Mouse (2021)

Profile
Drama: Mouse (마우스)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Release Date: March 3 – May 19, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Are psychopaths born or bred? This drama follows two guys with the psychopath gene. One is the son of a well-known serial killer called Head Hunter, the other is the son of a scientist researching about psychopath genes. When a series of murders start happening again, a detective (who is a victim of Headhunter) tries to uncover the killer before it’s too late.

Main Cast
Lee Seung Gi – Jung Bareum
Lee Hee Joon – Ko Moo Chi
Kyung Soo Jin – Choi Hong Ju
Park Ju Hyun – Oh Bong Yi
Kwon Hwa Woon – Sung Yohan

Review
This drama was one hell of a ride! It took the basic question of ‘nature vs nurture’ and put a lot of interesting things along the way. Just when you think you know who the killer is and why, the writer comes up with a sudden twist that makes you rethink what you know. I appreciated that the writer was able to explain a lot of the small clues and questions we have (although most of the ideas were unbelievable).

I loved Bareum and Moochi. I wish they were more scenes of them working together like the first few episodes and in the middle when Bareum suddenly became a genius who can predict the serial killer’s mind. I really like Moochi but sometimes it feels like he is always too late. He is always drunk or away whenever something major happens or cant be reached. And he ends up with people dying on him. He became a detective to kill the Headhunter so when everything ended, he left the force and became an average guy. At least he is at peace.

I liked Bongyi at the start even though she was a brat. But in the latter episodes her character was just there when it was convenient for the plot. And the romance between her and Bareum was weird. She is too young for Bareum and she was mostly annoying. I feel bad for her and what she went through but at least, she ends up having a great guy like Moochi taking care of her.

Never liked Hongju. She was a mystery. How can she not call her parents after all this time? Because of guilt? And i find it hard to believe that the father never recognized who she was when she is a famous tv personality. And she grew up with this huge guilt on her shoulders but was silent the entire time until Yohan was killed. She also had a sour face the whole 20 episodes. What did Yohan like about her? But at least better late than never. She went to jail for what she did years ago, and when she got out of prison, she was finally surrounded by loving parents, here son and Yohan’s mom. I think she deserved happiness too.

The whole government conspiracy was interesting but the big reveal wasn’t too impactful. Or maybe it was rushed. The drama was hinting about this huge OZ operation for so many episodes but all we got in the end was the lady also getting out early (but secretly assassinated).

I feel bad for Sung Yohan. He was misunderstood but he was the softest genius who cared for everyone around him. I thought he deserved more public recognition than just exonerating his name as a killer.

And of course, Jung Bareum as the main lead was sympathetic. He really tried hard, he wished very hard not to become a monster. He was doing well until the stupid OZ triggered his psycho mind and he starting killing people. The brain transplant and Yohan’s emotions blending with his is puro science fiction. I read an article that most of the psychopaths do not always act on their tendencies so it made me wonder, the fact that Bareum has been consciously suppressing his psycho-ness – did it mean that he could have not become a psychopath? or was it going to happen eventually and OZ just triggered it early? And I know Bareum did kill a lot of people but to people who knew him like Chi Kook, his friend, Hongju, Moochi, Bongyi, i knew although they were angry at him, also felt bad for him. I wished there was a better farewell between Moochi and Bareum and not just that one visit. The part where Bareum fulfilled his promise to kill Headhunter was a nice touch, but was too little too late too. The ending was sad but it was the most appropriate ending given the circumstances.

Rating: 8.5/10

Train (2020)

Profile:
Drama: Train (트레인)
Network: OCN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: July 11 – August 16, 2020
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 22:30

Plot:
A detective tries to catch a serial killer who was dumping bodies inside a luggage at the Mukyeong Train Station. The same killer kills his love, and he ends up in a parallel universe, where the people are the same but the circumstances are different. Will he be able to solve the crime or will he get stuck in the other universe?

Main Cast:
Yoon Si Yoon – Seo Dowon
Kyung Soo Jin – Seo Kyung

Review:
Really intense, tightly written drama. Great acting from everyone, especially Yoon Si Yoon and Choi Seung Yoon. Very unpredictable story, it kept me guessing not only about the killer, but what will happen next and how it will end. Just when I thought I know who the killer is, the drama surprises us with one big twist after another. And another. I’ve never been so happy being so wrong and looking forward to the next episode with my mouth hanging open from disbelief and amazement.

I think I had an idea who might be the killer (because there were only a few characters to choose from, but what I didn’t know was why that person was killing. When they revealed the killer, it was so twisted and sick i wanted to steal Seokyung’s gun and just end the killer’s misery. The conversation between the killer and Dowon was shocking. I had the same expression of “no it cant be you’re kidding!” on Dowon’s face.

I really loved Yoon Si Yoon as the triple Seo Do Won, i mean man, sometimes i had to stop and remember that this was one person acting as 3 versions of the same character. That was how good and convincing he was! I wished more people had a chance to watch this drama and see Yoon Si Yoon, who has always been underrated but better skilled actor compared to his peers.

That one scene where Dowon told Seo Kyung that “There hasn’t been a single moment that I haven’t loved you” was like the most swoon worthy time travelling confession I’ve ever heard in my kdrama watching life! So simple yet so sincere. Beats even Lee Minho in The King Eternal Monarch!!

Due to the shorter episodes, there were several questions that were left unanswered, esp on how you can cross boundaries, but it didn’t deter me from enjoying the story because this drama didn’t focus on how you cross worlds. From the start it was all about the characters and how the consequences of their actions can change their world. The ending was left to our imagination, which i liked because it gave me hope that somewhere Dowon and Seokyung found each other again but felt like it was “too nice” of an ending from a very grim drama. I would have been have happy with them going back to their own worlds and treating it like a dream.

Rating: 9/10