One Ordinary Day (2021) poster
8.5
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 8,234 users
# of Watchers: 26,302
Reviews: 36 users
Ranked #594
Popularity #540
Watchers 8,234

A drama that explores the criminal justice system from an extremely popular perspective through the fierce story of two men surrounding the murder of a woman. Hyun Soo, an ordinary college student, suddenly becomes the primary suspect in a murder case. Shin Joong Han is the only lawyer willing to help Kim Hyun Soo. Having just barely passed law school, Shin Joong Han's involvement in Kim Hyun Soo's case eventually takes his unremarkable life to new heights.  (Sources: Naver, MyDramaList) ~~ Remake of the British TV series "Criminal Justice" [2008]. Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • 中文(简体)
  • Arabic
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 8
  • Aired: Nov 27, 2021 - Dec 19, 2021
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: COUPANG TV
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 8.5 (scored by 8,234 users)
  • Ranked: #594
  • Popularity: #540
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
the_sapio_nerd
47 people found this review helpful
Dec 18, 2021
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Justice is the right that one fights for, if one seeks fairness.

Reminds me of a quote by Voltaire that goes like, "It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one." Indeed, one innocent must not be convicted of guilt even so it acquits a thousand criminals; in simple words, Innocent until proven guilty". The entire story of "One Ordinary Day" revolves around this single moral and is a perfect example of how truth and justice always prevails over injustice.

Trigger Warning: The drama involves violence, sex, nudity and blood.

Directed by the star PD Lee Myung Woo and written by seemingly rookie writer Kwon Soon Gyu, One Ordinary Day (어느 날: oneul nal) is a crime thriller or murder mystery story that revolves around Kim Hyun Soo (Kim Soo Hyun), a regular university guy who on an usual day of his life, becomes a murder suspect and find himself trapped in complicated situation. He, an ordinary guy who had led a simple and ordinary life had no idea what was gonna happen to him on another ordinary day.

We also have Shin Joong Han (Cha Seung Won) as a lawyer, who becomes Hyun Soo's attorney to get him justice. He got a bad reputation among the area of profession but is quick-witted and a brilliant investigator.

The acting department is full of all amazing actors; starting from Kim Soo Hyun and Cha Seung Won, the drama also has, Kim Shin Rok, Lee Sul, Kim Hong Pa, Kim Sung Gyu, Yoo Seung Mok, So Hee Jung, etc. in major characters.

I checked the writer has worked on only 4 scripts including this, that too with long gaps and previous 3 were all sageuk (historical). I know the drama is a remake from the BBC original show "Criminal Justice" but recreating it with Korean elements and making changes with relation to Korean laws would have not been as easy as it seems. The elements used to connect plots, underlaying Hyun Soo's subconscious is something that intrigued ne to be honest. Morever, the steady progression was gripping and several revelations made were at appropriate timing.

The plot development is a quick one, in fact the first episode itself indicates how the grip of the story didn't want to calm down. It felt like the writer didn't want to lay a foundation by thorough introduction of characters or the storyline; I'm just saying and not complaining at all, because nobody had the time given it's only 8 episodes. There are also few related side plots used. The screenwriting deserves good points.

The post-crime procedures portrayed in the drama are different as the writer has introduced realistic methods of police-level investigations with proper sequences. The realistic approach is also made for courtroom scenes and legal proceedings; obviously there are melo and thrilling elements as well. The dramatic investigative ways by Joong Han was also nice, loved how tenacious and witty he was when it came to figuring things out and drawing a picture of any scenario. There was also a soft side to him that only Hyun Soo could brought forward, it was visible.

The direction is amazing, no wonder Lee PD-nim is a pro. The screenplay is amazingly handled, along with the organization of scenes and overal screen-editing. The sound-editing also uo to par.

Both alcohol & drug abuse and it's consequences is a major element used in the drama. The common habit of attachment to strangers as well as the unusual urge of sexual activities among youth are also something emphasized in the drama by indirect means. Criminal psychology is an aspect that the writer has also tried to showcase through the main character. The life in prison (both during detainment and imprisonment), corruption, inmate behaviour and illegal activities taking place inside are also a part of the script.

Apart from the topnotch acting or performance from this superb actors, the impulsively gripping plot development and investigative methods used are the reasons, that make OOD is a superbly produced piece of work, despite the number of episodes it has. The credit should be given to the entire cast and crew for bringing forward such an amazing drama in just 8 hours (approx.); i wish it were a full-length 16 episode cable drama.

The ending.... I think the ending sequences could have a little better. I am not disappointed or something but I had high expectations from it given the way the story was progressing. Also, it felt a bit rushed but again that's a side effect of 10 eps or less Korean shows. I wish they would take one more episode, at least by taking out the extra 10 minutes from ep 3-6.

To sum up everything, the drama is not about what's wrong or what's right, nor does the show emphasizes on punishment or rewards, it particularly is a reflection of the judiciary, the way it works and it's impact on the society as well as the individuals.

Final Thoughts: One Ordinary Day with amazing actors and high production value, is definitely a fabulous drama to look forward, so go ahead with a second thought. I can't put it in the "must watch" category but for me, it was surely an enjoyable watch. It's a treat for everyone, despite their choice of genre or tatste in Kdramas.

P. S. I have tried my best to not write a lot about the story and characters as the drama has only 8 episodes and I was afraid I would end up spoiling. In case you come across anything that can serve as a spoiler, please let me know.

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Completed
Marshmallow-Chocoholic
35 people found this review helpful
Dec 19, 2021
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Kim Soo-Hyun’s Sublime Return To Thrillers…



Remake dramas can often go down two selective routes; diverging from the originality of its predecessor, or offering viewers a production en par with the original. Thankfully Coupang Play’s first series led by director
Lee Myung-woo, ‘ One Ordinary Day ‘ ( a remake of the original BBC series ‘ Criminal Justice’), offered viewers a fairly knockout adaptation with arguably darker explorations of the criminal judicial system, an intriguing setup as well as a brilliant cast lineup ( most notably A-list actor Kim Soo-Hyun as the main lead).

The series focuses upon seemingly “ model student” college-student Kim Hyeon-soo (Kim Soo-hyun). In an effort to apparently gain popularity Hyeon-Soo decided to hook up one night with Hong Kook-Hwa ( Hwang Se-on); a mysterious yet beguiling troublemaker. However Hyeon-Su’s fantastical night is cut short as he wakes up to a horrifying sight. Seemingly framed for a crime he didn’t commit, few seem to believe his plea for innocence- apart from gruff lawyer Shin Joon-Han ( Cha Seung-won). Alongside soft-spoken novice lawyer Seo Soo Jin ( Lee Seol), Joon-Han is determined to prove Hyeon-Su’s innocence yet as further problems arise in the case, the true question of justice begins to become more clouded along the way…

‘ One Ordinary Day’ delivers anything but mundanity for viewers - its heavy-going and macabre themes upon murder, crime, prison, corruption and injustice will likely not appeal to everyone. Whilst the first episode admittedly offers viewers a fast-paced and adrenal-infused episode, the latter episodes do hit a slight rut at times of struggling to maintain the same alacrity. ( Admittedly whilst some of these scenes were necessary for slowing down and building -up setups and characters, they’d sometimes disengage episodes from keeping viewers captivated by moving at a quicker pace.)

Casting top-actors in a lesser-known and more mature production can always be a gamble for both the actor as well as the company. However Kim Soo Hyun does not disappoint bringing forth a gut-wrenching performance as the main lead . Hyun-Soo is the ultimate enigma for viewers- a bright student and seemingly a kindhearted son, but his myriad of reckless decision-making causes him to start his hellish journey throughout the series. Naturally whilst the storyline never wanted to give too much away about Hyun-Soo’s ultimate final verdict , there were admittedly moments in the series surrounding Hyun-Soo which felt as though they could’ve been shown in more intrinsic depth. ( Including further insight into his relationship with his parents , his experiences with peers during his younger years ,Hyun-Soo’s college life as well as about his fight for survival in prison.)Even if the drama had offered these some of these moments as merely “Red Herrings” it could’ve allowed for more opportunities to have seen a multilayered onset for Hyun Soo as a character.

Alongside Kim Soo Hyun is costar Cha Seung Won who played the role of the unkempt lawyer with an air of rugged charm. Yet admittedly whilst there were intriguing elements to Seung Won as a written-character, the deuteragonist could often lack some greater and definitive focus on his backstory. Of course this isn’t to say that Shin Joong Han is a poorly-written character by any stretch of the imagination; the male lead is far from being a perceived as an impeccable guardian angel and instead nearly plays devil’s advocate in the courtroom - he has his own demons to deal with, personal motives for taking on his clientele for and is widely dismissed by the inner-circle of judges and prosecutor as being “ third-rate”. However the storyline could’ve admittedly been smoothed down more if the drama had given opportunities to understand more about his past.

Combined together with the vivid cinematographer of Lee Myung-Woo of vivid neon night shots against the mundanity of the court room , ‘ One Ordinary Day’ becomes a suspenseful reverse-psychology series where versatile themes surrounding corruption, drugs and abuse were played carefully with the murky lightning of flashbacks presented a moody and unsettling atmosphere against the lucid mundanity of tension. Inter played when necessary with the spine-tingling OST, ‘ One Ordinary Day’ was surprisingly masterful when it came to delivering some of its impactful scenes for viewers.

Naturally this brings us onto one of the greatest downfalls for ‘ One Ordinary Day’; the ending. Naturally the ending wasn’t inherently rushed with a notably slow-paced speed weighing down a major proportion of the final episodes in order to build-up towards the finale. On the other hand whilst the ending is certainly surprising for viewers and did seem to present a powerful statement message towards the unstable corruption of the judicial system in South-Korea, it did admittedly feel slightly anticlimactic for viewers with certain original links and questions remaining unanswered even by the final episode.

Nevertheless whilst the series could sometimes struggle with attaining constant and steady pacing as well as shaping out certain subplots, ‘ One Ordinary Day’ was a fairly thrilling and gripping series which offered brilliant performances by our cast and especially Kim Soo-Hyun as well as Cha Seung Won. The ending was admittedly slightly unexpected and failed to wrap up some more quintessential loose ends for viewers, but did undeniably deliver the reminder for audiences that ‘ One Ordinary Day’ was harrowing within its portrayal of the judicial system.

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Details

  • Drama: One Ordinary Day
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 8
  • Aired: Nov 27, 2021 - Dec 19, 2021
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: COUPANG TV
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Statistics

  • Score: 8.5 (scored by 8,234 users)
  • Ranked: #594
  • Popularity: #540
  • Watchers: 26,302

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