A historical period K-drama mixed with a zombie apocalypse may seem like a weird pitch, but in Kingdom, it all makes sense. The premise is already intriguing — you’re taken to Korea’s Joseon period, overcome by corruption and famine, and overrun by a plague that turns affected individuals into flesh-eating monsters. Add to that a well-intentioned crown prince being framed for treason, as politics is just as important to the story as the zombies are.
Directed by Kim Seong-hun (The Tunnel) and written by Kim Eun-hee (who authored the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods, which the show is based on), Kingdom distinguishes itself beautifully from the typical zombie apocalypse flick. The crown prince is played by Ju Ji-hoon, (Princess Hours, The Devil) and is on a mission to not only save his people but to take the crown that is rightfully his. We see him battling the undead, but we also witness him face the difficulties of being thrown out of his privileged upbringing and into the harsh realities of his country’s struggles. Kingdom also stars Bae Doo-na, Ryu Seung-ryong, Kim Sang-ho, and Heo Joon-ho, and while the story’s treatment of women may be a little archaic, it’s still entertaining to see characters interact with each other.