Some jobs are tougher than others. I’m not saying that in disrespect to anyone, but let’s all be honest here, not every job is the same. I myself am working in a call centre of an insurance company, where I’m not only answering calls of customers, but also coach new employees and in the process hopefully try and make them better at their work. It’s certainly a job that has it’s ups and downs, but for the most part I definitely don’t hate it. Not every call centre is the same though. While I have had my fair share of calls where I had to help a dissatisfied customer, overall the calls we receive are from people we can have a nice and friendly conversation with. But how about the calls that are received at police stations? Where every call might literally be a matter of life or death? I have deep respect for the men and women who work there, as they only have their voices that act as a lifeline for people who may be in very dire circumstances. It’s a difficult job, and you really have to be in possession of a strong willpower as a lot of the calls they receive can’t be easy. If it ever gets as bad as the call centre featured in Voice however, I suspect not many people would apply for the job.
Moo Jin-hyuk is a police detective who has earned the nick name “mad dog”, because of the way he carries out his job. Having lost his wife to a brutal killer while he was off drinking with some of his colleagues, he is overcome with guilt. As such his current methods of solving cases isn’t exactly what one would call subtle. The tough as nails policewoman Kang Kwon-joo, who has very special hearing skills, worked at the police call centre, when she heard her father get murdered over the phone. Now, three years later the two team up in the newly formed “golden time team”. This special unit, will try to apprehend a criminal within ten minutes after receiving a call, the so called golden time of saving a victim. At first though the two don’t exactly get along, and that’s putting it mildly. However they are going to have learn to put their grievances aside, and hopefully sooner rather than later. Especially when the serial killer who is responsible for the death of their loved ones seems to have resurfaced. Amidst police corruption, and a lot of different and tough cases, they have to find the clues to uncover the truth about the killer’s identity. Before it’s too late…..
Now before I will get into the review part of this post, I am first going to give a warning. It’s something I haven’t really done before in any of my previous posts in the past, but in this case I think it is very appropriate. Voice is a very brutal and often extremely violent show. I have seen quite a number of Korean dramas before with some violent scenes in them, but this one definitely takes the rather dubious number one position. Especially during the final episode there were two scenes that showed some extremely sadistic brutality. If you are easily put off by that I suggest you skip this one. For those with stronger stomaches, and fans of serial killer thriller shows, this is one to check out for sure. In part the reason to watch this, is because of the terrific cast, and the high level of acting on display here. Jang Hyuk who plays Moo Jin-hyuk gives off a terrific performance. His guilt ridden and very complex character was a joy to watch throughout this entire season. Sometimes going completely overboard, and not to mention being a hothead while trying to capture criminals, at other times he shows off his great heart when for instance caring for his sick son. His passion and drive often brought a smile to my face.
But let’s not forget his female co-star Lee Ha-na. When at first we see her, you would think her character to be a bit of cold fish. Nothing is further from the truth however, as her determination to ensure the safety of the victims of violent crimes, as well as her sense of justice, will soon make you embrace her character. The chemistry she had with Jang Hyuk worked very well, and she was a perfect counterbalance to the mad dog detective. There is one other actor that I am not going to mention by name (in order to avoid spoilers) but also deserves high praise: the man who played the serial killer. I’m not going to lie to you when I say the guy just gave me the creeps. He’s probably a very nice guy in real life, but the way he portrayed this completely insane and psychotic individual at times made it seem as if he wasn’t quite human. Which of course is pretty much the best compliment one can give. In certain shows you can still have a little bit of sympathy for the killer, trust me that you will not have a single bit of that here. The guy is totally deranged, and the only thing you want is for him to get caught.
The other aspect of the show that makes it worth it to watch is the tension level. There is ofcourse the main storyline of the chase for the psychopath. But the Korean drama is also divided up into a couple of chapters, with each chapter dealing with a different case. All of these display some of the worst crimes imaginable, including such things as child abuse, kidnapping and murder. The show doesn’t shy away from showing some often heartrending and terrible scenes, and many times the tension level gets cranked up to the max. Sometimes though the show can have some strange plotholes, where you don’t quite understand how the characters got to a certain point. This never becomes too annoying and because of the breakneck speed this show has you mostly forgive the drama for some of it’s faults. Overall Voice is a very decent, insanely dark, and fingernails biting crime drama, that often leaves you breathless. The show has been very successful, and because of it’s success has gotten a second and third season. This is quite unique, as most Korean dramas are single season affairs. If you like movies such as Seven or Silence of the Lambs, you will in all likelihood enjoy this one. (Oh, and the MIA review bit…well, let’s just say that there is one reader who will know what this means)
I give Voice season 1 a 8 out of 10 score.