Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
It’s definitely sloppy, but something about it makes you want to keep on watching. Despite its somewhat loose development, Good Casting, which claims to be a comic spy action, delivers a pleasant laughter that blows away a frustrating daily life by consistently maintaining its original intention.
Good Casting tells the story of female agents who worked behind desks going undercover to catch the industrial spy. Baek Chan Mi, who was forced out of the field to take responsibility of the operation failure that led to the death of her subordinate, Hwang Mi Soo, who was once a distinguished black agent but now an ordinary housewife, and Im Ye Eun, who chose to stay behind desk despite her excellent abilities to take care of her only daughter. The drama combines three “mismatch” characters into one team and unfolds may vicissitudes with slapstick comedy and dynamic actions. It adds heart-throbbing romance as a spice, and reveals detailed characters by implicitly reflecting the joys and sorrows of three women working at the NIS.
The best thing to come out of Good Casting is the three actors, Choi Kang Hee, Kim Ji Young, and Yoo In Young, who enliven the story with many holes. Choi Kang Hee, who plays the role of Baek Chan Mi, showed off her unusual charisma from the first scene in prison and is in charge of most action scenes, presenting intense fighting scenes in every episode. At the same time, she presents tantalizing romance with Lee Sang Yeob while working undercover, showing off her lovely charm.
Hwang Mi Soon, who is concerned about limited opportunities for promotion as a female at work and is suffering from household labor at home, comes alive with Kim Ji Young’s deft performances. In every embarrassing situations that take place during the operation, she throws herself in, presenting a big laughter. At the same time, when she is scolding her lazy husband, she draws out the familiarity that can be seen in reality. It’s a shame that Hwang Mi Soon doesn’t show up that often.
Im Ye Eun, who has a timid personality, low self-esteem, and tons of concerns, is a side of Yoo In Young we’ve never seen before. Even with the fact that this is the first time for her to play the role of a single mother, she perfectly broke away from her original proud and sophisticated images and portrays a character with lots of tears and warm hearts.
The combination of characters with strong personalities leads to the pleasure of “overturned sex.” In the world of industrial espionage that seemed to have been the exclusive property of male characters, females characters have jumped in. Despite some confusion, they show their flawless skills and do not just obediently follow superior’s instruction. Baek Chan Mi plays the role of a de facto team leader and leads the tension by building a confrontation with Chun In Ki, the bureau’s director, who has been interfering with her operation. The same goes for the romance. Baek Chan Mi is leading a subtle relationship by furtively holding an advantage while hiding her identity from her first love, Yoon Seok Ho, who she reunited during the operation.
However, what is unfortunate is that as the main narrative unfolds around Baek Chan Mi, the scenes where the three characters are seen together are not that many. Even after considering that Hwang Mi Soo and Im Ye Eun have a family that they are responsible for, and that Baek Chan Mi is somewhat hot-tempered, their teamwork is regrettable. While leaning on Baek Chan Mi’s hunch and action, Hwang Soon Mi is often consumed as a comedy character, and Im Ye Eun continues to show her unadaptable personality. In addition, as the latter half of the drama increases the proportion of romance of Baek Chan Mi/ Yoon Seok Ho, and Im Ye Eun/ Kang Woo Won, the already loose undercover becomes even more sloppy.
Nevertheless, Good Casting‘s attempt is certainly welcomed. Although the narrative lacks in detail and the characters are imbalanced, it is not common for women to entirely lead everything from comic action, covert operation to romance in a work. Now, I hope that everyone comes to a happy ending after throwing a sucker punch of the director, who deceived his agents, and exposing the identity of Michael, the industrial spy.
Verdict: Sensible directing and actors’ passionate performances cover up the sloppiness (6.5/10)