Moving Season 1 Review – Imbuing a well-worn premise with real heart

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: August 12, 2023 (Last updated: March 23, 2024)
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Moving Season 1 Review
Moving Season 1 (Credit - Disney+)


Moving imbues a shopworn premise with real heart and character, though its inevitable adherence to genre conventions does conspire to undermine the overall package now and again.

These days, everyone has superpowers. The most popular and profitable films and TV shows are about men in capes and tights. The ability to, say, fly, or read minds, or turn invisible, has worked as a metaphor for adolescent anxiety since… well, forever, but certainly since 2006, when Tim Kring’s beloved Heroes debuted on NBC and became a worldwide phenomenon before becoming so full of itself that it was unceremoniously canceled.

I mention Heroes because it’s the first thing I thought about while watching Moving, a K-Drama on Disney+ and Hulu about youngsters with inherited superpowers trying to hide their abilities from the world while also learning to understand them (and their selves!). And that’s promising, really. South Korean television has a habit of remaking, either obviously or more subtly, prominent Western hits, and they tend to do it better. If we can do Life on Mars, Suits, Money Heist, and Designated Survivor, then why not Heroes?

Moving Season 1 Has Promise But It Can Get Slightly Tedious

The bones of the plot are as shopworn as these things get. Here, superpowered people are trained by various government agencies for black ops muckety-muck work, which rarely comes pre-packaged with a great retirement plan at the best of times, but certainly not when the teenage children of retired operatives have inherited their special abilities.

So, Moving focuses primarily – though not exclusively – on three high-schoolers, children of superpowered parents who’re coming into their own in ways both obvious and not. Among them is Bong-seok (Lee Jung-ha), a nice boy with enhanced senses and the ability to fly (inherited from his mother and father, respectively), Jang Hui-soo (Go Youn-jung), a transfer student who can recover from any wound (save the cheerleader, save the world!), and Lee Gang-hoon (Kim Do-hoon), an uptight boy with highly enhanced strength and speed.

The series, based on the eponymous webtoon by Kang Full, has a very tight grasp on these characters and their associated abilities, personalities, backstories, and traumas. The dynamics, especially between the parents and their kids, are very well-defined, without relying on easy antagonism for cheap drama.

Bong-seok, for instance, is being raised by the overprotective Lee Mi-hyun (Han Hyo-joo), who tries to keep his flying under control by overfeeding him and loading him with weights. Hui-soo is being raised by a hard-up single father who’s struggling to make ends meet. These details aren’t set dressing, but important narrative building blocks that help each character and their circumstances feel distinct as the kids confront the various emotional, social, and physical challenges that are commonplace in high school and TV dramas.

As a family drama, then, Moving is excellent. It has real heart and complex, relatable characters with sensible arcs. That’s half of the battle won. It’s as an exciting superhero show – which, for better or worse, is the primary selling point – that Moving tends to fall down.

While it’s impressive how Moving manages to take such a played-out premise and imbue it with real heart, the obvious downside is that everything beyond the low-key character beats just feels slightly tedious. Frank (Ryoo Seung-bum), a government assassin, feels like a reminder of how derivative the genre underpinnings of this show really are.

It’s rare you can say that a story about superpowered heroes and villains is less interesting whenever it’s focusing on the superpowers. Shadowy agencies, hitmen, and life-or-death action beats have a been-there-done-that quality that stands in stark contrast to the complex and grounded interpersonal drama that is the primary reason to stick with Moving through its bizarre release schedule.

Moving doesn’t fully distance itself from a played-out premise, then, but it’s undeniably worth a strong recommendation for its characters and the more grounded aspects of its storytelling.

What did you think of Moving Season 1? Comment below.

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