Bad Guys, Korean Drama Series (2014)

I love watching Korean dramaseries, but for some reason I am always running behind with reviews for these. It usually takes me a bit of time to finish them too, and that is not because I don’t enjoy them. On the contrary I absolutely love them, but as always there are only so many hours in a day, and you can only watch one thing at a time. For people who might be unfamiliair with Korean dramas let me give a small introduction for you. (I have done this before so feel free to skip this part and continue to read the next paragraph). Still here? Okay then. Korean dramaseries are tv series that usually contain around 20 episodes and cover a wide range of topics. Romance, historical period pieces, crime, even science fiction is entering the range of titles on offer. The great thing is that these are selfcontained stories, so there is never the risk of a series getting cancelled and leaving unfinished threads. Although there are a few exceptions of dramas getting a second season if it is succesful. One of these is the 2014 crimedrama Bad Guys.

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Well, I did warn you that this series could get bloody right?

In Bad Guys we meet up with detective Oh Gu-tak who has a nickname: Mad Dog. He certainly seems to live up to his reputation as he doesn’t shy away from using pretty excessive measures to catch criminals. But you can’t really blame him as years back his only daughter was murdered by a brutal serial killer. Since then he has been living with guilt and certainly isn’t the same man that he used to be. When a series of new murders take place in his district, Oh Gu-tak comes up with an unorthodox plan to capture the killer. He enlists the help of three dangerous criminals that are currently residing in prison. One is a psychopath and serial killer himself, the other a former mob boss, and the final member of Oh Gu-tak’s new crimefighting squad is a hired hit-man that never made a mistake, but eventually turned himself in. The person who eventually ends up catching the criminal, will get his sentence reduced. Things are not as easy as it seems though. Everyone has a very hard time getting along, but there also seems to be a tie that connects these four people together. A tie rooted in a very dark past and that might have very dire consequences…..

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He did not get the nickname Mad Dog for nothing.

This crimedrama is a very dark and bloody show, and honestly that is how I like them. Where the series at first starts off as a show that seems to focus itself on catching a different criminal in each episode, we soon get a storyline that branches out and carries on throughout the course of the series. The plot is very clever and it’s nice to continually try to find new pieces of the story and figure out what is going on. Β It also contains quite a bit of action, featuring carchases and impressive fight scenes that have a blockbuster movie quality to them. This being a crime story it contains some very dark material at times, and there are a few brutal scenes, but it never goes too far or becomes to explicit to watch.

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I am not kidding, this guy wears this expression the entire series. Even his hair seems to agree with him.

The real highlight of this show however are the actors. The level of performances that are given in this show are really off the charts, and truly worth the watch. Detective Oh Gu-tak is played by Kim Sang-joong and he is very impressive to say the least. This is the first time I have seem him in a show or movie, but the way he portrays this quite frankly frightening character is astonishing. His grief and trauma over the death of his daughter really come to the fore in his performance and makes him so fascinating to watch. Ma Dong-seok who people might recognise fromΒ Train to Busan, plays the former mobster Pak Un-seol. His character provides some of the much needed comic relief in what is otherwise a very dark series. He gives another solid performance and certainly became one of my favorite characters of the show.

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You would almost think that this guy is a vampire…..

The most human character and the one with the highest level of charisma is the hired hit-man Jung Tae-soo. He is pretty much the only one that really struggles with the deeds that he has done, and his background story is the one that got to me the most. Ofcourse I am not going to spoil things for you, but suffice it to say that it’s pretty touching. The last member of the band of misfits is psychopath Lee Jung-moon, played by Park Hae-jin. Quite frankly this guy gave me the creeps. His continually stoic expression throughout the series seriously was unnerving, but it was a terrific and very chilling role. We also have a female police detective called Yoo Mi-young played by Kang Ye-won. Quite frankly she is the only one that I did not really like in this series. I found her character to be pretty boring and not really fitting the rest of the high caliber acting that was done in this series.

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This is the Korean version of Spanish bullfighting.

This 11 episode series was a delight to watch. With the exception of a few moments in later episodes, this was a well paced series that had a really interesting plot, solid performances and a great atmosphere. Bad Guys is getting a second season, but sadly with an entirely different cast of characters. Which I think is a real shame as the cast for this show was simply put amazing. If you like crime dramas or serial killer stories and have yet to experience your first Korean dramaseries, this might be your perfect way to start. If you are looking for a way to watch this drama legally and for free you can check out the website Viki. This series together with scores of others can be found there in high quality, and there is a drama on that site for everyone.

I give Bad Guys a 8 out of 10 score.

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27 thoughts on “Bad Guys, Korean Drama Series (2014)”

    1. That movie I have heard a lot about, especially in terms of it being quite controversial as well. But I have yet to see it. Well, there are quite a few very interesting Korean series you can find on Viki, but this is a show that is certainly great for a starting point. If you get a chance to see it, I hope you will enjoy it πŸ˜€

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  1. You convinced me to watch this with the first paragraph 😐 I know, I’m always saying how I don’t much watch live action stuff much but I guess you’re just that persuasive.

    Plus I’m in a slump when it comes to anime and blogging, and the only live-action show I’m watching now is Preacher. I have the time. πŸ˜€

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    1. Haha, well I take that as a compliment so thank you 😊 It really is a fun series, dark, but with a touch of comedy at times as well, abd wow is this cast great, like you won’t believe 😊
      The other thing you wrote I am not so happy about. Really sorry to hear about your slump. We all get that at times. Just letting you know that if you want to talk about it you can always contact me on email: mvanderweide28@gmail.com I definitely consider you to be one of the best friends I have made through blogging, so if there is anything I can do, let me know. And maybe it’s fun to try and write a colloborate post on something. Just an idea mind you 😊 Take care, and don’t worry too much: hopefully things will get better for you soon πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, man, I really appreciate that. I see you as one of m closest blogging friends too. As for the slump, I think it’s that I’m a little (or lot) tense about personal things and on top of that – or maybe because of that – I can’t for the life of me focus on anime. Writing posts is like pulling teeth. I might give up and go on hiatus soon. Currently, I’m working on a few posts that I’d started.

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      2. Hmm, well just so you know, you might not say it as I have been making a few posts this vacation, but I have had some troubles myself as well. Before my vacation I gave a lot of support to some people, and in the end ended up neglecting myself. Which has caused me to feel a little down, sad and without energy. That said, all I can say is: it may not feel like it now, but it will get better. Keep talking to friends: it really helps. And as I said if I can offer any help on posts or other stuff: let me know, I’m here for you. Would hate to see you go on hiatus. But if you need time to take a break, you should really do that if you think it will help you. Real life is always more important than blogging 😊

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  2. Great review! Can’t wait to watch this. I recently saw a Korean mystery-thriller Stranger (also known as Secret Forest), and loved how layered it is. I will be sure to check this one out, since I’ve been looking for new Korean series to watch. Wonder if you have seen Gap-Dong? It’s supposed to be brilliant as well. 😊

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    1. Thank you very mich for the kind words as always. I had to look up Gap Dong as I had never heard of it before, but it certainly sounds like a series that is right up my alley. I’m going to see if that one is available for me here. Stranger is available, I already saw it was on Netflix, and that one already is on my to watch list. Thanks for the recommendation πŸ˜€

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  3. Yay! I’ve been looking forward to this review, and it was another good one πŸ™‚ I’m so glad that you enjoyed this series. I was optimistic that you would and was thrilled to see you liking it. I thought it was a fantastic drama in crime genre.

    I’m looking forward to the second season because the new cast is also very good and with the same PD and writer, I’m hopeful a lot of that feel and tension will carry over. Again, great review, and I hope you find another good drama soon πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you very much for your amazing and kind words, really appreciate it. I hope the second season for this will be just as good. But I just really loved the characters in this series. They were all so very brilliant. With a new season you at first have to get aquinted with everyone again, but we will see. I am certainly cautiously optimistic for it πŸ˜€
      As for the new series I have already made my choice (I am also still watching Pinocchio), but the other series will be Remember. Especially since it’s one of your favorite series and I love the premise for it 😊

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  4. I’ve stopped watching Korean series of romance genre because the plotline is too silly and stupid and the acting of these K-idols are outrageously bad… but I liked their horror stuff like Train to Busan. I only watch their horror and maybe a few thrillers. No more Korean romance for me. I prefer Japanese movies though ,for some reason. Believe it or not, Filipino teleseries are very, very popular in Southeast Asia, Europe,( esp. Spain ) even Russia, and they are dubbed in the language of the country where they are shown… Vietnamses, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, Indonesia, Spanish, Russian, etc .In Vietnam, for instance, there are few people on the streets at a certain time when very popular Filipino TV series are on… like , they have to be home to watch the series.

    The problem is, Filipino series are very, very strict on copyright issues. Here in the US, there are 3 Filipino channels where these series are aired…. that’s why no one can watch them free anywhere, esp. on You Tube. ( $ 29 a month for just one channel ) You won’t even find any Filipino movies on Netflix. Well, they have to protect these channels, and on other TV stations where they are shown. No free stuff.

    Just letting you know…. coz it seems you like Asian entertainment. Try Filipino entertainment, too. Filipino drama series deserves to be watched, too and I just discovered this fact just recently. So, so, so much better than the Korean series that I’d watched , so far.

    FYI.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your very eleborate comment. I would love to watch Filipino entertainment, because you are quite right I really like Asian entertainment. But sadly here in Holland a lot of things are not available for me. Filipino entertainment is one of them. I usually watch on Viki, and even there a lot of series that are widely available to other countries outside Europe I am not able to check out here. It’s a real shame as i would have love to have tried it out.
      I usually don’t watch the romance type Korean dramas either, but there are exceptions. Goblin for instance was a really fun Korean drama. Even though it was partly romance, it had a very entertaining story, great cast and generally pretty good acting. If you haven’t seen that one yet, it is definitely worth checking out. Thanks again for your very insightful comment 😊

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    1. It depends really, sometimes I can write a review in as little as an hour. But there are also reviews that take longer and take up to two hours. That is the maximum amount of time though. It never takes me longer than two hours 😊

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