Reincarnation and a nefarious killer on the loose is the beginning and the end for people given a second shot at life.
Go Se-Yeon (Kim Sa-Rang) is a successful Prosecutor at the top of her game and admired for her beauty and wits. Her childhood friend Cha Min (Ahn Se-Ha) on the other hand, is unattractive and considered somewhat spineless despite his wealth and chaebol status. Death befalls both of them unexpectedly, but they become revived by a supernatural object called ‘abyss’ which reincarnates one to look like the true form of its soul. Cha Min becomes attractive and youthful (Ahn Hyo-Seop) while Se-Yeon takes on a plainer appearance (Park Bo-Young).
As the two uncover the mysteries behind the abyss, a serial killer on the loose commits heinous murders and is presumably responsible for Se-Yeon’s brutal death. The two delve deeper into the supernatural and crime world, coming to terms with their new bodies and becoming more than just friends.
Alright, so there is a lot of material and substance not discussed in my description because this drama delivers loads of twists and interesting revelations that add layers to the story. It is extremely fast paced, and sometimes I lose track of the amount of characters being killed off or the victims that become targets for the elusive serial killer and in conjunction with the supernatural components, this is no drama to zone out of. It requires your full, undivided attention and is meant for audiences who enjoy elaborate plots and swift progression. I also really hope this drama doesn’t pull the W: Two Worlds card and becomes stagnant, turning a great first half of a show into something lacking and overbearingly sappy. Romance never makes a thriller series weak but like all things, it should coexist with other genres and not take away from the logic of the show.
I love how fresh the material is but I’ll be honest here, I’m biting my nails most of the time and hoping for some steady storyline since there’s not much of a solid framework the show builds on. We’re literally thrown into this strange world, with characters thrust upon us. So what I’m getting at, is that we’re simply meant to absorb everything at an accelerating speed and only get vague outlines of what our characters are. True character and the personalities of our leads seem to be more transparent and clear post-death once Cha Min and Se-Yeon become reincarnated.
Park Bo-Young as the versatile actress that she is, really undergoes the changes that occur to her in Se-Yeon’s new body. Se-Yeon isn’t the most warm hearted character and her behaviour towards Cha Min is uncalled for most of the time, but that’s her ego and vanity surfacing. Despite this, Park Bo-Young delivers the bundle of insecurities, quirks, and hidden emotions of Se-Yeon in ways that make her more enduring. Neither one of them is perfect and that’s a great selling point since that makes them more human, and not fictitious cookie-cutter versions of the perfect male or female lead. It not only leaves room for real character growth and development, but they become individuals we can relate to.
Ahn Hyo-Seop holds his ground as the male lead, even going so far as to harness a lot of the persona and body language of Ahn Se-Ha. The physical change may be extreme but its obvious to the audience that it is definitely the same character onscreen. It’s the little things either lead actors do and attention to mannerisms that showcase the real ‘souls’ of the protagonists, while still depicting the headstrong female and soft hearted male with clearly distinct careers and lifestyles. Se-Yeon is resourceful and adapts to her environment easily, while Cha Min is an obvious rich boy whose naive and thinks only the best of others. The chemistry is adorable and the actors do a great job of playing off one another to give us a relationship that shows strong bonds of friendship and the growing feelings of attraction that develop… I also love the height difference between the two of them! It adds to the cuteness factor and that’s a fact!
Abyss as an object seems to be something celestial given to Reapers or an alien object that gives the gift of life. There’s a lot of obscurities revolving around it and as much of a mystery fan as I am, the supernatural elements are the real winners here because there’s so much mysticism behind abyss. Cha Min dies accidentally and the Reapers reincarnate him, giving him abyss as something to hold onto but he takes it for granted, discovering that the object he now possesses, is attracted to the dead. From the episodes that I have seen, abyss seems to only grant life if the person in possession of it is truly desperate. Although the rules are still highly unclear, the facts gained as the characters learn more about the abyss seem a lot more concrete as opposed to the crime aspects surrounding the show’s serial killer.
Easily evoked to murder, this is one killer that enjoys killing with little to no reasoning behind his actions. The slightest insult or action committed against him, become grounds for murder and I’m not sure if the Writers are aiming for such an unsettling antagonist or if its just thoughtless writing. There may be more smaller pieces to this puzzle with the bigger picture to be something mind blowing, and considering the twists and cliffhangers, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to this madman prowling about. I just hope there’s more to the killer than to simply have him as a psycho on the run, killing as he pleases and eluding our leads. If that ends up being his sole purpose for existing in the end, then I’m chucking this out the window to be forgotten. So I’m placing a ton of trust in the Writers to set my worries aside and form a villain that’s not only vile, but smart.
This is one drama that wants to juggle two unique genres and bring them together to weave an intricate story, but will it deliver to the very end? I have my hopes up but still bite my nails in trepidation. There’s so much to like about this series and so much that could go wrong as well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope Abyss will be a success and become a memorable drama that will raise the bar and present a unique story! For all it’s worth, this is one pairing I didn’t know I needed in life, so I give the show credit for bringing these two together!
Release Date: May 6, 2019 (Eng Sub available on Netflix)