Island Season 1 Review – A chaotic, funny, and intriguing K-drama

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 5/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 4.5/5


Manga and Webtoons from Japan and South Korea (not to mention Thailand) are now finding their way into mainstream entertainment media, turned into movies and tv shows. South Korea is slowly warming up to live-action adaptations of popular Manhwas (webtoons) and 2022’s Island is no exception.

The six-episode mini-series aired on TVing in South Korea and on Prime Video globally over the course of three weeks. The show follows the life of Won Mi-ho, a woman who works for her father’s business. Knowing her to be a menace all her life, he father ends up banishing her to Jeju Island in order to stop the rumours about her attitude after she ends up beating some men on the street.

Mi-ho is unhappy about the trip to Jeju knowing well that her aunt set her up against her father. Once on Jeju Island, something sinister starts unfolding with Mi-ho when she ends up hunted by lust demons who are determined to kill her. With no way to escape, Mi-ho hires a demon slayer – Ban (Van). At the same time, high priests from Italy send a young priest named Giovanni/Yohan to Jeju Island in order to protect the reincarnation of their saviour – Mi-ho.

As if that were not all, Mi-ho also learns that she is the reincarnated version of a woman named Wonjeong who was killed by Ban many years ago. The show was an actual thrill ride and six episodes were really too little for its first seasons. Watching Lee Da-hee as Mi-ho is mesmerising and her chemistry with Kim Nam-gil as Ban is really to die for.

It is a little disappointing that there isn’t more romance, although to be fair the upcoming season (when it releases) may remedy that. Cha Eunwoo as the hot priest really steals the show and everyone, including their mothers, is talking about the sensual exorcism scene that really had nothing to do with the plot of Island but was just a way to add sexual tension to a horror-thriller drama.

The show is really interesting but the episodes are mostly dragged out. There is no reason for the makers to waste one whole episode on the school girl and her abusive partner who Mi-ho saves. However, it could somehow be linked to the upcoming season and that makes the long fight sequence worth it.

The demons are not actually threatening though and CGI does leave a lot to be desired. With that being said, the fight scenes are extremely well choreographed with viewers on the edge of their seats every time Ban and Yohan fight. Yohan’s origin story was really emotional but honestly, very sudden.

Gong-tan’s character, played by Sung Joo, deserved more screen time and I wish the makers would have invested more episodes in this season giving us a background of Ban, Gong-tan and Won-jeong in the past. Despite all that though, the show is a quick watch over a weekend or two and is not especially scarys. The plot twists make the drama worth watching though and the intense performance from Kim Nam-gil is appealing.

The funny banter between Eunwoo and Da-hee’s characters is ultimately the killing point of this season. Being known for his brooding and tsundere characters in the past, there was a lot of debate about Cha Eunwoo not being the ideal actor to play Yohan but the idol actor proved all these haters wrong!

Ultimately, Island is a fun watch and while it’s not particularly scary, the great twists and chemistry between characters is enough to make this an easy recommendation.

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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