stealer to me. Namra is also a nice character but when she became to half-zombie, with her look and power reminds me of Nezuko of Kimetsu no Yaiba lol

For the plot and story, there're some good and fun to watch but there're also what-why-how and the problematic parts that you've already mentioned and I felt uncomfortable as well. It would be better to cut these parts out or change. The CG somehow was poorly done like a B-movie. The cast did the best to make it so props to them. I can see they're all the future of k-industries.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really enjoyed it although it was indeed tiring to binge watch (the gore was a bit too much for me, even by zombie apocalypse standards). I loved the students' escape plan discussions, and the fact that it always ended up with them running away/shoving the zombies somewhere else didn't annoy me because... hey they're just students! For me it wouldn't be as realistic if ALL of them were like Hari & Mijin (they're one of a kind). Not everyone could stay brave & resilient under such circumstances, not even adults (and the show proved it quite effectively). I also loved how they didn't hesitate to kill the main characters off. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, wondering "Who's next?"

Nothing really bugged me besides the fact that some subplots went on too long only to end so anti-climatically (the pregnant girl, Cheongsan mom's & the science teacher's fate). I didn't really like the adults, even Lee Kyuhyung's journey felt "useless" to me after some time (they did find the laptop thanks to him though!)

After reading reviews and seeing so many people ready to shred Onjo into pieces that I realized I overlooked a lot of things I wouldn't like if it happened in other dramas, but I think that proved how much I enjoyed watching it. But now I really regret the fact that Gwinam and Eunji never crossed paths again... like... it would've been more satisfying to see Eunji do whatever she wanted to do to Gwinam.

I think the classroom gang were realistically portrayed; I found the fights, dilemma and concerns suitable for kids their age, although after reading this review I, too, wish that the kids' motivation to let their friends stay was more because of their conscience than crushes. The characters could've had more depth, but I'm somehow I'm not complaining.

P.S. And yes I wish Nayeon at least got to meet the other kids first before paying for her sins. Tbh I would've liked it if they forgave her, instead letting her turn into a zombie because of Gwinam...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm beginning to think DB is too high brow for me lol. I enjoyed the wild ride of this show. I don't think I ever binged anything in three days since Lovers in the Moonlight. The show and the characters were compelling enough for me to do so, and actually crave for more.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

**** Spoiler Alert ****

The scene that stays with me in this drama is the one with children walking on the road to the military safe house. How it is depicted, how we see each character and the things they went through. The realization that they do not have fight for their life now. I thought it is over now ...; However as the movie goes on I realized( It hit me_ being safe is different with being happy ... I liked the ending

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *