Kim Hae Il is a Catholic priest. He makes spiteful remarks and he can be rude to others. Koo Dae Young is a detective. He talks a lot and he is also timid. Park Kyung Sun is a prosecutor. She is smart and beautiful. She is also ambitious as a prosecutor and good at her job. The three of them team up and work together to solve a murder case involving a senior Catholic priest. (Source: AsianWiki) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
EDITED 4/20/19: Everything in this review still holds true! The second half and ending are fantastic. Give this show a chance!
I like the story. It's the typical "there's an injustice, someone dies, a cabal of corrupt higher officials from the police/prosecution/rich people cover it up" storyline that seems super common among Korean crime dramas (and for good reason.. funnily enough this drama is airing as the burning sun scandal is being exposed in Korea). The execution is less serious for the most part (it lives up to its comedy tag), and sometimes bridges into being a little campy, but they always bring it back so that the more emotional scenes never feel forced or out of place. The emotional scenes (character backstories) are engaging and genuine. I'm hard to sell on edgy, tragic character backstories, because they're a) super common and b) often used as an excuse for why [this character] is now a douchebag in the present, but the backstories in this show (especially Father Kim and Detective Dae Young's) are less of that and more of a glimpse of what their characters are suffering with alone.
It's not extremely suspenseful or mysterious, and there's no doubt who the bad guys are from, like, the first few episodes, but it's a solid plot and the writers throw in enough important events to keep it moving along. It's not boring, and it provides plenty of scenarios for the characters to shine.
This is definitely the star of the show for me. I tend to be a character-focused watcher, with a good plot being an added bonus, but this drama really blows my expectations out of the park for character writing and acting. Usually there's at least one (usually multiple, if I'm being honest) actor/character I think is unrealistic or wooden, and it puts me off, but all the actors are absolutely fantastic.
I've never seen any of the main actors before, but I've been especially appreciating Kim Nam Gil and Kim Sung Kyun's acting. Kim Nam Gil is the obvious star of the show, with perfect execution in the comedy scenes and a heart-wrenching look in his eyes in the more emotional ones. Even Lee Na Hui, whose character is my least favorite out of the three (and, honestly, kind of annoyed the hell out of me for at least the first 15 episodes, but that's just personal taste), acts well enough that I only disliked her character just because her personality wasn't my type, not because her acting was poor or the character was poorly written. She's growing on me. Even the weakest actor IMO (I won't say who) isn't anywhere near the level of annoying over-acting that I dislike in dramas. The cast is a solid A, with even side characters' actors delivering a convincing and engaging performance that adds value to the scenes they're in and makes the characters likable in their own right, instead of being treated like convenient props to further the main characters.
Every interaction feels genuine, and every scene runs fast enough that you're never left thinking, god, this dialogue is dragging and the characters won't stop staring silently/dramatically at each other. (Plus, I'm not an eye-candy watcher, but Kim Nam Gil is almost ridiculously cute in every scene he's in. Watch out for the scenes when he fights and his bangs fall into his eyes. Cute, right?)
The fight scenes are also an absolute delight to watch, even if you're not a fan of gritty action (the show has a martial arts director on set, so the choreo and execution are great.) Filming technique, cinematography, the occasional unique lighting choice, and other visual cues are used well in each scene.
OST usually isn't a huge factor in how much I like a drama, but a good one is always a plus. This drama's OST is great: the emotional scenes are paired with delicate orchestral pieces, and the fast-paced and fight scenes aren't afraid to use rock, rap, and raunchy songs with an exciting beat. I downloaded the ending song to my phone.
Rewatch Value: 10/10
...I've been rewatching each episode probably at least twice each after they air, and the whole series when I feel like it, so there's not much else I can say about rewatch value. They're just funny as hell, and I'm a sucker for humor. The scenes don't feel like they get old, and even rewatching a stupid joke for the 4th time is at least 50% as entertaining as the first time. As long as the writers don't drop the ball by a huge amount in the second half (and, honestly, even if they do) this is probably going to be one of my comfort rewatch series and one of my all-time faves.
Don't watch this show while you're eating, because you'll be laughing so much that chances of choking and dying are a lot.
Don't watch this show if you don't want to fall in love with a team of characters that are badass, adorable, witty and will forge a bond with you to the point you'll never want to let go.
Don't watch this show if you like strong badass female characters that kick ass, dominate the screen when they come and have amazing hair to match their amazing intelligence.
Don't watch this if you want to die due to the shortness of breath the titular character Kim Hae Il will cause you by being one of the most iconic characters in K-drama history.
Don't watch it if you can't stand the brilliance that is Kim Nam Gil's acting that gave birth to the baddie of the baddies: a fiery priest who is more like a grim reaper/ death angel 'cause when he comes to you, honey it's judgement day.
Don't watch it if you're someone who gets jealous of the extreme chemistry between all the the characters, don't like bromances, sismances and hilarious antagonists 'cause this show has an abundance of that.
Don't watch it, if you don't want to be addicted to the perfect OST of this show even when it's finished.
Don't watch it if you want to be proved wrong when you said that K-Dramas are just not well- written anymore.
Only watch it, if you are strong enough to take the wholesome awesomeness this megabrilliant masterpiece of a show offers and still remain standing by the end.
You have been warned.