Origin and release year: Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow (South Korea – 2022)
Korean title: 환혼: 빛과 그림자
Starring: Lee Jae Wook, Go Youn Jung, Shin Seung Ho, Hwang Min Hyun, Do Sang Woo, Oh Na Ra, Jang Tae Min, Yu Jun Sang, Yoo In Soo, Lee Do Kyung, Lee Ha Yul, Hong Seo Hui, OH MY GIRL A Rin, Jo Jae Yun, Girl’s Day So Jin
Screenwriter: Hong Jung Eun, Hong Mi Ran
Director: Park Joon Hwa, Bae Hyun Jin
Synopsis: The fate of two people becomes twisted due to the magic when the souls of the dead return to the living. (IMDb)
Honestly… The second season of Alchemy of Souls felt underwhelming compared to the first season.
It was largely due to the absence of Mu Deok’s character (played by Jung So Min in Season 1) and also because Go Youn Jung doesn’t have the same presence as the aforementioned actress.
This is not to say that Go Young Jung’s acting was lacking. She did a great job and her character was enjoyable and generally refreshing. However, the transition between the two actresses in both seasons was too drastic. It might’ve been better if they had introduced more of Go Young Jung in the first season to get the audience more used to her. Once you got over the transition then it became a lot easier to enjoy Jin Bu Yeon’s character and charm.
The story was also a little bit anticlimactic for the first six or so episodes (in continuation with season 1). It felt like things only became fun around the seventh episode when Seo Yul (played by Hwang Min Hyun) was unfortunately injured. Thereafter it felt like the thrilling spect from season 1 was revived.
Jang Uk (played by Lee Jae Wook) was great as usual. It would’ve been nice to see some more comic relief moments with more of his brighter personality from season one. Naturally he started off quite jaded and melted bit by bit, but even in his brighter parts it still felt like he had his guard up, which was a little sad. That’s just how his character was written though. His acting in itself was stellar as usual. His tone and the way that he creates the character’s aura through every action and expression is truly admirable.
In the case of the main couple, it seems that in creating the emphasis on the Light and Shadow, there was a literal visual split between the light (Jin Bu Yeon) and the shadow (Jang Uk). Their cat-and-mouse chemistry was fire. We won’t get into how spicy the kiss scene was but we all know what each other is thinking about it.
The drama had a lot of great comic relief moments, however. The story line with Park Jin (played by Yu Jun Sang) and his awful cooking was hilarious and so was the drama’s overall dialogue. The love lines and romantic dynamics were also all extremely enjoyable. The final episode felt like a rollercoaster ride and we definitely felt our stomachs drop at several points but the ending was sweet.
The rest of the cast was also fantastic as always, making this a drama truly deserving of its fandom. The production quality was also great as usual. It feels like there was more attention to detail when it came to things like costumes and set design in this season.
What did you think of Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow? Let us know in the comments,