If you liked 'Mystic Pop-Up Bar' and occasionally indulge in some PUBG, this drama is the one for you. Airing for the first time worldwide on Netflix on November 28, 'The Uncanny Counter' is a fantasy thriller featuring Jo Byung Gyu, Yoo Jun Sang, Yeom Hye Ran, and of course, GUGUDAN's Sejeong as demon-slaying ghostbusters, doing the business of the afterlife in the living world. According to Nielsen Korea, on the 29th of November, the first episode of 'The Uncanny Counter' reached a whopping 4.1% viewership in South Korea, which is especially impressive considering the strong competition presented by mega-hit series 'Start-Up' and 'More Than Friends' airing the same day. Here are 3 things to look forward to in this new drama, 'The Uncanny Counter.'
The World Building
The universe of 'The Uncanny Counter' is strange, to say the least, but it is not as unfamiliar as it may seem. K-Dramas often feature narratives from the afterlife stirring things up in the living world. Most recently seen in 'Tale of the Nine-Tailed' and 'Mystic Pop-Up bar' and most popularly in 'Goblin,' evil spirits run free in this world, seeking to possess the bodies of those already filled with violence and rage. As counter-attacks to these malevolent spirits, benevolent ones exist in the realm between the living and the dead who also seek to possess bodies but exclusively of those who are in comas, reviving them while also giving them unimaginable power. These people turn into "counters" who have the sole responsibility of hunting these evil spirits down and are not afraid to lose their lives in the process. Once the team is able to track the spirit down, a territory opens for them where they must lure the spirit. The territory, much like the blue circle you may be familiar with in PUBG, has a limited stint, but in this case, the counters must rush into their territory as soon as possible, for if it disappears, it probably doesn't bode well for them.
The Chosen One
Jo Byung Gyu, who you may know from his breakthrough roles in 'Sky Castle' and 'Hot Stove League,' plays the titular role of So Mun. So Mun, along with his family, falls victim to a strange car accident as a child from which he recovers as the only survivor. However, the accident leaves him with a permanent deformity as he is now unable to walk without a cane. Fast forward to the present. He lives with his grandparents, whom he absolutely adores. One day, while out and about with his friends, a zap of electricity-like energy enters his body, extending through every nerve. After a while, he discovers that his hair, which was previously straight, has started turning curly, like another counter who lost his life to an evil spirit. Even though So Mun is oblivious to the fact, the viewers now know that he is a counter.
The Dream Team
Ga Mo Tak (Yoo Jun Sang), Choo Mae Ok (Yeom Hye Ran) and Do Ha Na (GUGUDAN's Sejeong) run an exclusive noodle place called "Unni's Noodles" which is considered a secret gem of the city and is only open for 3 hours during lunch. However, they hold a deep secret. On their time off from the noodle shop, the three, along with Cheol Joong (Seong Ji Ru), make up the ultimate dream team of demon slayers. Following the death of Cheol Joong at the hands of the fugitive evil spirit, Wi Gen, the spirit from the afterlife who had possessed him, enters the body of So Mun, although without explanation as to why So Mun was the chosen one. Ha Na finds the boy in the midst of getting bullied and takes him to their noodle place, where the team propositions him to become part of them. However, there's a catch! There are high chances that he may die while serving his role. So Mun agrees to visit the afterlife after the team pleads him to but responds by saying that he wouldn't ever take up the role of a counter because it could cause his death and he can't put his grandparents through that kind of trauma again. So Mun returns having denied their request, but by the end of the first episode, we see So Mun exercising his newfound powers for the first time, which indicates that he was meant to be on this team.
With a perfect crescendo of a beginning, the drama sets high expectations for its run, especially with the huge success of the webtoon it is based on. After all, with such a star-studded cast, it is only but obvious! We can't wait to find out how the story unfurls.