Before 2020 ended we received a Christmas gift in a form of a Apocalyptic series titled “Sweet Home”. Similar to Kingdom and Extracurricular, this drama has maximized Netflix’s liberty by presenting tons of graphic visuals, explicit violence and a production value that matches the budget. This series follows a group of apartment residents that are desperately fighting for their survival. At first I was drawn by the strong visuals when it was first promoted, however I was more drawn to the individual stories of the characters who have suffered loss, grief and redemption.
The story takes place on a rundown apartment building called Green Home wherein residents with complicated and mysterious backstories of loss and resilience live. A new resident moves to that apartment after losing his family to a car accident only to commit suicide to end his pain and suffering from relentless hardships, apparently the world beats him to it. The world collapses into chaos after a mysterious disease spreads out and transforms humans into monsters. The disease manipulates the person’s deepest desires with an irresistible lure and once the person is infected that person immediately fall victim to their inner demons. On rare occasions one can resist their inner demons but one unlikely person was able to and that person was the suicidal high schooler Cha Hyun-Soo.
The Key Survivors
Cha Hyun-Soo (Song Kang) is a 19 year old high school who recently moved over to Green Home after losing his family to a car accident. Prior to the tragic incident he was also a victim of bullying by his classmate who used his father’s power to justify his cruel intentions. The betrayal of his friends and his family’s negligence he became severely depressed. His deepest desires for death manifested in his monstrous alter ego that prodded him to quench his thirst, however he fought it off with his will to survive. Alongside with the survivors of the apartment, he faced acceptance, rejection, temptation and comfort as he learns to navigate the apocalypse.
Yoon Ji-soo (Lee Kyu-young) is living above Hyun-soo. A bass player who moved a week earlier than Hyun-soo after his partner committed suicide. She was able to met a few neighbors which includes Jung Jae-heon (Kim Nam-hee) who was a korean language teacher who is also skilled in fencing.
Han Doo-Shik (Kim Sang-ho) was a handicapped army veteran in a wheelchair who is also a skilled technician and became the survivors’ builder and engineer. He first met Hyun-soo in their mission to save two kids who lost their father to a monster. He became the guardian of those kids and became the expert who upgrades their weapons to fend off the monsters.
Lee Eun-hyuk (Lee Do-hyun) is the group’s strategist and the unofficial leader who is somewhat portrayed as the “bad guy” and the one responsible calling the toughest decisions which some are morally questionable.
Seo Yi-Kyung (Lee Shi-young) is an original character to the series but not in the original webtoon. She is a firefighter who formerly served in the special forces. She lost her fiancé just before their marriage. However she founds out that his death was related to the apocalypse. Her strong intellectual and physical skills saves the group from crisis but her desire to uncover the truth about her fiancé leaves the survivors, especially Hyun-soo in a weird situation.
Pyun Sang-Wook (Lee Wook-jin) is a visitor to the apartment with a goal to kill one resident. He is a skilled hired killer with noticeable scars to his body. The burn scar on his face was from a backstory wherein he was the only one who survived a fire that killed his family. He killed the arsonist who showed no remorse for his crime and received no punishment from the justice system. He slowly regained his humanity through his interactions with the group.
The show was really good not because of the lucrative budget this series has but the individual backstories of each surviving resident was the best part of the series. Everyone has their own share of loss, grief and redemption. Since this is streamed through netflix, we are seeing extremely gore scenes. The computer graphics were not that good, some 3D generated monsters were pretty lame but nonetheless it will definitely make you shocked most of the time. It is sad that we were left in a cliffhanger after the series finale and we are hoping to see the next season soon.
Some of the cast members (especially Lee Do-hyun) has expressed their interest in returning to the show once a second season is confirmed. There were a lot of questions remained unanswered like where did this apocalypse came from. The only hint that we know is that the government has been involved and they are trying to fix (or clean) the entire situation.
As of this writing I haven’t read the webtoon version of this one so I really can’t compare the differences from the original story. I hope they will be back for another season soon as I am excited to see what’s in store for the survivors.
3.75 out of 5 Stars.