Song Kang Kim Yoo-jung my demon review

A contract marriage with an immortal demon, sexy tango in the middle of the street as our leads beat up goons with their combined special powers and an intriguing power struggle – My Demon is as fun as K-dramas get. While the series is not without its faults, it is one heck of an entertaining ride – sizzling with chemistry, playful banter and well-timed humour.

My Demon centres around Do Do-hee (Kim Yoo-jung), CEO of Mirae F&B, a subsidiary of the Mirae Group, which is spearheaded by her headstrong adoptive mother Ju Cheon-sook (Kim Hae-sook). An ill-fated matchmaking attempt lands her on a blind date with 200-year-old demon Jeong Gu-won (Song Kang) – but a turn of events binds him and Do-hee together as his tattoo (the source of his power) is transferred to Do-hee.

Right as Do-hee and Gu-won are trying to figure out ways to co-exist, Cheon-sook passes away and leaves the reins of the Mirae empire to Do-hee, on the condition that she gets married within a year of becoming CEO. Cheon-sook’s death sets off a deadly power struggle between Do-hee and her adoptive siblings, who would do anything to prevent Mirae from falling into the hands of an “outsider” like her.

Hellbent on finding the truth about Cheon-sook’s death and tired of being walked over all her life, Do-hee propositions Gu-won for marriage – she would inherit Mirae and a bodyguard, and the latter would have access to his powers.

Instead of being the typical mysterious, dark figure, Song Kang adopts a fresher and funnier approach that complements his youthful appearance. For a demon, he’s far less broody than expected – more a being of chaos and mischief than a bloodthirsty monster. Song Kang is clearly intentional in his approach to Gu-won, reserving the more profound parts of his psyche for his run-ins with Do-hee. That version of Gu-won is more mellow, mature and receptive to the complexities of human nature, something he had largely considered insignificant until now.

Kim Yoo-jung, on the other hand, plays Do Do-hee with a steely grace. She gives as good as she gets, whether it’s staying one step ahead of her scheming siblings or putting a demon in his place. While it may not seem so, Song Kang and Yoo-jung’s characters are far more similar than one would think – compared to the refined masks that everyone else sees, their personal interactions do a stellar job of creating a sliver of space where they are more expressive and livelier. Both Song Kang and Kim Yoo-jung are actors who could have chemistry with a door, and watching them play off one another is simply electrifying.

It’s also impossible not to talk about Kim Hae-sook as Ju Cheon-sook. At first, her character feels reminiscent of her role as Jung So-ra (Yoo Yeon-seok’s mother) in Hospital Playlist, but she cuts through the trope of the genial benefactor with a terrifying shrewdness and surprising sensitivity. We do wish we see more of her in flashbacks, but knowing her character, we’re hoping for her farsightedness to make for a good plot twist or two.

Kudos is also due to the tight storytelling, which keeps you guessing as to who the proverbial final boss could be. There are, of course, some contenders for the role, but the show has set enough of a precedent to make us wary of taking everything at face value. The only issue we really have is with the one-dimensional side characters, making them look more like NPCs rather than fully-fledged persons.

Expectations should also be managed when going into My Demon. A great love story for the ages, compared to the likes of Hotel Del Luna or Goblin, this is not. The show is decidedly modern and far lighter in subject matter. Is My Demon a profound watch? No, but neither is it trying to be. What is is, however, is entertaining, engaging and well-done.

My Demon is available to stream on Netflix in selected regions

The post ‘My Demon’ review: devilishly entertaining romcom K-drama appeared first on NME.


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