Special Labor Inspector, Mr. Jo [Drama Review]

“You won’t win just because you have money. But if you do not have money, you’ll lose. No matter what.” Woo Do Ha

I picked Special Labor Inspector, Mr. Jo (SLIJ) completely at random. I didn’t know the synopsis, never watched the trailer before, didn’t know the full lineup but the poster looked cute and I know Kim Dong Wook from Maids (jTBC, 2015) and Radiant Office (MBC, 2017) so I gave it a try. I do not regret my decision!

ACTING + IMPRESSION

Kim Dong Wook as Jo Jin Gab was very refreshing. He is def a discovery for me. His only works I’ve watched before were Maids and Radiant Office. I don’t remember my impression of him in Maids. He was also in Radiant Office but I dropped that drama. So watching him in SLIJ is such a discovery. Such a gem! Why didn’t I notice him much earlier? Why didn’t I follow him after Maids? He was really natural in SLIJ that it felt like being a labor inspector was his actual job. He pulled off the comical and serious side of Jo Jin Gab effortlessly. Great job!

Kim Dong Wook as Jo Jin Gab

I was hesitant at first because of Park Se Young. Her acting in School 2013 (KBS2, 2013) didn’t leave good impression and I always skipped her works after School 2013 but surprisingly she was good in SLIJ. Maybe I was too early to judge her, after all 6 years have passed since School 2013 and her acting skill also improved over time, right? Judging from SLIJ she actually did a good job here. Well done, girl. I guess I won’t skip her dramas from now on.

Park Se Young as Detective Joo Mi Ran

I have a crush on Kim Kyung Nam. His role in SLIJ was 180deg different than his role in Come and Hug Me (MBC, 2018). If you watch Come and Hug Me you must know how twisted and dark his character there (he played as Yoon Hyun Moo). Now, compare Hyun Moo to Dok Gu. Very shocking transformation. An actor with vast acting skill.

Kim Kyung Nam as Chun Dok Gu

Cha Jung Won always rocks prosecutor role! She played as a prosecutor before in Lawless Lawyer (tvN, 2018) wasn’t she also a prosecutor in While You Were Sleeping (SBS, 2017)? Correct me if I’m wrong. Not complaining though. She rocks this type of role.

Cha Jung Won as Prosecutor Kim Ji Ran

Ryu Deok Hwan was another outstanding actor in SLIJ. But I felt like watching God’s Quiz (OCN) everytime he appeared. Maybe because his God’s Quiz tag was so strong. To be honest, when I see God’s Quiz, I see Ryu Doek Hwan. When I see him, I see God’s Quiz. Ryu Doek Hwan and God’s Quiz just cannot be separated and it’s actually kinda hard to see him and hard to get immerse in his role in other works other than God’s Quiz. Maybe it’s only me. But he did a great job in SLIJ.

Ryu Deok Hwan as Woo Do Ha

And the rest of the casts that I cannot mention one by one, they were all great. Believe me, everyone was so great including the cameos. My eyes and mind were at peace watching SLIJ because I didn’t have to put up with bad acting at all.

PLOT/STORYLINE

The concept of labor inspector is actually foreign to me because I’ve never heard such thing and I’m not quite sure whether my country has labor inspectors too or not. We have labor ministry but I don’t know whether we have labor inspectors like those in SLIJ. So the premise was new to me. I also think it’s the first time a drama with labor inspector as the character’s occupation. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Unlike the majority of dramas nowadays that the first episode is always a miss, SLIJ’s first episode was actually very entertaining. The writer successfully maintained that entertaining feeling and excitement all the way until the end. I spent 16 hours admiring the plot. Every episode was remarkable on its own. Many characters and corporation names were mentioned in first half so it might be confusing for some.

The writing was tight but wasn’t overwhelming. SLIJ was actually a serious drama. It tackled many social issues but it kept everything simple. It kept its balance between seriousness and comedy which I personally think was done so smoothly. The pace was actually fast. Pretty surprising for a procedural drama.

I also liked the character development. Several characters turned into good people at the end. It also showed that working alone was hard and working together we would be on our way to success.

Their team grew 😀

OST

The complete OST album is not yet available on Spotify nor Korean music portals. But the individual OST album is available.

FINAL COMMENT

It was a healing drama for me, honestly. It’s not the most laid-back drama out there. But the writing was neat, the acting was top-notch, directing was fun, all those aspects made SLIJ as a comfortable drama to watch. SLIJ is not everyone’s cup of tea but definitely a gem. I give it a solid 9 out of 10!

Thank you for being produced! :’D

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Drama Reviews | Red watches TV

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