K-Drama Review: ‘Bad Prosecutor’ Do Kyung Soo’s Successful Comeback

Bad Prosecutor review

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Bad Prosecutor review
Credit: KBS

Do Kyung Soo has successfully wrapped up his return to the small screen. Bad Prosecutor, which drew attention as the artist’s first project since his discharge from the army, recorded 6.3% ratings in the final episode, beating out the other Wed-Thur dramas for 12 consecutive weeks. It might not have been a jackpot, but it gifted the network with a result its Wed-Thur slot hadn’t seen for quite some time, once again imprinting his ability as a lead actor.

Bad Prosecutor is about a righteous prosecutor who won’t hesitate to do what’s right and punish evil. There is nothing special about the plot, but the story of punishing the great evil is much loved for its thrilling pleasure. The show zeroes in on what viewers want and offers an exciting narrative that fits its original objective every episode.

The protagonist, Jin Jeong (Do Kyung Soo), is a weirdo at the prosecutor’s office. He is faithful to his duty as a prosecutor and follows his own instinct, siding with justice and the weak rather than following the organization. To him, his own judgment is more important than his superior’s orders, that is because he believes he can’t catch the bad guys trying to sneak away just by blindly following the laws and rules. We get a glimpse into his conviction in the line that Jin Jeong says to the corrupt detective in episode 1 – “I have to become more vicious and sneaky if I want to catch guys like you.”

The drana paints out Jin Jeong like a cartoon-like character, leading the play with a pleasant vibe. His eccentricity constantly shows up. He showed up in jerseys to his senior prosecutor Shin Ah Ra’s (Lee Se Hee) commission ceremony then called his life story a “tale of a hero” (episode 1); when prosecutor-turned-lawyer Oh Do Hwan (Ha Jun) turned up as manager Tae’s (Kim Hieora) attorney and offered his hand for a handshake, Jin Jeong responded by making scissors (as in rock paper scissors) with his hand (episode 9). The character’s bubbly side appropriately balances out the drama that deals with the mystery involving murder and false accusations. At the same time, it adds intimacy to the protagonist that crosses the boundary of legal and illegal adds intimacy, making it easier for the viewers to enjoy the show.

Bad Prosecutor, which started its story in earnest with the Seocho-dong murder, takes the format of revealing the people behind the case one by one. Jin Jeong is convinced that the real culprit is out there and grows suspicious of Deputy Chief Prosecutor Lee Jang Won (Choi Gwang Il), who wants to wrap up the case as quickly as possible. The investigation clears Lee’s name, but he falls off the building and dies right in front of Jin Jeong. Afterward, Jin Jeong fiercely pursues the villain of the piece while arresting the people involved in the case, eventually uncovering Seo Hyun Gyu (Kim Chang Wan), the head of the law firm Kangsan, who wields power hidden from the world. New events derived from one central event unfold while new characters show up, but simultaneously, the hidden aspects of the already-introduced character are revealed (though very much predicted), keeping the just-right tempo. The details in the narrative might be somewhat lacking, but the overall storytelling that solely focuses on the investigation is captivating and immersive.

Bad Prosecutor review
Credit: KBS

Above all, it is Do Kyung Soo who becomes the anchor of the exhilarating action series. He breathes life into the character of Jin Jeong to the point where you don’t feel the gap in his career (his military service). Sometimes sly but sometimes serious; sticking to his convictions in front of those who’ve turned their face away from justice and conscience but going utterly silent when his mother is jumping down his throat; the actor flawlessly portrayed various sides to the character. There will be no exaggeration in saying that Bad Prosecutor was Do Kyung Soo’s one-man show. 

On the other hand, there’s still a question of whether or not a story about a righteous prosecutor can provide viewers with pleasure in times when the country is being called the “Republic of the Prosecutor’s Office.” There’s no doubt that there’s satisfaction in following Jin Jeong’s rouge methods, but I can’t help but think that the whole thing is just so unrealistic. Still, there must be a reason why dramas like this continue to be produced. In episode 8, the sight of Chief Prosecutor Kim Tae Ho (Kim Tae Woo) justifying his actions to Jin Jeong in the interrogation room, saying, “(It was all) to strengthen the prosecution so it wouldn’t allow any interference,” sends a chill down your spine. He’s a fictional character in a drama – I know. But he’s not at all unfamiliar, as if he’s someone he’d meet in reality. So in a way, I hope that the story of Jin Jeong, who yells, “What protects us isn’t power or position in this world. It’s the law and the people,” will return with another case – because it feels like there’s a lot more this bad prosecutor could do in this antiquated prosectors’ office. (6/10)

 

Edited Hong Hyun Jung: I am a K-content guide who publishes various articles for people to enjoy Korean movies and dramas deeper and richer. I’ll introduce you to the works that you can laugh, cry and sympathize with.

 

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