Kingdom (2019) – Netflix Season 1 Review

Kingdom (2019) - Korean Netflix Original-Series

The South Korean web series ‘Kingdom’, set in some historical period, follows a crown prince who is seeking to learn what really happened to his father who is suffering a mysterious disease.

Netflix series ‘Kingdom’ is an adaptation from the webcomic series ‘Land of the Gods’. Set in some historical period, ‘Kingdom’ follows a crown prince, who is on a suicide mission to investigate a mysterious plague that is slowly engulfing his country, as the king is already gripped with some mysterious illness. The series is a mixture of historical drama, supernatural fantasy and zombie thriller.

‘Kingdom’ is a good addition to the zombie genre, even though the story looks a little thinner at first, it has enough substance to keep you engaged until the end. One thing that works for ‘Kingdom’ is that it shows a historical feudal Korea where many people suffer at different levels, while the chieftains are involved in some royal corruption and conspiracy, people are suffering immensely because of famine. The storyline is a mix of zombie horror, political clash, and conspiracy thriller.

Scenes with zombies are scary that goes well with the ancient setting. The fact that it is a historical fantasy film, even makes the presence of zombies amid royal drama makes the plot more exciting. In most parts of the series, we find good performances from the prominent cast, while the direction is clever to impart comedic elements in the middle of chaos.

UPDATE (Feb 6, 2020): Netflix has confirmed that the highly-anticipated season 2 of its Korean original series “Kingdom” is set to premiere globally on March 13.

In addition, there is good cinematography and dynamics between characters – especially the Prince and his protector. Although we could not focus more on the characterization, the overall flow of the story and the elements of suspense keep this afloat till the end. ‘Kingdom’ is indeed a refreshing addition to the genre.

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Watch KINGDOM Netflix Series – Trailer

Kingdom – Season 1 – Episode 1

Officials find notices in Hanyang alleging the king is dead. Crown Prince Lee Chang tries to check on his father, but the young queen who is expecting a child stands in his way. Chang later finds out that his father has gone missing. In order to find what really happened to his father, he goes for a dangerous travel mission in disguise. He now must find out a doctor who was summoned from Dongnae to check on the king’s health. At the same time, his absence has made everyone in the palace believe that he has conspired treason against his father. Has he really conspired against the King? Why is he now worried for his father?

Kingdom – Season 1 – Episode 2

Prince Chang and Mu-yeong, in search of the physician Lee Seung-hui, arrive at his hospital Jiyulheon, where they sense that something terrible must have happened. They made a horrific discovery of a large number of corpses in an awful state, possibly massacred by some army. However, they are assured that doctor Lee’s body is not there that means he must be alive. Meanwhile, the King’s soldiers are already on their way to find the Crown Prince and charge him for treason. On the other hand, the scholars who are suspecting that Lord Cho Hak-ju is hiding something and something terrible has happened in the King’s palace. They now need to expose the truth in order to destroy the Haewon Cho Clan and save everyone.

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Kingdom – Season 1 – Episode 3

As the dead started walking with a thirst for the blood of the livings, the night leads to chaos in Dongnae. People have now turned zombies killing many others who also have turned blood-thirsty beasts. Now Prince Chang must save himself first before finding a way to save many from this zombie apocalypse. Meanwhile, Cho Hak-ju and the queen oversee the king’s care. They want to keep the king, who has turned zombie, alive until the new crown prince is born. Prince Chang reaches a disturbing conclusion and pledges to fight back.

Kingdom – Season 1 – Episode 4

On his way to seek Lord Ahn Hyeon’s help, Prince Chang encounters a group of stranded survivors and leads them to Jiyulheon, following Seo-bi’s advice.

Kingdom – Season 1 – Episode 5

Prince Chang’s group comes across a village that oddly seems to be well-fed. While taking refuge at Lord Ahn Hyeon’s, Seo-bi notes something peculiar.

Kingdom – Season 1 – Episode 6

Cho Hak-ju has chilling words for the queen, who’s hiding a sinister secret. Prince Chang orders Sangju’s defenses, but Seo-bi senses something awry.

Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doona, Kim Sang-ho, Kim Sung-kyu, Jeon Seok-ho, Kim Hye-jun, Heo Jun-ho, Jung Suk-won, and Kim Jong-soo.
Written by Kim Eun-hee
Directed by Kim Seong-hun
Genres: Period Drama, Korean Series, Action & Adventure
Original Release Date: January 25, 2019

This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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