KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Thursday, February 25, 2010

IRIS (2009)


(Oct – Dec 2009)

who’s in it
Lee ByungHun (All In, The Good, The Bad, The Weird - film)
Kim TaeHee (Love Story In Harvard)
Jung JoonHo (Last Scandal)
Kim SoYeon (The Grand Chef)
TOP (I Am Sam, member of Big Bang)

what’s it about
Lee ByungHun and Jung JoonHo first become friends during their basic training days in the military. Eventually, the duo is recruited into a supersecret spy network called NSS, not too dissimilar from agencies like the CIA, NSA or MI5 in concept…except this place is highly classified and their technology does not utilize spellcheck for English words (heh, I tease). Both men fall in love with Korea’s national hottie Kim TaeHee, a fellow NSS agent, but only Lee ByungHun gets to go on vacay with her to Japan and totally score with her. Oh yeah, he wins her heart, too. Things go all to hell when a job in Hungary goes batsh*t wrong and Lee ByungHun finds himself on the run, alone, and allied with North Korean spy Kim SoYeon, who is totally smokin’ hot! All of this has something to do with IRIS, another supersecret organization that has TOP on their payroll, who not only has killer looks, he has a killer gun. You know, because he kills with his gun—like literally, with lead bullets.

20 episodes


wildcard factor
Lee ByungHun
Kim TaeHee
TOP (of hip-hop idol group Big Bang)

after the first episode
Soooo…this was what all the hype was about...flashy (check)…slick (check)…big names(check)...expensive-looking (check). It definitely had a Bourne Supremacy flair about it and…

gave up
…I am not a fan of the Bourne series. I don’t have very much to say about this drama because I only watched a handful of episodes. I stopped for a lot of reasons but here are the top five:

5) The camerawork was distracting and dizzying and every episode felt at least 20 minutes longer than the clock read. The spy-speak wasn’t interesting to me.

4) I thought Lee ByungHun and Sienna Miller were the only things saving American flick GI Joe from disaster and I thought Lee ByungHun was freakin’ fantastic in The Good, The Bad, The Weird, but I was not liking this lovelorn, ex-military beefcake spyhead role on him.

3) Kim SoYeon should have been the female lead, not Kim TaeHee. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

2) I was completely obsessed with You’re Beautiful while this was airing and I couldn’t seem to switch brain modes from happy comedy to dire downer spy thriller.

1) NOT ENOUGH TOP. When his appearances faded…my interest in finishing IRIS did too.

I may go back one day and revisit this in its entirety, but for now, it’s filed away in the “unfinished business” shelving part of my brain.


  1. Yup, Kim SoYeon stole the show... For some unknown reason, I started getting annoyed with Kim TaeHee. Mebbe because she and Storm Shadow doesn't have chemistry at all...

  2. LOL @ not enough TOP. I really agree, the "Big Names" was the main reason why people watched it. People who were into dramas probably knew Lee Byun Hyun (who is FANTASTIC) and people who follow Kpop definitely know TOP. I wanted to like the drama more, but I was dragging my feet to watch until the end. I was sad when TOP went, but he looked so hot, even while dying :D

  3. I didn't like the way TOP died. =(

    Didn't you think he coulda put up a better fight? Being as he was such a badass assassin and all?? But you're right, he did look hot even whilst sucking on his own blood. Heh


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