by Toby

Are you a fan of twisting murder mysteries laced with romantic tension? If so, CATCHPLAY+’s latest Taiwanese drama, Not a Murder Story, is a must-watch! This series masterfully weaves a tale of deception, ambition, and unexpected glamor, setting a new bar for the genre. From the first two episodes alone, viewers are catapulted into a world where every scene is laden with suspense and emotional complexity.

A friendly neighborhood, or a deceptive one?

In Episode 1, we are introduced to Tung (performed by Kuan-Ting Liu), a struggling extra in the cutthroat film industry. The audience is instantly pulled into Tung’s world, where financial hardships and unfilled acting dreams create tension between him and his girlfriend and frustration within himself. The nuanced performance creates an authentic portrayal of the reality of many aspiring actors, as well as relationship complexities. Amidst his constant rejections, a glimmer of hope emerges as he decides to audition for his estranged father’s production.

Tung and his girlfriend Lu (played by Gingle Wang)

Simultaneously, Tung harbors suppressed feelings for Lin Meng (Sonia Sui), the mysterious “Lady in Red.” Their unspoken attraction hangs in the air, which adds an electrifying tension to their interactions- a testament to the film’s remarkable execution. The series takes a dark turn when Tung finds Lin Meng in a drunken stupor in the middle of the road late at night, and decides to take her home to her apartment. They immediately click, but their intimate connection takes a tragic turn when he awakens to find the woman lifeless beside him, leaving him haunted by the possibility of his involvement in her demise. With gruesome blood stains and marks on her body, Tung is thrust into a state of shock, fear and confusion. “Was I the one who killed Lin Meng?”, “How can I hide the evidence from the police…?” questions and overwhelmed thoughts race through his mind, adding a gripping psychological element to the plot.

Kuan-Ting and Sonia's one-night stand unexpectedly turns into a murder case

Episode 2 intensifies the suspense as Tung becomes increasingly convinced that he caused Lin Meng’s death. Shortly after, an investigation into Lin Meng’s death is pursued, with skilled detectives interrogating various individuals potentially connected to the case. The detectives are unsure of the reason- perhaps a strangling, or maybe it was poison concealed in Lin Meng’s drink. All the while, Tung receives a call back for his audition, and this time, genuinely impresses the director and other judges. It seems like his acting dreams are finally starting to manifest into reality, yet circumstances surrounding the murder overshadow his success.

Police Bright Pu and Wen-i Kuo immediately launch an investigation

The series excels in its technical aspects as well. The cinematography is captivating, seamlessly blending the show’s darker themes with emotional depth; while the soundtrack elevates the mood, perfectly accentuating the dramatic moments. Liu Kuan-Ting’s portrayal of Tung, a man caught in a web of guilt and fear is particularly noteworthy. As the series progresses, it promises to unravel more layers of its intriguing narrative. “Not a Murder Story” is more than just a crime drama; it’s a journey through the complexities of human emotions and the unforeseeable consequences of our actions. Keep your eyes peeled for the imminent release of the full series on CATCHPLAY+ and prepare for a viewing experience that will keep you guessing at every turn!

Not A Murder Story EP1-2 are now available on CATCHPLAY+. Catch EP1 for free:

Not a Murder Story S1