Director: Hwang Ui-kyung
Cast: Yoo Ji-tae, Woo Do-hwan, and Ryu Hwa-young
Choi Kang-woo a former police and leader of Taeyang Insurance’s investigator’s team, decides to create his own investigation team, Mad Dog, after an airplane crash that took the life of his wife and son.
Two years later, he meets Kim Min-Joon, a genius former swindler who is the younger brother of Kim Beom-joon, the co-pilot of the crashed JH 801 airplane, who was touted of crashing the aircraft on purpose in a suicide attempt.
Mad Dog K-Drama Review:
I’m going, to be honest, Mad Dog could be a boring show for a lot of people. Why? Because even though at its core, it was a typical crime drama with raging power politics and a band of underdogs trying to uncover the truth, it put a unique spin on the genre.
The concept of the drama was based on Insurance crime and for those who don’t know much about it, it might as well be a little complicated to follow.
And The scenes where all the schemes and cases were explained were dialogue heavy with some technical terms and for watchers who want their shows easy to digest, it could be a bit of a problem.
That’s not the case with me though. I don’t like my dramas to hand me everything on a platter. I want to be able to think about the events taking place and then have this lightbulb moment of ‘Oh, so this was what happened.’ I like it when a show makes me replay some scenes to catch a dialogue I missed because this means that I care and a drama has to be good if it makes me care.
I’m not gonna say Mad Dog was perfect. It had some flaws here and there, some plot holes, some illogical things but when you looked at it as a bigger picture you saw that actually yes, this could’ve happened in real life too.
It wasn’t far-fetched from reality and you realized that the plot was indeed very well-connected and backed up by smart characters with brilliant planning who were always trying to one-up each other. While the show started off slow, focusing more on introducing all the characters and their dilemmas, once it hit the 9th episode mark- it
skyrocketed and the real action came into play.
However, the strength of the show wasn’t its plot, rather it was the character development. This was a story about how a team (Mad Dog) of lovable individuals each with their own unique talents joined hands with a lone wolf, a scam artist (Kim Min Joon), and how together they grew into one tight-knit group that was closer than family.
Every role was beautifully constructed and the moment I felt that a character wasn’t getting much attention, the script changed its course and swallowed down all my complaints.
Besides our amazing team, there were some very endearing side characters (Nurse Sem and Manager Park) along with intriguing and well-portrayed antagonists that helped the show retain its charisma.
Yoo Ji Tae is an actor that emotes with his eyes and Mr. Choi with his vengeful looks and determined actions gave me so much life, especially because YJT’s acting was exceptionally brilliant towards the end.
Jo Jae Yun (my all-time favorite supporting actor) once again brought forth a memorable character. Cheetah shi was so cute with his matchmaking skills, softie heart, and gangster ways.
Kim Hye Sung with his adorable Pentium; a genius and kind-hearted boy, stole many hearts and Ryu Hwa Young gave life to the badass, headstrong but caring Jang Ha Ri that you couldn’t help but adore.
But, despite the presence of the more experienced and brilliant cast members, Woo Do Hwan once again snatched all the spotlights. He should honestly be named ‘show-stealer’ because whenever he takes a role he owns it so completely that other people are given a deadly run for their money.
Try as I might, I couldn’t believe this was just the second show he’s starred in because he’s just too fucking good. He’s the kind of artist, I can imagine in every possible role because of his humongous talent and versatile personality.
Without bias, I can say that despite being a newbie he’s one of the best actors in the drama world. I love the way he walks, his charming quirks, his beautiful smile, and his amazing voice.
So there was no surprise in the fact that Woo Do Hwan’s Kim Min Joo slayed me completely and then went for more. Kim Min Joo with his German adlibs, sneaky personality, and fearless swag was truly one of a kind.
He was incredibly smart with a talent for annoying people to death. He loved pulling everyone’s leg, all the while calmly laughing while doing so. He was a bit arrogant, definitely not one to mess with but ultimately, a huge sweetheart. I loved how realistic his character was.
He didn’t develop magical superpowers when people came to kill him (and they came a lot) nope, he innocently got beaten every time instead, was a huge scaredy cat and couldn’t even throw a punch properly. And I loved that.
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The highlight of the show was seeing him warm up to other people and let go of his trust issues and finally be given a family that he could rely upon. And the dynamics within the Mad Dog team (Kim Min Joon included) were simply everything. The way they had each other’s back was extremely heart-touching.
These people had so much love for each other that at one point, I was shipping everyone with everyone. I loved their little missions, their secretive and conspiring shared glances, their smart strategies, and their protectiveness of one another, so much.
And last but not least: The romance. Even though it was done as a subplot only, it was so so good. Kim Min Joon and Jang Ha Ri were a match made in heaven. The small moments they had with each other were so incredibly sweet and their chemistry was the fire.
The minor touch of romance in this show was far more well-done than some of the wholesome love stories I have seen. I think I’ve never wished for a kiss scene before in my entire life. But ah, we can’t have it all now, can we?
While Mad Dog did have some great ‘Oh shit, what’s going to happen next’ scenes, it wasn’t a show centered on ‘the next big thing’. The beauty of the show was in the small, intimate moments between the characters, the way they grew on each other, and the way they evolved together and as individuals.
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If you let it, Mad Dog will make you feel. It will touch your heart deeply and make you feel joy, sadness, and love. So much love.
I really enjoyed the OST of the show. From NiiHwa’s popping and catchy track to Eric Nam’s soulful ballad- the soundtrack did great things for the mood of the drama.
I loved the cast and their antics, so much so, that I really didn’t have the heart to let them go till the very end. Although the ending was a little bit rushed, it left me with a wide smile and some heartfelt happy tears.
Verdict: Mad Dog K-Drama Review
I recommend this so much. However, a lot of people may be confused with the insurance talk. Just pay attention to the conversations had and things will make sense!