Why is Black Knight Currently Trending on Netflix?

The new Kim Woo-bin starrer Black Knight is the most trending Korean series on Netflix. However, how does it stand out against several others to be on the top spot of the streaming platform? To answer that, several factors exist, including the movie's setting, the plot, and its uniqueness, among all other K-Dramas released recently.

Inspired by Lee Yoon-gyun’s webtoon, the new Korean dystopian drama is based on a post-apocalyptic setting, taking the users on a trip down the future in 2071 A.D. A comet has just struck Earth and wiped out a massive chunk of the human population. What remains of South Korea following this incident is just a wasteland, with humanity trying to make their way through from the remains of it.

Society has now regressed to having a rigid social hierarchy, separating people based on their class, and the lowest of them all, refugees, come down to be denied bare means of resources for survival. As noted from the series description, the knights are a group of selected delivery drivers who deliver parcels of oxygen and other necessities to people to sustain them and help them stay alive.

One of the crucial aspects to understanding the growing popularity of Black Knight would be its cast. This is the most intriguing aspect of the series, which also marks the return of Kim Woo-bin to the screen after an absence of six years from drama. Fans have been looking forward to seeing the K-Drama star feature in dramas and series once again, and now, they have him back as a delivery knight in the series.

Seeing Kim Woo-bin’s role in dramas evolve past his ‘loverboy’ character since The Heirs is a plus, contributing to the popularity of the new series. Woo-bin has also appeared in other series such as Vampire Idol and movies like Alienoid, Master, and Runaway Cop.

Besides, Woo-bin, fans are also elated to have Esom, who has proved she can portray any character with perfection on numerous instances. Esom became famous from her previous appearances in Kill Boksoon, Save Me, The Third Charm, Taxi Driver, and Ghost. These works are considered some of the finest career highlights for the actress. The new role in Black Knight shows Esom in a much different role than her usual, something that the fans highly appreciated her last time for her role as the prosecutor in Taxi Driver.

Another aspect to be considered here is the nature of Korean Sci-Fi dramas, which never fail to disappoint. Dramas such as The Silent Sea and W: Two Worlds Apart have been exceptionally well received by the audience within and outside South Korea. Therefore, it is pretty understandable that another drama, inspired by one of the most popular webtoons in the country, has hype beyond anyone’s expectations.

The hype was further generated with a stunning teaser released ahead of the official launch of the series. The teaser garnered the interest of not just dedicated K-Drama fans but of a global audience too. In its first look, the teaser evokes the grim post-apocalyptic theme that the series tries to portray, an incredible way to garner craze for the series ahead of its release. From the teaser itself, viewers could expect an excellent blend of action and thrills and a glimpse of the cinematography, which compares to Hollywood films of the highest standards.

The series tends to follow a similar plotline as other Korean dystopian dramas, one highlighting social inequality. However, in Black Knight, the characters continuously remind the viewers that society here is built on control and false hope rather than distinct inequalities of nature. When considered from a broader perspective, the series also comes out as a political commentary and how the instruments of control and political apparatuses play a crucial role in igniting a sense of societal inequality.

Fans may also be able to recall another Korean drama, The Silent Sea while watching Black Knight. It is another series that shows the grim and colorless attributes of human society, which is succumbing to the pressure of corporate greed and the lack of essential resources. As highlighted in Black Knight, the crisis of water and air in the series forms the case for the same.

The series can be found to have an exciting mix with the original webtoon it is based on. The director tries to blend Mad Max-like elements and has implemented a certain pathos which is necessary for dystopian dramas to get good traction.

Black Knight is at its best with its intense action sequences and the personal stakes involved in the characters. Some elements can strike viewers with dilemmas or wonder, such as the incredible strength and invincibility of character 5-8. Although the series never explicitly explains the reasons for the character’s strength and power, it can be up to the interpretation the viewers might draw after the series. Character 5-8 embodies values inspired by stoicism, which might add up further to the pathos of a powerful character in a dystopian drama as such.

However, for the ones willing to watch the series, there are a few elements you should carefully consider before clicking play on your Netflix application. The series cram a lot many ideas within a short runtime. This might cause viewers to have an information overload while watching the series, ideally, something that dramas should avoid when they are releasing just one season at a time. Threads are subverting from the original plotline, which might need to be clarified about the original intent and end motive of the series conclusion.

All in all, it is well justified for Black Knight to have the hype and popularity it enjoys currently. Korean dramas always tend to break the charts upon release, as with Squid Game. Although many may not consider it at the same level as Squid Game, Black Knight is another Korean dystopian drama that shows an alternate view of societal reality in a very raw and unfiltered manner to provoke thought among the viewers.

Nidhi Rachel Alexander