D.P. (2021) || Drama Review (spoilers) 🪖

series one

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D.P. (2021)

mydramalist: 8.8

my rating: 8.7

D.P. (Deserter Pursuit) is an adaptation based on the webtoon D.P Dog’s Day by Kim Bo Tong, who also co-screenwrote the drama with the director Han Jun Hee. The series is only 6 episodes long, with each episode being around the 50 minute mark, and is being streamed on Netflix. Despite the limited run time, D.P. packs a punch and doesn’t shy away from the gritty and upsetting bullying and harassment that is going on in this unit and all the others. While the topic is incredibly serious, there are humorous elements to this drama, especially between our leads.

D.P. won Best Drama at the Baeksang Awards and the Blue Dragon Series Awards in 2022.

Before I get into more of the plot, please be mindful if you choose to watch this drama. There are major trigger warnings for suicide, bullying, sexual assault/harassment, violence, blood/injuries, domestic violence, guns, hazing, smoking, swearing. There may be others, that I have missed, so do be careful.

An Jun Ho (Jung Hae In), like the majority of young men in South Korea, finds himself embarking on his two year military enlistment. After the gruelling month or so of training, he is sent to work for the military police. In his unit, the newbies are forced to go through violent and degrading “hazing” from their superiors. And it’s heavily implied that this behaviour is prevalent and “expected” throughout the whole army.

Jun Ho is a smart man and impresses Sergeant Park Beom Gu (Kim Sung Kyun), who heads the D.P. Unit. Unfortunately, Jun Ho’s first foray back into society to catch a deserter goes horribly wrong, resulting in the deserter committing suicide.

Distraught by this, Jun Ho beats up Corporal Park Sung Woo (Go Kyung Pyo) who, instead of investigating, has the pair meet up with his friends and drink the night away. Ultimately, and surprisingly, it’s Corporal Park who is punished, while Jun Ho is given a second chance by the new Captain at the base – Im Ji Seop (Son Seok Ku), who frequently butts heads with Sergeant Park.

Jun Ho’s new partner is D.P. soldier Corporal Han Ho Yul (Koo Kyo Hwan), an eccentric man who mostly evades torment due to his quick wit and higher rank. Their dynamic was really fun, as Jun Ho is much more subdued and serious (his upbringing playing a huge role in why this is), whereas Ho Yul is playful and friendly.

During his time as a D.P. soldier Jun Ho is able to evade torment as he spends most of his time away. Unfortunately, Cho Seok Beong (Cho Hyun Chul) is not so lucky. A cartoon art teacher in his normal civilian life, Seok Beong is gentle, sweet and an easy target for bullies. Cho Hyun Chul was awarded a Baeksang for Best Supporting Actor (in TV) and it’s completely deserved! While the two main leads are strong on their own, the plot of D.P. is dependant on this character as he’s truly the heart of the story. His struggles and development – because of the abuse he faces – is heartbreaking. His subsequent actions are deeply out of character, but so indicative of what happens when someone is pushed to breaking point.

Each deserter’s story is heartbreaking and/or thought provoking and despite the short run time, each man felt genuine and while their suffering is entrenched in abuse they’ve faced in the military, we were still able to know about them through their family or how they spent their desertion. I think one of the most impressive things about this drama is that each character feels real.

The drama highlights the abuse happening in the military and how being a bystander does not make you innocent, but complicit to the actions. It calls for change.

Considering where we left off in D.P., with Jun Ho making a somewhat expected decision – due to his own involvement as a bystander and all the opinions he forms throughout the drama – I’m excited for series 2! I generally hate the series format in K-Dramas, but for shortform projects and for such a strongly written and acted one, I think it’s very justified for D.P.

I would also urge you to not turn off the last episode until there is no further time. There are two end credit scenes and they are incredibly important to watch! The last one had me speechless!

Let me know your thoughts on D.P. below!

Thank you for reading!

I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥


1 thought on “D.P. (2021) || Drama Review (spoilers) 🪖

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