About two people with their own painful stories who go through a complicated process of hurting and healing while falling in love with each other. No Hwi Oh is a detective in the violent crimes division of the Gangnam Police Station. He thinks that he is doing well until his life suddenly takes a turn and he becomes a “crazy” person who can’t hold in his anger about anything. Lee Min Kyung is a woman who is caught up in her own delusions and compulsions. She had lived an ordinary life as a pretty woman with a respectable job until “that incident” that caused everything in her life to break down. As a result, she was unable to trust anyone and is caught in a prison of her own making. Her delusions also have the unfortunate side effect of making everyone else around her angry. (Source: Soompi) Edit Translation
- Native Title: 이 구역의 미친X
- Also Known As: The Crazy Guy in the District , The Crazy Guy in This District , Crazy Person in the Area , Insane Person in the Area , Crazy X in Town , Insane X in Town , I Guyeogui MichinX , Yi Guyeokui Michin X
- Director: Lee Tae Gon
- Screenwriter: Ah Kyung
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Cast & Credits
A LOT More than just Gut Wrenching ComedyThis is my Initial review of the show after watching 3 episodes. I will try to update my review as the show goes on or when it ends. Sometimes some shows start out well, but then falls apart, hope that doesn't happen to this show. (I've actually edited my review along the way by now, scroll down to see them if you would like, SPOILER: It kept getting better and better with time and finished off well, but if you want to get some context look at the Edits below)
First, anyone who has just watched the trailer for the show, will obviously think this is a funny comical show, which it is, sometimes to the point it feels like I am gonna squeeze and burst my gut out with laughter. The dialogues are funny , well written and translated, but the context of the scenes are even funnier. The comedy is subtle, not forced, very fluid, something a lot of Korean shows miss in my opinion.
However, There is a lot more to this show than just pure hilarious comedy. If you watch at least the first 3 episodes, you will definitely understand what I am talking about, the things that the main two characters are going through, can happen to a lot of us, to anyone of us to be honest. The struggles of these two characters, felt very real to me. Misfortunes happen, they hurt us, scar us, throw our lives into chaos. People misunderstand us, we misunderstand them, which leads us to think we are better off without people. We can't control our anger, our wrath, our obsession with paranoia, our rage towards the fact that we got sucked into the injustice that we never deserved, neither ever planned for.
The casting is good, Obviously. The acting is very good, to the point. The characters have their own charms, the male and female lead are very well played by these two actors. I gave this show a very high Re-Watch value, cause it deserves it. I personally have Re-watched the 3 episodes quite a few times myself.
Now, each episodes are just around 30 mins, which may sound like too small, but quite a lot of things happen in between just those 30 mins. And that's also the great part about this show thus far, it's not too fast, not too slow, and definitely NOT boring at all. If you think you have 30 min time to spare in between your busy schedule, then Definitely go for it. So far, it's Definitely WORTH it.
Edit 1: I've watched till the 6th episode now. It's going very well, and getting rather interesting. I would highly recommend anyone watching up until now, keep watching. We are at a crossroad where the ML and FL will have to intersect into one another's life for the story to progress in the desired/one of the desired directions. One thing to note about this drama, is that the cliffhangers are really done well, it makes you want to watch the next episode like there is no tomorrow, supplemented also by the fact that each episodes are just 30 min long.
Edit 2: I've watched till the 9th episode now. The show is going in a good direction, with just 4 episodes left we needed some new tension and some dosage of emotional vulnerability for the characters to build something real between them in between these episodes, which we got. This show kinda depicts one of the major issues in South Korea, the cyber crimes of sexual assault and such and the aftermath, with all the judgements and bullying and finding and utilizing the loopholes of law to De-humanize the victims to the general people's eyes. Overall, this show doesn't really water down the impacts, neither do they exaggerate to any unrealistic extent.
Although some K-drama-ly aspects are found in the show like a "Too animated with their movements and Talks way too much with too cute voices", it's not really overdone, which is more than you can say for some other romantic K-drama with ultra popular stars. So far, I can say that this show has been a treat to watch.
Edit 3: I've watch till the 11th episode now, and well, things have gotten interesting. The evil aren't really far away, and the main story is getting more focus. Both the ML and FL will have to face their demons, have to fight it, and it will test that relationship they have formed, that's the way the story is progressing it seems. Personally, This is one of the most UNDERRATED gem of a show I've seen in quite a while. At first I wasn't really all that impressed with the Music of the show, I gave it 8.5 because it was decent, however, along the way the music have improved, or rather, they have actually shown all their cards with the music, the first 4-5 episodes they didn't really explore that part much. Now, I am upgrading the Music to a Solid 9. I am also upgrading the Re-Watch value to solid 10, cause, I feel you would love to come back and see many of the episodes again and again, cause I personally have, and probably will in the future. The 30 min per episode sometimes feel very cruel, especially to us, who are watching them immediately when they release, and wait until they release the next one. However, because the episodes are just 30 mins, the show doesn't drag on, it feels dynamic yet serene, funny yet serious in the most crucial elements. Hats off to the Directors and Show-Makers for being able to create such tension in just mere 30 min episodes, while not making it too much on the nose and keeping it grounded.
Edit 4: Finished watching episode 12. This episode was, hands down, The BEST EPISODE up until now. The way the story progressed, was, EXCELLENT. With this kind of relationship, the misunderstanding and the impulsive and emotional decisions that took place in this episode, was bound to happen. People who have been Seriously Abused in a relationship, people who have been hurt by previous relationship not working out, being abandoned in their worst times, have a seriously hard time to really trust themselves with the new relationship. They hardly believe themselves, hate themselves, blame themselves for those misfortunes. This episode, honestly felt very real, and they pulled it off in just 30 min. GREAT ACTING, PERIOD by both these two actors. I am giving the acting an absolute 10. The Music, wow, it now keeps getting better and better every episode it seems. Whatever happens in the last episode, whether we get the ending we deserve or not, either way, I will suggest anyone reading this review, to Really, GIVE THIS SHOW A GO.
Edit 5 (Final): Finished the Finale, ep 13. It was Good, quite a few things happened in just 30 min. Everything came to a conclusion, It was pretty much the best ending you could ask for in a 30 min episode. And that's one thing that I didn't like, they had so much to do in just 39 min, and that they did, but missed out on some details, the gaps to fill, purely because of not having enough time. If this episode was just even 50-55 min long, they could have checked all the tick marks, they could have slowed some developments down a notch and could really sort out things in a steady pace from beginning to end. But nonetheless, it did very well for it's time and gave us all the necessary closure that we needed.
Final Thoughts: WATCH THIS DRAMA, it will be worth your time, and you will remember this drama, honestly. I will call this drama "SEVERELY UNDERRATED". If this drama was casted by IU, Hyun Bin , Park Shin Hye, Suzy Bae, or some ultra popular stars, even with a very mediocre acting, the ratings and popularity would have soared through the sky. Point is, It's a Great show. And Rather than focusing solely/mostly on the cast, which is a problem with Drama-watchers of Kdrama or even any Asian drama, if you are one who is willing to focus more on the story and acting and execution and all those stuff that truly should matter, then watch it. GIVE THIS SHOW A PROPER TRY, that would be my heartfelt suggestion. That's all.
Unexpectedly Refreshing—a gem of a drama worthy of anyone's time.I was totally unprepared for how much this drama touched me. And I am not sure if it was because of the issues it tackled in anger management, paranoia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive, or if it was in how Jung Woo (truly a gem of an actor) and Oh Yeon-Seo each executed their roles. Either way, it worked and worked brilliantly, from the writing to the acting and directing, a pleasant surprise that hooked me from the first three episodes. I quickly both invested and rooted for Noh Hwi Oh and Lee Min Kyung to overcome the pain and heartbreak that appeared to be eating at them. I continually felt time stop when I watched this drama, with my rude awakening coming with each episode's abrupt ending (abrupt in my mind's eye). I never wanted the episodes to end.
When I started Mad For Each Other, I wasn't sure what I was getting, but before the end of the first week, I knew I wanted more, much more than the half-hour snippets three times a week. I like how fluid everything flows, graciously balancing the comedic, crazy, and serious moments. It's light with a somber undertone in how it tells the story of two people scarred by those around them, to the extent that they cannot live their daily lives without coming across something that triggers them emotionally or mentally. There is a lot to like here, but what I found most pleasing is how both Hwi Oh and Min Kyung recognized they weren't okay, be it emotionally or mentally, and seriously seek out and are committed to getting the help they need to better their former selves, and not just pout or play the blaming game. But that they do it in the same doctor's office sometimes brings on the laughs, craziness, and waterworks, as even the visits to the psychiatrists are marred with those moments that make the viewer laugh, cry, and be mesmerized by the fragility of it all.
Getting insight into both of our lead's past traumas was a disheartening experience, especially Min Kyung's. Not that Hwi Oh's is any less, on the contrary. In a way, their situations mirror each other. To be lied to and betrayed by the person (s) you trust the most, but not only that, to be threatened and used for that love is not an easy overcome, if even one can overcome something like that at all. So, Min Kyung's paranoia and traumatic disorders become even that much more understandable, but so does Hwi Oh's anger for being so easily slighted, accused, and shunned by the colleagues he swore an oath to protect and lay his life down for, including his family members and friends. It is easy to see how they and everything around him could readily trigger his anger. Yet, one can't help but empathize and rally behind them. And, boy, do they have chemistry; the moment they finally get together is golden; I love how tender and protective Hwi Oh gets of Min Kyung. I, of course, cannot get over how much I enjoy the association ladies from Hiwi and Ming Kyung's apartment building. I love how expressive they are all and so in tune, but more so that they were not too ashamed to admit their mistakes and take action when needed most.
But as much as I loved Hwi Oh and Min Kyung's bickering, fights, distrust, and even distress when they first met, I couldn't help but love how those fights and distresses enabled them to see each other's truths in each other. And before they even knew it, they were not only rooting for each other, but deeply caring for one another on their road to recovery, as the anger turns to laughter, and the fear and dark sunglasses turn rosy and trustworthy. But the show is also quick to remind us that recovery is a journey; it's not a straight, steady road. And that is the part that stands out the most for me with this drama. It takes its time to show us, the viewers, how fragile recovery is to those afflicted by mental and emotional issues. That there will always be ups and downs, discoveries, and setbacks. And in the case of Hiwi and Ming Kyung, it's the fragility of their trust that quickly crumbled just as quickly as it was developed at the resurfacing of ex-partners. On second thought, it's not even the ex-partners, but the painful memories and helplessness it drudged up. Luckily, despite the halting progress and discouragements, they can look back and see that those painful memories are just pieces of their lives and draw new strength from them, rather than have them be stumbling blocks.
I admire the matter-of-fact tone the drama takes to raise awareness and push acceptance of social taboos, whether it's through Samantha's transsexuality/transgender (Ahn Woo Yeon) or Min Kyung's presumed extramarital affair, physical and sexual abuse/assault, and mental health, and Hiwi's anger issues. But what's even more admirable is how everybody, from the part-time clerk (Lee Soo Hyun) to Hwi Oh, Min Kyung, the apartment association ladies (Baek Ji Won, Lee Hye Eun, Lee Yeon Du), handles and processes these taboos. Despite their initial shock or even disapproval, they can quickly work through whatever misgiving they have to acknowledge. Just because some people are different, it doesn’t mean they are inferior. And I think it's because they realized the crippling effect of fear and pain, giving them the capacity to be compassionate, loving, and understanding. That's the thing about pain; it brings people closer, because one cannot understand how people feel until they've experienced the same or equivalent kind of pain themselves.
As I already noted, there are many reasons why I loved this drama. Still, the biggest is the ease with which it articulates the overwhelmingness of mental and emotional health illnesses and the pain of being ostracized by society. And I cherish the messages it left me with, some of which were that the journey to full recovery takes time, and no matter how steep the road, maybe there is an end if one stays the course. Recovery includes getting better and achieving a full and satisfying life. And that people are often judged because of their differences, but the reality is that people will always be different. This doesn’t mean those who are different are “wrong”; on the contrary, it's those differences that make the world far more interesting.
A gem of a drama that you will not regret watching. As for the cast of the drama, brilliant, Jung Woo excelled at his role, as it was sometimes hard to watch how everything affected him, especially his helplessness in changing the awful ordeal the woman he loves went through. This leads him to resort to his fists, and as much as I am against violence, there comes a time when using one's words is just not enough. Jung Woo was great at making me feel his every being, but so was Oh Yeon-Seo -- I felt her confusion, fear, and stigma of living not only with a mental health illness, but also the accusation of having an extramarital affair. Kudos to the cast and production team for a drama that awakens the sense in every way possible.