First Impressions: ‘Through the Darkness’ Pulls Us Inside The Minds Of Killers

In crime dramas, the element I typically find most compelling is the criminal him- or herself and the reason behind their actions. So, an entire drama dedicated to that very idea? Forget about signing me up, I’m already there.

In general, everything about this drama — acting, cinematography, all that — is excellent. If you want to watch a great-quality production, Through the Darkness will not disappoint. If you happen to also enjoy criminal psychology, well, then your search for perfect drama material is over.

To be more specific, I’d like to highlight a few performances that strike me as exceptional, beginning with the first two criminals in our story: Yang Yong Chul and Cho Kang Moo, played by Go Geon Han and Oh Seung Hoon, respectively. These two are positively magnetic to watch; each is simultaneously frightening and fascinating.

Go Geon Han as Yang Yong Chul
Oh Seung Hoon as Cho Kang Moo

Through the Darkness does a fine job walking the delicate line between excusing and explaining a character’s behavior. That can be a tough job for a show, particularly when the characters in question — in this case, the two abovementioned criminals — experienced harrowing trauma as children. Drama appropriately balances accurately presenting their stories, and never allowing viewers to forget about the horrific crimes they’ve committed.

Kim Nam Gil gives an spectacularly understated performance as Detective Song Ha Young, whose sharp observation skills and keen insight allow him to both empathize with victims and understand perpetrators. Though stoic, he’s likable — and I found myself immediately rooting for this guy.

Kim Nam Gil as Song Ha Young

Another favorite performance is that of Jin Seon Kyu playing Kook Young Soo, who’s enthusiasm about criminal profiling and its benefits is intoxicating. If he can’t get you excited about it, no one can. I’m definitely looking forward to watching more of his chemistry with Kim Nam Gil — and of course, all the criminal characters they’re bound to interact with.

Jin Seon Kyu as Kook Young Soo

You might have noticed that I haven’t said anything negative about the drama, and that because I truly — truly — don’t have anything to say against it so far. Let’s hope it stays that way.

This is a short one, but otherwise it would just be me gushing endlessly. I wanted to quickly record my first impressions for now; honestly, I’ll probably end up writing about this one again in the future. Oh, in case it isn’t clear: I highly, highly recommend Through the Darkness. (From what I understand, the age rating for this drama is 19+. My caution to viewers always is to pay attention to age ratings and to view responsibly.)

That’s all for now, dear readers. As always, thank you for reading — and happy drama-watching!

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Currently watching: Bad and Crazy, Through the Darkness

All-time favorite drama: Sakura no Oyakodon: Season 3

Anticipated upcoming dramas: Juvenile Justice, D.P.: Season 2

2 thoughts on “First Impressions: ‘Through the Darkness’ Pulls Us Inside The Minds Of Killers

Add yours

  1. I’ve been on the fence about Through the Darkness. So far I’ve only heard good things about it but… I’m SO done with serial killer story lines. For a while now that has been more or less instant pass for me. On the other hand, really good dramas are far and wide apart and I’d hate to miss an obvious one. So… I may give this one a go, regardless.


    1. I totally hear you, but I’d argue this one is different than the others. It’s far less about the “whodunit” (we are shown who the killer is almost immediately), and more about the psychology behind the criminal’s behavior and how that insight can be used to catch other criminals. Less “who,” more “why.”
      Thank you for the comment!


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