“You’re dirty, but pretty” — Ji Wook 😂
I want this review to be well written and thoughtful, instead I’m not so good at reviews and most of my notes are about how I would die for Nam Ji Hyun and how beautiful I think Ji Chang Wook is… so… 😂😅 I will try my best, but forgive me if this is a shamble!
Suspicious Partner aired in 2017 on SBS (check it out – subbed – on their YouTube channel♥). It is a romcom/prosecutor drama! It stars Nam Ji Hyun and Ji Chang Wook as the leads ♥
Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) is training to be a prosecutor and in the midst of this she discovers her boyfriend (2PM’s Chansung) is cheating on her with a fellow classmate. Bong Hee is bitter in a hilarious and ridiculous way that doesn’t make her friends, instead it furthers her accusations when her ex boyfriend ends up murdered in her apartment.
Through this she had been training in Ji Wook’s (Ji Chang Wook) office, a disliked and mean prosecutor, who of course has a soft side. At first he is the one to prosecute her, but becomes the one to save her. Ji Wook is a strange boy – he’s both cool, but can be incredibly sulky, crabby and just plain adorable. And Ji Wook plays the role so well!
The secondary characters are also great! The “second leads” are Eun Hyuk (Choi Tae Joon) and Cha Yoo Jung (Kwon Na Ra). Eun Hyuk is adorable and I found his character to be a very solid figure despite his own sadness. No one around him deserved him! At first first I wasn’t so fond of Yoo Jung. She’s selfish and bitter, but as the drama progressed and we saw her more I couldn’t help but find her endearing. Their relationship is somewhat frustrating, so be prepared.
I also want to shout out two other faves – Prosecution Investigation Officer Bang (Jang Hyuk Jin) and Na Ji Hae (Kim Ye Won). Officer Bang is priceless and his relationship with Ji Wook is sweet and he’s a self proclaimed single man with 4 children and I love him! Ji Hae is somewhat like Yoo Jung. I didn’t like her at all until the latter half of the drama. She goes through a lot of growth and we love female friendships, despite how unconventional they start out and remain!
These two scenes are separate, but I love how they look next to each other 😂
Of course our leads have trauma from their pasts that is interlinked and comes up at the most annoying time, but I think it was handled well, albeit being not that essential to the plot… Although, it does integrate another character – Jang Moo Young (Kim Hong Pa). We meet him from the get go as he is the father of the ex boyfriend and everyone’s boss essentially, but through the past we see more of the flaws of his cases which effect the current situation.
The main plot is finding the real murderer and clearing Bong Hee’s name. This is a long process, especially when the man in question is a serial killer. And also very close to the daily lives of our characters.
At first I thought Jung Hyun Soo (Dong Ha) was just plain creepy and he is, but he is also incredibly complex. The way he thinks and acts is interesting because I found myself feeling sorry for him. And there were other people he interacted with – Ko Chan Ho (Jin Ju Hyeong) in particular – that I felt sorry for but then we find out things and I hate them. His plot line really makes you think about your own morals and ethics. It also delves into mental health and trauma. Dong Ha was phenomenal and easily the best actor in this drama! I’m interested to see his other works (he’s currently doing his military service, but should be back soon!).
Within this large arc, we also get smaller cases as they do become a small 5 membered lawyer agency. Some of them were linked, while others just gave us more looks into the personal lives, growths and personalities of our characters. These were a nice change of pace and were woven into the plot without making the pacing or change distracting or unwanted.
This is a well acted drama. The balance of seriousness, comedy and romance is wonderful. It was also a well produced drama that made the watching experience great. However, there were some things that weren’t good:
- The resolution: For this I don’t mean for our leads, because I think that was done well. I’m talking about Hyun Soo. In the penultimate episode I was gripped! We were learning some mindblowing and game changing things about him and why he’s really doing all the murdery stuff. However, in the last episode we have his trial… it lasts like 5 minutes… despite all we got in the previous episode, I still felt cheated and dissatisfied.
- Which leads on to the ending. I hated it. Don’t get me wrong, we had some cute moments, but for the most part… bleh. I feel like it tried to show the reality of a bickering lawyer and prosecutor couple and that now their lives aren’t revolved around a murder case that effects them personally, they may have other struggles… blah blah blah. I’m here for the cute and I mostly got them arguing…
This would have been an easy 9 or even 10/10 drama for me, but the last episode dragged it down. Not by much, but I’m still bitter. Especially as there was a lot of potential for this drama to be overall fantastic. It’s still a new favourite tho, so 💁♀️ maybe don’t trust my opinion 😅
This is the last thing I wrote in my notes:
Overall, a great drama, great leads, all great actors (Dong Ha was phenomenal)! Amazing chemistry, well thought out characters and plot. Just a weak finish.
- Plot: 7/10
- Acting: 9/10
- Production: 8/10
- Enjoyment: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8.25/10
- Director: Park Sun Ho
- Writer: Kwon Ki Young
- Network: SBS
- Episodes: 40 (aired two 35 min episodes a day on Wed & Thurs, but can mostly be found in the hour long format as 20 episodes).
- Release Date: May 10th – July 13th, 2017
What are your thoughts on Suspicious Partner? Do you agree with me or not?
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥
Hayleigh, I agree totally with your review. I watched it when it first came out and found myself (like many others) enjoying it immensely. It was so different and not going down the old trope pathway. However, like you, I was underwhelmed by the ending. Your review was great by the way.
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I feel like we need to all forget the ending exists haha Thank you! 😊
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I was very disappointed in the ending and the blithe way they talked about Jin Ju Yeong at the end, without any real compassion for the fact that yes he’d become a cold blooded murderer and had to pay for that, but they gave no genuine weight to the fact that he didnt just have a crush on that girl but had fallen deeply in love with her .. and he can only have been severely traumatised to have been caught in that horrendous situation of not being able to run away from what was happening, due to his being a weaker person in the ‘gang’, probably wanting desperately to protect her but being unable to because of his own fears .. and then having to watch it unfold in front of him! The effect of such a huge inner conflict would have been enough to cause a major psychosis, as the actor SO well portrays. . His irreconcilable emotions drove him into splitting off from the fact he was even there because it was too painful for him. . Sure he had to be treated as a dangerous criminal but it was awful the way they simply brushed his situation off, especially in view of how much of the drama was about the main characters OWN struggle to refind and unravel their different traumas and the ways they had also shut down in order to cope with their painful memories. I felt the way Mr Noh seemed to relish his ‘victory in nailing him as the murderer int eh end, including the way he baited him to get him to admit what hed done , by pushing him into the awful pace of thinking he had taken part in the rape, was actually extremely cruel only showed how when being in a position of power himself, he used it very cruelly.. how is that any better. I felt thislast bit was really such a let down and really distasteful and they should have had a real psychologist on board when they wrote that bit of the script. I guess it was MORE of an upsetting end because the rest of the series was so good !!
I completely agree. His character was realistically the most complex and multi-faceted of the drama. Suspicious Partner was gearing up to be an all round well done drama, but in the end it felt like they ran out of steam which was detrimental to all the amazing work they had done with Hyun Soo’s character and Dong Ha’s portrayal of him.
Thank you for your comment!!
What books did JCW’s character read in this series? I only remember one about sleep but not the others.