There seems to be a lot of great Asian tv shows on Netflix that no one is talking about. I hope I can change that for some of you.
Are you sick to the teeth watching crime documentaries? (I thought not, me neither). But do you fancy something a little different? I have put together a list of what I think the best Asian series’ that are streaming on Netflix (UK/Ireland). For all of you folk elsewhere in the world, it wouldn’t hurt checking to see if they are available to stream in your country. I hope you enjoy the list.
When Gab Dong was first released I remember trying my hardest to find it. At the time, I was hooked on South Korean serial killer flicks like I Saw The Devil and The Chaser. Gab Dong sounded like both of those movies only spread out over a 10-hour cinematic experience.
There is no doubt about it, it’s not perfect and some scenes do seem very “telemovie”. But if you can put that aside with some dodgy music then we have a great, complexed serial killer crime thriller.
BAD GUYS/BAD GUYS: VILE CITY
Bad Guys mixes the best from all crime tv shows and throws them all together in a fantastic mash-up of genres. In order to catch the worst serial killers and hardened criminals, a detective is granted the temporary release of South Korea’s most feared villains to help with their apprehension. A young genius mathematician who is also a psychopath & serial killer, a fearless gang leader who administers the ultimate bitch-slap (none other than Train To Busan’s Dong-seok Ma) and a South Korean hitman with a frightening amount of confirmed kills.
There’s a twist though, with each crime solved a reduction is given in their sentence but only one villain can receive the reduced time. A great series, full of terrific performances. It also has a worthy follow-up called Bad Guys: Vile City
What is the most drawn-out, over-used thing in the history of television?…no, I don’t mean The Walking Dead. I mean hospital tv shows!!. It’s the same shit all the time: doctors, diseases, affairs, an occasional alcoholic surgeon with a dodgy shaky hand obtained from too much champagne at a charitable event for rich people. What I mean, is that that you really can’t differentiate between most of these shows, so it is nice to add something different into the tiresome and repetitive medical storylines.
South Korea has decided to keep the same sort of winning formula that has proved time and time again to work and add their own twist of darkness and sometimes, nastiness.
Yes, we have the good looking surgeons and the love interest. But what sets Blood apart from the rest is that our lead character is a vampire. And, can you think of a better place for a vampire to work?. I mean, it’s a genius move and I don’t know why vampires ain’t thought of this profession earlier.
Very much in the style of Park Chan-Wook’s amazing vampire tale, Thirst. Rather than using the same tiresome vamp-story, the vampirism in Blood is due to an infection in the blood.
Ha, this was not intentional but yet again, here we have it…another god damn series with doctors and hospitals!!. But just like the above-mentioned series, Blood, Doctor Stranger also bends the rules when it comes to medical dramas.
The series focuses on a young talented doctor who was kidnapped and trained in North Korea. After managing to escape the North Korean dictatorship, he finds himself working in a city hospital in South Korea.
I remember seeing a small clip from an episode and it blew me away. I was shocked to learn that it was a tv series as the action and production just seemed top-notch.
I really enjoyed this series, if you’re a fan of directors like Andrew Lau and John Woo then O.C.T.B is must watch for you.
There’s no denying it, O.C.T.B is heavily influenced, and not in a bad way by some of Hong Kong’s greatest action and crime dramas we got treated to in the ’90s.
With action sequences on par with Hard Boiled blended and the intelligence of Infernal Affairs, O.C.T.B is an addictive series that’s to grab you and suck you in. You will be on the hunt for all 30 episodes.
SMOKING – VIGILANTE HITMAN SQUAD
I immediately fell in love with this Japanese series due to its morbid and crazy storyline. It follows 4 assassins that work together to carry out different jobs…with a twist.
Their trademark is to flay their target and remove the tattooed skin as proof-of-kill to whoever ordered the hit. The series is set in Japan which means no shortage of tattoos or yakuza members, so as you can imagine, it gets very hardcore. I dare say some scenes would even remind you of the madness of Kakihara from Ichi The Killer.
Another very addictive series with great character development and short, easy-to-follow episodes. Out of this list, Smoking is the one I hope gets green-lit for a second season.
Okay, that’s it for this list. I have more I can add but I am sure your eyes need some rest. I will be back with a Part 2 so make sure to check back soon.
As always, thanks for reading.
Words by Gary Gamble
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker