The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Dropped: Bad Guys 2 – City Of Evil


I’m bailing early, again. Hmm.

The thing is, I’d liked Bad Guys quite a bit, and was genuinely curious to see what this spin-off would bring to the table, with its similar premise and different cast of characters. Would it be just as cool and gritty as Season 1, while being similar-but-different, and would the bad guys be as interesting, I wondered.

Just one episode in, and I just don’t think this one is for me, y’all. I mean, I barely made it through the episode. Eek.


This is a hard section for me, because, well, I really didn’t like episode 1 much at all. But for the record, this is what I’ve got:

1. I have a great deal of affection for Kim Moo Yul because of his impressive turn inย My Beautiful Bride, and it was rather nice to have him on my screen again.

2. The teasers didn’t lie; Joo Jin Mo looks absolutely arresting in this. He emanates So Much strong male charisma and swagger, without have to say very much at all. Very impressive.

3. Ji Soo looks good, for the few seconds that he appears in episode 1; leaner, scruffier, and promisingly badass.

Clearly, any goodwill I have for this show is mostly actor-driven, heh.


So. My expression while watching episode 1, is probably kinda similar to the expression that Kim Moo Yul’s wearing in the still above, ha. Basically, I felt as confused and bemused as he looks.

The directing is pretty stylized, which is not a bad thing per se. This PD definitely has a style that he’s gunning for, with all the intersplicing of clips. In the case of episode 1, we get a more traditional timeline, of Jin Pyeong (Kim Moo Yul) experiencing his first day at work, interspliced with random-feeling clips of various murders and crimes. The overall effect, for me, was more confusing than intriguing, unfortunately.

Also, the set-up is such that everyone around Jin Pyeong basically doesn’t bother to tell him anything, and gets annoyed when he asks basic, reasonable questions, like, where they’re taking him, and why. That irked me, and quite a bit.ย I disliked that the withholding of information was being served up as cool and edgy, because it’s not. It’s presumptuous and really annoying, to me anyway.

Additionally (and this is a biggie, for me), there is a truckload of violence in episode 1. There is so much fighting, and slashing, and hitting, and bleeding, and stabbing. With so little context provided, all of this violence felt like it was inserted for its shock value, rather than for an actual narrative purpose. I didn’t like that much at all.

This heavy-handedness with the blood and violence gave me flashbacks to Vampire Prosecutor 2, and not in a good way. Basically, VP2 had felt try-hard and excessive with its use of blood, gore and violence, and it had all felt to me, like Show had been trying to shock its audience into thinking that it was cooler than the first season of Vampire Prosecutor. Which – in my opinion – it wasn’t, by far.

I got the same vibe here, unfortunately.

To top everything off, PD-nim uses A LOT of very shaky camerawork, which literally gave me a headache before I even reached the end of the episode. I also didn’t care for the fact that the lighting in the bulk of the scenes was very dim.


I randomly peeked at several other episodes, and the general directing style seems to be largely the same as what I sampled in episode 1.

I’m pretty sure that if I’d hung in there with this one, that I would’ve probably found some nice teamwork and camaraderie nuggets among the team of bad guys. But I just can’t bring myself to. The bottom line is, even if I can get past the violence, I can’t stomach the shaky camerawork. I arbitrarily picked a scene in episode 8, which wasn’t even a fight scene, but a scene of two characters just standing there and talking to each other, and I could feel the camera floating. Did not like.

Sorry, Show. I think you’re just not for me. Even though you do seem to have a handful of charismatic leading men, I’m pretty sure I’d be happier just breaking up with you.

I’m sure there’re people out there who love you though. *patpat*

Author: kfangurl

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

46 thoughts on “Dropped: Bad Guys 2 – City Of Evil

  1. Jesus. How can you judge a show based on one episode?!? Their reasoning for a lack of information given is simply lack of trust, which gets explained later on in the series. You said the violence is over the top. Have you ever seen a real fight with more than one person involved??? Both seasons are like 2 different shows, and that’s not a bad thing at all. One is all about catching a serial killer, the other is about taking down corrupt officials and a city mob boss.

    This is hands down the worst review of anything I’ve ever wasted my time reading.

    Do better next time.


    • I watched this entire series to the end and Season 2 of Bad Guys sucked. That’s my opinion. Just like Kfangurl has hers and you have yours. If you can’t appreciate that this blog’s host did not want to spend her time watching something that she felt she wouldn’t enjoy then you need to take all that aggression somewhere else that reviewed this show and liked it.


      • And by the way, for anybody who cares, the movie: Bad Guys Reign of Chaos is better than Season 2 but, imo, not worth the watch. No spoilers – I love Ma Dong seuk but he’s the only one who’s really back. You get a brief little bit of Gang Ye-Won and a bit of Kim Sang-Joong and a cameo by Jo Dong-Hyuk. Jang Ki-Yong does well in his role, but for me the charm of the original Bad Guys was the bonding between the characters.


    • Well, this wasn’t meant to be a review, Taze. This was a Dropped post to explain why this drama didn’t work for me, which I felt like other people might be interested to know, especially those who knew that I really enjoyed the first season. So, if you’re judging this post as a review, then it’s obvious that it wouldn’t be up to scratch. Having said that, you’re entitled to love this show just like I’m entitled to not like it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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  3. So I actually watched it from the beginning until the very end. The very last scene was such a tease but did feel like a reward after sitting through all this very looooong story. I only watched for Ji Soo and Joo Jin Mo. (Ain’t that dedication or what?). You know, I can deal with bad acting and bad directing as long as the storytelling is solid, but here… I think what went wrong from the beginning is how to connect S2 with S1 ? The story was actually deep, but the unfolding was too clunky…. And there were so many filler scenes. Too much talking vs. not enough showing. Meanwhile some action scenes were just over the top. There this one episode where there’s a fight between 100 gangsters and 100 policemen and it goes on for about 30 mins and I’m like “why not use a gun and just get it done with it?”. * smh * oh well… ๐Ÿ™‚


    • SUNNYYY!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ *TACKLEHUG* I’ve missed ya! โค I hope you've been well! I'm guessing you've had a little more breathing room than before, if you were able to make time for some drama! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And oh my, the fact that you watched all of this show even though you sound like you didn't think it was a great show, is fangirl dedication alright!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Based on your description of what the watch was like, I'm impressed you lasted through to the very end! ๐Ÿ˜› And that 30 minute brawl scene sounds exhausting to watch! ๐Ÿ™ˆ Sounds like Show got its balance all out of whack, and in a big way too. I'm sorry you suffered through the whole show.. and I sure hope Joo Jin Mo and Ji Soo made it worth your while! ๐Ÿ˜‹

      Liked by 1 person

    • To put it simply, your final question is answered in one of the last episodes.

      “You used a gun? Where do you think you are, America?”


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  5. Omo! Oh-to-the-darn-mo! Okay so I’m not too worried about spoilers because nobody in their right mind would watch this (I know that days something about me but I fast forwarded thru the last 3 episodes (I’ve never done that before, ever) and I kept falling asleep during the final episode so had to start it over and over) – but, after the credits…, SPOILER COMING

    SPOILER: The surviving members of the team are shown going to a crime scene. They walk in and bodies (unconscious or dead?) are strewn everywhere and the camera slowly pans up to the back of a dude in a suit with kind of longish unkempt hair. When he turns around, it’s Jo Dong-Hyuk! That leaves it open for a season 3 although I can’t imagine OCN greenlighting another season when I don’t think anyone watched this one.

    I’d rank this neck and neck with “Dream” and “Hidden Identity” as the worse Kdramas I’ve ever seen and I can’t believe my bias Joo Jin mo is in two of those and my other bias Kim Bum is in two of them also.

    As bad as this was, I do know that if they get a third season, I’d be compelled to watch it for Cutie Soo, Joo Jin mo AND Jo Dong-Hyuk together. But I would be utilizing the fastforward button if it’s the same type of mindless mayhem that still manages to be boring.


    • OMIGOSH beez! I am slightly in awe of you making it all the way to the end of this one ๐Ÿ˜› I’m sorry you had to suffer for your love of Joo Jin Mo! ๐Ÿ˜… Ack, your description of the ending makes me giggle and cringe at the same time. Coz it sounds like Show “magically” brought Jo Dong Hyuk back to life with no explanation whatsoever, just to tease viewers with a Season 3 that might never happen. Argh. I’ve seen shows do that before (shan’t mention ’em by name, just in case that’s a spoiler for anyone), but the more I see shows do the magical resurrection thing for their final scene, the more it feels like a cop-out to me, purely for the fact that the writers didn’t have to find a way to reconcile the previous death scene with the final alive scene. Hugs to you, m’dear, you deserve a medal for sitting this one through to the end. That’s some serious fangirl love you’ve got there! At least on the upside, you’ve gotten more comfortable with your FF button..? ๐Ÿ˜†


      • Yeah. It was hard. I’m a little OCD so could never understand house peoples FFWD they dramas (WHAT IF YOU MISS SOMETHING IMPORTANT?)

        But I’m totally a die-hard fan when it comes to my biases:
        I watched Empress Ki for both Ji Chang Wook AND Joo Jin mo.
        Watched New Tales of Gisaeng (enjoyed) and something called Passionate Love (suffered thru) because of Sung Hoon.
        But the ultimate proof my fangirl love has no limits is – I watched 159 episodes of Smile, Donghae for Ji Chang Wook and…I liked it in spite of it’s repetitious scenes of characters doing the danged thing over ad nauseum.
        I watched King 2 Hearts (enjoyed) recently and I’m trying to get thru You’re the Best Shin Lee Soon Shin (trying my diehardness) all because I saw Cho Jung-Seok kiss THE HECK OUT OF Gong Hyo-Jin.

        I’ve watched a lot more of the actors ‘ stuff listed above but the ones listed are lonnnnnng tests of love or are older dramas that I went back to watch.

        Anytime my attention falls on some actor that’s new to me, I watch EVERYTHING they’ve ever been in (that’s available) and it’s been fortunate that most of their projects have been enjoyable.


        • Oh, I know what you mean.. It took me a long time (and a lot of baaadd drama) to learn to start embracing my FF button too! I now FF very selectively, and in small spurts only, so that I don’t end up missing things I don’t intentionally want to miss. ๐Ÿ˜›

          I’ve watched some bad dramas for the love of a bias, and I also went through a (short-lived) phase of watching everything a bias ever did, so I absolutely feel you on that! You definitely have much more fangirl love and loyalty than I do, though! ๐Ÿ˜… I realize I now can’t watch a bad drama, even if it stars a beloved bias. The badness of the drama rubs me the wrong way significantly more than the satisfaction that I gain, of having a bias on my screen, heh.


          • So you’re telling me my use of the FF button is a sign of maturity! There’s hope that I might be breaking my K-drama obsession. (Or at least downgrading to addiction.) ๐Ÿ˜‰


  6. I thought the first one was okay to pretty good and was planning on watching this one until I heard some reviews. There’s a lot of other content I’m more interested in so it’s a pass for me which is a bummer since it is sitting right there on Netflix when there are soooo many other dramas that are not available to me.


    • Yeah, it’s too bad about this one. I liked S1 pretty well, but this one was a completely different creature, from what I could tell. Bummer about the dramas that aren’t available to you (yet?), but still, that’s no reason to subject yourself to bad drama, I say! ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • I’m up to episode 9 (full 1 hour episodes and it feels like it’s been 29 plodding episodes) and we’ve finally got a bit of screen time, not much, for Ji Soo and Jin Joo Mo. [SPOILERS] They’ve killed off the young prosecutor who had the majority of focus until now. Very little time has been spent with “the bad guys” or even with the cops who were on the team with the bad guys.

        The show spends most of its time talking and talking and talking about the corruption and the other half on mob violence. And I mean “mob” in both senses of the word – 1) gangsters; and 2) large crowd fighting which makes no sense cause how can you go to the fight dressed in all black suits with both sides looking identical but you hired thugs who don’t know your group so how do they know who to hit? It doesn’t matter as it’s just mayhem on the screen with people getting hit in the head with metal pipes and still fighting. And I love a good fight scene (especially with good martial arts techniques) and gritty drama but this is just brawling. Since the camera rarely goes in tight on the individual fighters, it’s just long shots of pipes, two-by-fours, and flailing arms and legs. [END SPOILERS]

        I don’t know how much longer I can hang in there but I’ll let you know if anything redeemable comes of this show. I am ticked though because both this and Mystery Queen2 are probably ruining any chance of other shows getting second seasons.


        • EEEEK! I’m sorry everyone, I used spoiler tags in that last post but they didn’t work for some reason!

          Hopefully it’ll be okay since it seems as if no ones sticking with this dud but me anyway.

          But maybe Kfangurl can delete my post?


        • Eek. That does not sound like a fun time at all! ๐Ÿ˜ฃ All that violence sounds like pointless overkill. [SPOILER] Most of all, though, I can’t believe they killed off the prosecutor!! I mean, it felt like he was the protagonist, since from E1, we are seeing so much of everything from his perspective. But I’m thinking that that might’ve been due to Show’s desire for a strong shock factor. And nothing says shocking quite as much as killing off your own protagonist? [END SPOILER] I dunno, I’m just hypothesizing since I haven’t seen more than 1 ep of the show, and so I can’t say very much at all. Except maybe, get out now and save yourself while you still can? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ


          • I knoooow I should but… it’s Joo Jin mo! And that young cutie Soo looks oh-so-cute with that brush cut and he’s in so much angst, I just want him to lay his head on my shoulder while I stroke his temple. I’m going to give it two more episodes. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER I mean, now that they did what they did to the main character (and it’s not a trick as they showed him in the morgue with autopsy chest stitches after being cracked open), then the story has to come around to the remaining players, doesn’t it? It has too. *worriedly rocking back & forth*


            • Well I’ve watched some truly awful shows out of fangirl love, so there’s no shame in doing that either, beez! ๐Ÿ˜€ Just give up on Show getting better, and stay for the eye candy. That could be a burden off you as well, if you’re not actively hoping for Show to improve. And if it does improve in the end, win! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  7. hello kfangurl, hope you’re doing fine chinggu.. i haven’t watched bad guys 2 since nowadays its hard to look for free online websites with english sub for ongoing dramas, and i’m lazy to wait for next week episodes. my solution was to buy dvds (kdrama collection and also cheaper from where i am. ๐Ÿ™‚ same as you i like the actors in this drama except the ahjusshi, take care always.


    • can I just vent that I feel like my Kdrama world is falling apart. I discovered Kdramas in 2014 and it was wonderful! I signed up for Viki and DramaFever right away and everytime someone mentioned that an older drama or movie was really good, I had no problem finding it at the Website That Shall Not Be Mentioned, always with subs. Along came Netflix getting in on the fun and messing things up by 1) naming shows their own irrelevant title thereby making it impossible to find; and 2) releasing 8 episodes and waiting (for who knows what reason) to release the rest. Next came Kocowa and in my stubborn resentfulness I’ve refused to get a subscription. But I guess with the way things are going, I’ll have to give in to them soon.


    • Hi there, Simple! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been good, just really busy with getting ready to move house. Which is why I’ve been so behind on comments! ๐Ÿ˜› I did like the actors – just not enough to finish this show! ๐Ÿ˜… And yes, I didn’t much care for the ahjusshi either!


  8. Like Prosecutor-nim I had no clue what was happening and stayed around just long enough to see my love Jisoo. It’s just been released on Netflix though so maybe I’ll try again later.


    • Heh. Hi5 on feeling bemused during your first attempt at this show, Dame Holly! ๐Ÿ˜† I do have a lot of affection for Ji Soo, but it wasn’t enough to entice me to watch more of this one. Perhaps your Ji Soo love is bigger, and so things might work out differently for you on your second attempt? ๐Ÿ˜…


  9. Korea doesn’t know how strike a balance on portraying violence on screen. It can’t do gritty properly either. That said, Joo Jin-mo is hot.


    • Well, I haven’t seen enough examples of Korean dramas handling violence and grit to really know, since that’s not typically my kind of show, but this one was definitely too much, especially right away. ๐Ÿ˜› Joo Jin Mo IS hawt tho. So much screen presence, and so arresting, every time he sauntered onto my screen! ๐Ÿ˜


  10. Thanks for the warning. I will not be watching. Shaky camera work when over used makes me dizzy. I just dropped The Negotiator at epsiode 13. Wish I had done it after the 1st. How a show can be spinning its wheels and feel like a 100 epsiodes when it has only been 13 is beyond me.


    • Oh, if shaky camerawork makes you dizzy, then this one is definitely not for you either, Amy! I felt dizzy well before I reached the end of E1! ๐Ÿ˜ Thanks for the warning on The Negotiator – that doesn’t sound like my kind of show either!


  11. I didn’t even bother to start this one. Even the teasers promised too much pointless violence for my taste. What I’ve garnered from snippets of commenting I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem to get better later on.

    I wasn’t all that taken with S1 either, at least not as much as lot of other viewers. OCN shows tend to be a bit of hit and miss for me. I’ve actually dropped more of them than I’ve finished. โ˜บ


    • You were right to steer clear of this one, Timescout! I don’t recall actually watching action teasers for this one though.. I only came across the quick character teasers, I think, so I didn’t have much inkling how it was going to be, action-wise. Well, at least this time I learned quick? ๐Ÿ˜… OCN fare isn’t my usual kinda thing, but I did like S1 of Bad Guys a lot more than this one. ๐Ÿ˜›


  12. Oh, kfangurl, if only you could take me with you! But alas, I’m stuck (because of the actors). I’ve watched 3 episodes so far. Season 2 is everything I asked for that was missing in Season 1 (which I loved… mostly because of the actors). I wanted a more cohesive story and more in depth info and background on each of our criminals last year but I didn’t ask for it to be boring! Season 1 was serious stuff but it didn’t take itself too seriously. Can’t say the same for Season 2.

    I feel the same as you about Ep.1. I guess OCN thinks the way you grab an audience is lots of blood & violence right out the gate.

    But Ji soo is giving off whatever “IT” is that he gives off and Ep.2 gives me sleeveless Joo Jin mo’s guns, which are bigger than I’ve ever seen them (like Ma Dong suk’s with no fat in sight). But make no mistake, episode 2 wasn’t much better than Ep.1 with constant fight scenes and car chases. ho-hum.

    The team leader is a an actor I don’t like (for shallow reasons (his eyebrows)). But eyebrows aside – even though I’ve seen him play scary guys before, he’s missing that underlying intimidating mystery and the feeling the old team leader gave me that he might do anything at anytime to anyone.

    I’m sorry you’re dropping it as I would’ve looked forward you your review IF they end up turning this show around. It DOES have a real (ho-hum) purpose – to bring down a thug- turned -mogul – with an interesting premise that bringing him down will collapse the local economy. The local peoole love the thug-mogul as he ‘s the source of their livelihood.

    I’m hoping the writer can make me care about the characters beyond my lust of the actors.


    • Heh. You made me giggle with your comment, beez! ๐Ÿ˜‚ You clearly have much more actor loyalty than I can muster up – even Ji Soo’s bad boy makeover and Joo Jin Mo’s arresting screen presence couldn’t persuade me to stay with this one. ๐Ÿ˜› I feel you on the team leader – you are absolutely right. He just doesn’t have that slightly unhinged scary quality that S1’s team leader brought to the table. In comparison, he does feel rather bland, and that didn’t help. I’d love to hear what you think of the show, when (if?) you get to the end!

      Incidentally, today on my flight I happened to watch The Swindlers, which is quite different, but has a bit of a similar idea, of people on different sides of the law working together because they have a common goal. That felt a lot more satisfying to watch. Plus, Yoo Ji Tae, AND Hyun Bin, facing off against each other? So sparky! AND Park Sung Woong is in there too, as a bonus. Might be worth a whirl, if you’d like a break from Bad Guys 2? ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • Swindlers! Yes. I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for it. But do you know where can I watch it?


        • Hm.. I watched it on the plane, so I haven’t personally watched this link all the way through. But it looks like you can enjoy the movie here. I hope that helps! ๐Ÿ™‚


          • YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!!! Okay, I know that’s considered shouting and rude but I don’t know any other way to convey how happy that link made me. That particular site is where I was in the middle of watching an older series and then when things turned ugly, I couldn’t find it. None of the other sites has as large a collection of old Kmovies and old Kdramas.

            Thank you, Kfangurl! Thank you!


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