By: Alicia Maxwell
So here is the deal, I have been watching western movies all my life and about a year ago I decided to try something new. New as in Kdrama, the widely known Korean television series.
Since I have started watching them my life has gotten more exciting and romantically depressing (all jokes, kinda).
I have watched dramas starting with:
- Boys Over Flowers (first drama ever watched and still love it til this day and forever)
- Cheese in a Trap (would binge in a heartbeat)
- Hotel Del Luna
- Love Alarm
- Crash Landing On You (very popular)
- Cinderella and the Four Knights (highly recommend)
- The King: Eternal-Monarch
- Something In The Rain
- Record of Youth
- My Holo Love
- Squid Games (also popular)
- Mystic Pop-Up Bar
I have recently finished the new series Hellbound. It just came out this year and from episode one, I fell in love. It was sorta weird how it had caught my attention because it dealt with a theme that I had talked about with a friend.
Now I don’t want to get too much into it for the simple fact of you know… spoilers. However….. I am big on spoilers and if you are not, please stop reading!
The show is based around religion, which religion you ask, well it doesn’t say. One can only assume Christianity due to its use of languages taken from the Holy Bible.
With all bias put aside, the show does a really good job at not choosing sides, the director literally alternates between the two. It’s like they were playing hopscotch just to avoid any controversy (hard to do).
From episode one, you jump right into the synapses, well not directly. At first, you are hit with a calm cherry scene with that one awkward sweaty character, and you’re just like, oh alright! Then BAM out of nowhere comes these creatures chasing after that sweaty character, he takes off running from the restaurant to the streets. These creatures are chasing after him and I feel bad for those who got in the way because they got flung (I hope people have car insurance, the cars weren’t looking too pretty either).
The creatures eventually caught up to him, playing rag doll before completely burning his body with white light (you would think white light represented purity or something angelic, but nope). You soon come to find out that these creatures were sent from God. Now it is unsure what they are, some viewers assume they are the emissaries of hell others have called them demons or entities. But what we do know is that these creatures are on a mission, which is why I will be calling them the emissaries. Throughout the show, you are taken on an adventure with the main characters switching up, in the beginning, you watch how it all started. This one guy named Jeong Jin-soo, who is a very important character throughout the show thanks to his message of “only sinners are sent to hell.” This becomes troubling as Korea goes up in flames and starts forcing people to believe in God and become saints.
The course of action taken into forcing people to conform is abuse, this is the reason why I say the directors switched between relishing in God’s name and coming off as an atheist. The emissaries were only sent to target criminals, such as pedo[hiles and murders, however, they also targeted anyone who didn’t live by God’s rules according to the bible. This means the characters went to hell for committing adultery (which one woman did). On the other hand, God was seen as bais himself because forcing people to conform was done with abuse, actual bloody abuse. Gangs were formed in God’s name and they went out torturing and killing not only those who are sinners but their families as well (even if they ad nothing to do with it or were just plain clueless). This Gang would also threaten people accused of sinning to confess their sins. Not only that, manipulation played a big part in this show as well. Some characters have gotten rich from broadcasting and condemning these sinners. And that isn’t the end of it, they took it further by implementing themselves into police investigations to catch sinners and keep them on a leash. At some point, God’s followers slowly died off due to the fact a baby was next to be attacked by the emissaries for being a sin. Yet, people questioned how a baby could ever sin.
Even in the end, when the show’s storyline is visible and the plot thickens, you never know how the series will end. It keeps you questioning God’s plan for humankind and his choice of actions or if it is even God who started the mess, maybe it was the Devil himself disguised as God. A lot of questions, but good ones.
Overall the whole show may seem like a mess, but in reality, it’s amazing. I, for one, enjoyed watching the show and trying to figure out the message.
Seung-min, B. (Executive Producer). (2021, November 19). Hellbound [TV series]. Netflix.