I had to set up a new category for this post – this tells you this is my first post EVER on a Korean drama. *throws confetti* I must be one of the last Asians on Earth who have never watched a K Drama (because even my dad watches them). I mean, it’s not because I have anything against it, it’s just that I don’t have enough time already to watch all the other dramas I want. Plus reading subtitles is really tiring for me. I feel like I have to read EVERY SINGLE WORD on the screen and then during certain scenes take a moment to think about what’s happening AND at the same time, look at the actors themselves. Definitely cannot multitask while watching. And definitely cannot watch before bed, I need to concentrate!!!
So now that you know this is my first adventure into K-Dramaland, go easy on me.
That aside, I decided to start Pride & Prejudice (오만과 편견) because the daily I was watching (Love Cheque Charge 幸福兌換券) was starting to annoy me and I needed a break. Then this drama kept coming up on Viki’s homepage so I was curious. Is this a Korean version of Pride & Prejudice?! P&P was my favourite book (and series – the 1995 Colin Firth version) for a number of years PLUS it’s a legal drama! I love legal dramas and I haven’t seen a good one for a while. A match made in heaven right?
It can be hard to stay on the right side of the law, even for people who work within the legal system. Koo Dong Chi (Choi Jin Hyuk) is a prosecutor who has an idealistic view of right and wrong and a very strong desire to help maintain law and order. Working with Chief Prosecutor Moon Hee Man (Choi Min Soo) and trainee Han Yeol Moo (Baek Jin Hee), can Dong Chi prevail in enforcing the law, keeping his colleagues on the straight and narrow, and bringing criminals to justice? “Pride and Prejudice” is a 2014 South Korean drama series directed by Kim Jin Min.
If, like me, you’re a fan of Pride & Prejudice and was thinking this is some kind of adaptation (even a loose one), let’s put that out of our minds right now. So my quick browsing of Soompi indicates it’s not but Dong Chi has a copy of the book in his office. That is a sure fire hint but honestly, I felt better ignoring that.
Secondly, if, like me, you grew up in a common law country (think American legal shows) where legal dramas mean lawyers in a courtroom arguing a case – throw that away also. Prosecutors do most of the investigative leg work here, I should’ve known that. But the Legal + P&P double wham got over my head.
Set in the Incheon District Prosecutor’s Office, this drama focuses on a team of prosecutors, led by Moon Hee Han (Choi Min Soo), with Chief Prosecutor Koo Dong Chi (Choi Jin Hyuk), young prosecutor Lee Jang Won (Choi Woo Sik), trainee Han Yeol Moo (Baek Jin Hee), assisted by investigators Yu Dae Gi (Jang Hang Seon), Ju Gwang Mi (Jung Hye Seong) and Kang Soo (Lee Tae Hwan).
The story starts on Yeol Moo’s first day as a trainee. She studied hard, passed the exams and requested to join Dong Chi’s team for a reason – their paths crossed five years ago (that was a really weird way to meet someone, but anyway) and they *almost* become a couple until Yeol Moo discovered something about Dong Chi… something related to her little brother’s death. The link hasn’t been revealed yet but that damned piece of torn paper!
With that as a backdrop, luckily P&P is also a procedural where each episode (or two) focuses on a specific case. The first case involving a neighbourhood flasher surprised me because it started off fairly lighthearted but suddenly took a dark turn exposing a child abuse case. To be honest, I don’t find the cases particularly suspenseful or masterfully written, however, two of the cases so far involve children, and I mean just look at that face – how can one not feel anything?
So if the stories are only decent but not exceptional, surely the characters will save it right? And I think that’s the reason I kept watching because despite my reservations about Yeol Moo, the male leads are sucking me in.
The fun thing about watching a drama on Viki is the timed comments. It’s like sitting in a room with other fangirls watching the drama together. Judging from the comments, 90% of them are fangirly declarations of love for Choi Jin Hyuk. (Don’t bash me) He is not really my ‘type’, I think in general Korean guys are too pretty / clean cut to be my type, but I do think he has a lot of charisma (and great bone structure) that I like seeing him on my screen.
Of course I’m about to shoot myself in the foot by saying Lee Tae Hwan is rather hot. Maybe I don’t want to admit it because that kid is so young (19!) he can probably call me auntie. But I’m using the excuse it’s because he’s the second lead, so that’s why I like him more.
Oh but the female lead – I’ve already mentioned if we drop any connections with Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice then this drama becomes a lot better. A lot of that was because for the first couple of episodes, I keep thinking about how Yeol Moo is NOT like Elizabeth Bennet, to the point where comparing the two is an insult to my beloved Lizzie. It all started in the wrong foot because in the first scene Yeol Moo keeps emphasising how ‘professional’ and objective she can be while working for Dong Chi but her behaviour throughout the drama has just been a complete disrespect to Dong Chi as her supervisor. It’s hilarious how she declared – ‘I graduated from law school! That means I can handle cases on my own now.’ Anyone in their first job after graduation would know that university is nothing like the real working world. Her past involving her brother’s death is tragic but she’s just totally rubbing me the wrong way.
The other quite interesting character is the lead of their team, Moon Hee Han. I think watching kdramas is an eye opening moment for me because their workplace culture is so completely different to anything I’ve experienced. The hierarchy and their emphasis on seniority (to the detriment of good judgement at times) is strangely what I’m finding very interesting in this drama. I don’t know whether I’ve missed some of the dialogue or Moon Hee Han is meant to be this way, I’m not sure whether he’s a good or bad guy? Or he has to appease his superiors to keep his job?
So overall I’m enjoying P&P more than I expected. Despite my initial expectation that this is some sort of adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, (I guess I am a little disappointed it isn’t.) the storyline and of course, the two male leads are enough for me to keep watching. Now that I’ve finished this post, I can watch episodes 5 & 6 now!!
(This is completely random, but I just have to include these screencaps. I’m not sorry at all.)