After the immense success of Korean shows like Squid Game, Hellbound and more, the world was gripped with the overwhelming sensation of the so-called Korean wave that saw a pique in interest in Korean films, series and more. The arrival of The Silent Sea during such a time when the world is already well-receptive of Korean dramas and successfully helped shatter stereotypes. As a part of the sci-fi thriller genre, the show shattered the general misconception about K-dramas either being extremely brutal and gruesome or tooth-rotting fluffy and sappy.
Directed by Choi Jang-yong, this eight-episode series stars Gong Yoo, Heo Sung-tae, Song Ji-an, Lee Joon, Kim Sun-young and Lee Moo-saeng as a group of surviving humans who escape earth after a series of cataclysmic events to raid the moon and make the lunar base their home. The gravity of the gloomy mission is in contrast with the calm and peaceful atmosphere on the moon which helps emphasise the degree of human greed as well as the constant struggle for survival.
The high-risk mission, helmed by Gong Yoo’s character, as important as the fate of mankind rests on their able shoulders. The series, which might seem a little slow-paced, fizzles out despite the heavyweight concerns pervading it. However, it is visually beautiful with the well-constructed lunar ridges and canyons. Albeit the sets are a little backdated with poorly designed spacecraft and more, the direct call for crisis leaves no room for us to complain.
The premise is pretty suspenseful and Gong Yoo adds a dash of unpredictability with his brilliant performance and palpable paranoia. Despite the absence of discernible romance and personal relationships, their brilliant camaraderie makes the characters appear more human. It is almost reductive and u fair to compare this series with Squid Game as the latter mainly focuses on the depravity and vulnerability of humanity on the brink of being forced to choose between life and death while being knee-deep in debts. The Silent Sea sees hows humanity and greed prevails amidst inevitable destruction and chaos and that is something Choi deserves special mention for.
It also seems to be Choi’s tribute to the superior, well-known sci-fi films like Interstellar, Gravity, Aliens and more as he borrows heavily from them, as well as the background score from that of Zimmer. As the series progresses, secrets begin to surface before reaching a carefully balanced climax that stores the chord between rationality and sentimentality.
With high-strung emotions and high stakes, the series is a good weekend binge that will surely make one embark on their personal existential crisis albeit on their couches on Earth.