Two exes break up reconcile several years later. Both end up being spies working for different units, so they have to keep their covers up in real life. Joo Won Plays the hero Gil Ro who decided in his youth that he wanted to be a spy after watching a Bond movie. His father became rich practically overnight, so he grows up in wealth and comfort, with a generous spirit toward others and a chic, refined appearance. Gil Ro gets accepted as a secret agent, but he’s not your usual veteran agent; he thinks and acts like the new generation he belongs to, and he makes mistakes and causes conflict.
(Source: Written by MyDramaList)
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In the early weeks of this drama, this drama had so many positive comments and episode reviews, and so many of my friends kept telling me how awesome it was. It got to the point where I was dying to watch it, but I refuse to watch airing shows, so I waited. The wait brought on quite a bit of negative comments about the show, and I was really not sure what to expect when I went into watching this drama. After having watched 20 episodes, I can safely say I wasted my time with this and I want that time back!
Potential would be the word I'd use to describe this show. This show had so much potential and it squandered it horribly. I think the problem is, the writers only knew one thing - comedy. I'm not saying they knew it well, since it wasn't all that funny, but they certainly didn't know anything else well either. Not women, not spy work, not friendship, not family. All of the elements that these ambitious writers tried to bring together failed on a spectacular level.
There was ZERO chemistry between the two leads. I wanted so much to like this drama just because I loved the lead girl in Protect The Boss. But she was so wooden, so poorly written that I never once found myself caring about her. Or about the lead male. Or the second lead male. Or the parents. Or the friends. Or their coworkers. The two shining bright spots in this show would be the two trainers, Young Soon and Won Suk. They had more chemistry (as in friendship, not romantic) than any of the other characters combined, and I found that their scenes were the only ones I truly enjoyed.
Do Ha was such a laughably ridiculous character, as was Sun Mi. Why spend time making either of them characters if you are just going to change their personalities with each episode? The first several episodes was devoted to showing how hard you have to work to become a civil servant, are we then supposed to believe that that hard work to become educated enough suddenly flew out the window, leaving all of the spies with the IQ of fourth graders? This show just kept coming to an impasse, and then repeatedly took the wrong turn trying to dig itself out of the mess it had made for itself. Nothing about this show made sense. The spy work was so ridiculously bad, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the actual Korean spy network was suing them for how dumb they made spies look. Or giving them an award for it, for making anyone who watched this believe their spies couldn't find their way out of a paper bag, much less into covert operations.
I'm at the point where if a review has been overly positive or negative, I try to bring it back around and point out some things that were good or bad, depending on the tone of the review. I'd love to say something here that would illustrate some redeeming qualities this show had. There are so many good reviews up here for it already, I am sure I am going to get so many not helpful votes for this. But there isn't anything I can say that would make these 20 hours worth it. If you don't have the patience of a saint, and you can't stand story lines that make zero sense in terms of characterization, don't watch this drama. I want my 20 hours back!
This drama definitely had potential. The actors were quite good, the plotline grabbed my attention, it had a solid beginning... WHAT WENT WRONG?
Story: Generally, it was opposite of what most dramas are like. Most dramas have a pretty slow beginning, and the episodes build up exponentially to a grand finale, with twists and sub-plots in between. This drama had a good, fast-paced beginning, which then FLATLINED before spiking an ultimate climax in the last two episodes.
Episodes 1-3: The first few episodes were interesting enough to hook me in. There was a good mix of action, romance, and comedy. However, there was little to no creation of the main plot, which I could have overlooked, had it not been for the next dozen or so episodes.
Episodes 4-18: The writers/producers filled up the gas tank but forgot how to start the car. Honestly, I was on episode 16 or so when I looked back and asked myself what the heck I had been watching for the last dozen episodes. It was like I figured out something, but then had to watch the next 5 episodes as every single other character had their own "Eureka!". Not only did the plot deviate quite a bit from the main storyline (which was very repetitive/draggy), the sub-plots also did little to help push the actual story forward (scenes of Seo Won's parents etc.).
Episodes 19-20: AND... we finally see some action happening over here. The revenge that the "bad" people had planned for 18 episodes is finally executed. What the drama lacked for 16 excruciatingly long episodes is all cramped together into these last two episodes, which were full of action, drama and the true bond of friendship/love. I was so satisfied with the ending, that my initial review of 4.5 went up to a 7. It's one of the endings I've longed to see in all my favourite dramas (usually resulting in my disappointment), where most, if not all, the loose ends/sub-plots are tied up and concluded, and there is solid proof of a happy ending.
*Note: The different names of both lead characters was also quite confusing at first.
Acting/Cast: Ok, I have to admit the cast was pretty good... it's just the characters that frustrate me. First off, there was little to no loyalty between the characters! There was just one betrayal after another, which frustrates me to no end! The only characters which stayed by each other's side throughout the entire drama were the "bad guys". By the end of the drama, I found myself rooting for their side because they were always there for each other, protecting each other, TRUSTING each other, something which the good characters completely lacked. There was barely a bond between families... the two main characters were always fighting with their parents and vice versa, while the two "bad guys" spent the entire drama attempting to get revenge for their families. I'm sorry. How can I sympathize with the good characters if you completely mask their good qualities with numerous, huge flaws (which, by the way, the characters never managed to fix).
Music: It was actually really good. I loved the music in this drama, and am currently searching for all the OST's and adding them to my playlist. There was really nice, soothing, romantic music to go with the romantic scenes (which were not as romantic as one might think). It's almost like the music was there to lure you into a false sense of romanticism to mask the fact that there was barely any chemistry between the characters.
Rewatch value: Ah... let's not get me started on this one. I'm 99% sure I won't be rewatching this anytime soon. (Ok, MAYBE I'll rewatch some of Joo Won's adorable goofy moments~).
Overall: A perfectly healthy drama went into cardiac arrest, died on the operating table, then miraculously came back to life in the morgue. It was decent. Not my first choice when recommending a drama to somebody, but if you're dead bored and have absolutely no dramas to watch, and are a fan of Joo Won or one of the other actors, then go ahead and give it a shot. But... before that, drop me a message and I might be able to recommend some other better ones for you :) Last but not least, I think this drama would have done much better had it split off into 2 completely separate dramas: an action drama with a spy/revenge storyline, and a romantic drama where the two leads have to overcome troubles with their to-be in-laws. The writers tried to group the two together and it didn't work out very well. If you're looking for the former, you're definitely in the wrong place. If you're looking for the latter, you're probably in the right one.
P.S. Just one last small note: my two favourite episodes were episode 6 and 19 if memory serves me right ^^