The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Review: Suspicious Partner

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THE SHORT VERDICT:

Suspicious Partner is what I would call a reasonably successful blend of crime and romance – a rarity in dramaland, from my personal findings.

Great lead actors, excellent OTP chemistry, a quirky supporting cast, and a compellingly delivered Big Bad all come together to make this a solid drama, despite Show sagging somewhat in its later episodes. Perhaps most importantly of all, Show ends on a satisfying note – another rarity in recent dramaland history (again, from my personal findings), and therefore a plus point not to be taken lightly in my books.

Overall, a pretty engaging and rewarding watch.

THE LONG VERDICT:

A trend that I’ve noticed in dramaland of late, is the blending of thriller (often specifically murder), romance &/or comedy in a single show.

Generally, I find these to be unnatural and uneasy bedfellows, and my own attempts at watching such shows have turned out more misses than hits. I don’t know if that’s an indication of how the cookie really crumbles, or just an indication of my poor show selection skills, heh.

Regardless, the good news is, this show doesn’t do too bad a job of blending it all together. In fact, since I found more to like than dislike in this one, I’d call it a win.

STUFF I LIKED

One of the first things that I liked about Suspicious Partner, is how a lot of stuff seems to happen right off the bat, and, despite the weirdness of some of the events, given the context of our story, somehow it all still makes sense. And, even though a lot happens in the first hour of the show, I didn’t even feel like it was rushed. Instead, I actually felt engaged. And surprised. Which is a very good thing indeed.

Show manages to keep its taut pace for a good run before it doesn’t (more on that later), and for a good stretch, I even found this moderately cracky.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top things I enjoyed about this one.

1. Ji Chang Wook as Ji Wook

I see shades of Fierce Healer and Funny Bong Sook in Ji Chang Wook‘s portrayal of Ji Wook, and that’s awesome, especially since you guys know how much I love Healer. I love that I’m getting Healer vibes, even in this very different character. When Ji Wook glowers fiercely and growls at people to get lost, he reminds me of Badass Healer. On the other hand, Ji Wook’s occasional nervous ticks remind me of Bong Sook. Both very good things indeed, in my books.

Don’t get me wrong though. Ji Chang Wook does a fantastic job making Ji Wook a different and separate character, and I found a lot to enjoy in Ji Wook, whom I found to be quite adorkable, with his prickly outer shell and his marshmallow underbelly.

Most of all, I loved Ji Chang Wook’s silently profound delivery of Ji Wook’s wordless moments. Often, I felt like he communicated so much, without having to say anything at all.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Here are just 2 examples:

E14. When Ji Wook sits on edge of Bong Hee’s bed and Bong Hee turns away from him in her sleep, the look on his face, and the way he blinks a few times, says so much. He’s processing too; he’s confused; he’s feeling wistful; he’s catching himself. All of that is so evident, without him having to say a word.

E28. When Ji Wook wakes up the morning after, with Bong Hee in his arms, only to see the photograph of Bong Hee and her dad next to her bed, and realizes that this is the same man he’s been having nightmares about.

Only a few short moments transpire, but we see Ji Wook wake up all contented and dreamy next to Bong Hee, snuggling close to her and adoringly kissing her shoulder, then grapple with realization when he looks at the photograph of Bong Hee with her dad, then struggle with disbelief as his brain struggles to comprehend the realization itself and the ramifications, then hold Bong Hee with a mixture of confusion, worry and fear. SO MUCH goes on in Ji Wook in those few moments, and I feel like it’s clear as day for us to see, written only on Ji Chang Wook’s face, since he has no lines of dialogue in this scene at all. Wow.

[END SPOILER]

2. Nam Ji Hyun as Bong Hee

I found Bong Hee a pretty awesome character, and that’s thanks in part to the way she’s written, and also in part to the way Nam Ji Hyun portrays her.

Nam Ji Hyun has a wonderful warm onscreen presence, and makes Bong Hee likable and relatable all the way through our story, regardless of the situation. Even when she misunderstood Ji Wook in episode 1 and reacted strongly, I didn’t find her annoying, just misguided.

Bong Hee’s a great character coz she’s not only down-to-earth and relatable, she’s also strong. I love that she can literally kick ass if she wants to. Beyond the physical strength, she also shows mental and emotional fortitude. I love that she decides to roll with the “crazy” label her classmates bestow on her early in the show, instead of letting it get her down. She’s a survivor, and I like that.

[SPOILERS]

Here are a couple of times when I really loved Bong Hee for her strength.

E3. After the whole ex-boyfriend murder debacle, Bong Hee cries in the shower, but it’s not out of self pity; it’s more at the realization that her ex-boyfriend is actually dead. Despite the daunting circumstances, she works to be strong.

E5. I like how Bong Hee chooses to speak up for herself, even in the face of the glowering, intimidating father of the dead ex-boyfriend. She flinches physically, thinking that she is going to get hit, but she continues to speak up for herself and doesn’t back down from it, all while being respectful and polite. That is awesome.

E5. I love that when Ji Hye (Kim Ye Won) insults Bong Hee’s outfit, Bong Hee stands up for herself without batting an eye, “My clothes are cheap, but my soul and body are so classy that they make up for everything.” Ha.

[END SPOILERS]

3. Ji Wook and Bong Hee together

Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun have excellent, sparky chemistry, so whether Bong Hee and Ji Wook are bickering fiercely, or being chummy, or getting up close and cozy, they are a pleasure to watch together.

In particular, I enjoyed the early bickering between them, which I thought was fab. You could practically see the sparks fly, amid the tension. Right away, I could see definite promise in this OTP connection.

Here are my 3 favorite things about this OTP relationship:

1. It feels organically grown

One of my favorite things about this relationship, is how organically it is portrayed. From both leads’ points-of-view, I could believe how and why each would trust the other, and how each would fall for the other. In a sea of dramas where the OTP characters love each other because they just do, this felt refreshing and very engaging.

I like that first and foremost, Ji Wook and Bong Hee like each other as people, and root for each other and care about each other’s goals. [SPOILER] A great example is in episode 20. I love that Ji Wook gets all proud of Bong Hee when she solves the case, and is more concerned with how well she did, than how gross she is after not showering for 3 days. Aw. [END SPOILER]

On a related note, I also very much enjoy the fact that our OTP relationship is built on a very solid foundation. From the beginning, because of the circumstances, they’ve been thrust straight into the deep stuff, of literally defending &/or worrying for the other person’s life; of giving the other person space to make tough decisions, and supporting them in those decisions.

And out of that, they gain a pre-laid, extremely robust foundation for when they actually start dating. There’s something rather admirable about that; that right away, once they start dating, and when their relationship is put to the test, they find a depth of loyalty and understanding, already there.

2. It feels healthy

Another of my favorite things about the OTP relationship, is how healthy it is. Both Ji Wook and Bong Hee are shown demonstrating respect for the other person’s right to personal space, personal opinion, and personal agency. Even when they disagree with the other person’s decision, they stop short of actually interfering. Again, this felt really refreshing.

[SPOILER ALERT]

A great example of this is in episode 12, when Bong Hee returns home after being physically intimated by DA Jang (Kim Hong Pa).

Ji Wook’s response is perfect, really. He’s sensitive enough to Bong Hee’s behavior, that he realizes something is off. He checks on her, but is completely respectful in the process. He knocks on her door instead of barging in; he gently takes her hands away from her throat so that he can see the bruise; he quietly asks what happened instead of shouting at her; when she says she doesn’t want to talk about it, he respects her wishes and only asks if she will be alright.

Such a perfect mix of care and respect.

[END SPOILER]

3. It gets swoony

From the initial up-close-and-personal moments, to the full-on kisses, this OTP has chemistry by sparky bucketloads. Given this couple’s organic, solid, healthy foundation, this electrifying tension in the air every time they actually get in each other’s personal space, feels like the bonus that we wouldn’t have dared ask for, on top of everything else.

Every time our OTP shared a moment of burgeoning tension, my heart flailed and my brain fizzled. Dang.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Here’re just 2 OTP moments that brought on the swoon:

E14. That moment of burgeoning tension, as Bong Hee and Ji Wook’s eyes meet after he wakes up to her undoing his tie. So crackly, and so sexy. The look in Ji Wook’s eyes is also incredibly sexy. He’s just honing in on her, like she’s the only thing in his line of vision, as he wakes up. Swoon.

E16-17. Such an emotional moment between our OTP, with Ji Wook emotional with worry, and Bong Hee emotional with fear. Ji Wook finally gives in to his feelings, and pulls her into his arms. The hug is so heartfelt; it’s like he’s taking refuge in Bong Hee’s nearness.

And then the kiss.. so unhurried and tender.. Augh. It feels like he’s trying to breathe her in.

Flail. Puddle. Swoon.

[END SPOILER]

4. Jang Hyuk Jin as Chief Bang

I enjoyed more than a few of the supporting characters in this drama world, but I must say that Chief Bang was a favorite of mine. Jang Hyuk Jin’s comic timing is solid, and his droll expressions are simply gold.

5. The hodge-podge office gang

By the later stretch of the show, the hodge-podge office gang had really grown on me, and I also very much enjoyed the crisscrossing friendships among the gang.

Besides Eun Hyuk’s (Choi Tae Joon) recovering long-time friendship with Ji Wook, I also loved Ji Wook’s bond with Chief Bang. Also, I was pretty taken with the friendship that grew between Eun Hyuk and Bong Hee. It’s so platonic; she feels safe to turn to him, when she needs someone to talk to about important, scary stuff.

Essentially, the office gang learned to really care for and support one another, and they kinda felt like a found family, and I love that.

Special shout-out: Dong Ha as Hyun Soo [SPOILERS]

This was my introduction to Dong Ha, and I must say, he is outstanding as Hyun Soo.

He delivers Hyun Soo in a pitch-perfectly creepy, mentally unstable, subtly psychotic sort of way. The more we saw of Hyun Soo, the more I became convinced that there was something wrong with him. I feel like Dong Ha even elevated the script by giving Hyun Soo all these small ticks and twitches, which made Hyun Soo come across as more psychotic than the actual dialogue was making him out to be. The way Hyun Soo shakes his head to try to get things straight in his mind, made me feel like he was on the verge of malfunctioning.

All in all, Dong Ha makes Hyun Soo a thoroughly fascinating villain. I had complicated feelings towards Hyun Soo because of Dong Ha’s portrayal. Most of the time, I wanted Hyun Soo put away for good, coz he harmed people and was quite the psycho. But then some of the time, when Hyun Soo showed his vulnerability, like in episode 33-34, when he remembered the girl he had loved, and shed broken tears, my heart completely went out to him.

Watching Dong Ha as Hyun Soo, I felt like I understood what people mean when they say a show is as good as its villain. He makes this show more interesting. Kudos indeed.

STUFF I LIKED LESS

Kwon Na Ra as Yoo Jung

I think Show tries to portray Yoo Jung as a sympathetic character, but I hafta say that I didn’t care for her much at all.

[SPOILERS] I mean, yes, she first came across as pretty cool and badass, taking down would-be thieves in the cafe in episode 8, but really, THE thing that bugged me the most about Yoo Jung, was the way she acted like Ji Wook and Eun Hyuk owed it to her to forgive her and take her back.

I found that profoundly annoying, and every time she petulantly complained that the boys were ignoring her, or had replaced her, I really wished she would shut up and go away, because no one owed her forgiveness. Especially since she consistently showed very little remorse about everything. If she appeared sad, it was mostly because she felt sorry for herself, not because she was truly remorseful, and I didn’t have patience for the pity party that she kept throwing for herself. [END SPOILERS]

The resolution of the big elephant in Ji Wook and Eun Hyuk’s friendship

For the record, I liked the portrayal of the recovering friendship between Eun Hyuk and Ji Wook.

Also for the record, I didn’t like the way the Yoo Jung issue was resolved between them. Throughout their recovering friendship, Eun Hyuk’s past indiscretion with Yoo Jung was the elephant in the room that couldn’t be magicked away. Even though Eun Hyuk had quite thoroughly distanced himself from Yoo Jung since then, and Ji Wook had found new love with Bong Hee, this history with Yoo Jung was a thing in their past that couldn’t be undone; a betrayal of trust that couldn’t be simply swept under the carpet.

I appreciated that Show didn’t sweep the issue under the carpet, and allowed our boys to go through the related consequential angst, and explore what it did to their friendship.

That is, until Show kinda did sweep it under the carpet, in service of hinting at a rekindled loveline between Eun Hyuk and Yoo Jung. Suddenly, the boys had made peace with the past, and it was ok if Eun Hyuk had feelings for Yoo Jung.

I dunno, I feel like this wasn’t handled in a way that was believably organic. Or maybe my distaste for Yoo Jung as a character bled into my ability to embrace this Yoo Jung resolution between the boys.

Show slows in the later stretch [SOME SPOILERS]

At about the episode 18-19 point, I started to feel like there wasn’t a lot of forward movement on any of Show’s fronts. In both the crime and romance departments, it felt like Show was cycling in place, and a lot of the stuff onscreen felt like filler.

And then it felt like Show went off on a tangent, entangling both Ji Wook and Bong Hee’s dads with DA Jang. It all felt too overwrought and too convenient, at the same time. I could’ve really done without the Entangled Dads backstory.

While this was going on, Show also introduced a couple of elements which felt quite try-hard to my eyes. Bong Hee and Ji Wook’s moms hating each other, and their animosity putting a damper on their kids’ relationship was played for comedy, but didn’t feel very funny to me. Also, I found it weird and jarring that Ji Wook would be portrayed as being that averse to the kid in episodes 31 & 32, when there hadn’t been any signs of him having a kid aversion before. The whole kid thing felt shoe-horned in to earn cute points with audiences, but because of how random it seemed, I felt it came off as rather try-hard instead.

Combining all these elements together, Show’s later stretch became a lot less fun to watch, which was a pity.

THEMES/IDEAS

Despite Show’s missteps, I did appreciate its efforts to introduce and reinforce various themes throughout its story. I found them rather thought-provoking, and felt that the themes deepened the watch for me.

Here are the themes that resonated with me the most:

The idea of appearance vs. reality. The stalker looks normal but is crazy. Bong Hee looks crazy to a lot of people, but she isn’t.

The idea that we have all lost someone, whoever we are, whether we are good or evil. I appreciate that sentiment. Hyun Soo has clearly lost someone too, and that’s probably what’s driving his psychotic behavior. It’s not the right way to deal with any situation, sure, but context makes us all human, including the murdering psychopath.

The idea of memory, and how it’s not absolute. Our memories aren’t constant and are shaped by our mind. Like the way Ji Wook’s memory flipped when he was floating in and out of consciousness. Our minds get in the way of the truth.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

I’m pleasantly surprised by how satisfied I feel with this ending. It’s not blow-my-socks-off amazing, but it feels wholistic and balanced, and satisfying in a quiet way that leaves me smiling quite contentedly.

I liked the penultimate arc resolving Hyun Soo’s story for its element of surprise; I absolutely did not see the twist coming, about his involvement in the original gang-rape crime. Yet, what a great way to emphasize Show’s central theme of memory and how our minds respond to it; that memories are subjective, and can be twisted. Additionally, what a great performance by Dong Ha, particularly of the confusion and horror Hyun Soo experienced, as the truth dawned on him again, overshadowing his twisted memories.

Beyond the central murder arc, I liked watching Bong Hee and Ji Hye become real friends. I personally didn’t feel completely on board with Eun Hyuk and Yoo Jung’s romance, but, it was nice to see Eun Hyuk happy and smiling.

Most of all, I appreciated that Show spent its last hour exploring our OTP relationship. After all, Ji Wook and Bong Hee have only ever faced big obstacles together as a couple, and had completely skipped the everyday stuff. It was amusing to watch them stumble over how to behave as a normal couple, and it was also refreshing to see them obsess about the little things for once, instead of fighting to save each other’s lives.

In the light of all they had been through, getting to fuss over the little things feels like a luxury well-earned, and I just really enjoyed watching them learn how to love each other even in the midst of everyday annoyances. I smiled at Ji Wook’s proposal and Bong Hee’s glad acceptance of said proposal, and I can just imagine them loving each other, and bickering with each other, and laughing with each other, for a long, long time to come.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Leans more heavily on crime than I like, sometimes, and a little meandering in the later stretch, but still manages to be a pretty satisfying watch.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

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Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

36 thoughts on “Review: Suspicious Partner

  1. OMO. Am I first? Hahaha anyway. Healer feels!!! I will say that I almost dropped this at Ep 1 because I did get annoyed with Bong Hee after the subway incident. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood to tolerate her. Good thing I gave this show another chance.

    Agree with everything, including the villain! I will say that there were gaping plot holes here or there but it ended up a nice watch for me. And oh my goodness the kisses. *swoon*

    Thanks for this awesome review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hee, yes you’re first, my dear Jo! 😀 Yay that you gave this one a second chance; it really turned out to be a better watch than I’d expected. Of course, my expectations weren’t that high, given my past not-very-successful stabs at murder rom-coms (I still can’t believe that is an Actual Thing!). But this one was definitely worth the watch. That OTP, and that villain! All so good! And oh my, yes, those kisses.. 😍😍

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  2. Love your review! It was so eloquent and I agree with a lot of your points! SP brought me back from a drama slump and was my crack drama. Dong Ha was so amazing! And the romance, oh the romance. I’m trying to be coherent here but all I wanna do is squeal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks Dianne! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the review! 😀 And, congrats on getting out of your drama slump – those things can be so difficult to shake off! And YES, the OTP was fab, and Dong Ha was absolutely one of the best things about this show. And I rarely ever feel that way about villains, so that’s saying a lot 😉

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  3. Finally you’re back with Kdrama review!!!

    First, I would like to say Thank You, KFangurl! Thank you that your “comeback review” goes to my love, Ji Chang Wook. 🙂 (sounds so formal) 🙂

    Anyways, as always I love your review, although I am already biased, because hello were talking bout JCW here. 😉

    But on a serious note, I really loved the show. I loved how the story was written and executed. I maybe sound BIASED again. sorry.

    And oh, I love the supporting cast so much. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hee! Your comment made me giggle – thanks so much for the warm welcome back! 😉 Ji Chang Wook was fantastic in this, and I’m glad I got to see him in action. Some of his scene deliveries were seriously masterful. ❤ I'm sure your fangirl heart must've been so, SO full, watching your big bias do so well! 😍

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  4. hi kfangurl! awesome, on point review as always… i agree, i guess the show could be less than 40 episodes and we still would’ve loved it.. anywayyyy…
    i was actually so thankful for this after the underwhelming K2! so i just took it all in and swam in the crime, love and sillyness!
    that scene when he realized who Bong Hee’s father was kinda reminded me of Park Bo Gum’s acting in Love in the Moonlight, when his character discovered the eunuch was a girl…i mean, those acting skills without words, are a gem!
    appreciate your review. i’ve been following just recently and am watching the dramas you graded high since i think we have similar taste most of the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi nonie, welcome to the blog! 😀 Great to know that you’re enjoying the reviews, and that we have similar tastes in dramas! 🙂

      Yes, I definitely agree this show could’ve been shorter. I often felt, in the second half, that Show was cycling in place. But, like you said, this was still a big step up from K2, which I simply could not finish. Also, you’re so right! Ji Chang Wook’s masterful micro-expressions do remind me of how Park Bo Gum slayed with his micro-expressions as Yeong. 😍😍 Those are some serious skillz, and I’m so glad that I got to enjoy both shows – and therefore not miss either of their great performances! 🙂

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  5. Them romcoms with the side of murder… nah. That’s a mixture I have no interest in and even less if it’s the other way down. 😛 That and the fact that Ji Chang Wook always leaves me cold for some reason made me pass on this one. I’m probably one of two people who wasn’t enamored with Healer either. *g*

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    • Awww! I’m sad that you didn’t enjoy Healer, coz I am still very much on the Healer train! 😍 But I am very much with you on not having much interest in murder romcoms. I honestly want to shake the person who came up with the bright idea: “Hey, I know! Let’s mix murder and romcom together! They’re so different; no one’s done it before – it’ll be GREAT!” Ha. Not. 🙄

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  6. Hi there! I really like your reviews! 😄I haven’t been able to finish the first episode… I didn’t like Bong Hee right from the start and just found nothing that interested me enough to continue. (Not even Ji Chang Wook! 😮) Maybe I should give it another chance… 😞

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    • Hi there akagenomusume! Great to meet you, and glad to know that you’re enjoying the reviews!

      As for your disconnect with this show, it might’ve been a mood thing. I find mood to be a very finicky thing, and it can make or break a watch. Maybe give this one another try when you think you’re in the right mood for it? If you can get past Show’s flaws, it’s a pretty solid watch, with some excellent performances 🙂

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      • Oh, thank you for replying! You’re right about the mood… and I guess I wasn’t sure I should be in the mood for what exactly, since as you said, it’s a rare mix of romance and crime! I might try it again 🙂

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        • Yeah, romance and crime don’t mesh easily, and that’s why I mostly shy away from them. This one has been the most successful show at mixing the two, that I’ve seen personally. In terms of mood.. I’d say maybe when you’re in the mood for a strong heroine and some bickering romance? Coz that was a big part of Show’s appeal for me in the earlier episodes. Well, that and Ji Chang Wook, of course 😉

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  7. Hey!

    it’s been ages, i’ve missed you, i have been in a drama slump lately, it’s been hectic and i started a new job, so i come home, try watching something and just fall asleep cause i am exhausted,

    i did try to watch SP, but after 4 episodes, couldn’t really get into it, i’ll give it another shot one of these days but i want to watch chicago typewriter (am et epi 5) and lookout/the guardians first 🙂

    welcome back!!!!

    ps have enjoyed your posts on chinese/japanese drama’s, haven’t watched any of them but have already put those that you liked on the everlasting watchlist 🙂

    Like

    • Hi there Sia! HUGS. Great to see you! 😀

      Sorry to hear about your drama slump.. I’ve been similarly drama slumped for a while, which explains why the blog went so quiet for the last 2 months 😛 I’m sure RL is a factor, but, it also feels like lots of other folks have been experiencing drama slumps, so I think it also has to do with the dramas themselves not being as fantastic as we’d like them to be. So don’t feel too badly if this show didn’t work for you. You can always give it another try when you’re in a more suitable mood. 🙂 I’ve heard good things about Chicago Typewriter, but haven’t gotten around to checking it out. As you know, the ol’ watch list is stupendously long! 😝

      Out of the various C & J dramas I’ve written about recently, I do think you’d enjoy We Married As A Job. I was immediately engaged with it, despite feeling like I was deep in a drama slump. 😉

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      • hi!!!

        yeah drama slump seems to be everywhere lately, although some of the recent drama’s seem to be good (Age of youth 2, girls generation 1979, circle), i just haven’t felt like picking one up in a while 🙂
        I do think i’ll pick up We married as a job next, i ran out of english series to watch (again and i’m super picky about what i watch) and have been mostly reading books lately

        Are you out of your drama slump now?

        *HUGS*!!!!

        Like

        • I do think I’m out of my drama slump now, come to think of it. I mean, I’m watching more dramas again, and am feeling more engaged in general. And, I’m even writing about them again – and quite a bit too, as you can see from my recent posting rhythm! Or maybe that’s just all the writing juices come out to play, after building up over the 2 or so months I was in a drama & blogging slump! 😆

          I have Age of Youth 2 and Girls Generation 1979 on my list. Right now I find myself enjoying The King Loves quite a bit more than I expected to. I was going to give it a miss, but the buzz around Hong Jong Hyun and Yoona’s chemistry got me curious. And now, about halfway through the drama, I feel pretty sucked in, which is a feeling I didn’t expect to have, especially with a sageuk whose premise hadn’t interested me much! What a happy surprise indeed 😉

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  8. It did drag in the middle and a few things weren’t really resolved well, but overall it was a decent watch. I liked the chemistry between Ji Chang-wook and Nam Ji-hyun, and also the camaraderie of the Noh-Ji-Eun-Byun-Bang gang – such a mouthful for a law firm’s name!

    The kiss was well done. As was the point about young adults having healthy sexual needs.

    If you haven’t seen the BTS of that kiss scene:

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    • Oh my, junny! *fans self* Thank you for sharing that kiss scene BTS – that was intense. Somehow, without the background music, the scene feels even more intense. And a little voyeuristic, even 😛🙈

      My takeaways from the BTS: Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun have a molten chemistry when they’re given the space and freedom to express it. And, PD-nim is wise to give them the space and freedom to do so 😉

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  9. This one had a good start but really dragged on way too long.

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  10. This one had a good start but really dragged on way too long. I recently watched Strongest Deliveryman and really enjoyed the good writing and that all of the episodes held their own.

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    • I haven’t checked out Strongest Deliveryman, actually. Good to hear that you liked it! I do like the cast, but my interest had been seriously dampened by the generally meh responses the show seems to have been getting.

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  11. Your review is really spot on. The romance in this one really worked for me. I also liked looking at someone who cheated not as an evil person, but as someone who honestly makes a mistake and is trying to atone in his own way. He is such a nice guy and the actor portrayed him so well that I could feel his regret. Also, all too often the woman is always the one betrayed so it was interesting to see a guy have to work through the hurt and pain of being betrayed. I think that some of the story with Yoo Jung was a misfire. The whole issue of her getting back with either guy was just weird.

    I think my two main issues were the k-drama coincidence regarding the childhood stuff. I am so tired of the childhood cliche. Also, there seems to be a thing in k-drama (It was also in I Can Hear Your Voice) where defense lawyers seem surprised they are defending guilty people. Gee what a shock. Of course they are though certainly not all the time but odds are one of the defendants is going to be guilty and the lawyer is going to get him off . That’s why certain personalities end up being public defenders and others end up being prosecutors (because there is the possibility of sending an innocent person to jail.) So which is worse?

    I hit the lull late in this drama, and it actually took me a while to get back to this one but I’m glad I did. I think it definitely could have been shorter but overall enjoyed it. Loved the crazy office meetings.

    I think this one doesn’t take over Fight My Way for my favorite romance relationship of the year. Are you checking that one out? It’s not perfect but one of the few friends to lovers dramas that really works for me.

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    • So pleased that you enjoyed this review, Kat! And also, that we are in agreement about this show 🙂

      I love your point about how Eun Hyuk was humanized despite being the one who betrayed his best friend. Choi Tae Joon really did a good job of the role, down to the weird nervous laughter. I’d found the laugh really strange at first, but when I realized that it was Eun Hyuk’s coping mechanism in the face of being estranged from his best friend, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. I wish Show would’ve just focused on healing the broken friendship between the boys, instead of trying to drag Yoo Jung back into the picture as a potential romantic partner for either of the boys. I absolutely agree that that was a misfire.

      I also very much agree on the childhood stuff. It’s SUCH a kdrama trope, and often feels like it’s thrown in there, just to fulfill Show’s quota of tropes. I literally rolled my eyes when Show started hinting at the childhood connection between our leads. 🙄

      As for Fight My Way, yes, I’ve seen it, and I like it! 🙂 I’m working on the review at the moment, and hope to post it soonish. I can’t wait to see if we’re in deep agreement again, with another show 😉

      Like

  12. Thanks for the great review! I was super late to the JCW train (what have I missed all my life???) and only stumbled on your site when I watched Healer after Suspicious Partner! I loved your review and was looking forward to your review on SP!

    I really enjoyed the mature adult relationship they had and how they communicated with each other (for most parts other than the noble idiot I-will-carry-this-burden-on-my-own bits).The chemistry between them was so intense and electric. I totally agree with what you said about the tie scene. I found myself holding my breath whenever they got close to each other on screen and am convinced they need to date in real life. I also felt the ending was perfect for them, after all the craziness they have gone through. JCW is obviously a great actor and so dreamy (those eyes!) but NJH was a real revelation for me in this.

    The show did feel a little slow in the middle, especially when Dong Ha was in a coma. I also was not a fan of the Yoo Jung/ Eun Hyuk pairing which felt convenient and was actually rooting for the Eun Hyuk/ Ji Hae pairing instead! I also do wish the girls had more scenes together. The scene where they were all drunk was very enjoyable. There were some issues with the law parts – how Ji Wook could act as the attorney for Dong Ha and be the prosecutor against him thereafter. To me, this would be a total conflict of interest.

    That said, I enjoyed this thoroughly. In fact, way more than I had expected and am now a total fangirl for JCW and NJH!

    Like

    • Hi Jo! Great to meet you, and glad that you found me! 😀 I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the Healer review, that review is one of my personal favorites on the site, and has a special place in my heart, coz Healer feelz ❤

      YES, that tie scene! It's not played as a major scene in the show, but it just leaped out at me, in all of its electric glory. Ji Chang Wook's intense dreamy gaze pretty much knocked me over every time. 😍 This was my first time properly watching Nam Ji Hyun (I couldn't get into Shopping King Louis), and I loved her in this. I do love her warm screen presence and very natural delivery. ❤

      I agree, I think an Eun Hyuk/Ji Hye pairing would've been much better than having him mope over Yoo Jung all series long. And you're so right about the law stuff. I rolled my eyes at all the legal stuff that was perfectly fine in this drama world, but wouldn’t have stood a chance in the real world. But, I've also learned that drama professions take a lot of.. uh, artistic license and mostly don’t make much sense. It used to bug me a lot more, but I’ve learned to just close both eyes and roll with it – most times 😉

      Like

      • Yes his gaze is so incredibly intense and dreamy! I read this hilarious comment somewhere that his smexy eyes alone could make someone pregnant! LOL

        To me, the non-kiss in the tie scene really added to the tension between them and when they finally kissed I squealed so much!

        I figured I just had to let go of the legal inconsistencies in the kdrama world and roll with it! I do have to say the series of questioning by Ji Wook and Hyun Soo realising he was there during the attack was excellent.

        Lovely to meet you too and I look forward to more reviews! ❤

        Like

  13. Fangirl, what a review! The way you described EP -28 Scene of bed, where Ji Chang Wook said nothing but said it all through his face, I can’t get over how intense his acting has become. That’s one of my favorite acted scenes among dramas, I totally want to give you some credit for mentioning it here. You made my day! Lots of love… ❤

    Like

    • Aw, thanks Bharati! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the review! And yes, Ji Chang Wook was so good in that scene, I was mesmerized both times I watched it. Coz of course I had to rewind and rewatch the scene, to appreciate his amazing delivery! 😉

      Like

  14. Hi!

    Just wanted to share my opinion on this show. By the way I like how your reviews are so on point.

    Out for 4 dramas that I’ve watched of the year 2017: Chief Kim (Dong-Ha is in this drama too), Fight my way, Big Hit, & Suspicious Partner. It was Suspicious Partner that left extremely disappointed. Which is a shame since it has the same screenwriter who wrote “I remember you” which is one of my favorites dramas. Here are the things that I didn’t particularly like.

    1. The decline of Ji-wook and Bong-hee personalities. At first I liked our main protagonists but then came “your dad killed your dad” plotline. It ends predictable with Bong Hee dad being innocent. Ji-wook black&white mentality started to annoy me. His talk on how “all criminals are the same” became tiresome and unhealthy. Because that is simply not true while there are criminals who do it for the enjoyment, but then there are those who a much complex reasoning for being behind bars. Also, that he was mostly right about his clients, sure he got a few times wrong but it did little for his character. In the end he became such an unlikable protagonist that I didn’t care much for him. The only scenes where I tolerated him was when he interacted with Hyun-soo.

    In the second half of the drama Bong Hee ends up being more in the background than anything else. After Hyun-soo woke up from his short-term coma she didn’t share one scene with him. Yes she suspected that he had an amnesia but did nothing to investigate further she just shrug off her shoulders and went on her day. This felt like the show took “Her story & her villain” leaving her with nothing but crying and being boring. Hyun-soo was the guy who framed her so why in the world did the drama erase that connection?. I liked her scenes with Hyun-soo and would I have liked to see more of it. Because it would have been a good way to test her capabilities as a lawyer. Speaking of which she does very little cases of her own. I saw so little of it that I genuinely forgot she was a lawyer.

    By the end of the drama I just didn’t care for either of them.

    2. The fact that the District Attorney gets to walk away freely. He loses his job sure people will condemn for his actions but he still be a member of the society. People will soon forget what he had done. Sorry but that doesn’t do it for me. Its like the drama is telling us its “fine to do corrupted things: lie & manipulate evidence but not murder”. His character as a whole did little to the story, except for being a plot device of adding more drama to our main heroes. And despite they gave a scene where he is grieving for his son. I felt nothing for this character. He feels more like a cardboard cut character then a real human being.

    3. So what happened to the rapist that turned himself? Did he get a shorter jail sentence? Was he set free?

    4. The ending of our tragic villain Hyunsoo: I found his jail sentence way too cruel.The fact that he has a mental illness and suffers from a trauma that went untreated for 13 years. Also, for a main antagonist he had the least screen time I`ve ever seen for a villain. It would have been riskier to make Hyun_sooo the main protagonist, ever heard of a villain protagonist? But that would have been an intriguing route to take. Anyways that we still know so little about his past. Where are his parents? Is he an orphan?. If it wasn’t for Dong-Ha splendid performance he made his character more complex then he was on paper. After he receives his sentence we dont see him ever again. A year has passed and I was waiting for at least a short scene of him. Is he now in a deep depression? Is he at peace with himself?.

    I´m still a bit sour on how the show went on and killed of Chan-Ho (offscreen), when it before showed hope that he was still alive. For some reason I thought the drama will add more dimension to Chan-ho relationship with Hyun-soo.

    5. The fact that it takes so long for our heroes to find out Hyun-soo’s past even though he told them indirectly why he did the things he did.

    If you ever happen to watch “I remember you” expect a stronger writing (though it does drag in the middle) and complex villains but a weak romance. You will notice some scenes in that drama that is similar to “Suspicious Partner”.

    Anyways, hope I didn’t bore you or confuse too much.

    Bye!

    Like

  15. Pingback: [Ongoing] Suspicious Partner – Episodes 1-12 – Kdrama Memories

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