The good thing about moving these posts to the end of the week is that I am able to write more about dramas as I felt that my Monday posts were skewed towards variety programming most of the time. We’ve started some new dramas this week and one of which is 3 Days. After watching the previews, I had been trying to avoid reading the synopsis and character bios as I just wanted the merit of the drama alone to grab. Certainly there’s a bevy of stars with impressive résumés that make me hopeful about the drama but I didn’t expect the drama to captivate me from the get go.
The drama starts with the car crash death of Han Tae Kyung’s (Park Yoo Chun) father who has been desperate to reach the President Lee Dong Hwi (Son Hyun Joo) before dying.
At the same time, Tae Kyung is a presidential bodyguard and puts aside his grief in order to protect the president at a public meet and greet in which a bystander tries to attack the president. Tae Kyung is reprimanded but the attack was harmless. Afterwards, the president offers his condolences but asks a peculiar question about his father’s belongings. During the wake, he even gets a visit by Yoon Bo Won (Park Ha Sun) who was the first officer on the scene at the crash site asking about his father’s belongings.
Tae Kyung doesn’t pick up on anything suspicious until he discovers that someone has ransacked his father’s office. The last thing searched on his father’s computer was something titled “Confidential Document 98”. Putting together clues to find out who had ransacked his home, he tracks him down only to find him dying. The only words he leaves Tae Kyung with is that the president will die the following day.
The following day the president heads to villa for a four-day retreat. Tae Kyung starts putting together clues from his father’s death and the attempt made on the president’s life and decides to warn his fellow bodyguards that something is up. Meanwhile Bo Won follows some suspicious characters which lead her to find a bomb-like contraption. Except it’s not a bomb of the exploding kind. It’s Electromagnetic Pulse bomb which knocks out all electronics. Three shots ring out in the night and the president goes missing.
As the bodyguards try to investigate where the president is, whether he is dead, they also vow to keep it a secret as it could cause mass panic in the country. The team eventually turns their suspicions on Tae Kyung. Why did he show up at the villa and how did he know something would happen to the president? Tae Kyung has a different suspect but escapes the suspect’s grasp before he kills Tae Kyung. The bodyguard team eventually finds a body but it’s not the president. Dun dun dun.
I agree that there’s a lot of set up in these first two episodes. I didn’t read the show’s summary until I watched the first episode because I didn’t quite understand how the “3 Days” concept would work in the scheme of this storyline as it was being touted as Korean’s version of 24. I’ve learned that the “3 Days” concept is actually split into 3 different acts with each part’s story being 3 days long. Part 1 being the “Battle’s First Act”, Part 2 being “Showdown” and Part 3 “Conclusion”. Why they didn’t decide to call it 9 Days, I’m not sure. And I’m still not sure how the time factor will play out in the drama but as long as the story is good I’m along for the ride.
However, the pacing of these first two episodes were great. It was a slow start especially for our hero but I don’t think it would have been realistic for him to immediately jump to conclusion. That would just be too much, too fast. Unfortunately, that made the first two episode very dialogue heavy. There were a lot conversations but not much was explained. I’m okay with that since the show is keeping the suspense alive but I leave the explanations once we get deeper into the drama.
There are a lot of characters in this drama and I admit that I am still trying to learn the roles of all the lesser supporting characters. I’m a little disappointed to see So Yi Hyun playing that familiar cop type of role again and honestly I hope the drama doesn’t focus too deeply on her character of fellow bodyguard, Lee Cha Young. I’m also disappointed to see that Jang Hyun Sung is playing yet another villain. I’m really hoping the drama will pull the rug on us with his character because his reveal happened so early in the drama that it will not sustain our suspense for the run of the series.
Having said that, I’m not quite sure who is a good guy or bad guy. Yes, I know that Son Hyun Joo is playing the president and if he gets assassinated that’s a really, really bad thing… but the guy is pretty, damn creepy. He’s got some secret agenda and I haven’t quite figured out if it is for the good of the people or for world destruction.
It’s too early to tell where Yoon Je Moon will fall but currently he’s in my good guy camp. He’s just seems like a tough Chief Secretary who wants the truth. But I’m always open to a good twist.
I am so glad to see Park Ha Sun again. While this drama does remind me a little of Two Weeks, this is an entirely different kind of role for her. So much so that it took me a split second to recognize her. Her husky voice and tomboyish attitude makes her a bit more hardboiled for this roles which is so different from Two Weeks’ gentle Seo In Hye.
I’m eager to see how her partnership with Park Yoo Chun will pan out. I have no concerns about him being able to handle this role. Already in the first two episodes, he’s juggled the emotional side of this role with the logical side. If there’s anything I’m a little sad about, it’s his hairstyle. It makes him look so much older than he really is. Aaah, the strict dress code of a presidential bodyguard.
Finally, what does this “Confidential Document 98” say exactly? My concern about Writer Kim Eun Hee is that her scripts promise a lot upfront but don’t quite deliver on the back end. Sign was a major disappointment but that could have extended from the stresses that production faced which lead to changes in the roles of the crew. However, I have heard good things about Ghost but I didn’t watch it. I sincerely hope that the document ends up not being MacGuffin because they’ve built it up so much now. However, what could be so terrifying that would make it a worthy reveal? I’m so conflicted but I choose to be positive about it.