Alright...Let's break this bad boy down!
Story: What a story! The writer/s of this drama know how to write! This was action, adventure, revenge and romance done right. As you watch this drama, you notice it is almost like riding a ride. Some of the episodes are packed full of dramatic tension and zip by so fast that when the credits roll you sit there thinking "The hour is over already?" There is a depth and smartness to how the characters are written and for the most part, the pacing of the 20 episodes is framed very well. All good stories need moments of 'set-up' and because there are so many bad ass episodes when the action calms and there is a need for some exposition you don't mind...you understand that its necessary and it builds up the tension for the next stage of "The Plan". There are surprises around so many corners, moments where you suck in your breath. There are times when you want to pump your fist and times when you want to sob your heart out. There are well timed comedic moments that will have you laughing out loud. Pulling these physical and emotional reactions from the audience is the mark of great story telling. It's the best praise and prize a writer can get and the writers of City Hunter certainly got it from me.
Characters: Again, the characters are written so they are not dumbed down for the audience. They are fleshed out so well that you end up having sympathy for a character you know you ought to hate...who deserves your disdain and yet, you feel their pain. Or you may find yourself loving a character that is on a dogged search for and could just bring down your beloved hero. The character of Yoon Sung (City Hunter) is a flawed and fallible hero but he's smart and ultimately good and I found myself behind him and his cause. You get to see so many moments of kick-assery but you also get to see the price he pays; whether it is his body or his psyche. Also, those he's fighting aren't stupid either so he has got a fight on his hands. I like that the writers didn't make the antagonists stupid and they weren't always easy for City Hunter to catch. It made this show a delight to watch.
Romance: While I am all for some loving, hugging and kissing...I like that this drama knew when to quit. They didn't sacrifice the story to serve up the audience lots of drippy, gooey love. Yes, the love is there and the story shows the discovery and build up of that love but City Hunter has a mission. He's got stuff to do! We get to see how that love changes the City Hunter, puts the "true North" to his moral compass, gives him a reason to want to live beyond revenge and that is a beautiful thing. But thankfully, the writers weren't afraid to place that story on the back burner. Not only because it made sense in the framework of tale but also, they didn't pander to us mushy romantic types and force more into play.
Acting: I could go on and on (I know, I already have) but I'll just say t his. Lee Min Ho does a fantastic job. I was not a huge fan of his prior to this drama but now I am. And I would add that there isn't one actor in this whole drama that does a bad job. The main characters were cast well for their roles. There wasn't a time as I was watching this where I cringed or felt cheated that the actor wasn't serving the story or phoning in a performance. Lee Joon Hyuk (Prosecutor Young Joo) was amazing. Park Min Young (Kim NaNa) was often luminous and pretty bad ass in her right. Kim Sang Joon played (Jin Pyo) so well I hated him and had real moments of sympathy for him. Kim Sang Ho (Ahjussi) ~ I love you! I want to buy you an American Express Black card and let you home shop to your heart's content!
Season 2: When the 20 episodes are over...chances are, you are going to want one! Watch this if you are hesitating. There's a reason why there's about a thousand reviews of this Drama.