Television Drama Reviews

Bad Guys (2014) Korean Drama; Dir. Kim Jung-Min; Writer: Han Jung-Hoon.

This drama is very dark, gritty, and compelling.  Some of my favorite Korean actors are also in this series, including Kang Shin-Il.  The police department needs help fighting violent crimes and recruits a edgy police officer to lead a team of currently incarcerated criminals to get the bad guys.  The moral gray areas are explored as each member of the team makes constant decisions about their actions and the difference between them and the guys they chase, and what it means to live like a human being.  It seems reminiscent of Breakout Kings (2011) where U.S. Marshalls lead a team of inmates to catch “runners” and get time off their sentences for their service.  Both shows are incredible.  Still watching, and there is a season 2:  Bad Guys 2 (2017) with a different cast.  It’s been available on Netflix for official streaming.

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Kimchi Family or Fermentation Family (2011); Dir. Park Chan-Hong; Writer:  Kim Ji-Woo

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Kimchi Family is the an amazing Korean drama I watched some time ago.  One of the most enjoyable things about this drama is the warm-hearted family ties, which aren’t necessarily blood-ties.

I love the characters, especially the reformed gangster Ki Ho Tae (named after Don Quixote), who is actually soft-hearted.  There’s a sweet little girl named Eun Bi that definitely warms the heart.

I think one of the things I love best is how the characters gradually grow closer to each other, make mistakes, and learn together.  There’s a few strands of darker plots that make you wonder “why?”.

Learning more about kimchi is also fascinating.

The side characters are off beat and very fun to watch.  I love how they support each other.  This is the drama where I first watched one of my favorite Korean actors, Kang Shin-Il.  It has been available on Dramafever or Hulu[not currently] for official streaming.

Father Brown (2013-) Creators:  Rachel Flowerday and Tahsin Guner

I’ve just started this series, and it’s phenomenal.  Unlike most mysteries that focus on how evil people are, this series seems to focus on the people portion and asks the “villains” to face up to what they’ve done.  Of course, Mark Williams, known as Mr. Weasley from the incredible Harry Potter series is wonderful.  It’s not about glorifying evil or doing evil to others, it’s about trying to understand, and through understanding, getting people to realize why murder is not right.  I feel a little bit of healing from the series, as opposed to only focusing on darkness that other murder mysteries seem to focus upon.  Instead of being overwhelmed by the darkness of people and what they can do, this series seems to uplift, by focusing on, above all, acceptance of wrong doing.

Cheo-Yong (2014-2015) [Seasons 1 & 2]; Dir. Lim Chan Ik; Writer:  Hong, Seung-Hyun

Cheo-Yong is the perfect series for the horror lover.  Each story is compelling, each ghost has a story, and each time, we get to see the dreamy Oh Ji-Ho and his sidekick Jun Hyo-Seong try to peel back the mystery.  Some of the episodes are particularly heart wrenching, so binge at your own risk.  It’s better to enjoy the horror and suspense over a period of time.  Excellent series and very enjoyable.

 

 

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