I had a terrible time starting this series, y’all. I was raised to say “please” and “thank you” on a regular basis, and I’m raising my children in Texas, so we add “ma’am” and “sir” when needed. The female lead of I Hear Your Voice, Jang Hye Sung, was NOT raised that way and she got on my nerves at the beginning. There was a point when she finally said “thank you” to someone and I actually said, OUT LOUD, “How did those words taste coming out of your mouth?” Made my husband laugh and he was in a different room!
Thankfully, I Hear Your Voice is full of character growth, and not just from Attorney Jang (Lee Bo Young). Park Soo Ha (Lee Jong Suk) goes from an emotion-driven teenager to a calmer, more adult character, and adorable puppy Cha Kwan Woo (Yoon Sang Hyun) learns to see the world a little less idealistically without becoming bitter. Even our archvillain, Min Joon Gook (Jung Woong In), had an interesting character growth arc, but he had the unfortunate tendency of trying to force it on other people.
My favorite part was the wise old men of the series (think Obi-Wan Kenobi, but less sand). Attorney Shin and Judge Kim were absolutely and hilariously human, but guided the attorneys and prosecutors they associated with through these difficult waters with a few well-placed words. The scene where Attorney Cha helps Attorney Shin overcome his self-doubt was hilarious and touching. Honestly, Attorney Cha was a rock star. His character added so much to this series!
I have to heap praise on Lee Jong Suk’s head. He did an INCREDIBLE job of showing his character get crushed and rebuilding himself over and over again. And his very realistic reactions smacked of teenager, helped along by some excellent writing. Lee Bo Young did a fabulous job too — I very much believed her sassy, brash self, and her character was very well-rounded.
But my highest praise goes to Jung Woong In as Min Joon Gook. He was stellar! I could see the moments where he doubted himself and then decided to stick to his course. He was dark without seeming outlandish, and his motivations were believable in light of the psychopathic bent to his character. He added a lot to the intensity of the series and propelled it forward.
I can’t leave out the writing. OH, THE WRITING. This is why I stuck with the series even in the hard moments. The noona romance went from squicky to adorable, the plot was tightly crafted and twisty, and the characters were so believable. I lovedlovedLOVED how being together made Hye Sung and Soo Ha better people. And somehow, in all of this, there was even a “slice of life” feel, because I got to know the characters so well that a lot of the situational jokes they made at the end made me laugh SO HARD. And that’s because each character’s personality quirks had been so well established throughout the series. It wouldn’t have worked otherwise.
I Hear Your Voice was incredibly well done. I can see why it swept the poll. Thank you, drama fans, for getting me to watch this masterpiece. I bow in your general direction.
(Gentle Viewer Alert: There were some swears and there was a LOT of blood and some violence. Because, you know, serial killer.)
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi