NETFLIX’s Kingdom Season One Korean Zombie TV Series Review

Hello beautiful people! Hello March!

I know it’s been a while since my last post, I apologize for that and the delay…I had a couple of reviews that you can say were at a back burner, need a refresher, look over and to be worked on more. And this was one of them 😅✌ 

But, on the bright side, I was able to touch this up a bit more…  To make sure I gave all of my thoughts on this…especially since this is the Korean review for the month of March!!! Hehe… Woohoo!!

Anyways been a long time coming and finally presenting…

NETFLIX’s Kingdom Season One Korean Zombie TV Series Review

Disclaimer: Pictures of the show, cast are not mine. And just add, info on the cast I got from Wikipedia, MyDramaList and Asian wiki.✌️  By the way, just to sneak in, you can find this Korean tv series on Netflix

First off… please don’t take what I say seriously… just with a grain of salt, like with music. I do not have a professional degree in film, literature and television… Not at all…nada zilch degree. But I love movies books and tv shows, most especially if they capture my interest somehow. Despite the lack of degree on this area, I will still do this review as a tv series lover… And just to clarify too, sorry if at some points I might run on with my words or have any grammatical errors… but I will definitely be honest about my thoughts and feelings in this review.

Just to squeeze in…this series by the way is adapted from the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods which was authored by Kim Eun-hee and drawn by Yang Kyung=il.

Moving on… I will first talk about the main leads of the Korean zombie TV series… Kingdom … Ju Ji-hoon  and Bae Doona… 

Ju Ji-hoon is a South Korean actor.  His first leading role was in the 2006 hit drama Princess Hours. His other notable works include The DevilAntiqueMaskAlong with the Gods: The Two Worlds and its sequel, The Spy Gone NorthDark Figure of Crime and Kingdom, which is the focus of this review. His career began in 2003 when he debuted as a model, in advertisements for clothing brands such as Calvin Klein, Levi’s and Reebok. He won many awards for modeling. Ju had various cameos in television dramas, but it was in 2006’s romantic comedy Princess Hours, based on the manhwa Goong, that he achieved breakthrough as an actor. The drama was a hit locally with a peak rating of 28.3%, and internationally across Asia, propelling Ju to stardom as a Hallyu Star. He won the Best New Actor award at the MBC Drama Awards along with his co-star Yoon Eun-hye.  In March 2007, Ju starred in revenge drama The Devil, opposite Uhm Tae-woong and Shin Min-a. The same month, he received the New Asian Star award at the 1st Astar TV Drama Awards for his performance in Princess Hours and The Devil. He then made film debut was in 2008’s Antique which is based on the manga Antique Bakery. The film was invited to the 59th Berlin International Film Festival. He then reunited with The Devil co-star Shin Min-ah in the romantic comedy The Naked Kitchen. In August 2012, Ju made his comeback after his mandatory military service in the period comedy film I Am the King. This was followed the melodrama Five Fingers and medical drama Medical Top Team, and romantic comedy film Marriage Blue. He then made his film debut in China with Love Suspicion, a romantic thriler.  In 2014, Ju was paired up with Ji Sung and Lee Kwang-soo in Confession, a neo-noir film that viciously explores the repercussion of three men’s friendship after the death of one’s mother.  In 2015, he then starred in the period film The Treacherous, reuniting him with the director of Antique and Naked Kitchen. He then made his small screen comeback with SBS’ melodrama Mask. In 2016, he starred in the noir crime thriller Asura: The City of Madness, which premiered globally at the 41st Toronto Film Festival which he’d received the Popular Film Star award at the Korea Top Star Awards. He then experienced a career resurgence in 2017 to 2018, when he starred and became well-known for his role as Haewonmaek in the two-part fantasy epic Along With the Gods, which was the second highest grossing film in South Korea. In 2018, he starred in the thriller films The Spy Gone North and Dark Figure of Crime where he earned acclaim, won several Best Supporting Actor awards at film ceremonies for his performance in The Spy Gone North, and was nominated for Best Actor at the Blue Dragon Awards for Dark Figure of Crime. In 2019, he then made a comeback to the small screen with two television series Netflix’s zombie period drama Kingdom which is the focus of this review and MBC’s fantasy legal drama Item.  In 2020, he reprised his role in the second season of Kingdom which is set to come back in this March and he also is starring in the legal drama Hyena. Both shows are set to stream on Netflix.

In Kingdom, Ju Ji-hoon plays Crown Prince Lee Chang.  Who becomes involved in a coup/political scheme and is forced to embark upon a mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious undead outbreak that has affected the current emperor…his father… and the country’s southern provinces.

Bae Doona is a South Korean actress and photographer. She became known outside Korea for her roles as a political activist in Park Chan-wook’s 2002 Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, archer Park Nam-joo in Bong Joon-ho’s 2006 The Host, and as an inflatable sex doll-come-to-life in Hirokazu Koreeda’s 2009 Air Doll. She has had English-speaking roles in the Wachowski films 2012’s Cloud Atlas and 2015’s Jupiter Ascending and their 2015–2018 TV series Sense8. Her latest work is on a Netflix period zombie thriller 2019-present Kingdom which is the focus of this review.  In 1998, she was scouted by a model talent agency in Seoul. This led to her modeling clothing for COOLDOG’s catalog. It was in 1999 when she switched to acting and debuted in the TV drama School. She appeared as the ghost in The Ring Virus, a Korean remake of the Japanese horror film Ring.  In 2000, director Bong Joon-ho cast Bae in the film Barking Dogs Never Bite for her willingness to do the part without makeup, something other South Korean actresses were unwilling to do.  This was followed by 2001’s Take Care of My Cat and 2002’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and other works such as 2003’s Tube and Spring Bears Love and 2005’s The Host. The Host became the highest-grossing film in South Korean box office history, which she trained in archery for months. Which was then followed by her TV series return with Someday and How to Meet My Perfect Neighbor. In 2009-2019, she starred in the film Air Doll, and the tv series Master of Study and Gloria.  In 2012, she then starred in a sports film As One was based on the true story of the 1991 world table tennis championship held where North Korean player Ri Bun-hui and South Korean player Hyun Jung-hwa defeated the Chinese team. She and co-star Ha Ji-won were trained by Hyun herself, and she also learned to play left-handed like Ri. She then made her English-language, Hollywood debut in Cloud Atlas, as Sonmi~451, a clone in a dystopian Korea. She then starred in the 2014 film A Girl at My Door, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Which she later won Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards for her performance. In 2015, she did a small supporting role in the Wachowskis for their space opera Jupiter Ascending, which was then followed by Sense8, an American science fiction series which began streaming on Netflix. She then appeared in a 90-minute web film directed by her older brother, commercial director Bae Doo-han called Red Carpet Dream. Which was then followed by the survival drama film The Tunnel and the short film, Chang-ok’s Letter. She then returned to Korean TV in 2017 with mystery legal thriller Stranger, playing a passionate police officer which was a hit and gained favorable reviews that is also streaming on Netflix.  In June 2018, she became one of 14 professionals from the Korean film industry invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) which was around the same time where she starred in the crime thriller The Drug King. This was then followed by 2019’s Netflix’s Korean zombie series Kingdom, which is the focus of this review and romance drama Matrimonial Chaos, a remake of the Japanese television series of the same name.

In Kingdom, Bae Doona plays Seo-Bi, a physician who aids the Crown Prince in his mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious undead outbreak that has affected the current emperor…his father… and the country’s southern provinces.

Now…I will move on to the short summary of Kingdom SEASON ONE …

Since this is a summary recap of SEASON ONE…there will definitely be spoilers so if you are interested in these TV, haven’t watch it yet and don’t want to be spoiled…scroll down to my overall review…LOL…Peace…

Anyways back with the short summary of Kingdom

The story begins in the Joseon dynasty between 1592-1598, a few years after the Japanese invasions of Korea.

During this time, Crown Prince Lee Chang played by Ju Ji-hoon becomes entangled in a coup/political conspiracy and is forced to embark upon a mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious plague that has befall upon the country’s southern provinces which first came from the palace and had most likely affected his father, the current emperor first. Where he and his personal guard comes across.

The story starts in Hanyang at the Palace with a doctor walking with his young male subordinate towards the King’s quarters. At the King’s quarters, the doctor ordered his young subordinate to place a tray with a bowl of blood underneath the covered area with a couple inches of a dark opening. The young man lingered to long close to the opening due to his curiosity of the strange noise…. Something snarled and dragged him underneath… And his screams were heard throughout the complex…

The following day… the doctor leaves Hanyang…bringing his young subordinate’s corpse back to their clinic in Jiyulheon, where the physician Seo-Bi is keeping court with her other fellow physician. Upon seeing the young subordinate’s corpse, The physician Seo-Bin and her fellow physicians as well as patients of Jiyulheon mourn over the young subordinate’s body…

Around the same time, notice on a billboard, claiming the king of Joseon is dead and the crown prince should be crowned immediately as the new king. However, inside the palace, the king is known to be severely sick and has been secretly treated for the past 10 days. No one was allowed to visit the king, not even the crown prince himself.

So late one night, the crown prince sneaks out to visit his father, wanting to know the truth. But instead of his father, he encountered the silhouette of a beastly monster. And he learns that the doctor who’ve can help figure out what happened to his father is currently in Jiyulheon, a small enclosed clinic in a southern province far from Hanyang, a doctor’s young subordordinate’s corpse who tended the king during his secret treatment was brought in to be autopsied and disposed.  The Crown Prince accompanied by his personal guard Moo-Young embarks secretly to get the Doctor’s counsel and to find out what happened to the king. 

Around that same time the king servant’s corpse in the Jiyulheon, patients at the clinic has no meat to eat, so one of the patients there, the enigmatic Yeong-Shin decides to cut up, cook and serve the young subordordinate’s corpse to the patients without the knowledge of the Doctor and the physician Seo-Bi played by Bae Doona. Not long after, the patients started turning to inhumane flesh-eating monsters attacking anyone within their reach…

The during the day after a couple days past…the Crown Prince and his personal guard Moo-Young arrives in Jiyulheon, and discovers it tightly locked and sees the ghastly state especially within its walls and the mass of dead bodies squish within the dark corners of Jiyulheon. That the Crown Prince informed the Dongnae authorities, where Jiyulheon is under.  The Dongnae authorities believes that a mass murderer is on the loose and the likely culprit is Yeong-Shin who happens to have prior record…which are mostly petty crimes…the physican Seo-Bi is also suspected to missing and may have known what happened at Jiyulheon but was last known be headed to the mountains. While the Crown Prince’s personal guard Moo-Young helps supervise the Dongnae authorities is evacuating the mass of dead bodies squish within the dark corners of Jiyulheon to the Dongnae pavilion for processing and family members to identify as well as helping find the suspect Yeong-Shin.  The Crown Prince Lee Chang heads to the mountains nearby to find the physician Seo-Bi, and he does find her just befor nightfall. He learns from her after she frantically learns that Jiyulheon is open and the bodies are being removed and moved to Dongnae, that the dead bodies aren’t exactly dead and once night falls they turn into zombies! With that, although slightly skeptical at first until they were attacked along the way….Crown Prince Lee Chang and the physician Seo-Bi race back to Dongnae…

Scene shifts back to Dongnae, Yeong-Shin frantically arrives after discovering that dead bodies have been removed from the locked in tight Jiyulheon and have been moved to Dongnae… Yeong-Shin tries to warn them as he was about to be arrested as a suspect by the Dongnae authorities, when a dead body started twitching and like a domino effect the other dead bodies started moving and attacking people.

After a long night… Crown Prince Lee Chang, physician Seo-Bi, Yeong-Shin and the personal guard Moo-Young survived along with a couple other survivors… Although at the same time despite the danger and near-death experiences by the zombie attack, the long night is fruitful as well… Since they learn that the zombies hide away when they sense daylight is near and become dormant during the day… Zombies are active at night… Spread their plague or infect someone via bite or when a regular human eats the flesh of a zombie… Zombies are killed via hacking and fire… etc etc.

Crown Prince Lee-Chang must prevent the spread of the plague towards his home capital of Hanyang, which is present-day Seoul while addressing the sinister coup masterminded by Minister Cho Hak-ju played Ryu Seung-ryong and his family including the secretive young Queen whom his father left behind who are aiming towards his deposition from the throne…

The Crown Prince Lee Chang, physician Seo-Bi, Yeong-Shin and the personal guard Moo-Young with a couple other survivors come across the village of Sangju…and noticed now prepared and oddly well-fed the villagers seemed… And not long after other survivors from other villages arrive to Sangju.

The Crown Prince, physician Seo-Bi, Yeong-Shin and the personal guard Moo-Young with the survivors at the village of Sangju along with all the survivors at Sangju village are preparing for the attack of the zombies at night as well as blocking off and setting traps on all roads and other entry ways going to Sangju so the zombies cannot slip into their defenses. All able body men including nobles and scholars were ordered by the Crown Prince to prepare for battle in their designated posts once night feel.

They all are scattered in designated areas at Sangju in preparation for the attack as night fell. But when no zombies came as daylight came… Seo-bi senses something weird and even the Crown Prince although relieved felt bit bothered somehow…it is daylight and really cloudy day…but they both of them most especially Seo-bi felt something is off…

Seo-bi and a companion was currently investigating near a mountainous ravine next to Sangju when they sensed something sinister and the water on the ravine started shaking…and monsterous growls are heard…

The Crown Prince, Yeong-Shin and his personal guard Moo-Young with some of Sangju’s forces are guarding along a bridge belt of land with water on both sides that separates Sangju from outside forces including the area where the zombies have multiplied when daylight came…and were just about to retreat for defending for the day when they heard thundering towards them…  A horde of zombies came charging towards them…

In their different areas… the Crown Prince Lee Chang and physician Seo-Bi realizes the zombies can come in the daylight if it is a really cloudy day…since although it is daytime the sun is blocked out by clouds…and this now Kingdom Season One ends…an epic cliffhanger…

Finally, I will talk about my thoughts and overall review…

Just to clarify this will be a somewhat short review since I decided to give a summary of the movie instead…

First off, thank you Netflix! You fed my love and er interest for Train to Busan and Rampant movies and Walking Dead with this! Like Rampant, historical fiction times and the main elements… zombies!!! In all honesty, I don’t watch a lot of scary movies since I get scared easily but depending on the genre I would watch ‘mostly’ vampire and zombies theme movies as well as creatures on a rampage flicks 😅✌. But I do admit as much as I like Walking Dead, I did stop watching it. Peace out to Walking Dead fans! TWD is still an awesome series though…

But anyways, I love Kingdom!

And as I somewhat implied earlier and in my Rampant Korean movie review which I’ve posted last year in December, I love the idea of a “zombie apocalypse” during historical Korea, especially if at one point one gets into the Walking Dead…for while…and Train To Busan…I really thought that this is a fresh take for a zombie centered ! Not sure if there are other “historical fiction zombie movies” but I honestly liked it!

And also, like I mentioned before, the Rampant movie gave me the urge to see this Korean drama series Kingdom, which is another historical zombie theme! Sneaking in…my Rampant Korean Movie Review is up by the way! Please check it out!

KingdomAnyways, I heard it an awesome show! And it honestly is and I found it even more awesome that a season two will come out real soon! March 13!!! Woohoo!!! 🎊

I totally adore and love the cast…especially the main leads … Ju Ji-hoon  and Bae Doona! I truly felt they played the roles well and really kept me hooked into the historical fiction zombie series!

Yes, there were some slow parts particularly in the episode of the series in season one but I still felt that this series was worth the watch and it still captured my interest. And besides, the first episode or two it would be a slow start anyway, as it is considered as an introductory.

I was literally on the edge of my seat on the way season 1 ended…epic cliffhanger! Good way to keep a viewer on their toes and wanting more!

Overall, I thought this zombie tv series was amazing! It is worth the watch and if you are interested in checking it out, it is available on Netflix!!! And what makes it even more exciting… Season 2 is coming out soon on March 13!!! And the season 2 trailer is hyping me up! I might even though a Season Two review. We shall see! 😉 😉 Woohoo! This show is definitely high on my recommend list!

Anyways if you made it up to here… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of Kingdom!!!  Hopefully, this review builds your curiosity in checking out this awesome Korean Zombie TV Series!!!

And if you are interested in my content, please subscribe to and follow here on my website. I will start making even more reviews here soon on #books #anime #movies #tvshows #cds etc. Most especially on future KPOP artists’ album reviews and possibly MV interpretation/ review as well. 

And please check out and follow me on my Instagram LadyAzulMoon

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#Netflix #Kingdom #NETFLIXKingdom #KingdomNETFLIX

#JuJihoon  #BaeDoona

2 thoughts on “NETFLIX’s Kingdom Season One Korean Zombie TV Series Review

  1. I just got into Korean drama because I have nothing else to watch on Netflix and I’m loving Kingdom! It’s a fantastic show and full of thrills. I’ll probably watch Itaewon Class next because I heard/read amazing reviews about it over the net.


    1. Lol Kingdom is amazing! Can’t wait for season 3 especially with Jun Ji-hyun joining the cast. Itaewon Class is in my line up, although not anytime soon though. I recommend several others too form Netflix…just didn’t finish my reviews on some of them yet…but I recommend Hello My Twenties (for female centered comedy slice of life), Busted (variety-half scripted/half not scripted), Signal (supernatural crime….there is a Japanese remake version of this on, Tunnel (another supernatural crime…there is a Thai remake version of this too on Netflix, its interesting also) , K2 (bodyguard-thriller), Voice (supernatural crime…there is a Thai remake version of this too on Netflix, it is interesting too)… anyways enjoy your watching and stay safe and healthy. thank you for checking out my review! 🙂


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