Memories of Memories of a Murder
I’ve been waiting days to watch Gap Dong staring Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun), Lee Joon, and Kim Ji Won, but sadly neither of the two legal content providers I watch have secured the rights to stream the show in North America. I turned to other means to watch the first episode and I’m glad I did. Gap Dong is 100% the type of show I like. Previews I read described it as a pretty basic thriller with a murder mystery plot line. This is true, but I would describe it much more along the lines of CSI meets Silence of the Lambs. No, actually Memories of a Murder is a far better fit.
A little bit of history…
Gap Dong is a fictionalized dramatization and updating of the first, in known modern Korean society, serial killer and rapist. The attacks began in 1986 and persisted until 1991 with no killer ever brought to justice. He simply vanished into thin air and to this day no one knows who he actually was. I’d highly recommend checking out the entertaining and eerily accurate 2003 film staring Song Kang Ho Memories of a Murder prior to watching Gap Dong. The film tells the story of the police detectives who were after the Hwaesong Killer and never gave up their search right up until the statute of limitations ran out on the crimes. Gap Dong picks up where that story ends…years later after the killer has vanished and runs no risk of being punished for his crimes. Does he return? Does he kill again? That’s what makes Gap Dong so interesting to me.
We’re left with a fictionalized version, a what if…based on real events. What would happen if the real Gap Dong (Hwaesong Killer) came back today nearly thirty years after his crimes and began killing again? A rather chilling and completely plausible thought. He’d only be between fifty and sixty years old, likely closer to fifty. What if the killings weren’t from the original killer, but a copycat or admirer. Maybe his son? Gap Dong looks to set out to answer these questions and provide a hell of a lot more.
As for the snow itself, Oska is awesome as usual. If you’ve liked his work in I Hear Your Voice or Secret Garden you’ll like him here. His role is far more complicated and endearing that his previous popular roles and he shines in every scene. Your eyes shine today…they’re both happy and sad.Boy, does he have a reason to be.
You’ll get to know his character pretty well in the first episode thanks to some very unobtrusive flashbacks that link his character to the Gap Dong Killer.
Lee Joon, as usual, is a delight to watch. He’s got the idol turned acting thing down and I can’t wait to see him in this drama. He’s one of the few idol turned actors, in my opinion, who takes on riskier roles and isn’t afraid to bare it all. (Fans of his might get that joke!). He’s portraying a seemingly creepy creepster this time around and should make a nice counterpoint to Oska’s character.
Lastly, The Heirs fans will recognize Kim Ji Won who played Rachel Yoo in last years biggest hit drama. I for one am excited to see her again, but I still can’t stand her face. She’s like the female version of Game of Thrones Joffery…I will never be able to like them in anything they do in the future. That is a sign of good acting so despite the fact that I already despise her character I’m giving Kim Ji Won to turn me around and see her in a better light.
As far as the production of the show goes, it feels a bit low budget…in a good way. There isn’t anything flashy here. We aren’t in Seoul and none of its bright lights, high fashion, and luxury hotel apartments are going to be seen. There is a grittiness and almost desolate feeling to the show that captures the emotional toll that living with the cloud of a serial killer over your head would bring to your life. Their is almost a sadness in the show that’s amplified because of the gritty nature of the sets and landscape. Won’t be for everyone, but I found it to be a nice touch and thematically similar to Memories of a Murder.
This is so going on my watch list, I hope Viki or Dramafever pick up the rights to stream soon. Episodes One and Two have already aired on TvN and the show replaces Emergency Couple on Friday and Saturday nights.