Happy Memorial Day! There are a lot of new dramas out and there has been one that I have been particularly interested in watching. Circle is a sci-fi drama starring Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Kang Woo. I was particularly drawn to the fact that this is a double track drama in which the episodes are split into two parallel storylines. One takes place in 2017 and the other in 2037. Unlike the time-traveling dramas we’ve seen before, it’s not clear what affect the storylines will have on each other which I think makes the drama unique.
When an incarcerated psychopath draws a detailed image of a current crime scene and addresses it to a former, genius FBI agent, it draws the attention from the Chief of Police. Former FBI agent James Gil/Gil Soo Hyun (Kim Kang Woo) teams up with Veteran Detective Oh Dae Young (Park Hee Soon) and Jin Seo Joon (Jo Bo Ah) of the Cyber Crimes Unit to form a task force specializing in finding missing people and uncovering the mystery behind their disappearance.
OCN has a reputation of doing male-focused, mystery crime dramas. They’re produced by the same team again and again and the formula rarely changes. However, the reason why I’m drawn to them is that the casts are usually great and the same plots are delivered with fresh and unique perspective. Similar to what magicians or illusionists do, the mark of a great crime drama is when it can misdirect the viewers’ expectations.
There are times when I blindly approach a movie or drama without reading the premise first. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised and other times not so much. Here’s a case where I wanted to see Kim Kang Woo in something different after enjoying him in Haeundae Lovers. Boy, was this different.
The story follows Secretary Joo Young Jak (Kim Kang Woo) as he works for the Yoon family and deals with immoral issues involving this rich, powerful family. From the writer/director Im Sang Soo that brought us The Housemaid, The Taste of Money is considered a spiritual sequel. As Im Sang Soo calls it, it’s “an extension of The Housemaid. You can say that it’s the story of the children of The Housemaid who’ve grown up.”
Prosecutor Lee Tae Sung (Kim Kang Woo) goes undercover as Nam Hae in order to catch a gangster who flees down to Busan. He meets a former gangster’s daughter, Go Sora (Jo Yeo Jung) who ends up helping him when Tae Sung loses his memory.
A lot of the dramas I’m watching lately are pretty drama heavy, whether it’s supernatural in nature or a melo. Haeundae Lovers seemed like a nice change of pace in counterprogramming. It seemed like a fun, breezy drama without too much depth. And that’s exactly what I got.