This Netflix K-drama Glitch (2022) season 1 review is spoiler-free.
Netflix’s latest k-drama releases have been mixed. We’ve had it all, straight remakes like Money Heist: common economic space to popular genre titan redos like Narcos (in Narco Saints) and breaking Bad (in A model family). While generally at the forefront of innovative, high-quality television, these recent high-profile offerings from the region have failed to match the imagination and zeitgeist potential of something. like, say, squid game. So if you can say anything for the last effort, Problemthat’s it: At least it’s weird.
“Weird” is a relative term and manifests itself in different ways, but most people know what I mean when I say it. The plot here is fueled by paranoia and conspiracy theories and it has a conspiratorial sense of chaos, toying with ideas that are sometimes a little out of its reach. But the show is confident enough to be weird and ambitious, and in this entertainment climate, that has to count for something.
Anyway, it’s about aliens and religious cults and that sort of thing. Ji-hyo (Jeon Yeo Binend of Vincenzo) reliably sees an alien but regards it as shaky sanity; she’s too dependable and upright to indulge in the idea of little green men showing up in supermarkets and such. But when Ji-hyo’s reliable boyfriend Si-hyuk goes missing, she’s drawn into a conspiratorial plot all over again that intertwines — in themes and flashbacks — with her childhood relationship with Bo-ra (granny), who became a UFO obsessive.
Aliens aren’t new, of course, and in everything from X files at Dating of the Third Kind we’ve filtered our understanding of the unknown into an easily recognizable big-headed avatar of mystery. But aliens, like zombies, are usually an excuse to interrogate human beings; what makes us and motivates us, and what are the limits of our understanding and morality. Problem takes that approach to some degree, but also strays decidedly from standard genre expectations, so it’s hard to predict even if it slips into sluggishness and lack of engagement at times.
The problem, I think, is that Problem is framed in general matters but isn’t particularly good at livening up the time between his reveals. Its slow, character-building debut — the whole thing unfolds over ten episodes and only really comes into its own halfway through and beyond — risks leaving audiences’ attention wavering, focusing on the wrong characters, or the wrong dynamic, and leaving us to languish unproductively too long in a headspace that feels unremarkable in the genre. (We’ve been doing the whole “real or imagined?” thing for way too long.)
Director Roh Deok directs Problem in an often beautiful and seductive way, so it’s easy to fall in love with its construction, but it’s mostly fulfilling in the sense of ideas and elements clashing together until they match , rather than on an emotional or human level. But, as long and chilling as it may be, it’s different enough from all the rest to merit a cursory – albeit cautious – recommendation.
You Can Stream Netflix K-drama Glitch Season 1 (2022) Exclusively On netflix.
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