We’ve seen zombies before – lots of times, actually. But Netflix released an original zombie series last week that really changed my outlook on zombies. Set in the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, this zombie show focuses a lot on emotions, tradition and beauty – something I personally hadn’t seen in a series before.
Director Kim Seong-hun and writer Kim Eun-hee, who are often dubbed a master of genre-driven stories in film and drama respectively, collaborated to create this new story, and I loved every single moment of it. In fact, the six episodes of the first season weren’t enough for me, and I’m waiting with bated breath for the next season to come out.
When it comes to what’s different about ‘Kingdom’, it’s the story. While it may be a little bit similar to other zombie movies or series out there, some of these movies and series tend to lack the narrative part of how the zombies come to life. If you remove the zombies in ‘Kingdom’, though, it still tells a story of humans. Writer Kim explains that they really wanted to focus on who caused it and how they came about, how they became these zombies. “I think that kind of storytelling is what differentiates ‘Kingdom’ from other zombie genres,” she says.
Rather than trying to differentiate their work from other zombie films or dramas, though, director Kim adds that they wanted to focus more on truly and most effectively combining the narrative with the subject of zombies. “I focused my directing in that aspect,” he shares.
The keyword that writer Kim first came up with when conceptualizing ‘Kingdom’ was actually ‘hunger’, whcih entails a lot of different ideas. First, there is the physical hunger that is experienced by the commoners in the story, and there’s the hunger for greed. All of that is what gave birth to the so-called zombies, or what writer Kim and director Kim call ‘the patients of the plague’. “I hope that we can provide some food for thought in that sense. I hope that we can think about these issues together,” says writer Kim.
If you have a love for zombies or Korean dramas (or better yet, both!), make sure to give ‘Kingdom’ a try. I, for one, promise that you definitely won’t regret it. You may watch ‘Kingdom’ here and use the hashtag #KingdomNetflix when talking about the show on social media.