Choi Kang-woo is a former police and leader of Taeyang Insurance's investigators team, decides to create his own investigation team, after an airplane crash that took the life of his wife and son. He then meets Kim Min-joon, a genius former swindler whose brother was also a victim of the crash, thus begin their rivalry and cooperation. (Source: Wikipedia) The drama portrays the reality of Korea through diverse insurance crimes that are prevalent in the country. There are the 'copy cats' that imitate and improve the existing crimes, and the 'mad dogs' who catch these bad cats. (Source: KBS World) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
The concept of the drama was based on Insurance crime and for those who don't know much about it, it might as well be a little complicated to follow. The scenes where all the schemes and cases were explained were dialogue heavy with some technical terms and for watchers who want their shows easy to digest, it could be a bit of a problem.
That's not the case with me though. I don't like my dramas to hand me everything on a platter. I want to be able to think about the events taking place and then have this lightbulb moment of 'Oh, so this was what happened.' I like it when a show makes me replay some scenes to catch a dialogue I missed because this means that I care and a drama has to be good if it makes me care.
I'm not gonna say Mad Dog was perfect. It had some flaws here and there, some plot-holes, some illogical things but when you looked at it as a bigger picture you saw that actually yes, this could've happened in real life too. It wasn't far-fetched from reality and you realized that the plot was indeed very well-connected and backed up by smart characters with brilliant planning who were always trying to one-up each other.
While the show started off slow, focusing more on introducing all the characters and their dilemmas, once it hit the 9th episode mark- it skyrocketed and the real action came out in play.
However, the strength of the show wasn't its plot, rather it was the character development. This was a story about how a team (Mad Dog) of lovable individuals each with their own unique talents joined hands with a lone wolf, scam artist (Kim Min Joon) and how together they grew into one tight knit group that was closer than family.
Every role was beautifully constructed and the moment I felt that a character wasn't getting much attention, the script changed its course and swallowed down all my complaints. Besides our amazing team, there were some very endearing side characters (Nurse Sem and Manager Park) along with intriguing and well-portrayed antagonists that helped the show retain its charisma.
Yoo Ji Tae is an actor that emotes with his eyes and Mr. Choi with his vengeful looks and determined actions gave me so much life, especially because YJT's acting was exceptionally brilliant towards the end. Jo Jae Yun (my all time favorite supporting actor) once again brought forth a memorable character. Cheetah shi was so cute with his matchmaking skills, a softie heart and the gangster ways. Kim Hye Sung with his adorable Pentium; a genius and kind-hearted boy, stole many hearts and Ryu Hwa Young gave life to the badass, headstrong but caring Jang Ha Ri that you couldn't help but adore.
But, despite the presence of the more experienced and brilliant cast members, Woo Do Hwan once again snatched all the spotlights. He should honestly be named 'show-stealer' because whenever he takes a role he owns it so completely that other people are given a deadly run for their money.
Try as I might, I couldn't believe this was just the second show he's starred in because he's just too fucking good. He's the kind of artist, I can imagine in every possible role because of his humongous talent and versatile personality. Without bias, I can say that despite being a newbie he's one of the best actors in dramaworld. I love the way he walks, his charming quirks, his beautiful smile and his amazing voice. (Now, is where the bias is speaking.)
So there was no surprise in the fact that Woo Do Hwan's Kim Min Joo slayed me completely and then went for more. Kim Min Joo with his German adlibs, sneaky personality and fearless swag was truly one of a kind. He was incredibily smart with a talent in annoying people to death. He loved pulling everyone's leg, all the while calmly laughing while doing so. He was a bit arrogant, definitely not one to mess with but ultimately, a huge sweetheart. I loved how realistic his character was. He didn't develop magical super powers when people came to kill him (and they came a lot) nope, he innocently got beaten every time instead, was a huge scaredy cat and couldn't even throw a punch properly. And I loved that. The highlight of the show was seeing him warm up to other people and letting go of his trust issues and finally being given a family that he could rely upon.
The dynamics within the Mad Dog team (Kim Min Joon included) were simply everything. The way they had each other's back was extremely heart touching. These people had so much love for each other that at one point, I was shipping every-one with everyone. I loved their little missions, their secretive and conspiring shared glances, their smart strategies and their protectiveness of one another, so much.
And last but not the least: The romance. Even though it was done as a sub-plot only, it was so so good. Kim Min Joon and Jang Ha Ri were a match made in heaven. The small moments they had with each other were so incredibily sweet and their chemistry was fire. The minor touch of romance in this show was far well-done than some of the wholesome love stories I have seen. I think I've never wished for a kiss scene before in my entire life. But ah, we can't have it all now can we?
While Mad Dog did have some great 'Oh shit, what's going to happen next' scenes, it wasn't a show centered on 'the bext big thing'. The beauty of the show was in the small, intimate moments between the characters, the way they grew on each other and the way they evolved together and as individuals.
If you let it, Mad Dog will make you feel. It will touch your heart deeply and make you feel joy, sadness and love. So much love.
I really enjoyed the OST of the show. From NiiHwa's popping and catchy track to Eric Nam's soulful ballad- the sound track did great things for the mood of the drama.
I loved the cast and their antics, so much so, that I really didn't have the heart to let them go till the very end. Although the ending was a little bit rushed, it left me with a wide smile and some heartfelt happy tears.
So while Mad Dog might not be everybody's cup of tea, it was a steaming mug of delicious cappuccino for me.
Definitely one of the better shows of 2017 and one I surely recommend.
Best thing I did that month.Because I didn't knew anything about the drama, I didn't had much expectation but that was a good thing. Because it blew me away. It completely took me by surprise.
Though I really really enjoyed it, it might not be every-ones cup of tea. It's heavy on the crime part of the plot and there are some jaggersons or technical words- which are hard to understand. But once you get past that part it's all gold.
The story. It's a crime story. The good guys taking on the bad. There are some plot holes - like every other stories. But beauty of this drama is that you can never guess what's gonna happen next. Every time I thought 'oh, i know whats gonna happen next' nothing like that happen. Sometimes I had no idea what was going on, until ten minute later.
And it doesn't resolve around the good guys. It shows the 'evil' peoples side too, their reasoning, their plan. A side to their story. I really like that.
This isn't heavy on the romance which I was ok with it, because it isn't a romance story, the lack of that romance tag says it all. But Min Joon and Ha Ri's chemistry was a bit to ....hot. I was screaming ship, ship from the moment I saw them. Another slow romance couple is in there but I'm not going to spoil it. Same is the bromance. It's more on to the brotherly-love bromance and that goes perfect with the story line. Makes more sense.And I really really really liked the ending.
The cast is amazing. There is no point on saying how great they were, because we all know that. I am not going to take a single person apart and talk about them, because I liked all of them. I loved how Woo Do Hwan played Min Joon. I liked Jang ha Ri and Ryu Hwa Young's attitude just made her ten times more sassy. I liked Yoo Ji Tea playing Choi Kang Woo, he brings a different set of emotion to the table. This is also the first time I saw him and I am going to check on his other dramas. Then there is Jo Jea Yun playing soft hearted, ex-gangster cheetah-shi and Kim Hye Sung playing Noo Ri. And Cho Won Young playing JH. He is a really versatile actor. I really liked his last scene.
There are three songs in this drama. All of them are so so good! NiiHwa's song is my jam!!
Totally gonna re-watch it. Have to.
Again I am not gonna tell you that you have to watch it. But if you give it a try it will win you over on its own. So do try it!