Series Review: Bad Guys (OCN)

If you’ve learned nothing from reading this blog, you probably picked up on the idea that I like watching crime shows and that I enjoy Korean dramas and when you combine them? I’m a very happy camper. Add to that mix actors I like and you have a potentially winning combination. Now as we all know, that doesn’t always work. In fact, more often than not, shows usually aren’t that good. But luckily one of my favorite drama-producing stations in South Korean (cable channel OCN) decided to give me exactly what I wanted: a dark, gritty crime drama starring Park Hae Jin, an actor I really like. The drama is called Bad Guys and it is really good (I wish y’all could watch this, but finding it with English subs is tricky).


And, to be honest, by really good I mean amazing. The story is as follows. Washed up Detective Oh Goo Tak (far right in the suit) decides that the only way he can solve serious (and violent) crimes is to use criminals to solve them. Using his influence as a mad dog detective (he bites criminals/etc), he forms his team. Assigned to work with him (aka try to keep him under control) is a young, though ambitious policewoman, Yoo Mi Young (standing up behind Oh Goo Tak). Between the two of them, they must keep their three criminal charges in line.

The criminals (L-R in the picture above): Lee Jung Moon (played by Park Hae Jin) the serial killer, Park Woong Chul the mob boss/muscle/etc and hired killer/assassin Jung Tae Soo. Together with the two police officers, they solve crimes. Of course, this isn’t some sort of charming drama where everyone lives happily ever after — all of these characters have secrets, some of them in the past and some of them occurring right as we’re watching the show.

Park Hae Jin as Lee Jung Moon

For each crime that the three criminals solve, they give five years shaved off their jail sentence, which works to motivate them. But each of the three criminals has their own stories. Lee Jung Moon, the serial killer, can’t remember killing any of the people he’s charged with killing. Park Woong Chul is in prison because he’s taken the fall for his gang (and he’s not happy about it for various reasons) and Jung Tae Soo is thinking about giving up killing. Each of these story lines play very significant and important parts in this drama.

They back all of that backstory into 10 episodes — add to that a few cases of the week, some police politics and the fact that Oh Goo Tak’s daughter was murdered two years earlier — we’re all left wondering just why did he pick those three men to help solve his crimes. We definitely get those answers and a whole hell of a lot more.

I loved Bad Guys because it was fun. I loved it because it made me cry in unexpected ways. The acting was exceptional and the story was strong — it was clear to me that the writers knew where they were going and how to get us there and that trip was really, really good. Hopefully Soompi or DramaFever will sub this so that everyone can enjoy it. I highly, highly recommend it.