Grid review: Seo Kang-joon makes comeback in sci-fi mystery series

Seo Kang-joon as Kim Sae-ha in Grid. (Screenshot: Disney+)
Seo Kang-joon as Kim Sae-ha in Grid. (Screenshot from Disney+)

Cast: Seo Kang-joon, Kim A-joong, Kim Moo-yul, Lee Si-young, Kim Sung-kyun, Jang So-yeon
Language: Korean with various subtitles

Streaming on Disney+ from 16 Feb

3 out of 5 stars

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After Snowdrop and Rookie Cops, Disney+ is rolling out yet another Korean drama: Grid. What’s even more attention-grabbing is that it's not a romance drama, but a sci-fi thriller!

The story takes place on an Earth that has survived catastrophic solar winds under the protection of the Grid, a planetary defence shield.

Years later, the founder of the Grid (Lee Si-young) reappears and helps a fugitive (Kim Sung-kyun) escape.

While in a face-off with detective Jung Sae-byeok (Kim A-joong), the founder fades into nothing like a ghost, leaving Jung bewildered at what she just witnessed.

Meanwhile, the secretive Kim Sae-ha (Seo Kang-joon) is digging for information on the "Ghost" and comes across Jung’s report of the incident.

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With only one of 10 episodes now available on Disney+, the way things have unfolded so far makes it difficult to tell how the story will fare. Grid stays true to its mystery element, tempting you with only bits and pieces of information about the characters and their motives.

The drama opens with stunning computer graphics and visual effects that illustrate the unique premise that earth’s magnetic field is not enough to shelter us from the harsh solar winds.

With the visual effects setting a high standard for the rest of the series, it is unthinkable and will be awkward if the plot does not possess the same quality.

Perhaps because the producers are aware of how vague the first episode is, an unusual 40-second trailer has been inserted at the beginning to throw light on the upcoming events. Quite blatantly, it suggests that we can expect time travel — an ever so intriguing topic — to be a part of the series.

Similarly, due to the lack of content, it is still early to judge the acting. But the character Sae-ha stands out the most, with a seemingly complex background story to tell.

This character marks the comeback of Seo Kang-joon (Cheese In The Trap, When The Weather Is Fine) after completing his mandatory military service.

On one hand, he looks like the filial son taking care of his bedridden mother. On the other hand, he works at a highly secured building with artificial intelligence surveillance.

Sae-ha can even read lips and tries to “air assemble” (like air guitar) a pistol using his incredible imagination, while learning through a tutorial video.

Despite the unpredictability in Grid’s introduction, the quality graphics and interesting premise suggest that it might be worthwhile to catch the series, at least for the next few episodes.

New episodes of Grid are available on Disney+ every Wednesday.

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