Stranger

Stranger (2017)

9.1
Your Rating:
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 1,215 users
Reviews: 18 users

A brain surgery during childhood caused prosecutor Hwang Shi Mok to lack emotion, even though he is rational. Cold and lonely, he's one of the only prosecutors not involved in corruption. He then meets Police Lieutenant Han Yeo Jin at a murder crime scene and they work together to eradicate corruption at the prosecutor's office and solve a serial murder case.

  • Native title:

    비밀의 숲
  • Also Known as:

    Bimil Uisup; Secret Forest; Forest of Secrets;

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Lily
48 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
21 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.5
Have you ever started a drama with great potential, only for it to fizzle out and come crashing midway? Have you every started a drama with great potential, only for it to be ruined by cringe acting? Well, find a blanket and a comfortable place because Forest of Secrets is neither of those.

I originally decided to start this drama because I was captivated by the promotional poster - I knew nothing read more in particular of Jo Seung Woo or Bae Doo Na, but the poster drew me in immediately: dark, exciting, and striking - a great representation of this drama. I was sold after the first episode.

While I truly love K-Dramas, I think we can all agree that a lot of them are dumbed down to a point where you don't have to truly pay attention or think about what is happening in them - everything is explained plainly, no questions asked. Even crime and mystery dramas often times overdo it with the explanations so the viewer won't have to ask themselves 'huh? what happened? why'. You won't find this here. This is a drama that will require your attention all throughout, as missing a dialogue or a glance will confuse you later, without much explanation. This is a drama that asks for your full attention, and a drama that keeps its momentum until its last minute. There is no fizzling out, no unnecessary showdowns and car chases and fist fights, no rushed endings - no, everything progresses at a smooth pace that by the end you don't even notice that it's over because you're so used to its steady progression and flow. It feels strange and sad that in the coming weeks, I won't see Pros. Hwang Si Mok and Det. Han Yeo Jin running around and taking down corruption.

While Jo Seung Woo and Bae Doo Na are not what you might call top Hallyu stars (I'd argue about BDN but anyway), as say Park Bo Gum or Jun Ji Hyun, both are top-notch well-known experienced actors that infuse their characters with life all throughout. Not only them - the whole cast is stellar and even if I try to think of one loose performance, I can't. I could hardly believe that Jo Seung Woo is the same guy who played the main in God's Gift and that Yoo Jae Myung (Pros. Lee Chang Jun) is the same person who played Do Bong Soon's father.

And, of course, I cannot fail to mention the writer, Lee Soo Yeon, who has developed two of the most unique female protagonists in K-dramas for me. One determined to stand by justice no matter what and one determined to clear her father's name no matter the price - both executed perfectly until the end with no unnecessary fluff and delving into annoying, and quite frankly degrading, romances. Not only those two but all the pivotal characters went through such believable character development, that you will find yourself attached even to the most despicable of them - not because they're handsome and an oppa but because they're human, not innocent not evil but somewhere in between, just like all of us.

I really can't think of a reason why you wouldn't want to see this drama - it's what all crime and legal dramas should aim to be, and I'm looking forward to the day I watch something that will outdo it. While some people may think it seems boring, I urge you to challenge yourself and watch the first two episodes; your brain will thank you. To me, this was a heart-racing drama that made me laugh, cry, feel disgust, and so many more emotions.

I am so excited to see what this rookie writer will bring us in the future because if it's anything like Forest of Secrets, then we'll know we have another great drama upon us.
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Meep
27 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
21 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.5
This is quite simply one of the best dramas ever made. It hits the trifecta of great writing, great acting and great directing with astonishing aplomb.

If you want to watch a show that manages to take a single case and from that moment on weave through a web of tangled relationships and complicated motivations without dropping the thread once, watch this drama.

If you want to watch a show where two read more people have instant chemistry that isn't romantic but still sparks because they just get each other and are better for it, watch this show. The two main characters have such a satisfying rapport that doesn't need to be romantic.

That doesn't mean that other characters fall short mind you, and it's so amazing to see the arcs of the other characters, the fact that they even get them elevates this drama to the upper echelon of dramas alone.

The fact that this is this writer's first drama is astounding and I can't wait for their next project, although this one set the bar insanely high. The fact that the tension through out this drama didn't waver once and that everything concluded so satisfyingly is an amazing feat unto itself.

I might add more later, but for now this is easily one of the easiest recommendations to make. If you like a insanely well made drama about crime and mystery, drop everything and watch this. And even if those are not your jam, give this a go, I'm sure you won't regret this.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (7)Recommendations

Both are about chasing a serial killer and corrupt higher ups.
Worth watching drama.
Chilling thrilling.
Recommended by AngelRu
Both are thriling, chilling. Searching for the killer
Both lead have strong understanding. Having a great special investigation team. Good BG Music????????
Worth watching.
Recommended by AngelRu

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Comments (605)

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  • Reply
    baeso 1 day ago

    I started watching this drama after reading many positive comments in this site. At first, I thought I will get bored watching this type of drama. Simply because Im not a fan of political corruption involving several big companies etc. But boy! I was wrong. The scriptwriter managed to hook me till the end. Each episode make me so excited that I barely sit on my chair. The writer made you focus on other thing and forget one thing and then BAM!

    For those who thought that the male lead seems boring, you should watch his character develop slowly till the end. Jo Seung Woo nailed Si Mok's character. Even his calm voice and face managed to deliver sarcastic and powerful words. Its not dramatic but really strong. I cant think other actor that can suits well to this role.

    For Bae Doona, she really make acting seems so easy. I really wish there will be more female lead character as cool as she is. They both have really strong chemistry. I loved how scriptwriter make them instantly became close and trust each other without doubt. Even though Si Mok is not the type who trusts others easily.

    Other supporting roles also nailed their characters perfectly. There are no cringy or awkward acting. Also for me no plot holes. Kudos to the scripwriter! I hope they will win many awards for this drama. I recommend this drama. 20/10.

  • Reply
    Mary28 3 days ago - edited

    Stuck between a 8.5 and a 9. I liked it.

    edited: I reccomend the movie Inside Man before or after this drama, alot of the same cast acts in it.

  • Reply
    Mary28 3 days ago

    Brah I might be, no I am being a brat why is the video quality of this drama so bad when the drama just came out a month ago? It's a good drama, great cast and storyline so what's up with the video quality. It says 720p hd on all the sites (kissasian.com, newasiantv.me and drama3s.com), but it looks like 360p.

  • Reply
    Momoi 3 days ago

    This is what I call a great drama!

  • Reply
    irish 4 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    noelhoi 4 days ago - edited

    one of those dramas where you get confused af at first, just have to endure it while following the plot development and you'll find everything wrapped up very well at the end (what an ending!) first time i see JSW play in drama, he nailed the character Shi Mok! BDN is also Bae, not the prettiest out there but she can act (first seen her in Sense8). Been a while since I last seen a drama with no plot holes (at least I think so), brilliant script executed exceptionally well. Again thank you tvN for bringing top notch 16hours of television!

    • Reply
      irish 2 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      noelhoi 2 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      irish 2 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Raza 4 days ago - edited

    It's so embarassing that Netflix are claiming it to be a 'Netflix Original' series lol!

    • Reply
      Selty 3 days ago

      Couldn't get it in Tokyo either, I'm in UK for holidays it appears on my netflix

    • Reply
      irish 3 days ago

      I'm in ireland. and not using a vpn

    • Reply
      KaraGrace 3 days ago - edited

      Yea, it shows up on the Korean Netflix, but it doesn't say Netflix Original. It's just under the category... popular on Netflix.

    • Reply
      Raza 2 days ago

      I'm in the UK (England) and the drama is in the Netflix Original section here. It even says "Netflix Original" on the cover.

    • Reply
      KaraGrace 14 hours ago

      So weird!

  • Reply
    alienshore7 5 days ago

    I have completed 244 dramas (nearly all Korean, a couple Chinese). I had but 1 that I rated a 10 - Signal....until I finished this one. I now have two dramas ranked 10. Yes, it's that good.

  • Reply
    yasmin77 5 days ago - edited

    is Bae Doo Na the girl in the american series "Sense8" ?

    • Reply
      alienshore7 5 days ago

      Yes. And some Hollywood films: Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Rising. Maybe others I am unaware of as well.

  • Reply
    WildAhgase 5 days ago

    One of the best korean dramas of the year , the plot , the representation , the feelings, just 10 out of 10.

  • Reply
    Joo-Hyun 5 days ago - edited

    Somehow it seems like I'm the only one who didn't enjoy this drama and found it rather boring.

    • Reply
      Mary28 3 days ago - edited

      It could be boring for some people because this drama missed something (EXCITEMENT). This drama is very focused, no side storyline, good script, good acting. I started this drama yesterday night and I am already on ep 11 so it's a good watch, it's just that I am watching it because I want to know what happens next, but I'm not excited to know what happens next.

      edited: The last 3 eps delivered what it was missing for me:)

    • Reply
      Joo-Hyun 2 days ago - edited

      Yeah, I agree with you! I watched quite a few episodes hoped that something would happen but it didn't so maybe that's why I found it boring.

  • Reply
    Jemerald523 6 days ago - edited

    Most of the drama have a great first 3-4 episodes and loses its goodness as the show continues.. But this show is a complete opposite, it gives the plot at the beginning, leaving viewer with no so much expectation, but continues to be good as the show continues.

  • Reply
    Jemerald523 6 days ago - edited

    I love how this show is so calm, without any extreme emotions, yet not boring.

    • Reply
      hikali 4 days ago

      I really liked that about it as well. It was really soothing to watch.

  • Reply
    guccigall 7 days ago

    Wow. Ranked so high. More curious now

  • Reply
    educto1 8 days ago - edited

    This drama has an outstanding cast, incredible acting, genuis writing and that oh-i-never-expected-this-kind-of-plottwist. tvN, you rock.

    • Reply
      bokami 6 days ago

      I agree ​​seonsaengnim!

    • Reply
      educto1 5 days ago

      Grabe.

    • Reply
      Bleng 1 day ago

      Hello! Kamusta kayo? Hahaha. Sobrang ganda neto. Kakatapos ko lang panuorin. T___T

    • Reply
      educto1 24 hours ago

      Dongsaeng! Haha ayus naman. Oo nga ang ganda!

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    16
  • Aired:

    Jun 10, 2017 to Jul 30, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Saturday, Sunday
  • Network:

    tvN
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 10 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    9.1 (scored by 1,215 users)
  • Ranked:

    #7
  • Popularity:

    #525

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