First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Watcher

I’ve been a fan of Seo Kang Joon since I watched Cheese in the Trap, wherein I *also* learned about Second Lead Syndrome. For him, I endured that drama, yelled at Are You Human Too?, and am very fascinated with Watcher. Come see what this Maknae thought of him so far in the drama that addresses the question: Who watches the watchers?

First, a not-so-quick synopsis from

” The lives of Do Chi Gwang, Kim Young Koon, and Han Tae Joo were destroyed by a tragic affair. They became members of an internal affairs investigation team for the police and they try to dig up the truth on who is behind the tragic incident.

Do Chi Gwang is an elite detective. He is thoughtful and smart. He is also proud of his record of catching criminals. After going through aseries of cases, he realizes the importance of work done by the police on corruption. Do Chi Gwang then becomes the chief of the internal affairs investigation team.

Kim Young Koon is a police officer and member of the mobile patrol team. He acts cold to other people, but he is actually tender with a warm personality. He does not associate with other people. By accident, he happens to meet Do Chi Gwang. Do Chi Gwang got involved in a the tragic affair, which Kim Young Koon tries to forget. To find the truth behind that case, he joins the internal affairs investigation team.

Han Tae Joo is a popular lawyer. In her past, she worked as a prosecutor. She became entangled in a case unexpectedly and survived even though her life was in grave danger. She then quit her job as a prosecutor and became a lawyer. She meets Do Chi Gwang and Kim Young Koon and joins their internal affairs team. “

The word “tragic” gets thrown around a lot in that synopsis! I’m not worried, though, because of one thing: Watcher has the same director as Stranger/Forest of Secrets. This is a director who has figured out the biggest secret to storytelling — he shows instead of tells.

Can I tell you how huge this is?

It’s HUGE. And makes all the difference — it elevates the story into an art form.

Now, lest you think that the drama will put you to sleep, because all art is a sleeping pill, please remember that Watcher is a thriller. There are people making chess moves right and left, car chases, a young cop with a loaded gun, and it’s on OCN. There’s a little bit of dark intensity to it too, which puts the story on a whole different level.


We have our three main characters: Do Chi Gwang, Han Tae Joon, and Kim Young Goon. Do Chi Gwang is dedicated to capturing corrupt cops — it’s his whole raison d’etre. Han Tae Joon is a former prosecutor who is now working the other side of the courtroom as a criminal lawyer, and she’s built up a reputation as someone who can get her clients ANYTHING. And Kim Young Goon is a smart cop who fulfills his role with integrity and impetuousness.

I’m really loving the performances here — all three are great eye actors, which is required with this kind of storytelling. The emotions they show are spare but deep.


So far, the plot seems strong and multi-layered. It’s going to be hard to tell whom to trust, and just how far the bad guys will go. They seem to be willing to go pretty far.

But the plot allows for character development, too — we see the bad guy being a good father, the impetuous cop taking time to relate to kids and vulnerable people, and the single-minded cop buster making sure to praise his juniors.


Pretty darn well. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of this drama and seeing how the stories unfold. The first two episodes were riveting — no four-episode grace period needed here! So come watch with me, so we can comment to each other and say things like, “Did THAT just happen??”

Until the next shootout, I remain–

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Watcher

  1. I’ve been undecided about Watcher, but it does sound pretty interesting. I like thrillers and Seo Kang Joon, so that’s an incentive 🙂

    • Right? That’s my incentive to keep going with it too. And I love seeing Seo Kang Joon’s acting range pushed farther and farther — I see a lot of greatness in him.

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