Stranger (2017) poster
8.8
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 22,616 users
# of Watchers: 55,771
Reviews: 126 users
Ranked #154
Popularity #166
Watchers 22,616

Hwang Shi Mok underwent brain surgery as a child to curb his violent temper, which left him devoid of emotions. Hwang becomes a prosecutor known for his piercing intelligence and logic, but he is ostracized because he lacks empathy and social skills. He is also one of only a handful of upright prosecutors who have refused to take bribes. One day, he encounters a stabbing victim while investigating corruption. He meets Lieutenant Han Yeo Jin at the crime scene. They join forces to root out corruption at the prosecutors’ office and solve a serial murder case. (Source: Viki; Waverlyroot at MyDramaList) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(简体)
  • 中文(台灣)
  • Arabic
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Jun 10, 2017 - Jul 30, 2017
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Netflix tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 8.8 (scored by 22,616 users)
  • Ranked: #154
  • Popularity: #166
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

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Reviews

Completed
Lily
255 people found this review helpful
Jul 31, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 7
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 ever 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 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.

2021 edit: Yeah, I still have not found another drama to replace Stranger as my favorite - go watch season 2 if you have not!

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Completed
Meep
136 people found this review helpful
Jul 30, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 1
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 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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Recent Discussions

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Hwang Shi Mok: medical issues by An S 3 0

Details

  • Drama: Stranger
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Jun 10, 2017 - Jul 30, 2017
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Netflix, tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.8 (scored by 22,616 users)
  • Ranked: #154
  • Popularity: #166
  • Watchers: 55,771

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