Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seop's 'Lovers of the Red Sky' has officially premiered, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that this is unlike anything we've ever seen before. Mixing fact and fiction, this drama tells the story of a female painter, Hong Cheon Gi, who finds her fate intertwined with Ha Ram's in a twisted ploy of destiny. It is implied right at the beginning of the narrative that things must fall apart for Cheon Gi and Ha Ram for the center to hold.
The tragic import of the central story is posited before we're even introduced to the characters. This is the drama's way of telling us that we should not be mistaken about this being just a simple, timeless love story. Fate, Time, and Life are personified through the figure of the "Samshin" or the three Goddesses of birth, death, and the balance between the two, giving us an omniscient perspective on the events that unfold where we are to believe that everything happens for a reason. However, as with every drama we've seen before that features Samshin or the Divine in some form or another, like 'Goblin,' it almost never bodes well for our main characters.
The drama's narrative structure is designed so that it gives us the ending before the beginning. After demonic anarchy is let loose upon the world, a young woman who had lost her lover creates a painting that seals the evil within it. Ultimately, the woman disappears. Presumably, this woman is Cheon Gi, the chosen one who must save the world. Despite the knowledge of an ending that sounds futile on the surface, especially since both the primary agents of the story seemingly cease to exist, we are drawn into the tale regardless.
Each episode is packed with information, and there's not a moment to spare. Cheon Gi and Ha Ram's relationship is seen developing quickly yet with sincerity even though they are children. Admittedly, however, it was a tad bit unsettling to see their affection manifest itself through a kiss. Besides that, child actors Lee Nam Gyeong (young Cheon Gi) and Choi Seung Hoon (young Ha Ram) do a brilliant job at setting up the story of our star-crossed lovers in the very first episode.
At 28 years old, Cheon Gi is ethereally gorgeous, and Ha Ram is irresistibly handsome. Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seop look like they walked right out of a manhwa, and their chemistry is electric, to say the least. Ha Ram's memories are gone, but they're awakened in Cheon Gi's presence, just as Samshin predicted. The plot is starting to get clearer, but we're far from being out of the woods.
From characters that are intricately designed and developed to conflicts that extend beyond the limits of our dimension, "Lovers of the Red Sky" is the type of drama that comes around once in a blue moon. As a matter of fact, it might just be one of the best sageuk dramas we've had in a very long time.
Overall, if we excuse the CGI, everything about this drama screams perfection. Much like Shakespearean tragedies, this story will make your heartache, but you still won't find yourself looking away. After all, if K-Drama logic is anything to go by, fate doesn't stand a chance in front of true love.