Hello, dear fellow drama fans!
Here is a list and review of my all-time favourite crime/ suspense-thrillers (This is the second part, do check out part one too).
~POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT~
I don’t think I spoil anything here, but please do continue at your own risk.
6. Stranger / Secret forest
The moment you decide to watch Stranger, you subconsciously wear an invisible prosecutor robe and a police-thinking cap in trying to decipher the motivations that make a person become less human.
The lacklustre performance of cable network TVN is a reversal from the glorious run it had last year. Even with a strong line-up, the channel continuously struggles, except for the amazing mystery thriller – Stranger.
PLOT: Hwang Shi Mok had brain surgery when he was a child, which caused him to lack emotion. Now, Hwang Shi Mok works as a prosecutor. He is rational but cold and lonely. He is also one of the only prosecutors not involved in corruption. One day, a dead body is thrown in front of him. He meets Police Lieutenant Han Yeo Jin at a murder crime scene. They work together to eradicate corruption at the prosecutor’s office and solve a serial murder case.
PLOT: In 1986, Detective Park Kwang Ho desperately tries to catch a serial killer. He chases after the serial killer and goes through a tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, Detective Park Kwang Ho finds himself in the year 2017. The serial killer has resumed the killings that began 30 years ago. Detective Park Kwang Ho works with Detective Kim Sun Jae and Professor of Criminal Psychology Shin Jae Yi to catch the killer.
Reasons to watch Tunnel
Choi Jin Hyuk as Park Kwang Ho + Yoon Hyun Min as Kim Seon Jae (our duo)
In 1986, detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) from the Serious Crime Unit of Hwayang Police station probes on a series of killings, targeting women who are marked with strange dots on their ankles. The detective stumbles upon the culprit inside a tunnel where one of the victims was found. But he loses consciousness when the psycho smashes him with a heavy rock. He wakes up and realizes he has time-travelled 30 years forward to 2016. Fuzzy at what happened to him, he assumes the identity of a police officer, who has the same name as his. He attempts to go back to his year many times by running inside the mysterious tunnel, but to no avail. He decides to work with present Hwayang Serious Crime Unit to find his wife’s whereabouts while solving the serial killings that might help him to return to his time.
His character is strong, well placed and funny most of the time. From being like a puppy in love to confused, panic, rage, to being cool and collected, Choi Jin Hyuk shows it all. He is proving to be quite a strong actor. Watch it and you’ll find yourself when going through the same feels too!
There is the serious and very straight-laced detective from 2017 Kim Seon Jae played by the wonderful Yoon Hyun Min. he played this role very well but did I swoon over him? Okay, I did a little…
The detective partners could be your next OTP.
Supporting team members
When Kwang Ho returns to the police station, something’s amiss. He is fast-forwarded 30 years where all the gadgets are modern and his co-detectives are all different. Luckily, he gets mistaken for a new junior police officer who was supposed to transfer to their unit. Jeon Sung Shik (who looks 30 years older than Kwang Ho) is the only person who recognizes him as his senior from the past police station. They both have to keep his past a secret from the others. Korea is very big on hierarchy, order, and respect for ranking, and Kwang Ho is basically considered as a newbie in the modern world. Kwang Ho, who’s basically an ahjussi with years of experience in his field, gets treated as the maknae of the group, and there’s hilarious rudeness all around.
Lee Yoo Young as Shin Jae Yi
University professor and criminal psychological counsellor in 2016.
She had that “I don”t give a shit” aura around her and I liked her for that.
The story is more light themed though compared to Signal or Children of Nobody. To be honest, just don’t ask for logic, I am not saying it’s illogical but there are lacks of logic in some parts as you will question yourself how this actually happened? That’s why I put this at number 7 on my list.
So good luck guys!
Park Jeong Woo is a prosecutor at Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. One day, he wakes up and finds himself a convict on death row. Suffering from temporary amnesia, Jeong Woo has no idea what transpired to land him in prison. He struggles to recover his memory and clear his name before his time is up.
9. Vampire Prosecutor
Min Tae Yeon (Yeon Jeong Hoon) is a vampire and also a prosecutor in the city of Seoul. He’s been assigned to the “Prosecutor-Police Joint Special Investigation Unit.” The unit is even more awkwardly named in Korean and is a career graveyard according to the older, powerful men who created it. They are not, however, troubled like I am about the justice implications of joining the government’s investigatory and prosecutorial arms in one prosecution headed unit. They are kind of corrupt themselves. Min’s team includes junior prosecutor Yoo Jung In (Lee Young Ah), intern and all-around science and computer guy Choi Dong Man (Kim Joo Young) and Prosecutor Min’s old friend Det. Hwang Soon Bum (Lee Wong Jong). It’s clearly a team that while not explicitly set up to fail is set up to be too small to ultimately succeed. But the team’s supervisor, Chief Prosecutor Yang believes in them. Prosecutor Yoo is determined to do good work.
This drama solves different cases in every episode. Kinda boring in the beginning but you will like it eventually!
When Vampire Prosecutor 3 is finally released…
10. White Christmas
Sushin High School, nicknamed “Prison High,” is an elite boarding school attended by the top 1% of students in the country. Their stellar marks are the result of constant pressure and a strict punishment system, to the point where students abstain from any activities outside of studying and even study on weekends. Furthermore, their only vacation days are the 8 days from Christmas Eve to the first day of the New Year. During this time, the students and faculty leave the school and the school becomes empty.
White Christmas is anything but a traditional K-drama. It isn’t romantic. It isn’t funny. It isn’t melodramatic either. It’s bleak, terrifying, heartbreaking, and disturbing all at once. It’s also fascinating and beautiful in its own dark way.
“After 8 days, walk up the path by the zelkova tree. Under the clock tower, you will see someone dead. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The night that Jesus was born, I curse you.”
The story is about seven students from Sushin high school – an extremely strict school for the smartest students in the country – that get stuck there with their teacher and a psychiatrist who had been in a car accident during their Christmas break because of the heavy snowfall. The students are all there for the same reason: they all received the same disturbing letter. Initially, they assume it was nothing big, but later they discover that there is something more. There is a murderer among them and they are forced to consider whether monsters are born or created.
The show was amazing. The characters were very realistic, the story was really well thought-out, the acting was great and the pace was perfect.
11. Gap Dong/ Memories of Murder
Moo Yeom is a detective. 20 years ago, he was a Buddhist monk, but he got into trouble with a man named Gap Dong. To cut ties with him and cut off whatever karma would arise from his involvement with Gap Dong, Moo Yeom became a detective. After the statute of limitations expired, Gap Dong appears once again. Moo Yeom sets out to catch him once and for all.
My opinion on the drama in total is that it was amazing. It’s by far one of the best dramas I have ever watched and it was really well done too. The characters made sense because of the true case and everything that was going on was really great. There were times when you got goosebumps from Gap Dong’s eerie whistling or when a dead body was found. If you like crime, horror, or killers and detectives in dramas then this is the perfect drama for you. Even if you don’t like any of that it will still be a drama worth your time and you won’t regret watching it, plus who doesn’t love Lee Joon? But I did find some loopholes but I would still give it a shot for “Oska Oppa” (Yoon Sang Hyun in Secret Garden plays Moo Yeom) and Kim Ji Won.
Thank you so much for reading my review on all these dramas. I hope it will be helpful. Please tell me in the comments which drama is your pick and some other suggestions as well.
I am a student of Law and majoring in psychology. I love K-dramas and look like a cute round potato.