KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

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


Friday, August 23, 2013

I Can Hear Your Voice (2013)

I Can Hear Your Voice
너의 목소리가 들려
(Jun – Jul 2013)

who’s in it
Lee BoYoung (My Daughter SeoYoung, Ecuator Man)
Lee JongSuk (School 2013, High Kick 3, Secret Garden)
Yoon SangHyun (Secret Garden, Queen of Housewives)
Kim GaEun
Lee DaHee (Birdie Buddy)
Kim HaeSook (Childless Comfort, Life is Beautiful)
Yoon JooSang (IRIS 2, School 2013)
Jung WoongIn (Ojakgyo Brothers, Coffee House)

18 episodes


Jo SooWon

Park HyeRyun
(Dream High)

what’s it about
Lee DaHee is the privileged daughter of a respected but cold-hearted judge. Lee BoYoung, the heroine of this tale, is the daughter of his maid. When the two un-friends accidentally witness a maniac attempting to kill a man and his young son, their lives become permanently bonded. But it is the kind of bond built on distrust and rivalry, not any kind of survival-pact type kinship. When Lee BoYoung bravely steps up to testify (although she retro-believes her act of honor had been foolish), she succeeds in sending Jung WoongIn to jail, thereby also succeeding in becoming the target of his hatred and revenge. Whether by coincidence or by cruel design, Lee BoYoung eventually grows up to become a bristly, somewhat disliked public defender, while her nemesis Lee DaHee becomes a highly respected prosecutor.

Lee JongSuk plays the teenager version of the young boy saved, and he has a big secret. During the brutal events of his father’s murder, he develops an uncanny ability to hear people’s thoughts when looking into their eyes. As he describes it, the world is little more noisier for him than for other people. The headphones around his neck are not for trend’s sake, but his small defense against a constantly whining population.

Ten years have passed since Lee BoYoung’s testimony sent Jung WoongIn away to prison, and Lee JongSuk has had no contact with her, but not for a lack of trying. He has always wanted to find his savior again. When he finally does, thankfully, it’s just in time to help her as the crazy evil Jung WoongIn has been released from prison and is gunning for the woman who had been the cause of his incarceration. Lee JongSuk attempts to keep the vow he made as a little boy to the older girl who had selflessly testified on his behalf: I’ll protect you.

Also, Yoon SangHyun plays a fellow public defender who dorks his way into Lee BoYoung’s heart. As far as the dynamic between these two adults go, it’s not bad—think Clark Kent and Lois Lane, but attorneys, not reporters. Oh, right, no superpowers, either. Although now my comparison is getting confusing because technically I guess Lee JongSuk does have a superpower...ok, nevermind. Moving on. At a skim, an exceptionally serious sounding thing. In reality, more a funny and sweet rainbows and sunshine romcom, with only the occasional dark cloud to keep the story going.

first impressions
First 15 minutes:
Oh no, is Lee JongSuk playing a punk-with-a-heart-of-gold again? I mean, he was good in School 2013, no arguments from me on that, but I personally like to see actors go upwards in mobility, not sideways.

30 minutes in:
Whoa-ho-ho! Wowee. Didn’t expect that. Brutal. Violent. Jarring. Someone just got killed by a bat. Ok, cool, I kind of like this feeling of being surprised. I also like that this isn’t a silly effort to merely titillate with yet another noona-dongsaeng romance. As far as kdrama trending goes, it’s not that I hate such plot designs, I just wish they were good, you know? Also favorable: I’m glad our boy Lee is in a role that is more than just a student who can fight. Again, not that the trend for pretty fighting boys is a thing to dislike...because I obviously looooove it (shameless Heartless City plug: I get to watch delicious grown up pretty boys fight in that one!), but you know, Lee was parked in that “stewy soulfull jjang” character space only months ago.

After full episode:
Weird, this show really is about a dude who can hear people’s inner monologues. For some reason, I thought that part of the scenario was figurative, not literal. Nevertheless, it’s not awful. And a pretty funny little quirk in the show that sets it apart from a typical romcom.

Kwon JiYong | Goo SeungHyun
Ok, first of all, I just have to mention that the little chipmunk playing the younger version of Lee JongSuk’s character is a pretty close ringer for a young G-Dragon! Awesome. Does that make Lee JongSuk the actor version of G-Dragon in this show? I kind of like it. I’m gonna stick with that because it makes me happy. I know I will never see GD in a kdrama, so I suppose this will have to do.

Secondly, this is a show about a boy who listens to people’s minds…oh my Las Vegas, could that ever go so many ways stupid. But it actually works. It does feel like an artifice that doesn’t need to be a part of the script, but it is, mostly because every kdrama that airs these days seems to require a Bizarro factor to get sold. Fortunately, in this case, it is a funny-maker. And tender moment-maker. Marvelous. A concept…that translates decently into script.

Last, Lee JongSuk and Lee BoYoung have a cute little thing going. Right now, I don’t know if it’s the kind of synergy that makes me want to see them kissy-kissy make-out, but who knows? And I like our older flower boy Yoon SangHyun as Lee BoYoung’s love interest. I also tentatively anticipate Kim GaEun’s more age-appropriate potential loveline with JongSuk as well.

And really, I’m not sure what it is about this kid, but he has an angular charisma that just won’t let me ignore him, even though I don’t really care for his brand. And is it just me or does he have poofy girlie pretty Angelina Jolie lips? Strange. I just noticed that...*slap my own eyes* Stop looking at his lips. He’s playing a minor in this one!

Oy, why is my First Impressions like a zillion paragraphs!? I’m going to stop rambling or I’ll have nothing left to say for the full review.

First Impressions posted June 25, 2013

wildcard factors
Wildcard 1: 
The heroine Lee BoYoung was an immature, prickly, insensitive, thin-skinned but querulous pitbull with a huge chip on her shoulder and she was in constant battle with the people around her…that’s right, she was the grown up Korean public defender version of Lucille van Pelt, fans of the comic Peanuts know her more familiarly as meanie pants Lucy who made Charlie Brown’s life miserable.
She might not have been an actual eight-year old, but she did act like an elementary school kid often enough. Not to say she wasn’t likable. Considering her character, she was more endearing than expected, but mostly because the show’s construct worked for her. She was a shrill character prone to defensive narrow-mindedness, but the mind reading aspect saved her from misunderstanding. The internal dialogues we were privy to via Lee JongSuk’s one-way telepathic abilities gave us great insight into the nicer Lucy versus the mean Lucy on the surface. In fact, the direction of her contradiction was one of the primary reasons why Lee JongSuk’s character liked her so much. Unlike most people who are polite on the outside but nasty on the inside, she was soft where it mattered, inside with her organs. I’m fairly certain that I might not have liked her character at all without the supernatural insight, but thankfully, it was there and she grew likable. Imagine how much more likable Lucy might have been had we known what she’d been thinking when she yanked on good man Charlie Brown. 

Couple random thoughts about Lee:
1. The actress was compared to Angelina Jolie a couple times by the other characters. I did not understand this at all. The only person that had any passing resemblance to the boobalicious and lip-luscious American movie star was Lee JongSuk. Obviously because of his poofy lips, people! Admit it, against your will, you just imagined Lee JongSuk for a second with big boobs, didn’t you? Muhwahwahwa.

2. This was a gold part for an actress. When one takes on a law procedural show, the dialogue heavy aspect of script-memorizing must be a pain in the ass. In this one, at least there was a balance between pages and pages of nonsense legal mumbo jumbo with pages and pages of things like: during voice over “look deeply into Lee JongSuk’s eyes” and “avoid Lee JongSuk’s eyes while appearing to be shy” or “communicate with eyes that you are sad but not sad.”

Wildcard 2: 
The next big point of interest in this drama would be one’s personal penchant for noona-dongsaeng romances. I feel like every other drama I tackle these days has some variation of an age gap affair going on. If it’s not a noona romance, it is an oppa one. Obviously, between most relationships, one person will be older in a relationship, for rarely does a couple share the same birth day of the same year, but we all know what I am speaking of. I’m not talking a year or two, or even five, I’m talking generational age gap romances…in this case, we’ve got a pairing that’s going on 10 years apart (real life ages). At the start of the show, Lee JongSuk’s character was a minor in high school but at Ep 9, we got a time jump. For the plot? Nay. More likely so that he was no longer jailbait to her.

This was a massive hit, a rare drama that surpassed the 20% ratings mark. Basically, everyone adored it. That’s a pretty bold fact and punches me in the face and pretty much confirms that I was in the minority when I say I personally thought the romance between JongSuk and BoYoung was weird. For me, the couple seemed more the effect of a bond borne out of danger and never grew out of the big sis/little bro zone. I was never convinced they had a more mature man-woman attraction despite the valiant efforts of trying to convey it through chaste back hugs and even more chaste lip on lip mashes, which could technically be defined as kissing. But you argue most kdrama kisses are awkwardly stiff ventures? Perhaps. Still, these felt weird to me.

I preferred Lee BoYoung’s feel with Yoon SangHyun. I always thought Lucy and Charlie Brown would be a cute couple. But that’s me.

Despite my personal preference of wanting the loveline to have gone a different way, the romance between this age gap couple was pretty watchable. The Lees did have an appealing rhythm together. I didn’t love it, but it was enjoyable. Many factors worked in their favor. Most important, Lee JongSuk is a 1989er, so he’s a grown man who was a bit buff and manly, and not really a 19 year old scrawly little thing. The show made great efforts to balance the power between the couple and make them equals, from having JongSuk speak casually to BoYoung instead of the more appropriate level-up speak one does to adults, to utilizing his physicality and height to make him a more masculine presence, and of course, also painting her the more childish of the duo. 

Well, if my Peanuts comparison is developed further, Lee JongSuk was the puppy. And I guess Snoopy did have an infatuation with laying the smooch on Lucy. Also, it didn’t hurt that Lee JongSuk really did live up to the rumors about him: he seemed very comfortable with being touchie feelie. His nonchalance and complete enjoyment and contentment with skinship was very wooing. He made skinship scenes with BoYoung feel fairly natural and not too awkward. (Psst! He’s a player!
You guys all saw him on Running Man with actress Min HyoRin, right? Holding hands and running around…he’s not shy or blushy about engaging in some skin on skin action. Gotta love that kind of maturity.

gave up

snoozer moments
There was a last minute extension of 2 episodes. Were they necessary? No. In those extra hours, they spent quite a lot of time cutting and pasting old scenes between new scenes, dragging things out and offering lengthy exposition. Maybe a one episode extension and a drama special might have sufficed. The last episode felt like the neverending epilogue.

soju guzzling (angst factor)
Bad Guy #1: 
Jung DongHwan played Lee DaHee’s father, a veteran well-respected leader of the criminal justice system, and one completely symbolic of the corruption behind the prestigious judicial robes. And the reason why his daughter Lee DaHee tossed art away and went into law. 
He was a man completely convinced of his own awesome and was the very definition of how power and entitlement can twist a person into a monster wearing expensive sweater vests. He sent innocents to prison without a sleepless night to trouble him.

Bad Guy #2: 
Jung WoongIn was the more obvious monster, in that he killed, stalked, and tormented in a more extravagant manner, but he at least had a somewhat more compelling reason for all his evil besides a grab for power and wealth. Jung managed to give us genuine scary even in his outlandish one-handed evil killer role. 
He was a pretty good foe for Lee JongSuk, and perhaps our being able to hear his psychotic homicidal thoughts added to his development. Did I mention he was also one of the few people who knew JongSuk was a mind reader? His story was eventually revealed to be a cautionary tale for Lee JongSuk, should the younger man choose a more vengeful path into his future.

what didn’t work
The Confusing Delivery of K-Justice
While I realize the show wasn’t written for audience like myself, halfway across the world with a Law & Order* view of the criminal justice system, I can’t deny that the lawyering yanks and zigzags within the plot made my Westernly-bent mind confused as all heck. (*iconic US crime procedural show that followed police and district attorneys in their pursuit of locking up bad guys)

Voice did offer up legal fine print by way of text that popped up for reference, but still, sometimes it really felt like the plot took advantage of the law and twisted it as it pleased, just kind of tossing out an Article of This-That and a Code of What-Not just as defense that they weren’t completely making things up. I never thought they were fabricating the law code, but I often found myself wondering just how many liberties they were taking with it! For one, I’m rather used to watching cops and prosecutors working overtime to catch the bad guys, often with futile results. The American legal system (and South Korea’s) is premised on the fundamental idea that one is innocent until proven guilty, the arduous task of verifying evidence of guilt lying on the state. In this show, despite the letter of the constitution, everyone often seemed to be painted as guilty until they could prove they were innocent.

Instead of writing paragraphs and paragraphs of complaints that will yield no law satisfaction since I am sooo not versed in K-law, I will just list some issues my western mind didn’t like:
1 Three judges, one judge to rule them all; a juvenile one at that.
Lee BoYoung’s constant assignment to high profile cases when she was a newbie defender.
3 The appearance that the three main people of the drama were the only public defenders on the roster by the state.
For fairness sake, how can a lawyer with a direct conflict of interest be assigned to a case?
Why can’t the victims testify in their own trial?
A jury panel’s verdict is only a suggestion for the courts to follow!?
7 When she was a minor, how did Lee BoYoung testify in court without her mother ever knowing about Jung WoongIn and his murder trial?
Once they confirmed Kim ByungOk’s wife was indeed his wife, how could they charge him for attempting to murder her when he’d already been sent to jail for her murder? Shouldn’t the lawyers have been called to the bench for a powwow in having the charge immediately dismissed? Double jeopardy, anyone?
To drag a suspect to the crime scene then “act out” the crime in front of reporters…is ludicrous! What possible purpose does that serve other than to mislead and criminalize a defendant in the eyes of the public?
10 How can the Prosecutor’s Office unilaterally choose to charge Lee JongSuk for stabbing Lee BoYoung if she herself claims it merely an accident? Do victims have no say whatsoever in this criminal justice system?

Obviously, in a procedural drama like this, the law is a prominent character. What I was most confused about was…whether this drama hoped to shed light on a criminal justice system that needed reform or if it was proud of the country’s criminal justice system…or if it had any commentary at all? I am comparing the law of this show to what I know of the laws in my own backyard (which are not without its flaws too), so while not criticizing South Korea’s law structure, I am merely expressing what made me perplexed. I simply could not tell what the drama’s message was supposed to be, and that was frustrating. The law stuff overall was not delivered in a way that survived scrutiny, unfortunately.

Clearly, my lack of understanding about the court system in South Korea is infinite, as I have not passed the bar there, but here are some facts about the ROK law I dug up that pertains to this drama:

1 ROK started experimenting with jury trials in 2008, and its way of adaptation has been controversial.
2 Generally, a single judge hears and renders a verdict; however important or serious cases are decided by a panel of three judges.
3 US district attorneys vary greatly from Korean prosecutors. Being a prosecutor is one of the most powerful professions in ROK and they govern the entire criminal procedure, they can open or stop criminal investigations and the police are subject to their commands.
4 There is no private prosecution or grand jury indictment like other countries.
5 Currently, defense lawyers play a minimal role in the interrogation process. Defense counsels can be present during interrogation and can only object when the method of interrogation is unjust and the counsel can give opinion only after the interrogators have given approval.
6 Unlike other countries, the party to the litigation cannot be a witness.
7 Age of criminal responsibility is 14; 14-20 are specifically treated under the Juvenile Law.
8 A victim of a crime shall be entitled to make a statement during the proceedings of the trial of the case involved under specifically prescribed conditions.
9 No citizen shall be prosecuted for an act which does not constitute a crime in force at the time it was committed, nor shall he be placed in double jeopardy.

10 Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right to prompt assistance of counsel. When a criminal defendant is unable to secure counsel by his own efforts, the State shall assign counsel for the defendant.
11 The accused shall be presumed innocent until a judgment of guilt has been pronounced. 

See more of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea

what did
The Friends:  
Park DooShik and Kim GaEun
Lee DooShik had a contentious friendship with JongSuk. But you know, in Park DooShik’s defense, it would be very unfair for a friend to be able to read your mind. No one is ever 100% pure-thinking. He was pretty nice to Lee JongSuk considering the girl he liked only had eyes for JongSuk. They might have been super dooper close if JongSuk wasn’t a secret thought-thief. Anyhow, Park DooShik, class bully, clearly wanted to be JongSuk’s bestest pal even as he poked at him.
Kim GaEun, object of Park DooShik’s affections, had major first love lasers pointed at Lee JongSuk. She never stood a chance, but her chasing was enjoyable anyway.

Charlie & Snoopy: 
Lee JongSuk & Yoon SangHyun
JongSuk and Yoon SangHyun have pretty great stewy chemistry, as pre-established in Secret Garden. Come to think of it, this drama was also a reunion between him and his PE teacher Yoon JooSang in School 2013.

Despite competing for the affections of the same woman, they developed a bond of mutual respect, JongSuk eventually coming to look up to the older man. Yoon SangHyun was the Flower Man Lawyer, aka Good Man Charlie Brown, and Lee JongSuk was his Intelligent Mind-Reading Puppy that communicated to us his and everyone else’s inner thoughts. 

In fact, the two characters were similar type people, good at their core and open to achieving greater maturity through lots of self-reflection with every plot twist. Unlike their girlfriend, they were tormented constantly by their conscience. They also took to banding together to keep secrets from her, which I never understood. They sure didn’t have much faith in her. On the other hand, maybe they were right to do so. She proved over and over that she was more impulsive and reckless than even the most wild of children.

A couple random thoughts about Yoon:
1. He looked better as a cop! Pretty hot, even.

2. I did not understand his character’s forgiveness of Jung WoongIn’s people-killing nutjob. Not in the least. The show tried HARD to paint the killer as a victim as well, to elicit some pinch of pity for him from the audience, but I was having none of it. This was a guy who—

—smashed a mack truck into a father and son
—watermeloned a man’s skull in with a steel pipe
—aimed to do the same to a little boy
—gleefully chased down two young girls with same steel pipe
—manipulated the legal system
—stalked+terrorized a woman/civil servant
—stalked+terrorized+stabbed a teenage boy
—bludgeoned someone’s mom with a wrench + razed her store
—chopped off his own hand in an evil master plot of revenge
—gifted dismembered hand to the police
—framed someone else for chopped hand + fake death
—killed at least one random bystander (fruit cart lady)
—oh right, and broke Yoon SangHyun’s arm

I think One-Hand Man let go of any right to sympathy some time ago. I shudder to think what kind of abuse this man might have done to his wife had she survived and some time in the future upset him in some way.

The Prosecutor:
Lee DaHee
If I were an actress, I think I would have preferred tackling this part. Sure, Lee DaHee didn’t get to rub up all against JongSuk for 18 episodes, but her part had far more complexity. She may not have been the target of hate by the serial killer or the target of love by a mind-reading puppy, but she was an integral part of the entire story, and she got to range all over the emotional battlefield. 
Her story had some serious mileage, the kind that felt well traveled. Most of all, her part of the tale really drew out genuine feelings for me, and the wrap up at the end was heartfelt. A lot of the characters in this show were given choices, and they were often painted as cut and dry road forks: the easy way or the right way. The bad guys always picked the easy nasty direction while the good guys picked the right path. Lee DaHee felt a character who genuinely struggled at her intersections because while she was a decent person, she was an even more vulnerable and selfish one. When she matured, she did not change entirely, she still kept her selfish elements, and therefore I liked her for her reality. When she picked the right path, it felt like a bigger success than, say, someone like Lee JongSuk, who was always programmed to go the way of good. Doing the right thing didn’t earn her many friends either, so the incentive to be morally upright had to come from herself. Lee DaHee learned a big lesson about life, that taking the easy path may be the easier choice, but likely one she would be taking without any friends. As her Evil Adopted Dad learned.

Couple random thoughts of Lee:
1. Spoiler alert: [ So Lee decided to have a relationship with her biological father, but what about her one-handed scheming crazy biological mother? ]

2. Although we didn’t get any hint of this until the later episodes since they shared very few scenes together, but Lee DaHee had some amazing chemistry with Yoon SangHyun.

He was goofy and earnest Charlie, she was a tall and leggy beauty…but somehow when he interacted with her, he pulled her down into the goofy and wacky territory, too. It was a pleasure to watch.

The Device:
Mind Reading 
What was most effective about the framing of this story was that it easily rang true, like in a general world view kind of way. You and I, for example, are probably good people. I am giving you the benefit of a stranger’s good opinion, but as a follower of kdramas, I have big doubts that you are either a one-handed homicidal killer or a sociopath supreme court judge. Anyhow, as a relatively normal person of regular-sized morality, we are decent human beings, but never perfect ones. We all have a fair amount of nastiness that run through our thoughts, nothing probably comparable to any of the crazies in this one, but also nothing we’d like the world to hear. So if YOU were a snoopy mind reader and the people around you constantly shared their darkness with you, could you learn to forgive humanity its flaws or would you grow to hate the people who made up that dark humanity
The mind reading element was particularly well utilized in this drama. It made scenes more poignant, more humorous, more meaningful. I realized just how important the crutch was for the show when it briefly went away.

But not only did it better the show, but it was a huge part of what made the main character so appealing. We got to see Lee JongSuk with and without his superpowers, and it was interesting to see how the difference manifested in the character. For Lee, it seemed his mind trickery was neither a gift or curse, it simply was a part of him. He did struggle with it, of course, often wondering if he was a monster, but overall, he dealt with it as if it were a genetic quirk he’d always carried, just as someone might deal with any other borne handicap. In fact, had Lee JongSuk’s character been unable to look into the souls of all men, perhaps he might not have been able to save himself from the same violent fate that his nemesis The One-Handed Crybaby Killer chose.

Random thoughts about mind-reading:
1. I think it would be the most crappiest thing in the universe to either be mind-read or be the mind-reader in a relationship. Aside from the everyday nuisance of constantly having a boyfriend or girlfriend spying on you from within, or constantly being tempted to spy, think about the awkward during intimacy.

2. A great vacation for a mind reader would be out of the country? Even if you could hear thoughts, if it is in another language, at least it wouldn’t bother as much? It would be easier to tune out. As for JongSuk’s choice in profession, sure, mind reading would probably be a handy skill to have during interrogation as a cop, but frankly, if I were him, I think I’d go with zookeeper. Why spend an entire lifetime listening to the dark side of humanity when you can listen to the fuzzy wuzzy of cute animals instead?

3. Lee JongSuk was like a genetic mutant who used his powers for good. OMG, he was one of the Xavier’s X-Men!

The Moral of the Story
One-Handed People Are Common in Korea?
Don’t live life in hate and start a path to destruction, it will ruin your life as well as others, and you may be left with only one hand.

notable scene(s)
Episode 16
Soju Memories + Real Life Heroes
Yoon SangHyun shared a touching story of why he gave up being a police officer to become a public defender, dedicating his life to being an advocate for the accused. 

Episode 16
Reunion With Real Father With Real Heart 
After a whole lot of crap goes down, which I won’t go into detail, as this was kind of a suspense type of a show, Lee DaHee grew a heart.

what kept me going
Lee JongSuk

Couple random thoughts about Lee JongSuk: 
1) The noonas of the globe fell further in love with this lanky dude, actress Lee MiSook included. She went on record (via radio) to declare her affections, comparing him to Won Bin. I don’t see that (he’s more a Lee MinKi to me), but the compliment was well-intended anyway.

2) He is pretty buff for a skinny thing.
Other factors:
predictability Yes
cheese/engrish N/A
originality Yes
eye-candy Yes
hair and fashion Regular
why you might like it
Lee JongSuk

why you might not
Law Rambler
Age Gap Romance

a list:
Nation Saving Rewards
There’s a saying in Korea that if you are having great luck in your present life, you must have saved a nation in a past one. In pictures, here are 8 reasons why Lee BoYoung clearly saved a nation in her past life, or at least a minor village with a powerful shaman.

8: Hot summer, lots of tank tops for JongSuk.

7: Feisty Snoopy who always wanted to kiss her

6: One of many clinging hugs from JongSuk

5: And we have lift off...against JongSuk

4: Jumping on JongSuk

3: The ever-adored back hug from JongSuk

2: Carried by JongSuk

1: Lip touching with JongSuk

total enjoyment factor 

why this review is completely biased
Between the recent trend of Grand Canyon proportion age apart couples and the comeback kid named Amnesia, drama plots are kinda driving me crazy. It’s a weird thing…I feel like the creativity of these plots are galloping to great heights, but there are certain elements to these dramas that keep poking me with uncomfortable thorns. There were scenes in this show where creative writing was obviously taking place to inject some romance between the main couple…without causing too much actual intimacy between the actors. And because of that hesitancy by the show, it felt like I should feel guilty about wanting them to jump in the sack. I think if the character, an adult woman, feels wigged out about having some sexy time with her hot stud younger boyfriend…maybe said woman doesn’t like hot stud young boyfriend as much as she thinks. Let’s just say in the real world, a woman in Lee BoYoung’s shoes would not have been locking her bedroom door at night. Hmmm. And that young boyfriend would not spend all night studying. Hmmm.

I liked all the characters in it, thought it was a fun summer show, and actually really liked the mind snooping aspects of it. However, the law logic needed more explanation. Very probably it is my own ignorance of the South Korean legal system, but some of that stuff drove me crazy. And I do believe that the writing should have not made me feel so stupid and confused and dismayed by the law stories they were telling. It was, after all, a large part of the show.

I guess this was a one-handeded drama (har, har). On the one hand, it had some really likable people, yet on the other, the law-tada! moments felt more like sleight of hand tricks, manipulated and belabored, therefore difficult to believe. This was all about the cute. By the tone of my review, it may sound like I didn’t like it, but actually, I did find it entertaining. Sure, I didn’t quite believe the law tale, didn’t quite buy the romance, but this show had a lot of sincerity, and while I am full of snark, I don’t have a heart of stone. The good nature and the good will made this drama watchable. A drama I would recommend, but it definitely had its moments of ridiculous.

Anyhow, in the end, it was mostly a win for Lee JongSuk more than anything else because like the rest of the drama watching populace, I came to adore him a little bit more. If this were a race between Kim WooBin and Lee JongSuk to see which School 2013 grad wins my undying devotion, Lee may have just jumped ahead by a few steps after this one.

Video is Lee SeungGi’s noona-loving anthem: 
“Because You’re My Woman”


  1. I wasn't initially interested in this one, mainly coz I haven't managed to get into any - like, seriously, ANY - of Lee Bo Young's roles that I've seen. But, it's Lee Jong Suk! (And yes, he does have amazing Jolie-esque lips!) And everyone's been waxing lyrical about this show! And now, you've even put YOUR tentative stamp of approval on it. That does it. It's something I'm just gonna HAFTA check out! XD

    1. =) Me, too. Like you, I really wasn't going to try it, but I needed a distraction from my Heartless City obsession. And surprisingly, Voice really wasn't that bad!!! It was really unexpected. Definitely worth giving a shot (even with LBY in it)

  2. can download korean drama here http://kdwes.org/

  3. I totally agree with you on the law side of this series. Ive watched it but im not totally invested unlike heartless city.. yay! Im waiting for your review on that gem. I also did not understand why her mother doesn't know about the killer..

  4. woahh,, just finished watching this!! And contrary to many people here I like it very much...

    but I pretty agree with you about "whether this drama hoped to shed light on a criminal justice system that needed reform or if it was proud of the country’s criminal justice system…or if it had any commentary at all?" well, but for mere people like me who really has zero awareness of law in even my own country.. I guess the message will reach the audience just fine.. one thing at least the cliche "I won't live like an heartless animal like you" or I'll end up one handed".. kind of message..

    and also LJS's lips.. and Yoon sanghyun being a cop is much much hotter..and also I love lee dae hee in the end of her story with her father, her character seemed like the real human being..

    but not agree with booyoung being more impulsive and reckless than even the most wild of children... hell, she run around with heels!! *I appreciated everyone who is being able to at least walk decently without tripped in heels.. lol

    besides many of imperfection, I just really love this drama.. it might be my fave drama from 2013 release.. maybe because I'm not that aware with any law related to be able to be disturbed by this.. or because I haven't watch much dramas lately as comparison.. or maybe I just love the stubborn noona and mind-reader dongsaeng relationship.. (I won't call him puppy, coz I've never seen one with jolie's lips.. :p) or maybe bcoz I just can't shift my eyes away from jongsuk's lips and his arms.. lol

  5. I know, I too was perplex about the law issue. But still loved this drama. Wished for more love scenes but sometimes less is morr right? I put this on my listof re watching at a later dste.

  6. I can't get into the romance. The lawyer is too old and too unlikable for the sweet high school boy. It ruins the show for me. Love LJS, though. I enjoyed him and the romances in Pinocchio and W.

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