Kingdom (Season 1)

  •  Gist: During the 16th century in Korea’s Joseon Period, the crown prince must survive powerful usurpers and a full-on zombie outbreak while trying to save the whole kingdom from same. Like a scaled-down Game of Thrones in Korea.
  • Hat porn: OMG! OMG! Koreans then had the best hats in the world! Korean men, anyway.
  • Zombie beats: Transform quickly, Run fast, Crave only human flesh for some reason, Have great strength for some reason, vulnerable only in the head…all here.
  • Plot: Well done, though a map of old Korea may help. All the city names have changed.
  • The Real Monsters: It’s humans, right? Definitely humans.
  • Nothing New?: No, I would say this is a surprisingly fresh take on the zombie genre, which I was tired of and considered dead on its feet. [Jokey joke.]
  • Bae Doona: I watched this at first because she was in it. Familiar from The Host, Cloud Atlas, and Sense8 Bae plays a demur nurse with a steel backbone.
  • Characters: Flat but enjoyable.
  • Sub or Dub?: I’m always divided. Original languages sound and look better, but it’s nice to be able to glance away for a second without missing something. I watched this dubbed, and the English voice-actors’ thickness of Korean accent varies widely.
  • Short series: I love the trend toward short series, and this 6 episode first season is another excellent example of why.

Conclusion: If you like suspense-horror, historical action epics, period-piece Asian films, or very cool hats, try it. Available on Netflix.