Big-budget Korean superhero drama, “Moving”, is making a lot of K-drama lovers finally shell out the subscription fee for Hulu, and for all the right reasons.
Disney, the majority stake owner in Hulu, has heavily promoted “Moving” in East Asia and it’s not surprising that it became the most-watched show in South Korea. But with little to no promotion in the West, “Moving” has become largely a word-of-mouth sensation.
Although it is undeniably a superhero series, the twist here is that the heroes wish they weren’t. For the characters of “Moving”, their superpowers are more of a burden than a gift and that fact is always close to the surface. The series’ focus never wanders far from the heroes’ core humanity and how desperate they are to hold onto the little happiness they can find.
“Moving”’s estimated 50 billion won (around $38 million) budget makes it one of South Korea’s most expensive shows, with each episode costing an estimated $1.9 million. And the production values dazzle. “Moving” has an all-star cast, is beautifully choreographed and the CGI is seriously impressive, especially for a K-drama.
Those pesky superpowers and a final confrontation between good and evil eventually come to the forefront. But somehow the entire series feels grounded and human, with even the villains getting backstories that are told with a lot of heart.
Mainly, the superheroes, and supervillians, are just people who happen to have some superhuman abilities. They’re not rich, nor do they have a grand vision for a better world. They’re just trying to survive in a world that is bent on using them as tools or weapons, while ignoring their need for connection and belonging.
Even in the world of superheroes, there are limits to how much we can suspend our disbelief and “Moving” does push those boundaries. But overall, it does a remarkably good job of world-building and introducing “real” people who don’t want their entire existence to be about their surreal abilities. In this regard, confining “Moving” strictly to the superhero genre would be an injustice since the beautiful relationships among characters resonate far longer than any memory of their superpowers.