Kingdom: Season One (All Episodes)
February 1, 2019 9:16 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

While strange rumors about their ill king grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land. A medieval zombie story made as a co-production between Netflix and South Korean television.
posted by DirtyOldTown (14 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I adore screenwriter Kim Eun-hee's shows (ever since her debut with Harvest Villa which is a weird, quirky black comedy that I try to get people to watch but they never do), so there was no question I'd be watching this one, except... zombies. That is one genre I cannot get into. The only zombie show/movie I've managed to watch and enjoy is Shaun of the Dead, which probably tells you something of my taste.

Still! I persevered and binged the entire "season" and while all the zombie stuff wasn't my cup of tea, I was thrilled that by ep 5 the plot started to come together and then ep 6 was glorious and I can't wait for "season" 2 which is rumored sometime at the end of the year. We'll see, since I think they haven't started production yet. (I put "season" in quotes because, let's be real, this is really just one drama split into two parts.)

I will say, of all the dramas that have been exclusive to Netflix (actually exclusive, not just ones that Netflix bought the rights to, so dramas like Mr. Sunshine and Memories of the Alhambra), this is one that kept my interest most, even with the whole zombie thing. Even though I'm grumpy about the cliff-hanger because now we have to wait forever to see what happens, I think the smaller eps are probably the best way to go with a Korean Netflix show. Especially one that likely cost a decent chunk of change based on the production quality.

So while I'm not one to comment intelligently about the use of zombies, or how well this can be considered part of the zombie-genre (nickname: "Joseon Running Dead," since apparently these zombies are faster than most people are used to), I will say I'm excited to see how the court intrigue plays out since I trust this writer to create something satisfying. Plus, I know she's not afraid to kill off her characters, even the main ones, so I'm ready for ALL THE PAIN.
posted by paisley sheep at 3:00 PM on February 1, 2019 [9 favorites]

Great review, paisley sheep. This show is high on my list to watch.
posted by Catblack at 6:17 PM on February 1, 2019

I am only two eps in at this point, but as someone coming at this from the horror fan angle, it's a little unexpected how serious this series is about the historical drama aspect. It's less like zombies set in 17th century Korea than it is a palace intrigue drama set in 17th century Korea with a soup├žon of zombies.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:51 PM on February 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Argh I gave this show a miss because I am so over zombies.

Now I'm gonna have to go watch it.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:13 AM on February 6, 2019

Wow, I loved this show. It's at least as much a medieval Korean period drama, complete with an absolutely fabulous attention to costume and sets, as it is a zombie show. Both aspects are handled beautifully, from the reveal of the Queen's pregnancy to the horrifying zombie twist at the end. And the acting is marvelous - far better than you'd expect from a zombie story - which just makes the writing stand out even more. The young woman doctor and the crown prince's guard do such a fabulous job of making their characters real, and almost all of the supporting roles are well-drawn, too (ok, except for the two classic cowardly regional officials early on).

This show is so well done.

And yes, THOSE FUCKING HATS. Even better than the lamps on Mad Men.
posted by mediareport at 7:44 AM on February 7, 2019 [7 favorites]

Here's a thoughtful, measured review that gives the series a B minus. I liked it better, but man, if the smart young doctor ever ends up with that buffoonish official I will stop watching, for sure.
posted by mediareport at 9:41 AM on February 7, 2019

Nah, Magistrate Cho is more likely to get a Heroic Death that redeems his buffoonish cowardice in a fleeting moment of uncharacteristic bravery where he sacrifices himself to the zombies in order to save Seobi (a woman and a commoner!) so that she can save everyone else by creating a cure.

(To be fair, I find his character hilarious, but it probably helps that I'm fond of the actor playing him.)
posted by paisley sheep at 12:42 PM on February 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

How long do we have to wait for more? This is my favorite historical drama since Sungkyunkwan Scandal. (And might be more realistic, in spite of the zombies.)
posted by asperity at 8:30 PM on March 25, 2019

They only just started filming season 2 in February. I don't think a release date has been officially set, but with the amount of production and special effects required, I'd say the earliest we'd see it is at the end of the year, possibly the beginning of next year (which feels like too long, I know!).
posted by paisley sheep at 6:54 AM on March 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

hats hats hats hats hats hats hats
(and zombies)
and hats
posted by five toed sloth at 8:47 PM on April 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

I just finished episode three, and I'm really enjoying it so far! Speaking here as somebody who has definitely been all zombied out for a while, this show adds enough twists between the historical setting and some particular zombie features that you don't see very often to be worthwhile. I'm really excited to finish the season and see where this story goes.

(Regarding the thing with the official and the physician... The scene where she diagnoses him was hilarious.)
posted by tobascodagama at 7:30 PM on May 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Hey, James Nicoll is reviewing this: episodes 1, 2, 3.
posted by asperity at 11:16 AM on May 14, 2019

Just finished the first season. I actually waited until Season 2 was available because I heard 1 was a cliffhanger. This show is an amazing mix of fun and scary. The overacting makes parts of it hilarious, and yet it's very frought with tension. The zombies are terrifying, with their speed and utter relentlessness. The costumes and scenery and gorgeous. I have no idea what anyone's name is yet, but everyone has great hats!
posted by the webmistress at 7:03 PM on March 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just rewatched episode 6 to get ready for a 2nd part binge and damn I'd forgotten how beautifully filmed this show is (and also what a nail-biting cliffhanger it was). Now I want to go back and watch all of the first part again first.
posted by mediareport at 3:54 AM on April 1, 2020

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