～ATTENTION: some spoilers for episode 1～
In the over one hundred dramas I've watched in the last year and a half, there's none I watched while it aired. I wait for a drama to be completed, and then I watch it, one episode after another. I'm a binge-watcher, and that's how I work.
Well...that WAS how I worked until a couple of weeks ago when Psychopath Diary started airing on Viki.
I watched the first episode out of curiosity thinking I would park this show on my Plan to Watch list till January... but I got hooked, and it's not letting me go!
So, here I am trying to gather more victims*cough*viewers to join me in my first on-air watching adventure!
Psychopath Diary's story centers around Yook Dong Shik, a capable yet timid and socially-awkward employee at a stockbroker company. Due to his inability to say no, he's considered a pushover by his boss and colleagues, and he's often coerced into doing extra work. Things start to become unbearable to him when he's even bullied into acting as the scapegoat for his superior's mistake. His looming unemployment, coupled with some pressure from his family, is too much for Dong Shik and he starts considering putting an end to his life.
But...just as he's about to commit to suicide, he stumbles upon a murder scene. He grabs the diary the killer has lost during his scuffle with the victim and runs away in fear and shock. During his escape, though, he gets run over by a police car on patrol.
Dong Shik, who now suffers from amnesia due to the accident, concludes the diary is his own. Reading about the murders detailed in the diary pages, he convinces himself he's the psychopathic serial killer who caused them.
His life and the ones of the people surrounding him are about to change...
|Dong Shik "Before & After"|
..and yes, these scenes happen in the same episode.
|Yoon Shi Yoon as Yook Dong Shik|
The overly nice and meek Dong Shik couldn't hurt a fly, but after losing his memory, he's convinced he's actually a cruel and ruthless serial killer. With this conviction, his personality starts to change from pushover to menacingly assertive.
Will the inner nice guy prevail over his new serial killer persona?
After 4 episodes, I cannot think of any other actor better suited to play this character than Shi Yoon. He manages to play Dong Shik is such a way that he's both adorable and scary, funny and heartbreaking... he's amazing in this role!
|Park Sung Hoon as Seo In Woo|
Seo In Woo is the CEO at the company Dong Shik works in, and he's the real owner of the diary. He's cold, calculating and heartless.
By the time the story begins, he's already killed six people, and he's about to claim his seventh victim when he crosses paths with Dong Shik.
Sung Hoon oozes charisma in this role. So much so that I honestly have to try and stop myself from forgetting he's a horrible person and start cheering on him!
|Jung In Sun as Shim Bo Kyung|
Shim Bo Kyung is the policewoman who ran over Dong Shik, causing him to lose his memories.
She suffers from hallucinations where she sees her detective father (now brain-damaged after an investigation went wrong) pointing out clues at the crime scenes. It's thanks to these clues that she starts to follow the series of crimes committed by Seo In Woo.
Jung In Sun is a very likeable actress. Her character here is promising, but for now, has been a bit sidelined compared to the other two leads. I look forward to seeing more of her!
I think every one of the four episodes currently out has been better than the previous one. It's too early to say this show will be great since we're barely 4 episodes in and there are 12 more to come, but I think it's showing great promise!
I got hooked to this show right from the beginning, but I admit that to some viewers, the first episode felt too long. It is true that each episode lasts about 1h20min, which is quite long for a drama. This might be a deterrent for several potential viewers. For myself, I can say that from the second episode onwards the pacing has been so well done I can barely feel the time passing me by.
～WHY IS THIS DRAMA WORTH YOUR TIME?～
- It's funny, entertaining and it has a clever concept... Yes, even if it uses amnesia as a plot point!
- It doesn't shy away from darker scenes, and yet it keeps things light enough to make you laugh even while your heart breaks a little bit.
- I do not claim any knowledge of directing and cinematography, but I do think this show provides visually interesting scenes.
- The whole cast (both the leads and the supporting actors) are showing amazing chemistry.
I'm convinced that even in the case the writing should get weaker, the actors might keep this entertaining just by interacting with each other.
- What are you still here for? Do you want to die?
Psychopath Diary will air on tvN (and on Viki) every Wednesday and Thursday till 9th January.