Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
You’ll find yourself chuckling along, only to be suddenly swept up by a spine-tingling tension. JTBC’s weekend drama Behind Your Touch holds its audience in the palm of its hand. While its ratings may not surpass prior hits like Doctor Cha and King the Land, it captivates a loyal viewership with an intriguing and jovial narrative, plunging headfirst into mysterious events.
Behind Your Touch features a protagonist with a unique ability, a trend in current drama landscapes. But here’s the kicker: the power is a bit embarrassing. The protagonist can see the past memories of people and animals, but only when she touches their butts. While flying, telekinesis, lie-detection, and seeing spirits are abilities we’ve seen before, the way this power is used gets a chuckle before a gasp.
Moreover, the character who wields this ability is Han Ji Min, who exudes an elegant and lovable image. Han has explored a variety of roles in her career but truly lets loose in this drama, flaunting her cheeky and hilarious side every weekend. One unforgettable scene from the first episode features her hanging onto a raging cow, screaming her lungs out. She tackles the potentially uncomfortable subject of butt-touching with quirky (yet lovely) charm, disarming viewers in the process.
The series unfolds in the crime-free small town of Mujin where the protagonist, struck by a meteorite, gains this bizarre ability and collaborates with a hot-blooded detective. Han Ji Min plays the accidentally super-powered veterinarian Bong Ye Bun, while Lee Min Ki plays Detective Moon Jang Yeol, who wants nothing more than to lift his demotion and return to Seoul. Together, they display a bickering yet magnetic chemistry.
In the initial episodes, the show builds the relationship between Ye Bun and Jang Yeol in a sitcom-esque romp. Ye Bun, mistaken as a pervert by Jang Yeol when trying out this power she gained out of the blue on people, triggers bouts of hearty laughter. Her earnest demeanor and curiosity clash hilariously with the surrounding circumstances. One prime example is when Ye Bun, attempting to solve a kidnapping on her own, barely manages to escape the brick wall she got stuck to and has to call Jang Yeol for help. Jang Yeol, eager to return to the Seoul Violent Crimes Unit, contributes to the comedy with his excessive enthusiasm and unexpected vulnerabilities.
The show’s treatment of the superpower exudes a campy B-movie vibe. The more she uses her power, the more hair she loses, and the more carefully you manage the hand that does the touching, the more vivid and zoomable the memories become—these audacious devices only add to the fun.
And that’s not all. Supporting characters around Ye Bun and Jang Yeol are so idiosyncratic that you may find yourself laughing till the episode ends. From a bittersweet middle-aged romance that parodies Twenty-Five Twenty-One between Ye Bun’s aunt Hyun Ok (Park Seung Yeon) and Detective Jong Muk (Kim Hee Won) and the struggling shaman (Park Hyuk Kwon) to straightforward locals of Mujin and even Ye Bun’s best friend and the head of the sister alliance Ok Hee (Joo Mun Kyung)—the strong personalities keep dropping comedic bombs, one after the other.
After warming up with a full course of comedy, Behind Your Touch is now revving its mystery engine. A third serial murder has occurred in the supposedly crime-free town of Mujin, and a third person using supernatural powers, following Ye Bun and Kwang Sik (Park No Sik) emerges as a prime suspect. The chilling juxtaposition of Ye Bun’s growing anxiety in episodes 8 and 9—realizing she can’t trust anyone except Jang Yeol and Kwang Sik—with the familiar faces she often interacts with is a testament to the drama’s competence in delivering not just comedy but thriller as well.
So what lies ahead? Ye Bun and Jang Yeol will deepen their collaboration to catch the criminal, and the secrets about Sun Woo (Suho), a mysterious character, will unravel. Furthermore, Legislator Cha Joo Man’s (Lee Seung Joon) dark greed linked to Ye Bun’s mother’s death will come to light, perhaps allowing Ye Bun to mend her relationship with her grandfather (Yang Je Sung). As we embark on this meticulously planned journey, we hope the delicious comedy continues to shine. Ah, and will Jang Yeol return to the Violent Crimes Unit? We shall see. (8/10)
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.