KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

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


Monday, March 15, 2010

A Man Called God (2010)

A Man Called God
신이라 불리운 사나이
(Mar – May 2010)

who’s in it
Song IlGook (Jumong)
Han ChaeYoung (Boys Over Flowers)
Kim MinJong (Return of Iljimae)
Han GoEun (Reputable Family)
Choo JaHyun

what’s it about
Well, let me give this a try…

Essentially, Song IlGook plays a malefactor of international notoriety, as he appears to be on everyone’s radar, including America’s main spook agency and a special criminal investigations unit in Korea. His name is Michael and he goes by the moniker Peter Pan. Yes, you read right, I said Peter Pan. Let’s not dwell. 

Our guy prefers solid colors in his wardrobe, primarily white and black (but never together), enjoys long walks in the mountains, ninja acrobatics in the morning, but water sports in the late afternoon. He lives in Hawaiian paradise but he doesn’t enjoy any of it because he’s quite the angry fellow. Twenty-four years earlier, when he was a wee little boy, his father (of military rank) was stabbed and clubbed to death on their front doorstep. He remembers the faces of all his father’s murderers and his sole purpose in life has been to exact bitter bloody revenge.

Han ChaeYoung plays the reporter that follows a shady business man to Hawai’i and her path collides with Michael/Peter Pan’s when her surveillance gets in the way of his surveillance. This story of ruthless reprisal may start in tropical paradise but will clearly end in the wintry streets of Korea.

24 episodes


wildcard factor
Multiple choice question for you:

I am interested in A Man Called God because___________.
A. I love Song IlGook.
B. I think Han ChaeYoung is hot.
C. Han GoEun is sexy.
D. I’ll watch anything.
E. None of the Above

If you answered E, congratulations, you can skip this drama.

after the first episode
Still unsure? Take my quick test and see if you should watch this drama:

1. I’ve fantasized about _________ with little to zilch clothing.
A. Song IlGook
B. Han ChaeYoung
C. Prostitutes
D. Han GoEun
E. All of the above
F. None of the above

2. I would enjoy slow-motion sequences of ______________.
A. Song IlGook skydiving
B. Song IlGook sailing
C. Song IlGook ninja-style fighting
D. Song IlGook walking.
E. All of the above
F. None of the above

3. I find _____________ really annoying!
A. English-speaking actors who can’t act
B. cheesy special effects
C. unnaturally thin people
D. films like Mission Impossible and GI Joe
E. All of the above
F. None of the above.

Tally up your score by awarding points for each of your answers.

For question 1, if you answered

For question 2, if you answered

For question 3, if you answered

For your final score, add your points for questions 1 and 2 together, then subtract your points from question 3.

Negative score: Run far away and don’t look back.
0-10: Test out the first episode.
11+: Frankly speaking, this may be your drama soulmate.

Disclaimer: this quiz is only for fun and in no way an accurate assessment of your possible predilection for this drama.

gave up 
Sometimes it only takes one episode to know what does not work. By no means would I consider myself a diehard Song IlGook fan but I did love him in Jumong and I do consider him a talented actor. Still, as sure as I am about the sound of my own name, I knew I could not continue to watch this drama.

So many things transpired in the first episode…pity none of it was any good. There were scenes that made me want to shrivel into a raisin.

Example 1: Song IlGook takes a pensive stroll in the mountains, mulling over the events of his tragic past. His bad mood gets broken by…a flock of cute and giggling local children? In the middle of nowhere? Say what…where…huh?!

Example 2: Song IlGook pretends to be Muslim. I think no further explanation is required.

Then there be the matter of Song IlGook’s outfits, his hair (is that a bird’s nest or A Flock of Seagulls homage!?), his malnourished ascetic frame…sooooo basically, nothing really worked.

The first hour felt like GI Joe’s Storm Shadow meets James Bond (Pierce Brosnan era) starring in a Tomb Raider and Blue Crush collaborative sequel. Among other outlandish things, this show boasted of illogical technology that infiltrated people’s dreams, virtual reality fight scenes, a Bond babe-wannabe sidekick named Vivian, a castle lair tucked away in the mountains and last, but most ludicrously not least, a Captain Kirk-like Star Trek throne at the center of Peter Pan’s control center.

I couldn’t even make this sort of great material up! But those weren’t even the most cringe-inducing things about this show. Watching Song IlGook and Han ChaeYoung flop around on a surfboard together kinda-sorta-maybe-flirting was truly the [negative] highlight of the hour.

I kept yelling at the drama: What is this!?

You ask, what were some of the positives?

 Well, Song IlGook’s English wasn’t awful…ironically, the actual English-speakers appeared to have a harder time delivering their lines naturally. Second, Hawai’i is always a gorgeous backdrop for anything, whether it be a story about time-traveling scientists (Lost) or psychotic lovebirds on a serial killing spree (The Perfect Getaway). There were shots of what appears to be Kualoa Ranch and Ko Olina Resorts. Pretty, pretty. What else? Oh, this was my favorite: Song IlGook walks out of the surf while Han ChaeYoung drools over his pecs and abs from afar…the cool part occurs behind him to the right—an ocean fish steals the scene by doing a high flip out of the water. NEAT!!!

Apologies Song IlGook but I don’t have high hopes for your drama. I’m sure it’ll do dandy well in the ratings but really, it’s pretty evident what kind of cheesy direction A Man Called God has decided to travel and it is not one I care to sit through for any length of time.


  1. hey... i have just discovered you're blog and it's freaking awesome, a bit like that if dramabeans!!! ive just read most of your posts and for the dramas i've already watched, i concur with you 95% of the time... although, i've already seen most of them, it's always fun to read someone else opinion... it feels like sharing it with a friend. lol. and yeah, i didnt get past a man called god 1st ep either.. and yay for ur beautiful!!! i'm looking forward to your review of return of iljimae... and if you get the time, try will it snow for christmas. i did not until i read a review of javabeans recently cuz i though it would be too melo.. hihi, go soo is definitely worth it. are you going to watch oh my lady/personal tast/cinderella sister? lol, this was longer than expected.. sorry

  2. Hey there! You must have really really awesome taste in dramas too (since we agree so much)! Heheh. And I'm absolutely with you, I’m a bit of a review hound myself and love to read other people’s opinions on dramas, too, because it does feel like you’re sharing it with a friend. I haven’t seen ‘Will It Snow For Christmas’ yet because I was also worried it might be too melo, but you’re right, GoSoo is yummy. I’m gonna take your advice and check it out. Thanks! And YES, I absolutely plan to watch Oh, My Lady and Personal Taste and Cinderlla Sister! And Daesung’s upcoming drama too, of course! I’m holding my breath for that one…in crazy excitement.

  3. lol... i dont know about my taste of dramas... i would say that it CAN be pretty shallow a lot of times and I do enjoy some dramas that i call "guilt pleasure/banging on headesk/i-dont-know-why-im-putting-up-with-this" but i'm not blind to their low quality and flaws either... *cough* boys over flowers *cough* lol. and sometimes, for some dramas that i normally wouldnt like, i would watch it and read insightful recaps at the same time and change my opinion about it after. does this mean im easily influenced? lol. but, yeah, i do have to say that i tend to agree with most what you say. its always fun to see you're not the only one thinking so and so about a drama.

  4. Whomever is the hair stylists for the lead actor Song Il-gook is a fool. The hair styles are for a woman and is not sexy on a man. I would fire them. Stop poofing up his hair, and making it curly.

  5. you forgot to mention the awesome 80's porn guitar licks during transitional scenes, and restaurant music during awkward flirting scenes, and horrid sound design with overpowering elevator dings, traffic noises... fight choreography is pretty spotty too. Still not in the top 10 worst things I've put myself through.


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