It amazes me how few people watched this drama back when it aired in 2012. But I guess that is what makes it the perfect topic for my Hidden Gem post. It has everything you could want in a Korean superhero, crime, noir show….well, maybe a bit more romance, but other than that, it has it all. So come join me as I convince you to check out the always entertaining Hero 2012.
**I am using the title Hero 2012 since that is what it was called back when it aired. Not to be confused with Lee Joon Ki’s drama also named Hero that was released in 2009.
Synopsis: Set in the near future, the country of South Korea has gone bankrupt. In the fictional city of Mooyoung, irregularities and corruption become rampant. By chance, Kim Heug Cheol receives superhuman strength and he fights against the corruption plaguing the city of Mooyoung.
Why You Should Watch
Yang Dong Geun is one of those mysterious actors that pops up every now and then in a drama and steals the scenes away from the leads. Kind of like a young Korean Bill Murray. Not really sure what makes YDG choose the roles he does, because they are all over the genre spectrum, but I always enjoy when he shows up. He is currently starring in the drama Missing Nine which inspired this post in the first place.
In Hero, he plays Kim Heug Cheol all around black sheep and slacker 3rd son of the mayor of Mooyoung. Unable to fight his corrupt family’s evil ways he chooses instead to drink and wench his life away. After being shot, his father saves Heug Cheol’s life by inserting a military serum that causes the body to regenerate any damage immediately. Of course, he uses his new immortality to fight corruption and crime as an underground Hero of the people.
You should also check this drama out if you like more of a gritty noir feel to your shows. I wouldn’t classify this one as 100% noir, but it is enough to give you that feel without all the extreme tragic ending situations that usually accompany the genre.
This is also my favorite role of leading lady Han Chae Ah. Sadly, she has been pigeonholed into evil 2nd lead territory since this drama. But she shines as the tough as nails cop who’s doing her best to live a moral life.
The Few Negatives
Hero 2012 was actually one of the earlier OCN dramas, back before cable channels were really a force to be reckoned with. The ratings were not really strong enough to give the show a second season (more often than not, the format of OCN back at the beginning was to produce multiple season crime dramas) and I felt it left some loose threads because it had an open ending. Not the type of open ending that leaves a fan dying from a cliffhanger but one that could easily have furthered the story if a second season had been approved.
I would have also enjoyed a bit more romance between our leads. However, this is an OCN drama so I can understand why the romance is somewhat lacking. OCN just doesn’t like to add romance to their crime.
The final negative is having to hunt through some of the less legal sites to watch it. Sadly, it was removed from Hulu’s collection back when they ended their contract with Dramafever but I promise it is worth the effort if you like this kind of drama.
I hope it inspires you to give this drama a try and spread the love to other kaddicts as well.
Til next time,