“Kissable Lips” First Impressions (Ep.1 & 2)

Vampires. Desire. Desperation.

These are the things brought to the screen in Kissable Lips, the new Korean BL starring Yoon Seo Bin as Choi Min Hyun and Kim Ji Woong as Kim Jun Ho.

Honestly, vampire stories are one of those things you either do right or fail miserably at in television or film. Because of this, I went into the first two episodes hopeful but with low expectations.

Kissable Lips holds its own from the beginning, starting with an original take on vampires that keeps the story exciting. Considering how many vampire tales are out there, it’s refreshing when it feels new. Having Kim Ji Woong portray a dying vampire who gets blood from his victim by kissing them is undoubtedly fresh, unless this is a twist in the myth I’ve somehow missed. The revelation that vampires can die following a ten-year period if they kill a human also lends an appealing desperation and likeable humanity to the mythological creature, making them less scary despite their bloodthirsty needs.

Actors Yoon Seo Bin and Kim Ki Woong do a remarkable job, delivering believable characters in a supernatural storyline. Kim Ji Woong, in particular, captured my attention. The wounded way he carries himself without being overdramatic lends a natural edge to a not-so-natural story. I sympathized with Jun Ho and his plight, as well as his desire and need to be human. I know that Ji Woong has portrayed a vampire before in a previous drama, though I admit I haven’t seen it but am increasingly interested in doing so based on his current role.

I have never been a big fan of the vampire genre, and I am probably one of the few that didn’t particularly enjoy the Twilight franchise. For Jun Ho to capture my attention and my sympathy says a lot about what the writers and the cast have managed to do, not only with an overly done genre, but with a short format drama besides.

One of my biggest complaints with the short Korean BLs has been their misuse of time, the way they tend to try fitting multiple plots into short intervals. Thus far, Kissable Lips has not done this. Instead, It’s focused entirely on Jun Ho’s need to drink a pureblood’s blood to survive and become human. Focusing on this one aspect saves itself from the issues past mini Korean BLs have faced.

Although we don’t see as much of Min Hyun’s POV, we see enough to endear us to the awkward human Jun Ho is attempting to seduce. From snippets of dialogue about a past kidnapping attempt and the overprotectiveness of Min Hyun’s older brother, it’s easy to deduce that Min Hyun has always been a target of vampires. I love that this drama feeds us Min Hyun’s life in snippets, primarily through conversations with Jun Ho. This allows viewers to learn about the pureblood human at the same pace as Jun Ho. Again, It’s clever writing to focus on one character and aspect in a short story, and so far, Kissable Lips is not disappointing me. It was especially smart to use the video project to feed viewers and Jun Ho information about Min Hyun that allowed us to get to know him better and become endeared to him.

This single aspect of focus brings me to the chemistry. In a story about a vampire needing to seduce an innocent young man, the chemistry between the leads is the most vital tool to do this. The growing attraction between Min Hyun and Jun Ho is palpable, mainly from Min Hyun’s perspective. His stolen glances and evident joy at being near the vampire are fun and heart-fluttering. I am captivated by his growing confusion and desire, as well as his need to be a teenager enjoying himself away from his brother’s protective restraints. As for Jun Ho, the desperate need for Min Hyun’s blood is all-consuming and his main focus in the first two episodes, but there are hints that his heart is melting.

I am excited for the rest of this series. I hope it remains both strong and singularly focused for the rest of the drama. For those looking for a short supernatural BL full of chemistry, Kissable Lips is definitely for you. Check it out now on Viki and Bilibili.

Rating- 4 out of 5

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