Currently Watching: Secret Forest

The good news is I'm practically done watching this show so I have more than enough knowledge to give you regarding this wonder. I'll try not to spoil it for you.

I don't really have a genre I prefer when it comes to watching Korean dramas because, with Korean dramas, it's a mix of everything - like Bibimbap. So, I always test the waters by watching the first episode and if it doesn't do it for me with the pilot, it's a no. I'm not the type who waits for it to pick up except in very, very few cases because if it doesn't interest a viewer from the first episode, then it probably isn't good, right? Or am I the only one like that? 

On to the main topic, Stranger or Secret Forest as it is sometimes referred to is a Crime/Thriller/Investigation drama that centers around a prosecutor. Hwang Shi Mok, who amidst his very corrupt colleagues, is hell-bent on solving a murder case involving political corruption even though everyone in South Korea ends up in jail. Now, on first thought, you may think this is one of those investigation dramas that Korean cable channels tend to put out once in a while. And guess what, it kind of is but really isn't at the same time. 

The protagonist, Hwang Shi Mok (Jo Seung Woo), suffers from a rare brain disease which prevents him from feeling any type of emotion. And trust me, while watching this drama and seeing his reactions to certain things, you may tend to laugh because of how he actually doesn't give a damn about the situation and the confused looks he gets from his colleagues. Then later you realize that this is part of his illness and you are not sure if you should be laughing or not. He even became an outcast amongst his peers but don't be surprised that he couldn't care less. Like, literally couldn't care less. 

Being really hooked on the show and sometimes deliberately not watching a week's episode so that I could have more to watch, I found myself getting really familiar with Hwang Si Mok. The extremely rare times when something makes him almost smile, I find myself smiling and thanking whoever it is that made him almost smile. 

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Police Lieutenant Han Yeo Jin (Bae Doo Na) is a female character that is definitely going to leave an impression on me. For starters, when I saw her first scene, I kept thinking I had seen her somewhere before but just couldn't remember until centuries later when it dawned on me that she was the Korean lady in Sense8. Yup. Her. Anyway, her acting in the show was superb (no wonder she was cast for such a show). She and Hwang Si Mok made a great team throughout the show as they tried to uproot corruption amidst their corrupt and dangerous colleagues. I always think that something would happen between them then something else happens. Sigh!

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Another character that left a mark was Yeong Eun Soo (Shin Hye Sun) who also worked in the Prosecutor's office and had her own baggage and had a talent for being very suspicious in almost every episode. I mean, I can't count the times I bet my fortune that she was behind everything. I also think she had a thing for Hwang Shi Mok but didn't know how to go about it and even if she did, it was all going to be futile. You know why? Because of Hwang Shi Mok. Don't get me wrong, he is a very hot catch but once you interact with him, you start to think of your whole life and where you went wrong. He's hot like that making you think of why you're taking up space on this earth.  

This drama comes with a lot of gasps and surprising moments. The last person you expect is actually the first person that you should have suspected. Betrayals, corruption, lies, deceits and everything evil are all the ingredients needed to create this perfect little drama. I can give you 100 reasons why you should watch this TV show and trust me, I would give you actual 100 reasons if you asked.  

If you're looking for a TV show in which you can't predict what will happen next, then this is for you. You will rarely be right and if you are always right, then you're that guy. Who wants to be that guy.  

If you like crime/investigation shows, then obviously this is a very good choice as it adds political corruption in the mix which is what we as individuals see around us every day. So, it wouldn't be something new. 

If you also like characters that are not your normal happy-go-lucky Korean characters, then Hwang Si Mok is your guy. 

Finally, if you love good and well-plotted shows with chair-gripping twists, then check out Secret Forest. And lucky you, all 16 episodes are out.

Comments (33)

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  • Reply
    Taylor_elle 17 days ago - edited

    Excellent drama for me too. I particularly loved the characters Shi-Mok and Yeo-Jin for different reasons. The most interesting character for me was the chief prosecutor from beginning to end.

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      Yes, indeed he was. I was never sure who he really was until the end.

  • Reply
    blackcatz9 17 days ago - edited

    This was an excellent drama and I loved it. I watched it as it aired and think now that it is completed those who consume it whole will enjoy it even more. Thanks for this article.

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it.

  • Reply
    PoulomiMitra 18 days ago - edited

    Yeah i couldnt get over this. Now every drama looks to me like meh meh

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      I get what you mean. I try to avoid comparing dramas I watched after this but it's difficult.

  • Reply
    hikali 19 days ago - edited

    I absolutely love it. And it's one of those dramas where a second watch is as fun as the first one because knowing everything shines a whole new light on a lot of details and character interactions.

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      Very true. Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    Laplej 19 days ago - edited

    *cough* I want those 100 reasons.



    Just kidding, I watched this show already.... love Shi Mok and his evil little glares at Yeo Jin. XD

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      I really loved both of them and was secretly shipping them but knew it was futile. Love it either way.

  • Reply
    Antonin 19 days ago - edited

    Great cinematography and one of the best dramas this year imo

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      High quality drama. That's what it is and I hope it gets the high recognition it deserves along with its spectacular cast.

  • Reply
    LuvK 19 days ago - edited

    I like this drama, but sometimes it was slow, but at least the mystery kept me watching and the chemistry. It's a good drama and was not expecting the twist towards the ending.

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      I get what you mean and I loved how every episode ending got you waiting for the next episode. The mystery was very intriguing.

  • Reply
    AnanyaS 19 days ago

    I really enjoyed watching this one! Definitely recommended!

  • Reply
    Aya 19 days ago

    Perfect drama

  • Reply
    VishalIngle 19 days ago - edited

    @L0V3E: i love the show very much which is why i think the article lacks a whole lot(but maybe that's because you are trying not to give out any spoilers) which makes it sound like all the other dramas where the main lead has a disability, and you should know there are plenty of those. maybe you should have written down those 100 reasons you spoke of

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago - edited

      I was trying my very best not to give out any spoilers because at the time I had written this article, I was on the last episode. And honestly, you can't write the perfect article for this drama without giving spoilers.

      But yes, your points are very much true.

    • Reply
      VishalIngle 13 days ago - edited

      @L0V3E: sorry if i came out to be criticizing. i was just trying to make the point that this drama is absolutely not at all like any other dramas where in for the sake of the plot or public demand things get told and then they just go with it. like maybe sometimes a romance is added unnecessarily or some characters are assumed to be trustworthy even when there is no such evidence to back that up. and it disappoints me when good shows.

      good article though. Thanks to you i could say it out loud how i felt about this drama. again, THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE!

    • Reply
      L0V3E 13 days ago

      Glad you liked it. :)

  • Reply
    amrita828 19 days ago - edited

    I doubt I'll watch the drama any time soon, simply because I'm in no mood for a crime drama, but the article is so well written I'll add this on my PTW list just thanks to it.
    And you're not the only one who decides to either go on or stop very early on. At times, I don't even finish the first episode...
    Thank you. :)

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I highly recommend this drama.

  • Reply
    iamgeralddd 19 days ago

    a perfectly written drama, in my opinion. Bae doo na did great in this one!

  • Reply
    fallensnowflakes 20 days ago - edited

    I watched this 3 weeks ago, but I can't really remember the details now. I guess it's because the drama was pretty much about one long case and finding who are the guys involved.

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      It may seem like that but trust me, there's more depth to it.

  • Reply
    Unknown 20 days ago - edited

    the shocking episode for me is Episode 13, Yeong Eun Soo (Shin Hye Sun) died :( ....
    done watching... and the final episode remind me (location, scene) same in The Guardian (Lookout)

    • Reply
      sobu 19 days ago

      Thanks for the spoiler. (not)

    • Reply
      MrBanana 19 days ago

      delete this comment pls...

    • Reply
      userbmc 15 days ago

      I was in episode 7 ¬¬ pls delete this

    • Reply
      L0V3E 14 days ago

      Actually, this is a bit unfair to others as it is a major spoiler. Please delete your comment or tag it as a spoiler.

  • Reply
    graytrigger 20 days ago - edited

    Thanks for the recommendation! Just watched the first episode and it was amazing, I am watching criminal minds and falsify and this is definitely a cut above.

    • Reply
      L0V3E 15 days ago

      Thanks for reading. It's a really good drama and will keep you on the edge throughout.

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