Fantasy thriller ‘Black’ dabbles in preternatural realm


By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) — Has death became the winning formula since the mega-hit TV series “Goblin” or “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God?” The country’s drama industry increasingly hopes so, with the latest one set to open this week.

A new TV series “Black” on cable movie channel OCN will take on the unlikely duo of a grim reaper named Black, played by Song Seung-heon, and a woman named Kang Ha-ram, played by Go Ara, who can see death. One is supposedly tasked with taking lives to the otherworld while the other — who sees impending death — is trying to stop it.

The cast of the new TV series “Black” on cable channel OCN poses for photos before a press conference in Seoul on Oct. 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

“The characters see themselves slowly change as they witness unfair deaths time and again and join forces to stop them,” producer Kim Hong-sun told reporters at a news conference Wednesday in a hotel in southern Seoul.

The fantasy thriller ultimately aims to comfort those who have seen wrongful death, Kim said.

Actor Song said he was instantly drawn to the script with enough plot that kept him guessing till the very end, although it was initially a bit hard to follow the intricate storyline and complex characters.

“After reading the first one or two episodes, I was like, ‘What will this lead to?’ And I was very impressed by the writer Choi Ran’s imagination and how well she constructed the storyline,” the actor said.

Actress Go Ara also said the fresh storyline was a big part in her decision to appear in the drama. But she admitted to having a hard time shooting scary scenes.

“In the beginning, I even had bad dreams, but I eventually got accustomed to them.”

The series is written by popular scriptwriter Choi Ran who wrote “God’s Gift: 14 Days,” a popular 2014 TV series. It was remade into the 10-episode series “Somewhere Between” in the U.S. and has been on air on ABC since July.

A still cut of “Black,” a new TV series on cable channel OCN. The image is provided by CJ E&M on Oct. 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

In the new series, Song plays the double role of a death angel and policeman Han Moo-kang, whose body becomes the host of the reaper.

Song said it was “challenging” to go back and forth between the two totally different characters of a spirit with no emotions whatsoever and a human being with abundant personal charms.

When he meets Kang Ha-ram who can’t live without wearing sunglasses for fear of seeing the shadow of death, he finds himself slowly entangled in exactly the opposite mission that he is supposed to take on: save lives.

On the unavoidable questions of how he would portray a different grim reaper from the one played by Lee Dong-wook in the mega-hit “Goblin” series, Song said, “As soon as viewers watch the first episode of ‘Black,’ they will see our show is a totally different genre.”

“I can tell you it is a strange, different and new genre,” he said.

The drama premiers at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

South Korean actor Song Seung-heon poses for photos before a press conference for the new TV series “Black” at a hotel in southern Seoul on Oct. 11, 2017. (Yonhap)


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