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

Team Bulldog: Off Duty Investigation (2020)

Profile
Drama: Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation (번외수사)
Network: OCN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: May 23 – June 28, 2020
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 22:50

Plot
A detective unintentionally teams up with a gusty TV producer, an ex-NFS turned funeral director, a profiler slash networking sales agent, and former gangster turned bar owner to solve homicide cases.

Main Cast
Cha Tae Hyun – Jin Kang Ho
Lee Sun Bin – Kang Moo Young
Jung Sang Hoon – Lee Ban Seok
Yoon Kyung Ho – Teddy Jeong
Ji Seung Hyun – Tak Won
Park Jung Woo – Min Dae Jin

Review
I’m a big fan of Cha Tae Hyun, so I try to catch almost all of his variety shows, dramas and movies. After his unfortunate (and unfair!) scandal last year, I was excited to see him back and active in kdramaland. And i think Team Bulldog was a fantastic choice for a comeback.

First off, this wasn’t his usual role. He always plays the nice guy and family man so seeing him play a reckless and relentless detective was so much fun! And it helped that this drama perfectly balanced seriousness with light humor/sarcasm that was perfect for Cha Tae Hyun! I didn’t even realize he could do action! haha! i mean, he doesn’t have a lot of suave action scenes but he did a lot of running and beating up some guys that i thought okay, he looks good too! I loved his banter with his boss – like he can just talk so rudely at him but it was so funny and true. good thing his boss is nice (and lazy), and he actually is so good at solving crimes that he gets away with his rudeness. I also loved his character’s funny scenes and rapport with the rest of the cast (i will mention them later). I thought the group was such a ragtag team of misfits and experts yet they worked so well together.

Another thing i loved about this drama are the cases. Instead of episodic cases, they decided to just have 4 cases, so each case took around 2-3 episodes to solve. So there was enough build up of the tension, a lot of investigations and clues that made the cases interesting. The cases were also not the usual affairs or murder cases, but tackled transgender, twin brothers, street kids and a few serial killers. Some of them are also close of the heart of the team which makes the cases important and gives the team more reason to be closer and understand each other.

So the main premise is there’s this reckless Fact Check PD (Kang Moo Young) who likes to solve crimes before the police does and air it on her show for the ratings. And most of the time, the cases she choose coincides with Kang Ho’s current cases. I love that despite the different ways they investigate the clues and evidence, they still end up with the same leads and conclusion, and it’s with sharing the knowledge of the cases that they are able to solve them completely.

To be honest, i didn’t like Moo Young character that much. She was too condescending at Kang Ho, kept scoffing at him and calling him lazy cop when he is so competent at his job! I think she has a lot of hang ups and thinks she is better than the police in solving crimes, which I thought was too arrogant. Plus, most of the time, she ignores the rules and goes into so much lengths just so she can get ahead, all for the ratings.

And i dont understand why she wont share information with Kangho when he is a detective and he can help her? Kang Ho has been quite fair in his dealings with her. He also doesn’t care about protocol and rules, as long as he gets the job done, so i dont think he would turn down Moo Young’s help, esp if it would hasten him to solve the crime. I especially did not like episode 11 when Moo Young enlisted everyone’s help in solving the Lockroom murder, even kidnapping the actual killer – without letting Kang Ho know all about it!! So i super agreed with Kang Ho in episode 12 when he found out and he was pissed off. he said, i can’t believe you kept him when you already know a detective! i could have helped you!! But the good thing with Kang Ho is he doesn’t hold grudges. He didn’t like what happened but he still worked with them to catch the killer.

Aside from Kangho, Tak Won is my second favorite character. Maybe because i have a soft spot for the actor. I loved his role as a NK soldier in DOTS and the husband in Search WWW. And he was deadpan funny in this role! He is an intelligent profiler and his analyses always make sense and are accurate. I dont remember if they ever revealed the reason why he stopped teaching profiling to the police and decided to set up his own (failing) detective agency. and the endless ribbing and jokes about the Good life networking products were so hilarious! I guess it is also very rampant in Korea!

Oh Teddy Jeong! i love this guy and his 2 Red Zone employees! They always arrive at the scene a little late but is always ready to beat up the bad guys! I love that they always have a fantastic grand entrance, with Teddy looking so cool while inhaling his asthma inhaler (haha!) and proceed to punch, slap and kick the guys like they’re nothing. And when asked, he always say, no worries, i have nothing to do because the bar hasn’t opened. LOL.

The other person is the ex-NFS turned funeral director Ban Seok (and his deep dimples). I loved that they used his area as their office, although there are a lot of dead bodies in the freezer (like one of them said, there’s always aircon haha). I just wish he had more opportunity to display his talent other than a few analysis of blood samples here and there. His story about her daughter was also very touching.

Overall, i thoroughly enjoyed this drama and felt that 12 episodes were not enough at all! They spent 12 episodes working separately and only working together in the last leg of the cases. then on the final episode, they finally admitted that they make a great team (Fact Check and Kangho and the others) and decided to name themselves “Team Bulldog” then they find out the serial killer they caught escaped. GAH!!!! I really wish there is a season 2!!! it really felt like season 1 was just an intro on how the team got together but the real action has not started! I wish Netflix picks this up for a few more seasons and I will definitely follow this show! Actually, i wish OCN inks a partnership with Netflix so every one can watch all the awesome OCN shows! Side note – i hope if they ever decide on season 2, that they include Dae Jin into their team! 🙂

Rating: 9/10