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Charming92
30 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 21, 2017
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.5
Putting this drama into words is not easy. Spending the last few days, I was trying to come up with one word that can describe Defendant, and after some thought I think I got it. The drama is simply captivating and mesmerizing!

Story
Without being particularly original or unique, defendant feels completely one of a kind. Part a legal-crime thriller part melodrama, Defendant is solely a two-man show. On the one hand, read more it centers on a prosecutor –the hero- who finds himself in prison, is accused of murdering his wife and child and dealing with memory lose on top of everything else. On the other hand, it focuses on a wicked man –the villain- who tries desperately to get away with his crimes. The drama develops partly as a mystery and later as an endless manhunt between the two as the one tries to destroy the other.

First half of the drama takes places in prison. I sincerely appreciated the fact that the drama did not spend time with court and other boring legal procedures but rather looked everything from a different personal-dramatic view of the hero delving deep into his troubled thoughts regarding his indictment. The memory loss plot is just a device to drive the story nothing more, so don’t worry about things dragging out a lot. The amnesia plot was handled in a very refreshing way in my opinion.

Second half of the drama is way more engaging, more dramatic, more lively filled with tension, angst and twists. The acting is luscious and you will never get bored of seeing the turning tables and schemes between the 2 lead characters. The drama is melodramatic without being mawkish, but there are also comic scenes and characters to relieve the tension and they succeeded without ridiculing it. There are quite a few characters implicated in all this making the drama that much more thrilling and mysterious.

While the drama really left a very strong impression that could translate into a perfect 10, specific reasons restrict me from it. Firstly the conveniently written base story. Frankly, there is no drama that is not at least partly convenient, that is how they work, and then the drama is just so good you’ll barely mind the convenience here and there.

Moreover, the main drawback I could address is the slow development of the plot especially in the first half of the drama. I remember me thinking that the drama offered its first real plot development, since the first 2 episodes, in episodes 7 and 8. After that the story really picks up pace. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every episode. Even in episodes in which nothing much happened, the drama managed to be fascinating, bewitching and easy to watch.

Finally, although more of a nagging stretch from my part, i felt that the drama somehow mistreated its flawless ensemble cast by focusing too much on the 2 leads. It's not that the characters felt unreal, it is exactly that they were so well written that they deserved some kind of story of their own, namely Kwon Yuri's character. All that being said this focus on the main leads just gave Ji Sung more time to be flawless on my screen i shouldn't nag! I hereby reassure you none of these minor shortcomings were enough to reduce, even by little, the awesomeness of this drama!

Acting
Despite the great and thrilling plot, best part of the drama for me was the acting. The cast is actually quite large, with almost every character having a significant role to play. I cannot argue that the acting was an overall 10, but as I mentioned already this is a two-man show and these 2 men simply outdid themselves!

I can safely say we all agree that Kill Me Heal Me was Ji Sung’s best work; he demonstrated perfectly his unrealistically good acting skills. Ladies and Gents, I present you, the drama in which Ji Sung managed to outdo himself(!). His acting as a tainted inmate fighting with himself over his charges trying to solve the puzzle was magnificent and astounding. I doubt there is another male actor who can break down crying, act like a lunatic like that and come off as firm but also desperate and emotional as Ji Sung did. He sent chills down my spine, goosebumps. Either acting as a disoriented inmate or a strong and driven prosecutor or an aching father and husband he was immaculate. He knows exactly how much soul and emotion to pour into his performance in every scene. Excquisite! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again best actor in dramaland.

The duo is formed with Uhm Ki Joon. I’ve seen him before but never like this. He portrays the antagonist but somehow he had such great syngery with Ji Sung, something I’ve never seen before. His portrayal of twin siblings was firstly impeccable; secondly his performance of a despicable criminal was spotless and shivering. A corrupted unstable person who still felt human and somehow mistreated and misunderstood. Undoubtedly, i never saw me having these feelings about such a villain. Heavenly acting by Uhm Ki Joon! A character you’ll love to hate. The two men managed to really make the drama shine 10x brighter than it would have on its own and they complemented each other completely.

The ensemble cast had a few really good actors. Yuri generally gets a lot of shit for her acting, she is considered the female lead, but considering the significance of her character she barely appeared. She served a purpose, and imo she held her own next to acting beasts despite being rather forgettable. I especially liked Uhm Hyeon Kyeong, not a big role, but also a significant and poetic one.

Oh Chang Seok and Kang Sung Min played similar characters that developed in the exactly opposite way, amazing writing here, they were great. All the cellmates were immaculate and adorable too, the drama generally featured some of the best and more likeable side characters I’ve ever seen.

Lastly, my personal favourites, Kim Min Suk who was sentimental and touching, loved him and my endless love and appreciation for Shin Rin Ah, the ridiculously talented young girl who never cease to amaze.

Even if the acting wasn’t perfect overall, it deserves a 10 for the perfect casting and synergy.

Recommend/Rewatch.
Despite your preferred drama genre, defendant is a drama that cannot be easily put to words, it should be watched. Therefore, I recommend it to everyone. It is emotional, exciting, thrilling, mysterious and intriguing. It does not have romance but believe me you won’t even care! I can see myself rewatching it in the future.
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DreamingKoreanBallad
18 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 21, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
This is the truest example of how a drama should start, develop and end. *Drama writers/directors take note* - this drama was pure BRILLIANT!!! From the story, to the acting, even to the music! *I love you baby* ;) Haha, A very enjoyable drama that never made me loose interest not even for a split second - not even during the days in between waiting for a new episode to air. Every read more week I was anticipating this drama, I couldn't get enough of it, I even wanted to watch every episode over again after I saw it (I had to really hold myself back from doing that - and I've never had that problem before b/c I never desired to watch an episode I had just watched over again right away lol) - you can bet I'm going to marathon this drama once again starting tomorrow from start to finish! Yes, it's simply that good! Hey, it even made it into my top 5!

Story: It's about a man who is sentenced to death for killing his wife and daughter and his desperate attempt to prove himself innocent. When your life takes an turn from a revered prosecutor with a loving family to a death row inmate who murdered his family - you know something big is in store.

Cast/Characters: Ji Sung as Park Jeong Woo - I can't praise his role and acting in this drama enough. He really outdid himself in this and I'm so very proud of him, I can't imagine any other actor in this role - it was simply perfect for him! In my eyes this was his greatest work yet and it showcased his best acting abilities yet! I loved his character and his determination to prove himself innocent. You could see every single emotion flash across his face. Brilliant acting.
Uhm Ki Joon as Cha Min Ho - you can't really get a better actor to play the villain role in a drama, I've seen him play many villain roles and this one is my favorite. A great actor for sure! He and Ji Sung were perfect acting partners - and they had great acting chemistry (heck, the entire cast had great chemistry). I love villains who are pure villain - they make you love to hate them. (if that sounds right - a pure villain with no heart one can only loathe but a villain who does have some heart - makes you hate them but in a way care more about their character - even though you can't wait to see them pay for their crimes). I would love to see these two in another drama together again.
Shin Rin Ah as Ha Yeon (Jeong Woo's daughter) this child is brilliant in her acting - she will make you cry, she's so good. She's a natural.
Kim Min Suk as Seong Kyu one of my favorite supporting characters in this drama, I loved the time we had with him in this.
Jo Jae Yun as Cheol Shik - the best side-kick one could ever wish for! I love this actor in every drama I see him in (however I do much prefer him to be our good guy so I can adore him fully!) He always makes me laugh in the dramas he's in - he's like your comedy relief from all the suspense lol and his bromance with Ji Sung in this is so nice! I sometimes wish he was in every drama I watched lol
All of Jeong Woo's cell mates deserve to be mentioned: Moong Chi (Oh Dae Hwan), Rockfish (Jo Jae Ryong), Bundle (Woo Hyun), & Bang Jang (Yun Yeong Hyun). Attorney Seo Eun Hye was wonderful in her role, as was Seok (Min Ho's henchman) in his role. So many actors and they are all so good! More mentions: Tae Soo (Kang Sung Min), Jun Hyuk (Oh Chang Seok), Prosecutor Go Dong Yoon (Lee Shin Sung), & Prosecutor Choi Tae Hong (Park Ho San) I really liked him - such a good mentor and head prosecutor ^^

Music: "I Love You Baby" will have a whole new meaning to you after watching this drama and you'll always be reminded of Cheol Shik whenever you hear this song ^_^ I love how they incorporated this classic hit song into this drama ^^

Re-watch value: 10/10 - You know I'll re-watch this one and right away too! I can't get enough of it, so I have to see it all over again from start to finish - not missing a single second (there will be Zero skip-watching folks). ;)

I HIGHLY recommend this to EVERYONE! It's the best drama of the year so far! Heck, it's the best drama I've seen in a long time - sure others have been good or even really great to excellent but none of them top this one in terms of enjoyment and brilliant story writing and acting! This is a true GEM - a Masterpiece if I ever saw one!
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Linky
4 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 26, 2017
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
A decent crime / mystery with solid acting. The pros of this drama: I watched the plot unfold with enjoyment. The pacing is good so it keeps viewer engaged. The acting is good - especially the little girl and Ji Sung as the Jeong Woo.

The reason I do not rate it higher is that I found it really derivative of other shows. Though I did enjoy it, it was pretty predictable. read more I usually don't care about this so much, but here it was so obvious that it distracted me from getting emotionally involved with the characters. I didn't find the characters very realistic or complex. The characters felt so much like stock characters from very other crime mystery story of this type. It's like the writers decided they wanted to write a show like "Prison Break" combined with "The Fugitive" and just went with that without trying to add any originality or twist of their own. At first I thought the references to Prison Break were kind of cute, but after awhile the similarities became tiresome.

I didn't love the characters - not even Jeong Woo. There were details about him that bugged me, so though I wanted the bad guy to be punished, it's not because I loved the hero so much. The setup for the villain really didn't make sense. The crime that is the catalyst for the whole drama was psychopathic and impulsive and really without thought or reason. He gained nothing from it and just did it because he felt like it. Then he spends the rest of the episode impulsively covering it up. And then we are supposed to believe that he magically transforms into a resourceful, manipulative character who plans and thinks enough to get away with all that he does for the next 17 episodes? The motley group of inmates was kind of funny, but too glaringly cute for this type of story and obviously just there for comic relief.

I don't regret watching this, but didn't love it. It's one of those shows where I just wanted to see the story play out even though it was mildly disappointing along the way.
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Trang Doan
22 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 6, 2017
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Great actors, excellent plot. This is a must-watch. I did not expect it to turn out this great. Never underestimate Ji-sung's skills in expressing emotions. Cannot skip 1 episode!!!
This drama grabs your attention right in first episode you cannot turn around and escape from it.
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BaekInHa
3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 21, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
THIS DRAMA IS DEFINITELY A MUST WATCH!

The first episodes of this show were addicting, and got me hooked immediately. The plot is amazing and very well executed & distributed throughout the whole show. There was never one time where I felt that the plot was dragging. The ends of the episodes always ended at a note that left the viewer wanting to know what happened asap!

All the actors in this read more are talented, and portrayed their roles well. I was a bit reluctant to watch this because of how Yuri was casted, but she proved to be a better actress than I expected. Uhm Ki Joon and Ji Sung were definitely the MVPs of the drama. Amazing acting from the both of them. Ji Sung's emotions were so raw and realistic, while Uhm Ki Joon perfectly played out his psychopath role.

The OST is so good...not the best in my opinion for a drama, but it always added to the scenes, and intensified the moments when played.

This is one of the only dramas I watched airing that I have not dropped...Each episode is worth the watch. Despite the darkness of this show, there are many hilarious scenes within...the bromance between several of the prison mates is truly heartwarming..

Overall awesome drama, love all the characters (even the antagonists) ..if you love shows full of action and thriller elements, yet also have comedy sprinkled in the middle, watch Defendant.
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Eftihis
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 22, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
So this drama deserves a 10/10 for me!
The acting was Pure epicness and it was amazing.
The story was Great with some plot twists! amazing plot.
The music.. It didnt have Songs, like all the other dramas, but more like Instrumentals and i think this shows how "serious" the drama was.
They wanted to make it look serious and the music helped in my perspective.
Rewatch value? honestly I think watching read more the same drama all over again is kinda a waste of time, you already know the twists etc, so it will be boring, But if a drama is full of action i think , it might be worth rewatching it.
But a drama that is mainly talking , and thinking? with 30% action? I think it will be boring. But thats just me! you be the judge when you watch it at least once!
So all in all! this drama was a masterpiece! Loved every single episode! and it surely is one of my Top kdrama right now^^!
Greetings from Greece~ ??~~
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kez
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 21, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I gave an all 10 for everything because this drama is no joke. The moment I started watching this, I was hooked. Watching an airing drama with this kind of genre could make you go crazy thinking and guessing what could've happen and such. But it was FUN, don't get me wrong. The story was actually common but the intensity and the attack they did was very different. There were twists in read more each episode that you wouldn't expect. And each episode will give you a roller coaster ride. Acting wise, you have no problem especially with Ji Sung. He is exceptional. I strongly believe he deserves the Best Actor award in the Drama Awards at the end of the year. Also, the kid who played as Ha Yeon was totally good. A promising child actress! Um Ki Joon too was a great actor. At first I was confused if he really had a twin but no, it was just him who played two roles. You would know the actors did a good job when you're attached already to the point of hating them, loving them, pitying them, etc.

Lastly, the friendship that was built inside the cell was so precious. You'll definitely love them. It reminds me of Miracle in Cell No. 7 all of a sudden. SNSD's Yuri was good too. She proved that she could act but can be better in her future dramas. All in all, it was a 100000/10.
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Jeana
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
Defendant for me was this year's most anticipated drama. I remember that while it was airing and everybody was talking about it, I used to look at it with greedy eyes everyday. I wanted to watch it so bad but at the same time, I knew that in order to enjoy it fully I needed to wait for completion. I'm glad I waited 'cause I truly can't comprehend how I would have read more withstood the torture that this show's cliffhangers inflicted upon the poor watchers.

If you're like me and you've watched your fair share of crime dramas you won't find the premise of this show exactly unique. You'll be able to guess most of the plot twists (if not all) and see a lot of things coming beforehand. Defendant comes with it's flaws. There are a lot of convenient coincidences that aid both our good guys and the baddies. Sharp tools just happen to be lying around jail cells just waiting to be used by the inmates, a circuit somehow just happens to break resulting in a power black out whenever it is needed, a very useful recording device disguised as a pen just happens to travel around wringing confessions from the evil doers left and right and our antagonist somehow conveniently transforms from an up to no good loser to an identity stealing mastermind overnight.
How very interesting.

However, with its slightly rocky plot comes a masterful execution. Even though you know what's going to happen, when it actually happens it feels like a completely new and exciting experience. Our good guys seem to be trapped in their own version of real life flappy bird. It's one step forward from the abyss of doom and twenty steps backwards. So when convenient coincidences happen to rule things in their favor, I'd be damned if I have a problem with it.

This is the kind of show that banks on the watcher's heart rather than the mind. It will make you blinded with emotion and leave all logic behind. But the real reason this show is a hit is the excellent acting put out by all the actors.

Ji Sung as always is phenomenal. From Secret to Kill Me Heal Me and finally to Defendant, you can see his acting evolve and grow more powerful. He's an extremely skilled performer and many a times I suffered through a serious case of gooseflesh while watching him. By the middle of this show I was completely invested, horribly torn apart and crossing my fingers for him to turn the tables on all the assholes that had done him wrong.

Usually in melodramas, when you see the main character go through tragedy after tragedy, it turns from heartbreaking to frustrating real quick. Soon you go from wanting to wipe the hero's tears to slapping his mouth shut and putting an end to the sob fest. However, Ji Sung got me every time. His pain, helplessness and tears always made me wail like a baby. I didn't realize I was rocking so much H2O in my body until it came out gushing from my peepers. I think I felt quite a lot dehydrated after finishing this show.

Uhm Ki-Joon with his Cha Min Ho put out the acting of his life. He's heartless, ruthless, evil without a cause and at last, pitiful. He's probably one of the best antagonists of Dramaland and undoubtedly one of the most hated characters. His impulsive acts of violence leave you shaking with fury and you'll find yourself thirsty for his demise.
A lot of people thought that his situation was a little unrealistic but as a daughter of a detective, I can say that I've seen many real life cases where the criminals start with seemingly minor and thoughtless crimes and commit far worse atrocities to cover it up. In Cha Min Ho's case, he sticks to it to the very end. His bag of tricks is endless and you never find a peaceful moment with him.

Even though this show truly focuses on the two main men, some other characters will weasel their way in your heart and take permanent residence. These were the characters that I wanted to hide in my back pocket and protect from all the cruelty of the world. And even though my wishful thinking did not save all of them, I treasured every moment they were on-screen.
My precious and loyal Seong Kyu, my shady but hilarious Optimus Shin Cheol Sik, Prosecuter Choi Tae Hong who never once lost faith, Jeong Woo's merry band of prison inmates and the resilient Seo Eun Hye all brought their own flavor to the show.

This drama has a deep underlying message about how family makes or breaks you. How people are willing to go to every length to save their loved ones and how it's never too late for justice. With an extremely satisfying ending; giving closure to all the characters and answer to your every question, Defendant takes a spot among dramas that are consistently amazing from start to finish.

A dark and gritty suspense drama that comes with its share of heartbreak.

An absolute must-watch
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imhakunamatata0
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 1, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 10
LITERALLY THE DRAMA THAT WILL MAKE YOUR HEART SKIP A BEAT.

I'm going to keep this review short. Defendant was one hell of a drama with so much emotions in it. This drama made me laugh, cry, angry, satisfied and beyond happy as a viewer. The fact that it has no romance in it, i coulnt believe it myself either that I managed to finish all episodes and i tell you, IT read more WAS SO GOOD.

You know when a drama is so good that regardless of how late it is at night, you would always want to press that next episode button. And that is exactly what defendant did to me.

All characters were on point. The story line was well written. And i'm giving it a 9.5 on music cause i wish there was an ost that stood out, which is totally understandable since majority of the music used were for suspense scenes that had no lyrics in it.

Overall this drama deserves a 10/10. Let your eyes do the work. WATCH DEFENDANT.
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E2012
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 21, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this show was so good. It had the best ending ever. I am sad this show is over. I will definitely watch this show and over. Great cast, actors, story. Overall this show is the best. I hope this show wins awards
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Nora
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 16, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
I've never was into this kind of dramas wether English or Korean. I always thought it was just boring and too complicated but this changed everything! It was so intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I'm watching it cause I just couldn't predict what may happen and even when I wasn't watching, my mind would go back to it trying to figure out what might read more happen. It had so many plot twists that I didn't see coming and the acting itself was so convincing that it made me feel as if it was a real thing not just a drama. And let's be real, Ji Sung *heart eyes emoji*. It was a true ride for me and the begining of my love for a new genre cause I'd definitely try checking something like it again even though I don't think something could top this for me especially cause of the emotional attachment I have with it.
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Ivana
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 4, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I'm normaly very critical and I have the urge to point out tons of problems in dramas. But this time I am very impressed. The story is great. I always felt satisfied after every episode and could not stop watching it. Each character was very different and complex, they always kept me hanging. You could never be sure were the story would go. What the characters were gonna do. This is a read more drama anyone can find interesting. The suspense is really strong. It reached the top of my list very fast
The whole cast did great. I know its not gonna be a surprise to say that Ji Sung did an amazing job with this role. But I still have to note that his acting really got to me, I legit tried to fight back my tears, but is was all in vain. ( they still got out )
Normaly I don't comment about the music, but I replayed the music a lot and I even made a playlist soo... its dope.
I can definitely see myself rewatching it very soon it was worth my time. It was a very enjoyable emotional rollercoaster, which i highly recommend~
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Defendant
Watch Trailer

Alternative Titles

  • Native title:

    피고인
  • Also Known as:

    Pigoin;

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    18
  • Aired:

    Jan 23, 2017 to Mar 21, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

    SBS
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 10 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.9 (scored by 2,200 users)
  • Ranked:

    #15
  • Popularity:

    #282