Wanted [drama review]

“Whatever the reason is, if something big has happened you have to see it through to the end. That’s what it means to take responsibility. No matter what the result is.” – Yeon Woo Shin (Wanted)

When Wanted first came out I couldn’t help but be reminded of God’s Quiz – 14 Days, one of the finest k-dramas ever made, God bless the writer for his masterpiece. Two dramas shared similar premise. A mother trying to save her child and catch the kidnapper.  Wanted took it a little bit more extreme. The kidnapping was well planned from the start. The culprit took full advantage of the mother’s popularity/position in society and took the media as his platform to let people know his motives.

The mother, Jung Hye In (played by Kim Ah Joong) was a famous actress who just announced her retirement from the showbiz only to have the worst nightmare as a mother. Her son,  Song Hyun Woo (played by Park Min Soo) was kidnapped by an unknown person for an unknown reason.

I was surprised that Hye In DROVE by herself to her house. I mean, when you’re in her position it’s nearly impossible to think and do something straight. Anyway, she arrived at home safely and saw a “courier” stuffing some sort of book into her mailbox. The book turned out to be a script sent by the kidnapper. The script was for a 10-ep real-time reality show to save Hyun Woo.

Before every episode, the kidnapper would give Hye In a mission to complete without a hitch. Complete the mission and she’d get proof that Hyun Woo was still alive. Fail the mission, Hyun Woo would die. If the show got cancelled midway or didn’t even happen in the first place, Hyun Woo would die. If the viewership rating fell below 20 percent, Hyun Woo would die.

Kim Ah Joong couldn’t deliver herself as a mother in her most devastating situation. Something off about her acting in first few episodes. She was bland. I mean, your son is kidnapped, if you wanna cry then cry. I wished she would just let go and cry her heart out but nope. She was excellent in Punch though.

Something about Uhm Tae Woong just don’t sit quite right with me as a person, a celebrity. And it’s brought into the screen. At some point I just couldn’t connect with Shin PD at all. But he did his best, he was certainly great. Maybe I’m the only weird one. Ps, I finished this drama and review before his scandal broke out.

Lee Moon Shik and Park Ho San scared the hell out of me. They nailed their role of portraying 2 different sides of their respective character. I was fooled for good.

Choi Joon Goo

Choi Joon Goo

Park Ho San

Park Ho San

Ep 1 wasn’t a total mindblowing for me as I kept on remembering God’s Quiz – 14 Days while watching. Unlike in God’s Quiz – 14 Days where the mother was much more relatable to regular people. Lee Bo Young’s character in God’s Quiz was just a regular working mother so it made everything much more believable as most kidnapping cases happen to regular people.  My heart ached more for Lee Bo Young rather than Kim Ah Joong’s character.

The reality show concept was a bit too much/extravagant for me but it’s the one that make Show different than God’s Quiz.

Ji Hyun Joo

Ji Hyun Joo

The length a mother could do to save her child was perfectly retold in God’s Quiz. I was hoping something as powerful and feel like in God’s Quiz but nope. I couldn’t really connect with Hye In. I don’t know the reason is because of Kim Ah Joong’s acting or the writer didn’t fully exploit this part. There is only one moment that I feel like Hye In could really do anything to save Hyun Woo. It’s in ep 3 where Hye In admitted to Shin PD that she used the child’s mother to get more interest from viewers so that the viewer rating wouldn’t drop below 20% so that Hyun Woo would still be safe.

The plot progressed rather quickly. Every episode was carefully thought. I liked how the kidnapping was not just a mere kidnapping case. The kidnapper had his own agenda behind it. Hyun Woo was just a tool for him to do his agenda.

The story could be REALLY REALLY confusing if you don’t have your 100% attention on the show and if you’re not really good at remembering people’s faces and names. We dealt with so many names and faces. It was like on every 2 episodes we’d be introduced to a new character and they didn’t even last long. Probably the next 2 or 3 episodes they would disappear or die. Their names would still be mentioned once in a while as Hye In’s Wanted team and detectives put things in chronological order and tried to find connections among them. Show is a good workout for your brain, really. We needed to remember their faces, names, how they died, who killed them and why. It was just a whole lot of things to remember. I gave up remembering those midway. LOL.

Kim Ah Joong

Kim Ah Joong

Show was a nice slow burn type of drama that kept me interested week after week.  I liked how my guesses of who the real culprit was just kept changing as the story progress. I have some unanswered questions though. HOW DID THEY ARRIVE AT THE CRIME SCENE SO DAMN FAST like literally in just 3 seconds. It’s a drama, ok, but still. What kind of relationship did Hye In and Shin PD have? As you guys watched it too, Hye In had knew Shin PD already that’s why she asked him to be the main PD for her show. And also, how the main culprit found his accomplices? It’d be nice to know about those little details too you know.

Show started off as a kidnapping tv drama but it concluded as a show that touched on society issue. I couldn’t have asked for a better and more realistic ending.The only flaw Show had is its viewer ratings. It’s a heavy drama, a very heavy one, like literally there wasn’t even one happy episode out of all 16 episodes. Heavy dramas just don’t work for some people.

Every episode was engaging. Not as breathless as God’s Quiz but still left me breathless. The plot was so smart, unpredictable, intense and thoughtful. Every character just fit so well with the story. Show was amazing and it’s a fact. It’s time not to judge a drama solely based on their viewer ratings, right?

Wanted got a solid 8.5 out of 10 from me.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Drama Reviews | Red watches TV

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