[K-DRAMA] The Chaser (2012)

warning: may contain spoilers


The Chaser notched many awards for the year 2012. It’s worth checking out this realistic drama.



Baek Hong Suk is a detective with a simple married life. One day, his daughter died in a car accident and this caused his wife to have mental problems, and shortly committed suicide. As a detective, he learns that the car accident is not a simple accident but a conspiracy led by politician Kang Dong Yoon. On the night of the accident, Dong Yoon’s wife was riding the car with a famous idol. Instead of calling the ambulance or asking for help, they ran over the daughter’s body several times and left the scene quietly. Since Kang Dong Yoon was running for presidential candidate, the incident could create noise in his candidacy so he decided to clean up the mess done by his wife. Baek Hong Suk would not let go of this matter easily. He wants to fight for justice and the truth, and seek revenge for everything that they have done to him and his family. Shall justice prevail or will Kang Dong Yoon succeed as President of the nation?



The Chaser was not the most talked about drama in the international scene but it surely gained recognition and viewers in Korea. It also managed to be nominated and actually won some awards; this included Best Drama of 2012. It saddens me that no one has done recaps and maybe a few did write a review on this great drama. In spite of the praises garnered, it did not join the international hallyu wave simply because there were no idols acting in this drama. It was a great drama with brilliant plot and actors, but I prefer many other action/thriller dramas. Maybe because I prefer action rather than talking. I think this drama focused more on brains and tactics rather than using body and strength. Now, that I’m used to watching action dramas, I can easily guess  what’s going to happen next and it was the same while watching this drama. It wasn’t thrilling enough for me.


Like many other great dramas, The Chaser depicted the use of money and power in a negative way. A politician who does everything and anything to achieve the highest position in the country. He doesn’t care about hurting and fooling others. He considers it as a game and gambles everything for power and greed. He uses money to shut people’s mouth. Another man with a simple life and heart is suddenly left with nothing except himself. He doesn’t have a way to fight back to those who took away his family from him simply because he has no power and money. If you’re rich and well-known, you will easily get along with the crowd, but if you’re not, you’re often forgotten and just shoved to the side. Even if you’re on the right, people will not notice you and even accuse you that you’re wrong. And even if the rich is accused, he easily gets away with his crimes because he can simply bribe people. It happens every time. Even in my own country where the citizens pity the politicians who are accused of corruption simply because they are famous. It’s a very very realistic drama, and even if it’s quite predictable, it’s still worth watching it.


I love that this drama has two distinct personas.  One is fighting for justice and righteousness while the other is fighting for his own greed and selfishness. They never rethink or have second thoughts on their stand and they stick to their beliefs till the end of the drama. No one’s giving up. The drama is so good and this was mainly due to the actor’s great contribution. I mean, Son Hyun Joo and Kang Sang Joong was a perfect combo for this drama. They may not be your favourite idols and oppas, but they will become your favourite ahjusshis.



Son Hyun Joo as Detective Baek Hong Suk — I was surprised myself that I haven’t seen any other Son Hyun Joo’s dramas before. I’m definitely missing a lot because this man is good! He even got 2 awards as Best Actor in this drama. He showed more facial expressions and emotions than Sang Joong. I think that his role was more difficult to portray than the presidential candidate as he needs to show how enraged he was and how desperate he was in seeking revenge. I like the fact that he was able to accomplish that in a natural way and it didn’t feel like overacting to me. Although he lacks a little in the looks department, he’s definitely A+ in acting!


Kang Sang Joong as Kang Dong Yoon — A very charismatic ahjusshi actor. I can remember him from City Hunter and I liked his role there even if he was a bad guy. Kang Sang Joong is well remembered because of his distinct voice and way of talking. No one else can top his ‘romantic’ voice. His role as Kang Dong Yoon was perfect for him. I noticed that this character doesn’t talk a lot and he often showed a lot of gestures and facial expressions. Even if he always has a poker face, you can see his emotions through his eyes. He’s a veteran actor indeed. Even if his character was hateful, you will admire Kang Sang Joong’s acting very much. I look forward to his future roles. I wish he takes a happier role next time, but I doubt that’ll happen. lol



Go Joon Hee as Seo Ji Won & Kim Sung Ryung as Seo Ji Soo — Oh man, these two beautiful ladies! I remembered them from Queen of Ambition, a drama which they also acted together. Now, I’m confused because all the scenes that I remembered are from that drama and not from The Chaser. I guess QOA left a big impact on me than TC. This drama was filmed first and Queen of Ambition followed. I love that both these actresses have improved their acting skills. There’s similarities with the roles that they portrayed on both dramas, but you can definitely see that they got better in terms of acting and it did not worsened. I’m looking forward to their next projects, but not together please, so I won’t be confused again!


Jang Shin Young as Shin Hye Ra — She looks new to me since I haven’t seen her around. From her first scene, I don’t know if she really speaks that way, or if it’s because of her role, or if she imitated Kang Sang Joong’s way of speaking. I found it annoying and amusing at the same time. As episodes passed, I finally got used to her way of talking and I guess it seemed more natural as time passed. That’s one thing that I could remember from her. Also, she stood out a lot despite not being the female lead actress. Out of all female actresses in this drama, it was Shin Young that I could remember the most. I couldn’t say that her acting was outstanding, but it was one of a kind.


Ending: (spoilers)

One thing that I didn’t like about the drama was the ending, because it was predictable. I know that they will be able to take down Kang Dong Yoon. In the end, justice still prevailed. Even if in reality, I doubt that justice will always prevail, a drama finishes with a happy ending most of the time. Viewers will also complain if they don’t give a happy ending. Endings mean a lot to viewers and if they allowed Kang Dong Yoon to succeed, it will break many viewers heart and all the journey towards the 16th episode will become worthless. For me, I prefer endings with a twist; either a good or bad ending..as long as it is something that I don’t expect to happen.


Final Thoughts:

The Chaser is labeled under action, crime and thriller. It was just right to associate these words to the drama, but it wasn’t extreme as what I had expected. In fact, I wasn’t thrilled at all. Watching many action dramas, I could easily guess what’s going to happen next and this was the case with The Chaser. Great plot, actors, and writing, but definitely lacked something. I wasn’t looking forward to the next scenes and episodes. This drama did not excite me. Still, it’s a drama to ponder about because of it’s realistic plot. If you’re sick of cheesy and fluffy Korean dramas, then try to watch this eyeopener drama.

Rating: 7/10



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