Drama Banchan – A Plethora of Killers

collageIt’s almost Halloween, and with it will be the end of our Halloween blog post celebration.  But there is still time to throw in one last scary themed compilation.  This time we are going to be looking at the best of the best dramas involving serial killers.  Because who doesn’t love a good mass murderer now and then?

-Gap Dong-


Moo Yeom is a detective. 20 years ago, he was a Buddhist monk, but he got into trouble with a serial killer named Gap Dong. To cut ties with him and cut off whatever karma would arise from his involvement with Gap Dong, Moo Yeom became a detective. After the statute of limitations expired, Gap Dong appears once again. Moo Yeom sets out to catch him once and for all. ~~ Drama series is inspired by the “Hwaseong serial murder case”.

KMUSE: I equally love and hate this drama.  On one hand, there is Lee Joon playing a serial killer, which was AWESOME.  Talk about someone I could watch being evil 24/7.  His hero-worship of killer Gap Dong and eventual continuation of the murders was so well done.  You know he is the killer from episode 1, yet he still makes every moment a smorgasbord of suspense.

a16KMUSE: Sadly the writers then decided to screw it up by making it into a psychological mess.  Questions on whether a killer is made or born wander amid a bunch of plot lines involving the stupidest woman alive.  To say it is a hot mess is an understatement.  HOWEVER, Lee Joon’s scary actions do a lot to make up for the stupidity of the cops and I would still suggest this as a drama to watch.

-I Hear Your Voice-


A thriller courtroom drama with fantasy and romantic comedy elements.  It will depict the story of Jang Hye Sung, a bold, sassy, thick-faced, comical, and materialistic public defender who becomes a lawyer after overcoming poverty and painful memories from her childhood.  She comes to realizations about society and justice after meeting Park Soo Ha, a 19-year-old boy who reads other people’s thoughts. Jang Hye Sung is actually Soo Ha’s first love after she gave a decisive testimony on his father’s murder case 10 years ago and Soo Ha promised to protect her from the killer’s threats.

s5CLKYTTA: I loved how our heroine isn’t a self-sacrificing, wilting flower; she’s got spunk and she’s tough.  She doesn’t set out to be the heroine, she just tries to do the right thing and she regrets her actions.  The scariest thing to me was how things happen in life that can make a completely normal person snap and become a villain.  I still don’t sympathize with the killer, but I can see how twisted his life got. To me the biggest villain was the second female lead’s father, so much heartache would have been avoided if he were a better man. I love a good noona romance, add in some suspense and catfights and I was a happy camper.  It doesn’t end all vague, or with a sudden surprise ending and I was thankful for that.  Side note: This drama had a lot of food in it, and I remember really wanting to eat one of her “dog food” dishes.

KMUSE: I agree about how awesome this heroine was.  The OTP (One True Pairing) did a great job of supporting each other through a horrible trial as well as overcoming their age gap.  I also really enjoyed the bad guy in this one.  Sure he was extremely over the top (who cuts off their own hand to frame someone for murder?) but in a good way.  To this day I get the creeps if I hear that Jackson 5 song and think of a phone ringing in an empty house.  They did a great job of combining suspense and romance into an entertaining drama.

JENNIE: I wish every Kdrama couple could work this well together. There wasn’t a bunch of un-needed drama. (I’m choosing to forget the amnesia part) and they ended up happy. As far as killers go, I don’t think I’ve ever been as terrified of someone as I was of Joonkook. I constantly second guessed his motives and every time I thought I knew what he was capable of, he surprised me. The suspense in this show is non-stop right from the beginning. One of the few dramas I consider (almost) perfect!

-I Remember You-


A romantic thriller about a mystery solving duo who bicker and fight but end up developing feelings for each other. A complicated love story between a criminal profiler who uses his sharp eye to analyze crime scenes and an investigator female cop who stalks him. The two solve crime cases together while hiding each one’s true heart, going through the love-hate relationship and healing in the process.

a5KMUSE: Its been almost three months since this drama finished and I am still going through withdrawals.  The mystery, the bromance, the extremely sexy #1 bias who kicks every other biases booty (SEO IN GUK 4EVER).  It has everything you might want in an intellectual serial killer drama.

JENNIE: Just looking at that poster gives me all the feels! The relationships between the guys were AMAZING. Simply seeing them together reminds me of how much I love all of them.

KMUSE:  I love how intense this drama was without going into the actual gore and horror of a serial killer situation.  It tends to focus more on the why’s and how’s of the killers (this is how you do psychological Gap Dong writers….) along with some epic bromance that is a tad bit on the unusual side.  This is definitely the drama I would choose if I had to pick one from this list.

JENNIE: I loved this drama too. If the characters can make me think the way this drama did, it’s a huge win. Light on the romance side, but that didn’t bother me. I was more interested in what was going through the killer’s minds. All the awkward dinner parties were the best too. Talk about a screwed up little family. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sympathetic to the killer’s lives. Excellent watch.

s3KMUSE:  D.O also deserves a quick shout out.  He was only in the first few episodes (playing the younger version of the big bad) but stole every scene he was in.  No way would I think that this stone cold killer could be a cute idol EXO boy.  My mind will never be able to see him as cutesy again.  That is some amazing acting right there.

JENNIE: I was more afraid of him than the adult killer. Kid gets props!



Ryuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya are orphans who grew up in an orphanage called Mahoroba no Ie. When they were elementary school students, an orphanage staff, who took care of them like an older sister, was killed by someone before their very eyes. The two of them gave statements to the police, but their words were squashed by a police official with a gold watch and the case was also covered up for some reason. 15 years later, Ikuo has become a detective. Skilled at catching whiff of cases, he has the highest rate of arrests in his police precinct. On the other hand, Tatsuya has risen to the top of the underworld as a leading member of an organized crime group. A police and a gangster with only each other to trust. The objectives of these two people, who should never have any association, are to locate the gold watch man within the police, find out the truth and expose the darkness of this all powerful organization.


KMUSE: SQUEEEEEEEE!  It is a double dose of my Japanese biases in this crime procedural that stars Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun. This is a drama that deals with a bunch of various serial killers, not just one.  Not to mention our vigilante duo are no slackers in the kill count.  For those of you who are interested in watching this drama, come join us at Operation Kdrama Chat where we are currently discussing this show.  Think of a book group, only for dramas.

I promise you that you will not be sad you started this one.  By the end of episode 1 you will be hooked on this dark and gritty drama.

-Death Note-


A Shinigami (Death God) drops a notebook in the human world where a young genius picks it up. The notebook displays the message: “The human whose name is written in this note shall die” It is the notebook of death that can determine when a person will die. Light Yagami, an extremely bright elite university student is the one to possess this ultimate tool that should remain only in the hands of God. Light decides to create an ideal world and begins to hold the scales to judge the criminals in his discretion.

a4 KMUSE:  What would you do, if you could kill the worst humans on the earth?  This is the theme of the 2 Japanese movies “Death Note” and how power can eventually corrupt.  I would suggest that people watch the movies over the most recent drama adaptation since it was grittier and, I felt, a better telling of the story. 

-God’s Gift 14 Days-


Kim Soo Hyun always pushed her daughter, Saet Byeol, to not only do well in school but also to always come in first place. But tragedy strikes when Saet Byeol is kidnapped and killed, leaving Soo Hyun and her husband, Han Ji Hoon, with no clues as to who could have done such a terrible thing and why. Detective Ki Dong Chan struggles to find the killer, while Hyeon Woo Jin, who shares a past with Soo Hyun, tries to do what he can. But Soo Hyun is given a chance to go back in time to change the course of events.

a1JENNIE: I started this drama because I heard a lot of people talking about it. I wasn’t keen on the premise, but after listening to a few impressions (while the show was still airing) I decided to give it a shot. I’m super sensitive about stories where kids get hurt. I can’t help it, it’s the mom in me. This show certainly had my attention from the start. It made me rethink my own parenting and what I would do if one of my children went missing. My only complaint was the vague ending.

KMUSE: Have to agree about the ending.  It was too vague.  But with that exception I found it to be a marvelous suspenseful watch.  I swear that I had the urge to follow my kids around for days after watching a few of these episodes.  I also really enjoyed discovering actor Jo Seung Woo and I really hope that he signs up for another drama soon. 

JENNIE: When it comes to strong female characters, however, Soohyun sure knew how to fight for what she wanted. Even when everyone else saw her as crazy. There were so many moments when I cheered her on for doing the right thing. She rocked the part!

KMUSE: This is the 2nd time Lee Bo Young is on our list, so obviously she knows how to choose great characters.  I also thought that her strength and intensity stole the show. 

JENNIE: Even though the ending was a HUGE let down, I’d still recommend this one. The suspense was killer. Pun intended. Happy Halloween everyone!!

*All Synopsis are from MyDramalist.com



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