Trolling the Netflix Waters: What to Watch and What to Throw Back Part 2

It’s that time of week for another batch of Asian drama/movie recommendations for those of you who are searching Netflix for something to binge.  Come join me as I hunt down some cop themed dramas that are must watch and one that you should avoid like the plague.

Stranger (Secret Forest)

This is one of those rare dramas where the writing and acting are completely equal and create a drama which is both suspenseful and unexpected to the very end.  Those of you who follow the blog know that I am a HUGE Cho Seung Woo fan.  And in most dramas he steals all of my accolades.  But in Stranger, he was perfectly matched with Bae Doo Na and their performance was seamless.

I will note that it does take a few episodes to really get entrenched into the story.  It kind of throws you into the action and you need a bit to realize the relationships between all the players.  But once you are caught up on who is who the action and suspense just keeps on coming.

Synopsis: Hwang Shi-Mok (Cho Seung-Woo) had brain surgery when he was a child, which caused him to lack emotion. Now, Hwang Shi-Mok works as a prosecutor. He is rational but cold and lonely. He is also one of the only prosecutors not involved in corruption. One day, a dead body is thrown in front of him. He meets Police Lieutenant Han Yeo-Jin (Bae Doo-Na) at a murder crime scene. They work together to eradicate corruption at the prosecutor’s office and solve a serial murder case. (Asianwiki)

Prison Playbook

This is a unique slice of life drama about a famous baseball player who goes to jail and his experiences with various inmates and guards.  Yes, this sounds like an odd plot for a drama but when you have the Reply Series PD behind the helm you just push play and prepare to be entertained.  It was one of the best dramas of the past year and only available on Netflix so chances are you might have missed this solid gem.

Synopsis: Drama series depicts the story of prisoners and staff at a prison.

Je-Hyeok (Park Hae-Soo) is the best relief pitcher in Korea. He will go to the U.S. and sign a contract with a major league team. One night, he hears his sister screaming and sees a man running out of her apartment. Je-Hyeok and the man get into a physical struggle with Je-Hyeok striking the man with a rock. Later, Je-Hyeok receives a 1-year prison sentence for using excessive force. Devastated, Je-Hyeok must adapt to life in prison.

Meanwhile, Joon-Ho (Jung Kyoung-Ho) is a friend of Je-Hyeok and works in the prison as an officer. He waits for Je-Hyeok’s arrival. (Asianwiki)

A Violent Prosecutor

This was a quirky & fun swindle movie (It is amazing how many swindling themed movies South Korea releases. )  While it doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre it was highly entertaining.  Both Hwang Jung Min & Gang Dong-Won are very likable actors and have the acting chops to breeze by any plot holes on their charisma.

Synopsis:  Byun Jae-Wook (Hwang Jung-Min) is a short-tempered prosecutor who only pursues the truth. He is famous for his tough investigations. A suspect, under the interrogation of Byun Jae-Wook, is then found dead. Byun Jae-Wook is arrested and gets 15 years in prison.

Five years later, Byun Jae-Wook meets good-looking con man, Chi-Won, in prison. Chi-Won knows about Byun Jae-Wook’s case. Byun Jae-Wook feels Chi-Won could carry out his plan outside of prison. Using his knowledge as a former prosecutor, he gets Chi-Won acquitted. Byun Jae-Wook prepares a counterattack on those who framed him. (Asianwiki)

Avoid at all costs


We tried to recap this drama because we were searching for something to replace the Prison Playbook hole in our Dramaworld.  This was not a successful replacement.  If you want to watch characters (who are somewhat annoying) battle the trials of police life than you might like this one.  But be prepared for no positive emotional payout and a lot of pouty angsting.

There you have it.  This week’s recommendations of what to watch now that Netflix is a major drama source.

Til the next recommendation,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

9 thoughts on “Trolling the Netflix Waters: What to Watch and What to Throw Back Part 2

  1. This is the first place where I’ve heard that LIVE was bad. Honestly I am in no place to comment about it because I only watched two episodes. Did plan to watch the rest but couldn’t continue. However, i liked of what I saw. It was a fresh take on police dramas and Noh Hee Kyung being a veteran writer again managed to bring the right emotions. Well I suppose to each their own.

  2. “Live” was pretty predictable, and gives a fairly horrifying example of what the police force is like in SK (hey, they produced it, so it isn’t an outside biased look), particularly when it comes to crimes against women and women’s role in the force. It’s a good cast underutilized. And of course, don’t confuse it with “Life,” which is the second outing from the author of “Stranger,” and includes many of the actors from that drama, including Cho Seung-woo.

    As for “Stranger,” I tell everyone I know that they must watch it. For those who struggle to read captions, episode 1 is a challenge, but the payoff is spectacular. This is one primo ensemble cast living up to their full potential, and I can’t praise enough tvN for giving a first-time writer the chance to debut with this drama.

    If you’re looking for more to recommend, you can do no better than “Misaeng.” “Nine” is also worth a look. You might also check out Seasons 1 and 2 of “Hello My Twenties” and food porn “Let’s Eat.”

  3. I liked Cho Seung Woo in Forest, but I loved him in Life (not to be confused with Live). Prison Playbook is one drama that remains a special place in the heart. Wish Netflix would contract with TvN since it’s hard to get them on legal streaming sites.

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