Criminal Minds (2017) poster
7.8
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,357 users
# of Watchers: 23,577
Reviews: 32 users
Ranked #3779
Popularity #635
Watchers 7,357

The drama follows a group of highly trained profilers in the fictional National Criminal Investigation (NCI) team who track down criminals to solve cases. It begins a year after a crucial error results in a bomb detonating at a hospital, killing several SWAT officers and leaving the NCI team leader Kang Ki Hyung's confidence badly shaken. He returns to work after a long break and is immediately drawn into a serial murder case which requires the NCI team to collaborate with the local police agency's Violent Crimes Unit. They meet the temperamental police officer Kim Hyun Joon, who appears to have a bitter grudge against Ki Hyung. (Source: Wikipedia) ~~ Remake of the American TV series "Criminal Minds" [2005]. Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(简体)
  • Español
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 20
  • Aired: Jul 26, 2017 - Sep 28, 2017
  • Aired On: Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: tvN
  • Duration: 60 min.
  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 7,357 users)
  • Ranked: #3779
  • Popularity: #635
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Photos

Criminal Minds (2017) photo
Criminal Minds (2017) photo
Criminal Minds (2017) photo
Criminal Minds (2017) photo
Criminal Minds (2017) photo
Criminal Minds (2017) photo

Reviews

Completed
anteaq
33 people found this review helpful
Sep 29, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
There was something extremely lackluster about this drama. I sincerely wanted to love it since I’m a fan of both the original series and Lee Joon Gi; however, this didn’t live up to my expectations. While watching the final episode, I noticed how uninterested I was in the plot. I couldn’t stay focused even though it was the climax of the series. I had to push myself to finish this drama and was thoroughly displeased. Maybe because I am a fan of the original and had high expectations for this remake that I couldn’t watch it without any bias, but even as a crime/detective drama it was unstimulating.

Overall and Story:
As a remake, there were many similarities between this and the original such as: the plot, some characters, and the concept. The show is based on criminal profiling and being able to “predict” an unsub’s (aka unidentified subject) actions through their psychological state. With the understanding of the unsub’s mental state and upbringing the team can help solve cases and prevent the unsub from striking again. The drama did “well” in this aspect. They broke down facts and solved crimes, but some details came out of nowhere. For a few cases, the profiling of the unsub felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I caught myself constantly wondering how the team deducted this information, but we never found out how.

The first few episodes were refreshing so the show felt promising and was intriguing. However, as the show progressed the cases and the criminals felt sapless. The cases may be similar to the original, but they lacked depth. The overarching antagonist in this drama also lacked intensity causing the drama to not have a strong and interesting (in a morbid pleasure kind of way) plot.

Acting/Cast:
About fifty percent of my decision to watch this was due to Lee Joon Gi. He portrayed Kim Hyun Joon who is an original character in this remake and as usual, I was charmed by his acting. Moon Chae Won is where I’m most dissatisfied. There’s no doubt that Moon Chae Won is a great actress, but the role of Ha Sun Woo was bland and stiff. I’m all for a tough female who doesn’t need romance in her life and can kick butt, but she was uninteresting to watch. The scriptwriter’s idea of a strong and independent female was far from amazing.

While we’re on the topic of the scriptwriters…they ruined the original Criminal Minds team. Lee Han was supposed to be Reid, Na Na was supposed to be Garcia, and Kang Ki Hyung was supposed to be Hotchner. I say supposed to be, because they failed miserably. I understand that there will be deviations here and there with remakes, but their character deviations were just atrocious. Lee Han reminds me a smart weakling who does nothing to add to the team, Na Na is trying so hard to be quirky she’s coming off as an annoying auntie who is a computer geek, and Kang Ki Hyung was…dull. There’s something about being the head of the team and going through what this character goes through that makes him stoic and fierce. His role knows the bitterness of the job, but sticks with it because he wants to better the lives of others by keeping these criminals off the street. The character, Kang Ki Hyung, was colorless and had no impact. I have not seen these actors in any other roles, but I don’t think it’s the actors fault that these characters were appalling. I truly believe it was the scriptwriters.

Last Thoughts:
It was hard to watch this series as a fan of the original because it’s difficult to not compare. Some of the cases are almost identical to the original so I couldn’t help but to compare. I firmly believe that the downfall of this drama wasn’t the cast, but the scriptwriters. The story and characters weren’t captivating. Maybe it’s because this series is so short that the scriptwriters had to rush the plot along, but a drama doesn’t need length for the content to be great.

If you’ve seen or are a fan of the original Criminals Minds I would not recommend you to watch this. If you’ve never seen Criminal Minds and enjoy crime/detective dramas I would recommend this with a grain of salt. It’s definitely not the best drama I’ve seen, but it’s also not the worst. It just lacked something to make it captivating.

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Completed
BeanSensei
11 people found this review helpful
Jul 19, 2018
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
After seeing a lot of mixed reviews - some calling the show a fail, some praising it to high heavens - I was very conflicted about watching it, especially because I love the US original and one of the main Korean cast members Lee JoonGi. However, in the end, I decided to see what's the deal myself and even though I was prepared for the worse, I was actually not disappointed. Were there flaws? Yes. Was this still a good show? Yes.
I have divided my review into 6 sections looking at the similarities between the original and the remake, the characters, the influence of Korean society on how this kind of story is re-told, cast and OST, finish off with an overall summary.
I hope this will help with understanding why this drama is built the way it is and do you want to watch it yourself or not.

1) Why the Korean remake can't deliver the same things the US original does?

When comparing to the US original, we do have to remember that there completely different norms of what is okay in what environment in Korea, what is taboo and what can be broadcasted or discussed. Lately these borders are getting broader, however, there are still limits.
Explicit violence, extremely gruesome scenes etc. are not okay. In many cases even larger amounts of blood are censored, so are knives and other kinds of blades. The relations in the work environment are different too. Strictly hierarchical structure depending on age, status and years spent in a certain place. Also, the way how people dress and act is dictated by these norms. Similarly, the understanding of the general audience when it comes to mental illnesses and crimes committed because of them.
All mentioned above has a huge influence on the characters (described in point 2) and thus influencing the whole plot and the story. If we compare the original and the remake, simply because of the specifics of society in each of them we cannot expect the same result. For fans of the original, this might be a disappointing factor, however, this show should be viewed not only as a remake but also as its own thing.

2) Characters and their similarities

Some of the main cast characters are molded after the liking of the original, but I must admit they are lacking in the sharpness of originals. The following is a comparison of the characters in both and things missing in the remake, which might be one of the disappointments.

-The role of media specialist JJ in the remake is given to Yoo MinYoung (played by LeeSunBin). The character lack sharpness and determination JJ possessed. It's still a compassionate and brave character when needed, but it didn't feel complete.
-IT wizard Penelope has become Nana (Played by YooSun). The original is very quirky and a very definite odd-ball. As mentioned in 1), there are certain norms that prevent this character to express the same qualities. She can't have colored hear or ridiculous outfits, even though she wears colors brighter than others. She can't have excessive make-up or a whole arsenal of weirdness around her. The social norms of the setting dictated differences in this character.
-Genius Dr.Spencer Reid (who is my favorite in the original series) here has become Lee Han (played by Go Yoon). Even though in the first episodes his higher intellect is mentioned as is his knowledge, it is not utilized as Reid's in the original. Throughout the whole show, his brain power appears very little and is a lost plot point that could have been very useful and interesting. The quirks the original character had have disappeared as well.
-The leaders - Gideon, Hotchner and Rossi have all melted into Kang KiHyung (Played by Son HyunJoo). The character is a good mix of all three but perhaps lacks some depth. From the list, this would be the best match to the original.
-Others I could not pinpoint exactly, as even if they were meant to be doubles of the main original cast, their similarities were very vague or not there at all.

3) Plot - what's good and what's lacking?

My biggest positive is that unlike other k-dramas this does not try to push any romance between the main cast. Before such great dramas like IRIS and Athena of a similar genre have gone pretty downhill exactly because of the romance and emotions. So big plus for that.
The cases explored are interesting and captivating, some being similar to the ones solved in the original series but with a Korean twist in all of them. Sadly, the way how each case is divided into episodes might be the biggest turn-off. Most of them start mid-way one episode and ends mid-way the next one, messing with the viewer a bit. That could be a reason why watching can get tiring.
The two cases that were still active throughout the whole series was an interesting point. However, one was ended a bit too quickly and the other was not represented enough during the mid part of the show.
During the whole series, we find out very little about the investigator team. In the original, we get to know bits and pieces about the team through many seasons, so perhaps one season is not enough to explore it. We do get a chance to know in depth about Kim HyunJoon (played by Lee JoonGi), a glimpse of Kang KiHyung (Played by Son HyunJoo) and just a bit of other, leaving a lot of holes that are just random mentions or filler shots that are never explained.
The team is shown bonding several times through very Korean activities like outings in the park, drinking and others. However, that might seem not enough. As mentioned before the lack of so-called chemistry between characters might be written off on the fact there was not enough time in one season.
The original often delivered at least a small dose of humor even though the show is very serious and dark as well as many heartwarming scenes. Here the humor is, unfortunately, no existent which makes it a bit too serious and a bit too dry at times.

4) Cast - was there a problem?

First of all, the actors playing the criminals need a round of applause. All of them were brilliant and engaging, believable and captivating, which is a BIG plus in the series.
Secondly, two standouts in the main cast for me are Son HyunJoo and Lee JoonGi. I believe we could see more of their acting and appreciate their skill, their art because they play the two characters we find out the most about. This allowed them to stand a bit higher in the acting rating and drag the average of this section up.
However, I would not entirely blame the cast for some lackluster moments, but rather think about the directing and the script they had. Perhaps with a different approach, they would be able to shine too.

5) OST

OST is one of the best things about this drama. Two solid vocal tracks and suspenseful instrumentals matching the genre perfectly. I just wish there were more tracks for different vibes.

6) Overall thoughts

Even though in comparison to the original I can find a lot of flaws, I still enjoyed the show. I found it interesting, suspenseful and good for a remake of legendary investigation series.
Would I like a season 2 with improvements and to perhaps know more about the rest of the characters in this version? Definitely. Can I live without it? I can.
I would recommend watching it with an open mind and just enjoy a bit different investigation show coming from Korea.

P.S those who might watch this for Lee JoonGi, you are not LJG trash if you enjoy it, as there are no "main" characters here and he is not the constant center. So no worries. ;)

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Details

  • Drama: Criminal Minds
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 20
  • Aired: Jul 26, 2017 - Sep 28, 2017
  • Aired On: Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: tvN
  • Duration: 60 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 7,357 users)
  • Ranked: #3779
  • Popularity: #635
  • Watchers: 23,577

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