‘Somebody’ review: Your soul mate is a psychopath

The reviews of Daniel Farriol:

Somebody is a South Korean series created by jung ji-woo (To Muse, Heart Blackened) Y Han Ji Wan (The Killer’s Shopping List, The Ghost Detective) where romantic drama is combined with thriller criminal. The story follows a software developer and her friends who get involved in a murder case linked to her dating app and a mysterious man who seems to be hiding something. It stars Kim Young-kwang (Mission possible, The secret life of my secretary), kang hae lim (live on), Kim Yong-hee (Doom Doom, Tale of the Nine Tailed), Kim Su-yeon, Choi Yu-Ha, Lee Ki-Chan, Lee Na-Ra, Kim Joong-Ki Y kang jieun. The series has premiered in Netflix on November 18, 2022.

‘Somebody’ is a “Tinder” that a psychopath uses to find his victims

Somebody is a bizarre and puzzling K-drama that blends romantic drama with thriller of a violent nature. Initially, the plot introduces us to Kim Sum (kang hae lim), an extremely intelligent young woman who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, whose difficulty in adapting to her schoolmates motivates her to create the interface of a chatbot, that is, a program that allows you to have conversations with artificial intelligence. The particularity of your program compared to other similar ones is that in its database it stores all those messages that are deleted before being sent. It is a way for AI to better understand the way users think without social filters.

The girl will be discovered at a school fair for science projects by Samantha Jung (Choi Yu Ha), a businesswoman in the sector who will hire her for her company Spectrum. There they will develop a apps called “Somebody” (similar to Tinder) that will quickly become popular among the population and unite many couples. But there is also a dark part that they will try to hide from public opinion and that is that, by using the application, some users have taken advantage of their anonymity to commit crimes.

In particular, they have detected a very dangerous man, Seong Yun-O (Kim Young-kwang), a well-known architect who uses various profiles to contact young women and murder them. ain’t no spoilers knowing who the murderer is since the series presents him like this from the beginning and, in fact, we will follow his adventures in detail as he is one of the true protagonists, although his real motivations for murdering are not detailed.

The point of view is altered to follow the various characters

The point of view of Somebody It’s one of the things that makes her so weird. We jump from character to character, especially in the first chapters, without being very clear about where we are going and what unites them. In this way, we will meet Kim Sum first and then the series abandons her character for a while to focus on Seong Yun-O, the same thing will happen later when two of Kim Sum’s friends are introduced who will be important to the plot, Yeong Gi -Eun (Kim Suyeon) and Im Mok-Won (Kim Yong-hee).

It is a narrative that becomes fickle and uncomfortable through these constant changes in the point of view, that is, it is difficult to get hooked on the plot during the first bars until it really settles in the story that it wants to tell us, but if you keep the patience intact during those moments of uncertainty (I almost gave up myself in the first two episodes), you will then find yourself with a thriller challenging game that contains some of the most disturbing footage I’ve seen all year.

Yeong Gi-Eun, Kim Sum’s best friend, is a police officer who has become a paraplegic after an accident and uses the apps dating to have sex with a guy who doesn’t disown her because of her physical handicap. For her part, Im Mok-Won, Yeong Gi-Eun’s best friend, is a shaman who has unusual psychic perception to sense the evil spirits that accompany people, personalizing talismans and cleaning rites. The three friends will end up related, in one way or another, with the psychopath Seong Yun-O, whom they will have to face in order to survive despite the reluctance of Kim Sum who believes that he has found her soul mate in him.

The relationship of emotional dependency that arises between the two protagonists is very strange, it is often difficult to understand the motivations of the characters in their way of acting, although in reality the entire series revolves around loneliness and the affective need that people have in a tremendously individualistic society.

sexuality and sadism

The rhythm that it has Somebody It’s not the usual either. That romantic plot in an environment of criminal intrigue is once again disconcerting and makes it very difficult to reach a mainstream audience. It could be said that it is too dark and sinister for those who only seek romance and that it is too slow for those who only want some suspense. Another unusual feature that I find for a K-drama is the explicit way it approaches sexuality, both verbally and visually. Almost all the chapters contain some nude scene, masturbation or other sexual practices that preferably delve into the morbid. It is not free, it is something that defines the characteristics and hidden desires that each of the characters have.

Starting from a conventional intrigue premise, jung ji-woo Y Han Ji Wan They manage to create, then, a series that stands out from the predictable and takes us through much more perverse recesses associated with the dark side of the human psyche. What gets worse are the stupid decisions that some characters make, for example, how is it possible for an expert police officer to stay with strangers in remote places and, even more, go unarmed to those places even knowing in advance that it is a murderous psycho?

However, it is thanks to that that we will witness some suspense sequences that will leave you breathless, close to the most sadistic terror (especially against helpless women) that are choreographed with great stage virtuosity such as those that take place next to an abandoned swimming pool, a building still under construction or in a shanty town that is in full demolition, to name a few examples that leave your eyes wide open.

The intangible emotions and the darkness of the human soul

Another thing that has caught my attention in the series is the way in which Korean folklore and beliefs are integrated into the spiritual world in a purely urban context. Here the character of the shaman is key, whom we can see alternating in a disco and immediately afterwards performing one of her veneration rites to the gods. It is not the main part of the series, but it provides a connection with the supernatural that helps to understand the complexity of the most intangible human feelings. Somebody It is, therefore, a series that traps you in its tangle of emotions as contradictory as its own characters, but it is precisely this anomalous strangeness that sets it apart from other K-dramas with similar themes.

In this sense, the cast does a wonderful job to get us to empathize with them within their arbitrariness of actions, highlighting the inexperienced actress kang hae lim like that girl with Asperger syndrome and whose best friend is a machine, to which she manages to provide the necessary sensitivity without abusing gestures. Somebody It is a series that I would not recommend to those who have never seen Korean fiction, but those already initiated can enjoy it if they connect with its unique style and the gloomy gloom that it gives off, after my initial doubts, for me it is a yes.

List of episodes of the series ‘Somebody’

Somebody is a South Korean series that combines romantic drama with thriller criminal and which is made up of 8 episodes of between 49 and 71 minutes each.

Episode 1

Years after designing an AI-powered chatbot, Kim Sum uses its technology to create Somebody, a dating app linked to numerous crimes.

episode 2

Seong Yun-o gives a presentation at work, then connects with someone on the app. Sum contacts Yun-o after their unusual meeting. More attacks ensue.

Episode 3

When Yeong Gi-eun goes on a terrifying date with a Somebody user, she and Lim Mok-won enlist Sum’s help in finding the man responsible for her nightmare.

Episode 4

Sum hears from Yun-o again, who hadn’t shown any signs of life for days, and meets another contact from the application, but ends up experiencing a violent situation.

Episode 5

The relationship between Sum and Yun-o progresses. Meanwhile, Gi-eun goes to Spectrum to request access to her account’s chat history.

Episode 6

Gi-eun manages to talk to the imposter through Somebody, and she puts herself in danger again. Mok-won performs a ceremony to ward off evil spirits from Sum.

Episode 7

Mok-won and Gi-eun need to relax, so they go out for drinks and take Sum with them. Later, Mok-won tries to get Sum to accept the truth about Yun-o.

Episode 8

Yun-o, increasingly cornered and threatened, begins to receive some very disturbing video chat requests through Somebody.

What did you think of the series?


‘Somebody’ review: Your soul mate is a psychopath