Defendant (2017)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 8.9/10 from 2,609 users
Reviews: 17 users

Park Jeong Woo is a prosecutor at Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. One day, he wakes up and finds himself a convict on death row. Suffering from temporary amnesia, Jeong Woo has no idea what transpired to land him in prison. He struggles to recover his memory and clear his name before his time is up.
(Source: Wikipedia)

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:


Add Cast Show More Cast (25)Cast

View allNews & Articles

Bromances Of 2017 Kdramas (Part 1)
The year 2017 has blessed us with many bromances so far! Which one was your favorite?
4 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Currently Airing Dramas
Most people prefer to marathon a drama when it's completed. But this author has 4 solid points to convince you to do otherwise!

Write a Review More Reviews (15) Reviews

32 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!

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!

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.

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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No
23 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!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Make a Recommendation More recs (8)Recommendations

On Lookout we have a prosecutor and a police officer, on Defendant a prosecutor as main characters. In both dramas one of the leads will have to leave their position (but for different reasons). They both are trying to seek for justice for their families, both of them lost a loved one. In both dramas they dont trust the police and the justice system. Also shows a lot of corrupted politicians.
Recommended by userbmc
Both dramas deal about prosecutors, family murder and in both dramas the main leads try to find out what truly happened that lead them to be in the current situation.
Recommended by zuojenn

Comments (753)

  • Login or Register to post comments
  • Reply
    Iffah Mar 31, 2017 - edited


    • Reply
      Iffah Apr 1, 2017

      sad but true :/

    • Reply
      Hessa Apr 3, 2017

      You can't give a rating of 0. It would mean you haven't rating the show. 1 is the lowest count rating.

    • Reply
      Lourdes Apr 3, 2017

      Five people gave it a 1/10. Incredible!!!! It deserves al least 9/10. It's an amazing drama.

    • Reply
      ali Apr 4, 2017

      Kill me heal me is best i see but you give it 1.0 by mistake

  • Reply
    Marina Mar 31, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    94loveKdrama Mar 31, 2017

    Selective reading of comments based on number of hearts to avoid some spoilers. But maybe I should stop and just read it when I finish everything. lol
    Me @ep2

  • Reply
    Akna Mar 30, 2017

    Loved the acting and plot, though one thing I would change is the number of episodes - sometimes it felt a little draggy. Still it was a very good drama.
    P.S. I love prison squad!

  • Reply
    BokJoo Mar 29, 2017 - edited

    happy ending?

  • Reply
    Ma-ri Mar 28, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    sunflower63 Mar 27, 2017 - edited

    Admittedly this was a great drama. Almost everything was flawless, the acting, the writing, the settings etc. Of course Ji Sung's acting talent was what shone most here and I agree that Uhm Ki Joon was also very good (it was indeed very easy to hate him and his smirks). There was only one aspect that bothered me througout this story which is why my rating is not the highest: I found many situations to be too exaggerated.
    Yes society certainly is corrupt all over the world but everything that happened here was rather unrealistic and blown out of proportion in one way or another. I would have considered it a masterpiece if they stuck to reality a bit more. However on the whole it was a great and addicting watch.

  • Reply
    yaaah666 Mar 26, 2017 - edited

    okay what is it with every drama and subway?? they overdo it -.-

    • Reply
      ZhyeGoatt Mar 27, 2017

      Subway and Royce are everywhere in these dramas lately. I wonder how much money they spent on product placement in 2016.

  • Reply
    OliCT Mar 26, 2017

    So far, it's the Best Drama of 2017 :D.

  • Reply
    Lavinia Devaraj Mar 26, 2017

    Amazing Drama with Awesome Performance from Ji Sung & Uhm Ki Joon. Even though the drama is a thriller it does have lighter moments in between! Definitely worth watching.

  • Reply
    MrBanana Mar 26, 2017


  • Reply
    ARISTO Mar 26, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    ali Mar 25, 2017

    When i saw ji sung in KMHM i say he showes all of acting skills but in defendant he show me his acting skills is unlimited

  • Reply
    XingBack Mar 24, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    musiq Mar 24, 2017 - edited

    I have a question regarding the actress that plays Kwon Yu-ri or Seo Eun-hye 'aunty ,(the public defender) . Was that Sandra Oh from Grey's Anatomy? She sure looks like her but when I searched Google, nothing comes up. Thanks.

    • Reply
      emma Mar 24, 2017

      The actress is Baek Ji Won, not Sandra Oh.

    • Reply
      ParkSunWoo Mar 25, 2017

      now that you've said it, you're clearly right she does look like sandra oh!


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

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

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 10 min.


  • Score:

    8.9 (scored by 2,609 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


Recently Watched By