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Awaken korean drama review
0 people found this review helpful
by ltspada
2 hours ago
16 of 16 episodes seen
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers

Good but lacks some elements that would have made it great

8/10 is my rating. This is a 2020;2021 mystery, action thriller with 16, 70 minute episodes.

First I provide a unique synopsis then review.


28 years ago an odd series of murders happened in a village that were labeled the “white night” incident. They never fully unravelled why people were committing murder in a gleeful melee. It is happening again and Do Jung-woo (Namkoong Min) who leads a special task force of homicide detectives, is determined to unravel the mysterious events unfolding currently and determine how they tie to the past occurrences. Jung woo is brilliant but unconventional and yet has the admiration of those around him for his ability to discern the nearly indiscernible. At times he knows things that FBI profiler, Jamie Leighton (Lee Chung ah) grows to suspect could only be known by the killer. Jamie was born in South Korea but adopted into an American family and only recently returned to South Korea. She is hired to help the special team in investigating and profiling these unusual cases. Not all is as it seems and as the two very different detectives work together they remember a shared connection they had as children.


This is a good addition to this trope and if you are looking for something that focuses more on crime, mystery and action than romance this is it. It is fast paced and kept me interested the whole way through. I would recommend this to someone that likes crime shows with a supernatural component. It ends well and happy.


The start of the series is very complex with a lot happening so that if you can’t focus completely on it you are likely to miss things. It would lose me sometimes just because I am not one that likes to have to focus that intently for such a long period. For some that complexity would be part of the charm.

The former FBI team member from the United States was not entirely credible. She spoke English well but with such a heavy accent it was hard to believe she spent such a significant amount of time in the United States. It may not have been as big of deal but they emphasized her “Americanness” enough that it highlighted t and not in a good way. I think the script would have been fine if they made it so she went to the US but didn’t make it like she was essentially American.

I was a little irritated that Jamie, and other team members, would not let go of their suspicion that Jung Woo was the culprit when virtually every fact pointed away from him. They were like “yeah he wasn’t there but he probably did it remotely.” Based on what? How did they come to believe so strongly that the lucid dreaming could be influenced remotely?

I get that South Korean ‘s are very filial but totally looking away from a parent that commits the murder of hundreds of innocents? I don’t think even a child that lived in a culture where respect of elders is key could forgive and accept that. And they kept saying/implying if you show remorse then things can just be forgiven. No they can’t. Having seen over 300 Asian series at this point I have seen several where the parent has done something so egregious the children write them off. If committing mass murder isn’t one of them I don’t know what is.

They set a bomb or series of bombs to go off at the secret research facility with a timer set for five minutes. Why? They knew their people and others were in there and should have suspected something could go wrong where they couldn’t get out in that timeframe. There was no program kill switch? These people were brilliant and yet they can’t figure out how to abort the bomb detonation? I found that to be not bey believable as the super geniuses from the program should have been smart enough to undo that trigger and/or to foresee that things could go wrong.

So the super genius level scientists can’t figure out that there is no plan to use their work for the betterment of humanity but rather for a few very elite people? If they had just portrayed that they were really super evil and didn’t care at all that would have been one thing but they made it out like they really thought their work would do good. So they tried to make them more sympathetic characters than I felt they deserved.

It did end well and mostly happy but I really wanted to see the young woman detective and our main guy get together. It was so obvious they had feelings for each other but they danced around that possibility with the plot. And, at the end, she sees him and goes chasing after but he is gone. Like smoke. So it is obvious it is being left open for another season. I don’t like that. Make another season or don’t. Holding your viewers hostage or making them decide how things went after, I don’t like that. I don’t think it was enough to say don’t watch it, but I definitely find the more nebulous endings annoying. I don’t want to tel the story myself, I want you to tell it to me screen writers.



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