[K-DRAMA] Gap Dong (2014)

warning: may contain spoilers

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A crime and thriller drama in search for the real Gapdong..

Plot:

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A total of 9 murders happened in Iltan City, Gyeonggi-do between 1993-1996. The police concluded that a man they called Gap Dong must be behind these crimes. Detective Yang Cheol Gun is convinced that a mentally disabled man named Ha Il Shik is the real Gap Dong. However, on the night that he was supposed to be arrested, Ha Il Shik committed suicide by jumping into an oncoming train’s path. His son, Ha Moo Yeom, from then on, aspired to be a policeman in hopes to prove his father’s innocence. Years later, murders started to happen again in Iltan City and they found out that they were similar to the Gap Dong case. The police realised that Gap Dong must be back. Detective Yang came back to Iltan and led the investigation team while Ha Moo Yeom became a successful detective and joined the the team as well. The sole survivor of the Gap Dong case, Maria Oh, became a psychiatrist inside the jail in hopes to search for Gap Dong as well. Different reasons but same motive, will they be able to successfully catch the real Gap Dong?

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Opinions:

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Many people hated watching idols act in a drama or movie, but I admit that idols make me actually want to watch a certain drama. Lee Joon was the first reason why I wanted to watch this drama followed by the crime and thriller genre of the drama. At times, idols are essential because they certainly help in boosting the ratings and make the drama well known. Without a popular actor, it could’ve been difficult to make the drama the talk of the town in spite of the good plot. The first few episodes were interesting with the serial killings and similar incidents that happened years ago. It began to be annoying when Moo Yeom and Detective Yang started to accuse each other when they were supposed to be on the same side. I also thought that Detective Yang could be Gap Dong. About halfway through the show, we also have another Gap Dong who also turned out to be fake. And then, the real Gap Dong was revealed to be one of them. I felt the storyline wasn’t much highly anticipated during the latter half of the drama. I wished they could’ve cut the episodes shorter and quickly catch him as soon as possible. It became draggy after finding out the real Gap Dong. He was calm, passive and too boring to watch. It wasn’t the Gap Dong that I expected him to be.

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There was little to no romance in the drama so people who love romantic dramas might be disappointed. Most of the characters were trapped inside the Gap Dong case. They couldn’t live in peace so they spent most of their time trying to find out who Gap Dong was. And when they finally figured out the person behind this, they couldn’t just end his life easily even if they wanted to kill him so badly. More than hate, the characters pitied and tried to understand Gap Dong’s intentions. This drama was based from real life serial murders that occurred in Hwaseong. The statute of limitations expired and the case remains unsolved. I think this drama was an attempt to understand the killer as well; that there must be a reason behind why he did these things. It’s not human’s nature to kill someone for fun except if one is intellectually challenged.

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Characters:

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Yoon Sang Hyun as Ha Moo Yeom — His portrayals in Secret Garden and I Hear My Voice were memorable so every time I see him, I am reminded of these funny characters. His voice and manner of speaking is one of a kind. His facial features is certainly not your typical flower boy face as well. In all honesty, I prefer him to be the second male lead instead of being a male lead. I think his acting style fits a “sidekick” better. Male leads usually have great visuals and they act cool all the time and I don’t find Moo Yeom cool at all but sort of childish. Although I’m not saying that he got worse, I don’t count this drama as one of his significant works. His past portrayals left a better impression to me.

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Kim Min Jung as Maria Oh — I am not familiar with Kim Min Jung at all since I’ve never seen her in any drama that I’ve watched. From the first impression, she has a beautiful face with big round eyes. It’s not the typical Korean beauty but her face is easily recognisable and remembered. I think she’ll still look good even without eye makeup. I love how she used her eyes when expressing things. She definitely knew that her eyes are an advantage to her. Kim Min Jung as Oh Maria did okay, but as female lead in the drama, she could have done better.

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Sung Dong Il as Yang Cheol Gun — He’s famous for detective roles but I got to know him after watching him in Answer Me 1997 and 1994. Lately, he appeared in It’s Okay, That’s Love too. He was a nice addition to the cast for he is known to be a veteran actor. He wasn’t able to use his humour that much since he portrayed a serious role. I also noticed that his character kind of faded out during the latter part. His acting skills was quite a waste and the storyline didn’t give him much space to show his skills. But I’m happy to see him in this drama. I wished his humour was more noticeable to add a little fun in the drama.

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Lee Joon as Ryu Tae Oh — Lee Joon is my bias during his MBLAQ days. People criticise idols for acting when they can’t really act, but I’m glad that Joon was highly praised for his commendable acting as Ryu Tae Oh. I also think that he made the show alive and more interesting with his intriguing character. In his past works, we weren’t able to see much of his acting abilities, but this drama was really a breakthrough for him. Whoever casted him as Tae Oh deserves a special mention. His acting actually gives me shivers and he can pass up to be the real Gap Dong. I think it’s going to be much more fun if he was really the real Gap Dong instead of being a copycat. I have mixed feelings regarding his departure from MBLAQ. I missed seeing their performance as 5 members, but I’m happy that he chose a path where he can shine more and enjoy what he’s doing. I think it’s too early to say this, but I can’t wait for the day where he gets casted as a male lead actor.

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Kim Ji Won as Ma Ji Wool — Anyone who watched The Heirs would be familiar with her since she acted the spoiled and annoying girl in that drama. I didn’t recognise her at first but I thought that I’ve seen her somewhere and that’s when I googled her name. I think she’s pretty and I wasn’t used with her character as Ma Ji Wool yet. Rachel Yoo and Ji Wool’s personalities are totally different but I liked how she portrayed Ji Wool. It must be hard for a high school student to be caught up with these Gapdong issues and her thoughts were viewed from the perspective of a teenager. The character was pretty much likeable and easygoing. I’m looking forward to see her as a better actress in the future.

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Ending:

Just like most dramas, the drama ended happily and they finally sent Gap Dong to jail. He was also stabbed with a fork on his eye so we can assume that he will live a miserable life as a prisoner. On the other hand,  Tae Oh died when Gap Dong ordered one of his ‘friends’ to stab him. How I wished it was the other way around. Gap Dong was really a heartless person and he definitely needs to seek medical help for his multiple personality disorder. But I know just like how most of the characters think that it’s right to send him to jail than to kill him. All in all, it was a forgettable ending and I wished the ending had more impact. I really he wished he died in a pit of fire or something. It wasn’t really worth it that he killed more than ten people only ending up inside the jail. The consequence wasn’t enough. The writer went on for a realistic ending. Despite killing a lot of people, a person can easily get away with his crimes.

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Final Thoughts:

I usually love dark and mysterious themes but I still wonder why I didn’t liked this drama. I think I was irritated and annoyed and had the same feelings with the characters wanting to catch Gap Dong. Despite knowing the real Gap Dong, they couldn’t just easily kill him as well. I wasn’t much satisfied with the ending and I felt that I wasted my time watching 20 episodes. The writer could’ve done better in my opinion. Luckily, there was Lee Joon to look forward to. I think he’s really the highlight of the drama. I don’t think rom-com fans will like this drama because of the few romance in it, but viewers who want to watch something new and different would probably appreciate this drama.

Rating: 5/10

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