Netflix’s Kingdom Season 2 is gaining worldwide attention.
Kingdom, starring Ju Ji Hoon and Bae Doo Na and Ryu Seung Ryong, is a zombie mystery thriller set in the Joseon Dynasty. Since its first release in last January, it has gained as much popularity overseas as it did in Korea and once again created the “K-Zombie” syndrome following Train to Busan. At the time, New York Times even named Kingdom Season 1 as one of the best overseas TV series of 2019, calling it “a work that destroyed the cliché of Korean historical dramas.”
Expectations for the second season were also great. Prior to the official release of the second season, posters promoting the series went up on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, on the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago and Times Square in New York City. After the series was released on Netflix on March 13, viewers praised the successful connection in the story from the previous season, speedy development, and the actors’ enthusiastic performances. Soon after the release, it was ranked fourth on “Today’s Top 10 Contents” list (as of the 16th).
In particular, the second season of Kingdom has brought much attention by presenting various scenes that reminded the current situation where a new type of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has been spreading. Of course, this setting was not intended since the work was planned for many years. However, the viewers say that Joseon being plagues with epidemic strangely overlaps with the spread of new coronavirus.
The overseas responses are also hot. Eric Kane of Forbes wrote the article titled, “Worried About A Global Pandemic? You Should Watch ‘Kingdom’ On Netflix.” Kane praised Kingdom by writing that the beginning of the work is not only much better than Walking Dead, and that it also added “Game of Thrones style political intrigue, a fantastic cast of characters and lots of violence.” He also commented that it was strange “watching this show as fears surrounding COVID-19 began to mount” when the show is “about the start of a zombie pandemic.”
Thrillist also praised Kingdom, by stating that “a heady Korean feudal drama about a kingdom beset by corrupt queens, giant armies, and zombies that stalk the night” is the perfect series to watch as people are “being advised to stay home and ‘socially distance’ ourselves from the outside world.” Also, with cool hats, real scary zombies and the obsession over power, Kingdom is “the perfect show to completely take your mind off your stock of hand sanitizer and nonperishables.”
While viewers are watching the Netflix for Kingdom marathon, attention is being paid on whether the series can rekindle the “K-Zombie” craze.