CRIME/THRILLER || K-DRAMA
Remember to stay up to date with the world, listen to those facing atrocities and help spread awareness/donate where you’re able to.
I believe the Try a Chapter Tag was created by Maliamoonshadow 6 years ago. It’s a tag that is a staple of BookTube and it’s a shame they only have a couple hundred views on their video which you can watch here.
The “rules” are as follows:
- Choose 5 books you’ve been meaning to read
- Read the first chapter (prologue included)
- Decide Yes or No on continuing it.
Now, I won’t be doing this with books, as evident by the title. I’m happy with my reading at the moment. The issue I have is dramas! I have not watched a single episode since March I think… that’s rubbish. In that time I’ve watch Dinnerladies about four times… I need to do better 😅
And this is why I thought it would be fun to turn this book tag into a drama one, which is something I’ve done in the past and enjoyed.
I hope this helps motivate me to watch some dramas ♥
I know it’s May and for me in England this means it’s getting warmer and sunnier-ish (I mean it’s literally pouring it down right now as I type so…), but I’ve chosen this topic because it’s just the genre I’m in the mood for. Apparently, I want to feel pain and see (normally broken) people solve murder.
I’ve chosen four that I’m really interested in, but in the future I think it will generally be three. I chose four this time round as three of them are less than the standard 16 episodes. I have made a tweak to the rules and they are as follows:
- Choose 3 (or 4 depending on length) dramas you’ve been interested (or are relevant for a challenge) in watching
- Watch the first episode
- Decide Yes or No on continuing and give thoughts
- Post a review once you’ve completed the drama
- When the month is up write final thoughts on overall experience
I started this on the 19th of May and this last bullet point will be posted on Monday 20th June.
Life on Mars (2018)
As the leader of a crime investigation team, Han Tae Joo has propelled his career and risen through the ranks by trusting data over all else. One day, while investigating a serial murder case, he has an accident. When he wakes up, he suddenly finds himself in the winter of 1988. He doesn’t know why, but he’s now a detective appointed to work at a police station in a small city. To get back to the present day, Han Tae Joo tries to solve the case.mydramalist
I’ve been meaning to watch this remake for ages! Life on Mars is so intrinsically British that I was interested to see OCN made it their own.
We start the drama off with immediate suspense and then are thrown into the life of Han Tae Joo (Jung Kyung Ho). He is part of the forensic unit in Seoul and due to his disposition of being detail oriented and strict to his own morals has made many enemies in the police force. These morals cause the not guilty verdict for a serial killer and this leads to the accident and subsequent thrusting of Han Tae Joo into the 80’s (instead of the 70’s but I’m guessing this is to make the timeline make sense otherwise you would need HTJ to be a decade older).
I enjoy watching OCN dramas and Life on Mars definitely has elements of their distinctive style. I like that the tv still plays a role, and thankfully there’s no creepy child and her clown doll.
I’m obviously going to continue, mostly because Jung Kyung Ho is such a beautiful man and I really like his acting. I will say, I’m a little disappointed in Kang Dong Cheol (Park Sung Woong) because Gene Hunt may be the worst but he’s so iconic 😂 I think this has the makings of a super interesting and well developed serial killer focused crime drama with those small nods to the original.
Will I Continue:
YES || NO
images from ocn.tving.com
Inspector Koo (2021)
A hard-boiled investigative comedy drama that centers around the insurance investigator Koo Kyung Yi who investigates a murder case. Koo Kyung Yi, an intelligent woman who solves cold cases for the thrill of cracking the case rather than bringing justice to the world. By hook or by crook, she ferociously chases the truth behind every case. A college student who is a serial killer plots an accidental murder case to defraud her insurance money.mydramalist
In episode one of Inspector Koo we meet both our main characters, Kyung Yi (Lee Young Ae) and Yi Kyung (Kim Hye Joon), through different, yet interconnecting timelines. They then meet unexpectedly in the same spot, which was super interesting. Kyung Yi, is an alcoholic who would rather just play online video games all day. However, she is employed sporadically by a hoobae at an insurance company as a sort of rogue investigator.
The editing is strange, but has some fantastic and engaging moments. I will say that while a lot happened in episode one, it felt long and the case felt somewhat rushed. I was unsure on whether I wanted to continue, so I let Netflix play the next episode and I’m definitely more interested after episode two. This has mostly to do with the insurance company Team B becoming more involved as a unit (I love an underdog investigative team) and Yi Kyung. She may be a very odd and dangerous woman, but she is the best part of the drama for me so far ♥ Love her!
This is more of a tentative yes, but I’m hoping the promise of episode two means that the rest of the drama won’t disappoint and I will end up completing it!
Will I Continue:
YES || NO
images from jtbc.joins.com
Through the Darkness (2022)
Back in the 1990s, the citizens of Seoul were gripped with a paralyzing fear after a series of brutal attacks and murders occurred. A mysterious figure dubbed ‘Red Cap’ was stalking women on the streets then killing his prey, seemingly without provocation. His habit of striking at random made it impossible for the detectives to predict his next move. At the top of their minds is what could be triggering him. Aware of the American F.B.I. and its successful use of criminal profilers to identify serial killers, the head of the Criminal Behavioral Analysis team, Gook Young Soo recruits Song Ha Young, a quiet, reserved, incredibly perceptive former detective for his team. Gook believes using this new psychological method will give the police an edge in capturing ‘Red Cap’ and ending his killing spree.
Homicide expert Yoon Tae Goo and her officers question the value of this approach and are resistant to entering such uncharted territory. To quell their scorn they need to convince that this radical crime-fighting approach will increase their arrest rates. Does Song Ha Young have the ability to gain the trust of callous criminals while seeing through them? Is he clever enough to outwit them? But more importantly, does he possess the emotional fortitude to withstand the process?mydramalist
I went into this completely blind and honestly I think that’s the best way to go into watching crime dramas! Although, I did discover that this is based on the first profiler in Korea, Kwon Il Yong’s, autobiography which is interesting.
On the surface episode one introduces us to Song Ha Young (Kim Nam Gil) briefly as a child and then we are thrown into his adult life during the 1990’s as a police detective. There is a killer on the loose who is terrorising women who live alone and evading capture. This isn’t surprising considering the chief would rather punch a confession out of a man than do the actual leg work.
Through this investigation we see the contrast between the methods of Ha Young’s colleagues and his own, as well as introducing Kook Young Soo (Jin Seon Kyu), a forensic detective, who is adamant that the method of profiling is essential in catching criminals and that they will see more serial and extremely violent killers in the future.
Episode one was dark, emotional (I’m going to cry in every episode aren’t I?) and we got a great sense of our main leads and it built an incredible amount of suspense and intrigue! I’m so excited to keep watching. Also, Kim Nam Gil is so attractive ♥.♥ And was it just me that when they focused on the rosary on his rear-view mirror I thought of The Fiery Priest (another SBS drama with KNG)? 😅
Will I Continue:
YES || NO
images from sbs.co.kr
The Killer’s Shopping List (2022)
Ahn Dae Sung has an excellent memory, despite failing his civil service exam three years in a row. Still studying, he works part-time at his mother’s MS Mart on the outskirts of Seoul. His girlfriend Ah Hee, is a police officer.
When a murder takes place in an apartment building near his work, Ah Hee begins her investigation with Dae Sung and his mother, Myung Sook, soon joining her. But before long, she discovers that the sole clue is a store receipt issued from MS Mart.Asian Wiki
This is a super recent drama – the last episode has only just come out – and it was mostly on my radar because Lee Kwang Soo is the lead.
The first episode gives us the main backstory that Dae Sung (Kwang Soo) is a genius and he and his mother Myung Sook (Jin Hee Kyung) are no-nonsense when it comes to people committing crimes. It also shows the family dynamic of Myung Sook being the matriarch figure who is very hardworking and the breadwinner.
We then transition into the present where Dae Sung is having a tough time. Despite being very clever, he continues to fail the civil service exam and the father of his long time girlfriend Do A Hee (Kim Seol Hyun) hates him. Realising he needs to give his dream up, Dae Sung begs to work at his mother’s supermarket again.
The intro of this drama is amazing! It’s animated and all about the supermarket. The episode is well put together and has a somewhat quirky (but still clean) editing style to match the off beat comedy.
There are a host of characters, and the first episode does well in introducing them to us – both directly and indirectly – and all feel relevant to the plot. I’m interested to see how they fit into the investigation and if this does connect to the criminal that is caught in the beginning. It’s also quite fun that the characters in MS Mart have little nicknames that are connected to what they sell.
This looks to be both hilarious and emotional!
images from tving.com
Will I Continue:
YES || NO
Let me know your thoughts on these dramas! And definitely update me if you choose to give this a go or if it’s something you already do!
Thank your for reading~
I hope you’re having a lovely day and are staying safe ♥