Rookie Cops K-Drama Review
Director: Kim Byung-soo
Cast: Kang Daniel, Chae Soo-bin, Lee Shin-young, and Park Yoo-na. Streaming: Disney Hotstar
Rookie Cops follows the stories of freshmen recruits at the elite Korean National Police University (KNPU), which is said to be one of the most conservative and exclusive campuses in Korea. Wi Seung-hyun (Kang Daniel) is an honors freshman who wants to take after his father.
Everything is going according to plan until he encounters Go Eun-Kang (Chae Soo-bin). The youth investigation drama depicts the students’ dreams, love, challenges, and ambitions.
Rookie Cops K-Drama Review:
I wasn’t ready to expect anything from this. The most recent youth dramas, especially another drama of the exact same theme that came out last year, didn’t let me anticipate much out of this.
The sole reason I wanted to watch was the cast and the “coming of age” tag on the profile. But, as I finished this, a sudden realization hit me, and I was left in awe. It might not seem so at first, but “Rookie Cops” truly justifies the “coming of age” genre through its storyline, screenplay, and various elements.
The young first-year freshmen at Korean National Police University (KNPU), who are passionate about their campus life, strive to grow and learn while facing challenges and tackling them together, in order to become full-fledged police officers.
Keeping at the center, the lead couple, this show, in actuality, puts a group of students on the pedestal, which the main couple is a part of. This should be enough to gist the story, I feel.
Given the genre and storyline, I don’t think I should be writing detailed character descriptions, as the show is hugely character-driven, emphasizing individual growth.
The group of best friends at the KNPU include Wi Seung Hyun (Kang Daniel), Ko Eun Kang (Chae Soo Bin), Kim Tak (Lee Shin Young), Gi Ha Na (Park Yoo Na), Woo Joo Young (Min Do Hee), Shin Ah Ri (Chun Young Min), Yoo Dae Il (Park Sung Joon) and Seo Bum Joo (Kim Woo Suk).
The lead couple pairing is obvious but I suggest you should not guess the rest till the latter half of the show, haha. There are so many other familiar faces and mentioning them will take a while so I will just leave it upto you, to go check in the above section.
Plot development is the best thing about the drama. Let me tell you that the development is not steady, that is, it doesn’t have a primary goal towards which the drama is leading; doesn’t that what coming-of-age mean?
The way new elements come into the scenario, get flourished, and finally get submerged into the overall essence, is what I loved about the show. The pacing was good and elements weren’t really consistent, given that aspects like romance and thriller come into existence at different times and during later episodes. Nevertheless, I liked it from beginning to end.
The fresher’s life on the campus, that too a specialized school like KNPU, was the primary topic, keeping senior-junior culture and school bullying at the center. As the students successfully bridge the generation gap and move forward, that’s where the romance starts, but even so, I’m glad, that part wasn’t
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obviously showcased. The soft romance (sometimes wild, haha) was engaging and enjoyable. Also, there are more than one couple and all of the relationships depicted a healthy exchange of love, warmth, and affection, including friendship and elderly as well as family aspects.
Moving forward, as they throw light on academia and investigation, the thriller parts gradually start unfolding and becomes obvious much later in the second half, whilst, they had been throwing shades to it in the manner of laying a background, since the beginning of the show, if you could notice.
These led to drastic events towards the end (in the last 4 episodes). Through all these, the only thing that was constant was a comedy; the fun elements were entertaining and it involved all the characters.
Kim Byung Soo is a master director of the industry, having more than 10 popularly acclaimed dramas in over 15 years. All these have been reflected in this particular show, contributing to its skills.
The screenplay management, organization of elements, screen-editing, sequencing of events, cinematography, etc are well taken care of. The cinematography was apt for the campus story and slice-of-life elements with bright palettes and shining hues. The camera work during monologues and peak moments was of particular impression. The pacing was perfect.
The “Rookie Cops” is overall a very good drama with the perfect balance of everything, and should be watched by everyone. The cast could be the primary reason you opt for the show but I am sure you’ll be encaptured by the story, the elements, the characters, and most importantly the messages because it’s worth investing your time into. MUST WATCH.