Kim Nam Gil is back and is better than ever in The Fiery Priest (Hot Blooded Priest). The opening episodes come out strong with the perfect mix of humor and serious social issues. Come join me as I share my thoughts on these quirky characters and the events of the first hour.
For those of you just discovering our blog, I am Kmuse, one of the main bloggers at Dramas with a Side of Kimchi. I will be bringing you my opinions on some of the episodes. Why only some you might be asking? You not only get myself doing recaps, but also Clkytta is joining in as well. A little about me: I am a mother of three and an avid kdrama watcher. I love to watch literally everything. There are very few currently airing dramas that I am not watching, so if you have any questions about them (or really any drama since I have seen an insane amount) feel free to ask me in the comments. Or better yet come follow our facebook page and ask me there. For those of you who have not read my past recaps, I am one of those bloggers that really like to just discuss my opinions on certain scenes or concepts of the drama. I don’t go step by step through the whole thing. So if you are looking for a complete recap you might have to look elsewhere (and then come back and read ours of course).
Our Main Characters
Kim Hae Il (Kim Nam Gil) – Our Hottie Priest
Kim Hae Il is a priest with a mission. To clean up the world from the scum who pray on others. If that means he has to beat up a few (or many) people to achieve that goal, he doesn’t mind.
Can we also take a moment to appreciate how attractive Kim Nam Gil looks? Sure we might all burn in hell for thinking a priest is sexy……but really, who wouldn’t be tempted with visuals such as this?
Park Kyung Sun (Honey Lee) – Our Sexy but Slightly Sketchy Prosecutor
Park Kyung Sun is ready to clean up the streets…the streets that her higher-ups tell her to clean up that is. Kyung Sun enjoys twisting the truth to make sure her career continues to rise. Surprisingly she is still very funny and likable despite being all the shades of gray.
I also want to take a moment and marvel at how talented Honey Lee is. I personally think that Honey is very undervalued considering she is willing to be totally ridiculous if a scene calls for humor. Hopefully this performance can rocket her career firmly to first leading lady roles because she rocks at both comedy and dramatic performances and I love her to bits.
Goo Dae Young (Kim Sung Kyun) – Our Clueless Detective
Dae Young is the one truly honest person on his team. Which means he gets pushed into embarrassing situations to get him out of the way when shady stuff is going on. He is the just like the Little Engine that Could in that he gets roughed up and embarrassed and gets back up to try to make his community better only to be embarrassed again.
Hwang Cheol Bum (Go Joon) – Leader in the Community/Head Political Fixer Underling
Go Joon plays such a great scummy character. This drama is no different as he plays Hwang Cheol Bum. The main local leader who does the dirty work of the politician who wants to remain clean of dirty deeds. While he mostly is your typical entitled bad guy, there are a few scenes where it looks like he might have a nice side…maybe…buried very deep down.
God said to beat you up
This was one of the best intros to a character that I have seen in a long time. (Keep in mind my Kim Nam Gil love was already through the roof and this just cemented my love for the show.) We start off with a local Shaman using his non existent powers to exorcise the demon out of a local delinquent son. We know it is fake because we see two obvious thug underlings asking for money from the poor villagers to perform the exorcism.
Enter Kim Hae Il, the local priest, who has his bag of priestly items for exorcisms. Only to pop up the traditional crosses and goblets to display a false bottom where a taser, duct tape, and a beating stick reside. By this time I am already in tears I am laughing so hard. Hae Il promptly gets to the bottom and exposes the shysters, demanding who is in charge of their fraud.
Discovering that the local loan shark is the brains behind this scheme, Hae Il goes on a one man quest to bring the bad guy to justice. By beating up everyone that comes in contact with him. He finally finds the main loan shark, but when the bad guy tells him to follow the word of god, Hae Il closes his eyes then declares that God said to beat the loan shark up. HAHAHA.
Sadly, Hae Il ends up in jail for assaulting the loan shark and all his underlings. Due to some extreme pressure from the other church leaders of the community, Hae Il is released and told to run away or he will be arrested. Crankily, Hae Il travels to
Are you a detective or Miss Korea?
Poor Dae Young. He has to walk around the neighborhood wearing a sash that informs everyone that he is a detective and ready to serve. It seems that he is super sweet and honest, w
Rather than going to the gang’s not so secret hideout, the cops went to a local computer room where there were some sacrificial thugs and the evidence all laid out for them. They didn’t even have to put on the cuffs as the bad guys did it themselves. Secure in the knowledge that this was mostly for show.
Dae Young isn’t informed and bursts into the headquarters of the gang headquarters which, of course, was filled with gang members. He was promptly beaten, unclothed, and kicked to the curb wearing only his sash.
The final indignity comes when he is being picked up by a police car and all the tourists are filming and taking photos of his moment of shame. The poor guy.
Awkward family dinners
One of the things I like the most about South Korean television is they really know how to film an awkward dinner sequence. Yet again, they exceed expectations as we watch Hae Il take bread with his mentor, and the fellow nun and priest (in training), of the church. When asked why he is visiting with them, Hae Il promptly replies that he beat up a ton of people in his town and was forced to flee. Thinking that this was a joke, the silence become palpable when they realized he wasn’t joking. Only his mentor remained unaffected as Hae Il burst into a tantrum that rivals that of my angsty teenage daughter, and stomps off to his room.
Though Shall Not Snack in Church
Hae Il is all set to preach in church the following Sunday. He is doing the normal routine when he hears something rattling. Distracted from his preaching, he discovers that one of his parishioners is munching on bread during his sermon. Of course this can’t be ignored and Hae Il stops mid sentence and starts screaming at the person for eating while he is teaching the words of God. Trying to get back into the swing of his sermon, Hae Il discovers that he has lost his place, promptly curses, and then tells all of the listeners that they need to repent. And not repent just to him, but go to those they sinned against and ask forgiveness first before they ask god.
I have a guilty confession. I really wish that church was this entertaining sometimes. Hae Il’s inability to control his temper is hilarious to watch.
Benefits to Being a Hot Priest
Hae Il stands strong on his decision to not except confession until the person apologizes to those they wronged. Something that pisses off Kyung Sun greatly. They get into a yelling match, strong temper vs. strong temper. It only stops when Kyung Sun’s inner monologue says, “I will let you off this time because you are astonishingly handsome.” Ha. I love that she is so open about how attractive Hae Il is.
Don’t Cause Problems…Unless Told to Do Something by God
The episode ends with the corrupt local politicians cutting ground on a new construction project. When the community members show up to picket in protest, the police protection promptly leaves their post and hired thugs rush the men and beat them with sticks. Poor Hae Il is having the hardest time walking away, mumbling to himself that he promised his mentor not to get into trouble. But, just as he gets free of the crowd, the sky rumbles with thunder, as if it is God rebuking Hae Il for his decision.
This leads to Hae Il forcing his way to the front just in time to keep Cheol Bum from hitting someone. There might have been cheering coming from myself because I was so excited to see Hae Il jump in to save the day.
I am really enjoying this show. The writer has allowed all the characters to be very extreme, which makes it entertaining for us to watch the events happen. Is the fact that the priest has extreme anger issues funny by itself? Not necessarily. It is Kim Nam Gil’s ability to create crazy mannerisms that makes his performance so entertaining. The same with Honey Lee. While I should hate that she is willing to work the system to move up, often at the expense of justice, I just can’t dislike her strong-headed antics. She is just so likable and over the top that the things she does don’t seem as dire as it would in a melodrama.
And while the first two episodes were very funny I do see hints of a more serious underlying plot. I read an article that stated that the story will be bringing to light stories that highlight the trials of immigrants and different society levels forward. We saw the start of this when the thugs were harassing the Thailand immigrant and I am interested to see where they go with these topics.
Til our next angry outburst,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi