When magistrates continue to drop dead one by one in the Joseon city of Miryang, a rumor begins to spread that the deaths are the work of spirits. With no memory of her true identity, the ghost of a determined young woman called A Rang has been unintentionally scaring people to death in her efforts to ask for help. After some rather unorthodox events land a newly arrived Kim Eun O in the office of magistrate, no one expects him to last the night, but it isn't long before A Rang discovers his rare ability to see spirits. While Eun O may be the key to learning the truth about her demise, as well as his own mother's disappearance, he's reluctant to help, and the stakes become greater when it appears the mystery surrounding A Rang's death may be just one piece of a celestial puzzle centuries in the making.
While Kim Eun O is looking all around the country for his mother, he meets the ghost A Rang. While she fought for her ghostly life, he saw her hair pin and since it was the one he gave his mother, he saved the girl to get more information about his mothers whereabouts. At the same time, A Rang is actually looking for her memories, so she can find out who she is and who killed her. And since the gods Yeom La and Jade made it that way, those two have a closer destiny, than they thought.
This ancient fantasy drama has many elements, that makes it enjoyable. For example showing the gods and how they live was aways a great way to amuse me. The production company really seems to use fog, since they used the fog machine whenever possible. I still liked the background and landscape they used. To me it looked like they tried really hard, to make the surroundings fit perfectly for the scene they are showing. They did well! Sadly I can't say that about the OST. This OST sometimes was epic and good, and other times I wondered how they thougt that the song would fit the drama. It was a regular up and down of feeling the scene more intensely because of the music or getting all emotions destroyed because of it.
Now, for the important part: The story was not bad! I think it is exciting! If they could have made it into 16 episodes... The thing is, whenever there was some kind of questions to lead one step closer to their goal, I could answer it in seconds. But they needed 5 episodes to figure it out. Maybe it was made obvious, because it's not a detective drama. But then again, it gets boring quite easily, if you already know it and the characters don't act. Especially, when one of them is pressured with time.
What also kind of bugged me is the missing chemistry between the two lead characters. They were cute together, they ware both beautiful. But when they kissed or looked at each other, I felt like it wasn't that bad. No matter what ending both of them have, I feel like I wouldn't be all too touched. I kept watching for the puzzle, not for the lovestory. Which is kind of sad, since they focused on love a lot.
So, I really liked to watch the drama, but the lack of emotion made me give it only 4*. And barely 4*. Watch it, if you like ancient dramas or the actors or need an easy quiz to solve.
Arang and the Magistrate is a fun filled showed that takes romance, fantasy and comedy and successfully manages to balance all three.
The plot is tightly woven and well laid out, so that as a viewer, you have trust in knowing that everything will come together in the end. Answers are revealed in a timely manner and twists constantly appear. It's great to have show where the plot is so well done.
The acting is great, with the camaraderie between the characters being one of the highlights. While it sometimes lacked in some areas, it was enjoyable enough to have you get invested.
While not a perfect show, if you managed to get behind the characters, this show is truly an enjoyable one.