Perhaps I’m not the target audience or something. But every time I watch a web drama, my reaction is always something along the lines of “This would be better as a full-length movie” or “This feels like an undercooked regular length series.” That’s certainly how I felt after watching The Sweet Blood (달달한 그놈).
The 15 episode web series, adapted from a webtoon (of course), has an interesting concept hovering beneath the surface. But it seems as if its format holds it back from being something much better.
The Sweet Blood centers around half-vampire/half-human Yeon Seo (Song Chae Yun). Though she is attending high school, she’s actually 118 years old. And in between trying to blend in as a normal teenager, she frequently gets pulled into the hidden world of vampires and werewolves as she is also a sommelier for her father’s wine business. That wine, actually, is curated human blood with that of famous historic figures going for top dollar.
Things get even more complicated when the unique, sweet blood of her innocent classmate Meo Roo (Kim Eo Jin) draws the attention of both vampires and werewolves. Most especially by the charismatic and flirtatious Chi Woo (Kim Ji Woong), a vampire with whom Yeon Seo has a past with.
After some bumps in the road, the three come together to fight off the malevolent threat while navigating their own feelings and urges toward each other and that all too sweet blood.
It’s a simple, straightforward plot. Which should be fine for a web series of 15, ten minute episodes. But the series moves along at a pace that is sometimes tedious. The fresh cast does a solid job. But the material does them no favors.
There’s a lack of world building that can easily be made up for with good character development. But each of the characters barely get a chance to truly establish themselves before being thrown into different “moments.” Those moments come across as fluffy vignettes instead of being part of a larger narrative.
The basic premise would work pretty well as a full-length film. Without the restrictions of the web series format, the pacing and story development would probably flow much better and more freely.
Instead, The Sweet Blood is simply an easy watch. Unfortunately, a bit forgettable despite having much of the pieces necessary to produce something really great.