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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 5


Seong-ryeol does a lot of watching. Really, it seems to be his main special ability. He always has a perfect view of whatever scheme Gwi is planning at any given moment- that much would seem to be Gwi's special weakness. But for the most part Seong-ryeol has his eyes focused on Yang-seon this episode. It really does seem like a pity that Seong-ryeol has the power to read really fast but mostly just ends up waiting for people to finish doing stuff rather slowly.

I'd comfortably describe the episode as a whole in the same terms. Insofar as the main quest of characters trying to get a hold of useful vampire books, the story is really more about errands than it is anything that could be called genuinely exciting. And yet for all this the climax manages to jump completely out of nowhere because...well, because it was completely out of nowhere, to the point I was wondering myself whether or not that whole sequence was just a dream.

So in terms of story this episode was kind of a dud. What about the less essential elements? Well, Lee Yoo-bi is adorable as usual. Every episode it seems harder and harder to believe that she's actually been able to keep the cross-dressing thing going on for an extended period of time. I suppose it helps that she's probably been interacting with these people since before going through puberty- to them, Yang-seon just being an usually perky guy is probably the more sensible theory.

The vampires aren't that beautiful though. Context is probably part of the culprit for this- it's hard to forget the characters are vampires when that's relevant to the story. But save for some bloodsucking Gwi really just plays the role of thug here. I know that not every episode can have genuinely high stakes but still. This one was a little high on the pulp romantic content and a little low on the serious urgency.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing- again, Lee Yoo-bi is consistently extremely cute, and the whole silly affair with the shoes really brings out the more eccentric aspects of her personality. But "Scholar Who Walks the Night" isn't really camp drama- at least not yet. A certain basic level of seriousness is necessary to maintain the illusion that this is an actual serious story, rather than the ridiculousness that is the simple plot summary. And if the story keeps going in this direction, that much might be lost.

Review by William Schwartz

"Scholar Who Walks the Night" is directed by Lee Seong-joon, written by Jang Hyeon-joo and features Lee Joon-gi, Lee Yoo-bi, Changmin, Lee Soo-hyuk, Kim So-eun, Lee Hyun-woo and more.

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