I think it was Boys over Flowers? As well as another popular one that I can’t recall at the moment. Both were romantic dramas, something that has never interested me. I think I’d watched about half an episode of either drama and given it up there. I can’t even find what drama I had watched because Google can’t seem to find good results for “korean drama where ugly girl becomes pretty”. And then there was this other “drama where a shooting star knocks down a house”. I can’t remember if it was Korean or Japanese. Either way I can’t find out what drama it was with such vague descriptions…
After I wrote out the review for Attack On Titan (without even watching most of the second season yet), another friend of mine from med school decided that she wanted to watch it too and she highly recommended the K drama I’m about to talk about in this post. “It’s really good, you’ll like it” she said. Spoiler alert: she was right.
The first episode I watched was a little disorienting. I wasn’t used to watching Korean dramas at all and I was having a really hard time figuring out who was who, often repeating scenes to see which character it was because, and I’m sorry to say this, they all looked the same initially. But as each episode went on, I was finally well acquainted with faces and characters, and by the end of the series I could recall their names with some degree of accuracy.
I’m not going to be throwing the names and faces of the characters at you guys because I’ve realized how confusing it is to someone who just doesn’t watch K dramas. So I will be referring to each character as the role they play.
The synopsis of the drama is pretty interesting and I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. The main character is a homicide prosecutor who is on the hunt after a rich dude whose father runs a really big company. This rich dude has murdered a woman and is trying to use his wealth and father’s influence to get himself out of trouble and he nearly succeeds but our homicide prosecutor hero isn’t about to let this happen.
Here’s the plot twist: The rich dude has a twin brother who is president of the company, while the dude himself doesn’t have much of a position and is pretty much the black sheep of the family. The rich-killed-the-woman twin decides to set the president twin up to make it look like they are each other. And he succeeds by making the president twin look like he committed suicide (while dressed and appearing like the murderer twin), while the murderer twin walks out of the mess dressed as the president twin.
So begins a tricky road where the murderer twin must pretend to be the president while the homicide prosecutor is hot on his trail, having realized what happened and is eager to get him behind bars for all the various crimes he has done.
What does prison have to do with this? Well, the murderer twin decides that in order to put the homicide prosecutor away for good, it was time to frame him for a crime and have him behind bars instead. Thus begins the story of how the homicide prosecutor is behind bars with the prisoners he put in there in the first place, a ton of evidence stacked against him and everyone telling him he did it, but he can’t remember doing it. Doing what? Well, um. Killing his wife and possibly his daughter.
This drama is intense. Really intense. There were moments when I would be glued to the screen and I would have to pause the video to take a deep breath and relax because I would be so tensed. I wanted the protagonist to succeed so bad so every set back he got was a really big blow, especially when the he would be so close to getting what he needed. But the villain would always arrive, in some shape or form, to pull him back.
All the characters were fantastic. Even the small side characters, like the prosecutor’s jail mates, got their own little stories and screen times, often used for comedic relief, in the midst of the drama that the prosecutor was cooking up. His side kick, a mafia gangster falsely accused of killing his boss, was also one of my favorite characters! Honestly, all the characters were amazing. Whether it was a accidental kidnapper or the evil minion or the driver turned spy- or the wife or the chairman, they were all really well portrayed (once I got a hang of who was who).
The visuals of the show were also amazing. We got to see a lot of Korea, and not just Seoul. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had this preconceived idea about small, far East countries that their cities are super crowded, houses are tiny, only rich people have cars and everyone has only one kid. Out of all of these, only one happened in the drama and I think you can figure out which one. Yes, whoever had a kid, had only one kid.
Original soundtracks? My favorite. They’re all so good, very appropriately paced to the tension and the ‘aura of evilness’ that the villain is obliged to carry. I of course liked the protagonist’s theme better since it’s the one that sounds the best and is also repeated the most throughout the series. Like, this music would start playing and you KNOW something serious and totally cool is about to happen.
To sum up, this is the first Korean drama I’ve watched properly and I love it completely. I would recommend this to everyone, especially if you like watching crime/police dramas like Sherlock and Hannibal. I would definitely put this drama up on the same shelf as these television shows. And I am now also more open to trying other Korean dramas, now that I know that there can be absolute gems in the mix. I’m still leaning more towards crime/psychological dramas, so my next series will definitely be of the same genre.
I give Innocent Defendant a clear cut 5/5 rating. The highest rating I have probably ever given on my blog so far because yes, it’s just that good. It’s amazing. You watch it for yourself. There are 18 episodes and each episode is about an hour long, so I advise watching it carefully because I got absolutely hooked and would go for 2-3 episodes a day (which is not a good idea if you’re a medical student xD).
What kind of shows have you given 5/5 ratings to? Do crime and psychology genre shows interest you? Have a nice day!