Are you having BWS – Blood withdrawal syndromes? Well, here’s a treatment for you!
It has been over two weeks since the last airing of Blood. Join me as I reminisce and look back! I have to say, this isn’t a favourite from Ku Hye Sun but it was a nice experience to watch Ahn Jae Hyun perform alongside Ji Jin Hee. Blood was showered with medical terms that I grew up studying, but I wasn’t reeled in to anticipate for it weekly. I think this show is better reviewed as a series. I enjoyed Ri Ta and Ji Sang together, how I wished the story was about their love instead of the VBT-01.
Having said this, I know there were viewers who still enjoyed watching this series. To them, I dedicate this review.
Park Ji Sang (Ahn Jae Hyun) is infected by a virus that caused him to have vampire-like qualities innately woven into his system. He grew up with his mother and carried a strong desire to become human. He came back to Seoul to discover more about the virus that has infected him, with the help of his trusted friend Joo Hyun Woo (Jung Hae In). Later on Ji Sang discovered that he’s not the only one infected by the virus. The people who killed his parents has the same condition.
No two world collide when an arrogant meets a fellow arrogant. Yoo Ri Ta (Ku Hye Sun) is a surgeon specialising in liver or hepatobiliary disease. They are meant to work in one hospital where the quest of Ji Sang to become human and understand the VBT-01 virus begun to unfold. Little did he know that love is all it takes to achieve his desire. With the help of Ri Ta’s presence, love slowly blossomed. Ji Sang’s snooty exterior lightened up as we see him smile more. Sad to say though, this isn’t a love story.
As time pass, Ji Sang had difficulty controlling his craving for blood. It came to a point where Ji Sang had to pass all his surgeries to Ri Ta to prevent him from revealing himself. Despite of the medicine he was taking prior to surgery, it seemed that his vampire attributes overpowers it. Hyun Woo was challenged and yet he still had to discover new medication to help Ji Sang tolerate his cravings for blood. I love Hyun Woo! It was piercing to see him go.
Anyhow, Ji Sang was a hot target of Director Lee. When he discovered Ji Sang’s condition he planned a different tactic to keep Ji Sang under his radar. He allowed him to see the medication he used for himself as an infected vampire. Instead of drinking human whole blood, he separated the serum component and formulated his own brand of medication and vaccine. He injects and drinks it to prevent him from craving blood and to keep his vital signs human-like. Ji Sang was tempted by Director Lee to try it but Ji Sang did not give in easily. Later on however, he tried it for himself. It worked at first as his body temperature became normal. However Hyun Woo discovered its main composition and warned Ji Sang that he will be put into danger the more he uses it.
The hunt for vaccines and understanding the virus that caused vampire-like syndromes made the core of the story. The medical staff who opposed Director Lee, headed by Chief Jung, formed an investigative team to uncover more information and study the VBT-01. Chief Jung’s father originally discovered it, he continued his father’s legacy and helped Ji Sang along the way.
The series gave a lot of heavy medical terminology. I was worried for the viewers but thankfully, this wasn’t a hindrance to keep them from watching. Give yourself a round of applause. But I’ll try to simplify the concept behind what Chief Jung and Hyun Woo were doing. Generally a vaccine contains attenuated live organisms (let’s say measles for example, found in the MMR vaccine) that once injected to a body, the body will naturally create an antibody against it. These antibodies can destroy pathogens (virus or bacteria). A normal, healthy individual will be able to produce antibodies and fight disease.
When a vaccinated person encounters the same organism as it enters the human system, the body will be able to protect itself, therefore the disease wouldn’t be as harmful. In this case, Ji Sang’s blood has the right component to help create the vaccine and prevent the virus from affecting more people. The antibody that will be cultivated from Ji Sang can be used as a cure for the disease as well. Chief Jung explained this, and Ji Sang had to sacrifice himself in order to produce the antibody that has to come only from him.
The fight scenes seemed endless. I have to say that I was moved knowing about Director Lee’s minions and how they struggled to serve him. Their loyalty was truly tested, and I felt sad they had no choice but to follow him no matter how evil the plan is. They have to survive in order to continue living, even if it means trudging on the evil route without their own will. Knowing their side of the story made me realise they are still human, despite of the viral infection. Their heart was present amidst the cruelty of serving Director Lee. This was weaved in beautifully to the story. I liked it.
I have to say, to witness well-loved characters end their journey in this series was heart wrenching. The poignant farewell from Ji Sang and Ri Ta at the roof deck captivated me. The rising of the sun is a perfect way to symbolise closure. It was inevitable for Ji Sang to sacrifice himself for a brighter future of others. It was a humane act and a great way to show Ji Sang’s desire come to fruition.
The first week was a bit of a let down for an intro but it deserved a second chance still. I have read mixed reviews and the negative side is too noisy not to hear. Ku Hye Sun’s acting was annoying in some parts when she acted being arrogant excessively. It is important that medical terms are pronounced properly but Hye Sun’s intonation sounded unpleasant at times. I think most netizens took notice and this overshadowed her real qualities. They have a thousand words to describe this, hence the endless comments. It’s unfortunate to be criticised this way and just give random comments easily without second thoughts. I felt sorry that Hye Sun had to apologise for her acting. She humbly admitted her shortcoming and people can’t simply stop giving harsh criticisms.
I have mentioned before that Hye Sun stands out when she is subtle and uses her eyes to speak. In Blood, she tends to over-act at certain situation and its uncomfortable to watch. I always believe Hye Sun can do better. Some of her parts were acted well, but people wouldn’t acknowledge it. To each his own.
The story didn’t lean much on the romance and focused on the virus instead. I personally didn’t find the chemistry between Ahn Jae Hyun and Ku Hye Sun to be remarkable as I would hope for it to be. Though I enjoyed some sweet moments. But since we only get few of it each week, it was somehow forgettable. I wish for more love and sweetness, and show didn’t deliver much. Then again, I’ll throw in some joy in my review. Take a gander!
The ending is open ended. But for me, the Romania scene just proved one thing. The Ji Sang who was infected by the virus died and the human Ji Sang lived. As Ji Sang reached for Ri Ta’s hand, the promise to meet again somewhere came true at that very moment. Fin.
Overall, I felt how long 20 episode is watching Blood. Good thing I found warmth and heart enveloping the show through the cast. Seeing them happy is enough. Until next time!