Typically, crime and thrillers are better covered on the big screen rather than on the small screen, at least in my experience. I have found that Korean dramas end up focusing too much on the (cheesy) romancing even though the overarching plot may have nothing to do with romance. Thankfully, '38 Police Squad' is entirely without the romancing...or so I dearly hope.
Busy at work with dem intense matches of Solitaire.
Ma Dong Seok, a seasoned actor who boasts of many projects under his belt, takes the reins as the lead in this series. Ma portrays Baek Sung Il, the head of a tax collection unit at Seoul City Hall, who has turned weary, wry, and worn from years of working a thankless job with no prospects of advancement and constant pressure from the uppers. The suicide of Sung Il's close colleague, which we saw in the very beginning of this episode, drives home the harsh realities of the job: corruption runs rampant in high places, almost to the point that it's expected. And the worst part of all is knowing about the corruption yet being powerless to do anything about it. However, Sung Il sticks with the thankless job, possibly because he has nowhere else to turn but also because he still holds desperately onto the hope that he can change things. The tenacity sure is admirable, especially for someone who faces near-certain failure for every task he takes on and sits dead last in job performance.
"People tell me I look angry when I'm just sitting still."
Sooyoung makes even a drab grey suit look good.
Girls' Generation's Sooyoung plays Chun Sung Hee, one of Sung Il's underlings who is the only woman on his task force. The fact that she is a woman in what can painfully be considered a 'man's job' in Korea makes her the target of easy disregard, particularly from men. The scene in which she was shoved rather violently and rudely by a tax evader displays a clear instance of this unequal power play between men and women in Korea...or I'm overanalyzing the scene and the guy was just a douche. In any case, I appreciate the fact that the drama added Sooyoung to the task force even though she may be the only woman. The drama didn't focus on her womanly charms at all, dressing her up in tightly buttoned up suits and using very natural, minimal makeup--very different from how she's usually done up during Girls' Generation promotions. I think this was intentionally done so that we would judge her for her abilities on the job, though unfortunately she's still not quite on equal footing with the men. At least she won't be called an incompetent hussy, right?
You mean you didn't know that rich people avoid taxes like the very plague?
And then we've got Seo In Guk, who plays a slick, sly, and smooth-talking crook named Yang Jung Do. Though his exact agenda isn't completely transparent at this moment, we do know that he is working for a bigger, organized ring of con artists with an even bigger agenda.
Yes, that is the same guy who played CEO of 'Smiley Distribution' in 'Ddanddara'
The premise of the story is that the task force chief will join hands with a con man to fight corruption and collect due taxes, so we already know that the two will cross paths...or have already crossed paths as we saw near the end of the first episode. It was the setup for the remainder of the story, and I have to say everything seems very promising so far. I'm looking forward to how this story will pan out for the next 15 episodes!