My Fellow Citizens (2019)

Profile Drama: My Fellow Citizens (국민 여러분)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 36
Release Date: April 1 – May 28, 2019
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00
A con artist, who unknowingly married a detective specializing in intellectual crimes, was blackmailed by the daughter of a gang boss that he previously scammed to run for a national assembly position. Can he win the election before the citizens (and his wife) find out the truth?

Main Cast
Choi Siwon – Yang Jung Gook
Lee Yoo Young – Kim Mi Young
Kim Min Jung – Park Hoo Ja
Kim Ui Seong – Kim Joo Myung

This drama got me hooked from the first episode! It was crucial to see the two main leads meet and fall in love and get married, because this will set off the series of events that happens throughout the drama. Even for just half of the first episode, I could already feel their love for each other, and their chemistry and I was as shocked as Jung Gook when they were in the car and he finally found out that the girl he married was a cop! It was both horrifying and hilarious! Without the strong foundation of the two leads, I think this drama would have flopped because we wouldn’t be rooting for them to stay together.

The second great thing about this show is the cat and mouse game between Jung Gook and Hoo Ja. Kim Min Jung is such a great actress! She was both terrifying to cross with and so funny at the same time. I was laughing when she was scolding her driver, “You can kill people but you can’t make a u-turn? U-TURN!!!” Hahaha! She was scheming and manipulative and uses her power, money and people’s greed to turn things into her favor.

Unfortunately she meets Jung Gook – he may be a suave con artist, but we later find out that he actually has a lot of integrity once he put his heart and effort in the right place, and he is hella street smart. I love that they tried to outsmart each other (with Jung Gook mostly winning). Just like what Mi Young told Jung Gook, she knows he is smart and his brains move fast, that he has thought of all the possible ideas before making actual moves. The only downside of the back and forth fight between Hoo Ja and Jung Gook is that it went on for too long. I think it should have stopped by episode 12 or 13 and the third act should have focused more on Jung Gook’s fight against the rest of the corrupt politicians.

When Jung Gook found out he married a cop, he deliberately put a big wall over Mi Young, and that caused a strain in their marriage. Mi Young was sad and confused by what happened. I can imagine. You were so in love with each other then as soon as you got married, your husband pulled away from you. Jung Gook was always conflicted because he loves Mi Young and does not want to hurt her, yet he knows he can’t let her know who he is. Add the complication of Hoo Ja trying to ruin his and Mi Young’s life, he had to do all he can to protect her, or at least not harm her when the truth finally comes out. I could feel Jung Gook’s dilemma. How do you tell your wife, who is already angry at you, more truths and lies that will further ruin your marriage? Although I’m sad they didn’t have more romantic moments esp during the last few episodes, I still loved the slow change in their relationship, as they grow closer and realize that they still love each other, through thick and thin, and they will weather the storm together.

The third thing I love about this drama is the whole election season and politics! It feels so realistic. I realized, every single country’s government is the same. There will always be corruption, honest and greedy politicians, big corporations and wealthy people trying to influence the government through money. and in the end, it is always the average citizens who has to suffer. I think it two ways. The shameless politicians who try to sweet talk into voting for them but totally changes once they get elected. And the average citizens who as much as they want to vote for the person they like, are lied into voting for these greedy people. It’s too difficult to discern who is better than the other, or who would make a difference in their lives. All we average folks can do is just hope that the government do at least what is expected for them to do and not take too much money from the pot. It’s sad right?

I think majority of the episodes focused on the campaign season, which i loved although i read that others found it boring. I thought it was so interesting watching the episodes from the early campaign where they were almost at the bottom of the polls, to slowly gaining ground, until Jung Gook finally won the elections. Parallel to that, we also saw Jung Gook slowly mature as he started learning about the people and reflecting on what he has done. There were a lot of dirty politics along the way and he had his trustworthy campaign manager and team to help him.

The minute i saw Kim Ui Seong i thought, yup, he’s definitely the bad guy – i mean he has played the bad characters – W, Train to Busan, Mr Sunshine, MoTA – so i shudder every time i see him on screen. Surprisingly, he was fantastic in this show as a good guy! Turns out he used to be just like Jung Gook, young, optimistic and honest politician who really wanted to do a good guy for the people. But over the years, he just got dismayed at the politics until he got bitten by the system and started engaging in the same dirty tactics he used to hate. Seeing Jung Gook reminded him of his younger self and that pushed him to help Jung Gook win over Hoo Ja and against the corrupt system. I loved what he said to Jung Gook during the last few episodes.
KJM: “You’ve changed a lot since I first met you.”
YJG: I guess my position changed me.
KJM: Your position changed you? That’s gibberish. I think you found the right position.

I agree. Jung Gook actually had a good heart, except he grew up coming from a con artist family so that’s all he knew what to do. But given the right things, he actually shined. And I think a major selling point of Jung Gook is the role was played by Choi Siwon, who looks super handsome as the charming and slick con artist but sincere and sweet husband and politician. Half of the time, I think is this still Jung Gook, or is this already Siwon? I think that’s why a lot of people thought and is thinking that Siwon will eventually run for the National Assembly, because he just looked so good at it. Heck, if he ever run for office, people will probably vote for him!

Overall, I loved this drama. It had a great balance of comedy (Jung Gook’s sister is a riot!!), action (Mi Young’s team trying to catch Hoo Ja), suspense (the fight between Hoo Ja’s sisters), drama (all the politics talk and elections and getting the law repealed) and HEART (the commentary about government, working for the people, integrity and honesty). oh and a little romance.

Leaving her Yang Jung Gook’s message: “Don’t abandon the people for your personal gains. That is the least you should do for the people.”

Rating: 8/10