‘Kokdu: Season of Deity’ Review: A Reincarnation Romance that Seems Sloppy

Kokdu Season of Deity

Edited by Kim Won Hee
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Kokdu Season of Deity
Credit: MBC

Kim Jung Hyun, who’s finally returned after Mr. Queen, has met with Im Soo Hyang, who’s played various roles in several projects, teamed up for a drama. Kokdu: Season of Deity is a fantasy romance drama about Kokdu, the god of death, and doctor Han Gye Jeol. Familiar yet attractive topics such as reincarnation, reunion, and god-human love stand out, so did Kokdu: Season of Deity successfully bring them together?

Han Gye Jeol (Im Soo Hyang) is an emergency medicine doctor who’s been a breadwinner for so long without anyone to lean on. One day, she slips on the stairs on her way out after being fired from the hospital, but a “mystery man” saves her and disappears. Later on, she reunites with this man Do Jin Woo (Kim Jung Hyun) at Pilseong Hospital where she visits for an interview, and he uses his power to hire her. But the glee of seeing him again didn’t last long, and she soon realized that he only hired her to get to the bottom of the conspiracy that led to a patient’s death. Han Gye Jeol decides to help him, but the day the two decide to blow the whistle on the real culprit Kim Pil Soo (Choi Kwang Il), the chairman of the hospital, Do Jin Woo falls off the building and dies. And Kokdu, the god of death, possesses Do Jin Woo’s body and faces Han Gye Jeol.

Kokdu: Season of Deity begins by telling Han Gye Jeol and Kokdu’s relationship in the past life. In their past life, they were the young lady, Seol Hee, who had to get married for the sake of her family and her knight, Oh Hyun. The two try to elope for their love, but Oh Hyun is caught and killed in front of Seol Hee, and in return, Seol Hee kills her fiance, who killed Oh Hyun, and then kills herself too. With just one hope to reunite with his love, Oh Hyun waits for Seol Hee in the underworld until he forgets her face, name, and reason for his wait. In the end, as a penalty for defying the destiny God chose for him, he becomes Kokdu with a curse to lead the dead in the underworld and repeat murder in the human world. To break this curse, he must go to the human world for 99 days every 99 years to find the reincarnated Seol Hee and make her say she loves him.

Kokdu Season of Deity
Credit: MBC

This relationship between two characters that continues from the previous life definitely has aspects that could charm up the romance; however, these intriguing materials aren’t fully utilized. In the past, the lady learns to fight from the knight to protect herself, and the knight presents a ring with the words “I will always protect you,” and these short scenes well-explain their romantic relationship. However, in the present time, Kokdy pushes Han Gye Jeol around with one goal – to break the curse and finally find peace. And because of the contrast in the two times, the chemistry between the two that we know will turn romantic later on doesn’t really hit the viewers yet. Especially the change in Kokdu’s personality is too big: portraying both the taciturn knight and the lighter Kokdu in one drama ends up lightening up the tone of the show too much, making it all confusing.

Besides, there are quite a lot of stories that need to be solved, which raises concerns. First, the truth about the case Han Gye Jeol and Do Jin Woo worked on must be revealed. Did Kim Pil Soo kill the patient? And how will Han Gye Jeol and Kokdu unravel this ill fate that has continued since their past life? On top of that, the sex offenders and child abusers that Kokdu froze to death have become a problem. Kokdu: Season of Deity is solely focusing on creating a romantic mood between the two while unfolding Han Gye Jeol and Kokdu’s stories that cases are just skimmed through. Moreover, all the events don’t appear sequentially but get poured out from the beginning at once, so the plot moves speedily but stays shallow.

The good thing, though, is that we’ve only seen one-fourth of the play. There’s ample time for them to untangle the knots and unravel each story. I hope Kokdu: Season of Deity is remembered as an attractive reincarnation fantasy romance series. (6/10)

 

Edited by Kim Won Hee: I am a person who needs more than 24 hours in a day because there are so many things I love. I am amassing various genres in the jewelry box in my heart.

 

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