by Wiam Najjar, September 9, 2015
21

Mrs. Cop

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I awaited this on fire, literally. Since they announced the drama I had googled the title every single day to look for updates. The reason is obvious, I claim to be Kim Min Jong’s number 1 international fan. If you think you are, step forward!


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So I’ve been waiting for each episode. It’s practically the only on-going drama I’m following weekly being busy with my school article. Well, Kim Min Jong is the reason of course. But, the drama is interesting enough for me to keep expecting, guessing and getting anxious at how things will turn out.


The drama has many holes. The writer seems to have something on mind but gets so engrossed with one part that she forgets all about the others and later remembers and ‘’inserts’’ them somewhere. Some scenes make absolutely no sense. We have those extreme villains whom nobody can catch. We have so many interesting characters, but the focus on the criminal cases sweeps them aside. She doesn’t seem to be able to do both at the same time, keep up with the characters and the cases. It’s a police drama which I like. The director is You’re All Surroundeds (and many other great shows). I can see the writer’s effort and whatever she’s doing is still grabbing my attention. Or lemme be more honest, it’s the actors’ embodiment of those characters that is having me hooked.

The drama focuses on Choi Young Jin so literally everyone else has almost no screen time. I know! Still, I’m loving this.

I know I’m schizophrenic!

So shall we take a look at our awesome characters already?!


Choi Young Jin (Kim Hee Ae): The Queen

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What.is.this.woman? Where does she get that emotional drive from? Her facial expressions and that voice! There ARE sufficient reasons why the show is about her!

So Choi Young Jin is one extraordinary police veteran. She cannot tolerate injustice. She’s determined, goal-oriented and fearless. She stands up to everyone who blocks her way and is not afraid of losing her job. At the same time she admits when she commits mistakes, and hurries to apologize. Loved and admired by her team members, she’s hated by her bosses and criminals alike. Though she’s after criminals, she’s flexible enough to get to what she wants even if she doesn’t necessarily walk the straight road. Her obsession with preventing crimes equals only one thing, her love for her daughter. She faces the conflict of not having time to spend with her lovely daughter. But when she does, she’s a caring and adorable mother.

Kim Hee Ae is one helluva a groundbreaking actress. She’s 48. She wears an almost bare face throughout and doesn’t dress out; being a police officer and she still shines. Korean fans know how much the Korean industry emphasizes youth and beauty. Well, she’s doing nothing of that and god! She’s gorgeous! Her voice only equals 20 other actress I know (and you probably do!).

Her portrayal of Choi Young Jin is interesting. When investigating a crime, she sees nothing else. She’s hot–tempered, focused and audacious. She has no mercy for those who play around with human lives. Being traumatized herself, when she starts chasing a criminal, he’s a lost case.

But in other situations she’s funny and caring. She takes care of her team members, jokes around and tolerates all their behavior. Her relationship with her daughter is the most sensitive and heartbreaking (though the writer seems to forget about it these days. Sighs).

The most amusing parts for me are her moments with her boss and long-time friend Park Jong Ho (Kim Min Jong). Knowing each other forever, Choi Young Jin trusts and relies on Park Jong Ho a lot when it comes to work. She doesn’t seem to do as much on a personal level, leaving the poor guy with unanswered questions. We don’t know yet if she’s really oblivious to his feelings or she’s purposely brushing him aside and keeping their relationship in the partnership zone. I’m writing this after episode 10. We have 8 episodes to go. But I don’t trust the writer so much with the development of the story and the characters that’s why I’m forcing myself not to expect much. Still, if I have to accolade her for something, it'll be the absolutely creative and hilarious conversations between the two, the way they look at one another and the way they touch each other. The absolute chemistry is their own product and I can't thank them enough for that.


Park Jong Ho (Kim Min Jong): The Male Lead With No Screen Time

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I’ll be talking here a lot. You’ll need to bear with me.

Can I cry first??

Only fans know the heartbreak of falling popularity. Many people, Koreans and international, don’t know that Kim Min Jong was a hit in the 1990s; as both a singer and an actor -if they know him at all. And when I mean by a hit, I mean every title track would win for many weeks on music shows and every drama would get high ratings. He received so many awards as well. But in the middle of the first part of the 21st century and due to many factors, his popularity dimmed. Though he’s been constantly acting, he hasn’t really done anything worthwhile –ratings and popularity wise- from 2003 till 2012 and the hit drama A Gentleman’s Dignity. What I’m saying is that he played so many great roles but none were recognized. So anyway he received much love in the romantic-comedy and gained new fans. We, his fans, were so happy and hopeful.

Then,

May I cuss?

I did.

Never mind that his agency is SM! I know!

He disappeared for two years. SM would say that he was busy being the director of SM Culture and Content which is responsible for the actors of the agency. He was busy being a UNICEF ambassador and he went on variety shows.

Are you frigging kidding me?

He came back in Secret Door. Again I had my hopes up. The drama proved a flop in Korea. As for Kim Min Jong, he started as an intriguing rebel and ended up just being there – like most of the other not-two-leads characters in the drama.

I waited again.

And there was Mrs. Cop. And yes! The absolute male lead for the first time since 2008! Yes! He looked so excited in the press conference. More expectations. More hope. The first two episodes were great. Yes!

But that was it.

Park Young Ho’s character is one I like. He’s calm, reasonable and wise. He has his own weight and he doesn’t bow to power easily. He knows whom he likes and what to do for that person. He’s loving towards Choi Young Jin; being always there for her offering her silence condolence, support, backing her up and simply be her reasonable mind when she’s being too emotional. He’s funny and he makes her laugh always. Young Ho likes Young Jin. It’s written all over his face. She can’t see that or she pretends not to. You can see the hurt in his eyes as he always watches her back. His dress code, hairstyle and fit body add so much to his character.

Doesn’t this sound epic?

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But he has no screen time. Like none! 2-5 minutes mostly in each episode! The writer totally forgets about him and in the last 15 minutes she brings him in. What make me go crazy are two things; first, there are so many situations where he can actually be there without HER forcing him in. Second, his role is really important and when he DOES appear he does essential things. Like what the?!!

I would write a whole novel based on his character here! I swear! What’s with the writer?!!

Sorry, but …


Han Jin Woo (Son Ho Jun): The Scarred Beast

At lease he’s luckier than Kim Min Jong, a bit.

Han Jin Woo is an adamant policeman who cares nothing for instructions but only about catching the bad guys. He’s badly scarred because of the death of his girlfriend, though we’re not exposed much to the background story, which makes him cold, chilly and tough. He shuts himself away and is not interested in making friends. The invasion of Min Do Young won’t leave him many choices though.

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Son Ho Jun is absolutely doing a good job. We don’t see many wow moments of him but, when we do he just impresses. He surely can be one mean guy. I like watching him slowly changing and opening his heart to the world again.


Min Do Young (Lee Da Hee): The Nerd

If it wasn’t Lee Da Hee, I wouldn’t have tolerated the character. But I can’t help it when she’s just so lovable.

Min Do Young is a police academy graduate. She’s the type of person who never got second place. She goes by the book, for better or worse. She changes throughout but at the beginning she’s just an inflexible hothead with no vision or deep thought.

But she’s cute.

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As she starts changing and letting new worlds in, her perceptive of the world alters. She realizes it’s not a black-white matter after all. Her heart establishes its place and new people crawl in, for our benefit. To watch her react to those unfamiliar feelings is utter joy. I can claim she’s the only character who’s clearly developing. Thanks Heavens we have one at least!


Jo Jae Deok (Heo Jeong Do): Fun Man

Where have you been all my life?

Who fell for this man in Heard it through the Grapevine?

I didn’t.

Blasphemy?

No! because I fell for him before, in Secret Love Affair. It was a tiny role and I couldn’t find any information on him then. But then shone in HITTG and yes, he got this role.

Jo Jae Deok is the kind of person who’d find things to enjoy in Hell. He’s the person who’d always bring laughter to the place. Though he sounds careless and sarcastic, he’s dedicated to the job and extremely loyal to his team.

Heo Jeong Do’s mere presence makes me beam. With his dialect and lines, I just can’t but love him.


Lee Se Won (Lee Ki Kwang) : The Cutie

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Lee Se Won is that adorable spolit team member. Teams usually have that one young member. Well that’s Se Won. He’s friendly, hardworking and so amiable.

Lee Ki Kwang, you can smile the whole episode and be sure I’ll watch it.


Shin So Yul plays Choi Nam Jin, Choi Young Jin’s younger sister who’s been failing the government exam forever and is the practical mother of Young Jin’s daughter. She’s cute. No character development. No special story. Let’s go shoot the writer.


And we have our villain.

Villains are supposed to be enthroning characters. Or that’s what I think. Son Byung Ho here plays Kang Tae Yoo, the villain with absolutely no appeal. That fairy tale villain who’s full of evil schemes and is behind all the crimes in the world and who escapes the grip of justice ALWAYS with an evil grin on his face, who kills and walks away unscathed, who embraces his murderer son right after the murder and who’s ready to step on the whole world.

What are supposed to watch this character for exactly?


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I might have mentioned more bad points than good ones. Sorry but I’m so into the drama and I need to speak my mind.

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The drama addresses many debatable and serious problems; runaway teenagers, abandoning parents, blackmailing, teenage prostitution, game addiction, etc.. Those issues have proved real dilemmas in South Korea. Shedding light on them is necessary and, I pray, helpful.

The drama takes place in the gray area between right and wrong. It might have been titled Beyond Good and Evil and it would have worked. There in the middle where there are no accurate answers, what to do?

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