Did you miss it this summer? I have to admit that I was a little distracted during quarantine and let some great dramas fall through the cracks. Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation was one of those that was on my radar, but didn’t quit make the live-watch cut. But that turned out to be a good thing, because I got to binge it, and I was delighted.
If you’re in the mood for a ragtag band of misfits who accidentally fall into fighting crime together, Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation just might be the right drama for you! Read on to see what I mean.
Team Bulldog revolves around Detective Jin, who is relentless in his pursuit of justice, and Kang PD, an investigative journalist who keeps crossing his path. It takes some time, but they finally figure out that they work together better than they do working against each other, and they find themselves solving the same mysteries with the help of a few of their friends.
With well-choreographed fight scenes, memorable characters, well-plotted mysteries, and zero romance, this drama is the PERFECT ensemble justice drama, along the lines of Leverage and White Collar, with maybe a bit of Ocean’s Eleven thrown in.
Detective Jin, played by Cha Tae Hyun, is a world-weary detective who runs on snark and chicken. He hates seeing the bad guys get away, and will do anything to make sure justice is served. Things get a little dicey for him sometimes, but they tend to work out in the end, usually due to his unwavering confidence.
Kang PD, played by Lee Sun Bin, is a producer for Fact Trackers, an investigative tv show that never gets good ratings and is one step above sleazy journalism. She’s doing her best to elevate their stories while still grabbing viewer ratings. Her doggedness and intelligence lead her to find key clues in the cases she stumbles on.
Tak Won, played by Ji Seong Hyun, is a former top profiler and detective who now sells sketchy beauty products from his basement office. He often consults for Kang PD, helping her find the most elusive witnesses and criminals, and he always knows which camera angle looks best for his sharp jawline….
Dr. Lee, played by Jung Sang Hoon, is a former medical examiner for the National Forensic Services. Currently, he’s a mortician who dabbles in finding the right beauty products for the bodies he’s preparing, and consults for Kang PD just about as often as Tak Won does.
Teddy Jeong, played by Yoon Gyung Ho, is an ex-con who has cleaned up his life. He’s a crack fighter, taking down entire gangs with his iron fists and his backup team, Maen Son and Yeon Jang. When they’re not pulling Detective Jin out of tight spots, they’re running a successful bar called the Red Zone.
Would I Recommend?
This is the most fun I’ve had with an ensemble cast in a while. Each character is unique, and absolutely dedicated to pursuing the right thing in their own way. They work well together as a team — once they get there — and a lot of the humor in this series comes from their characters, rather than slapstick situations.
The mysteries are very well written, and no one looks stupid in the process of finding the true criminal. I love that Detective Jin regularly bucks the hierarchy, staying true to his pursuit of justice even when the entire system is against him.
But most of all, I watched for Teddy Jeong. As a reformed criminal, he takes to lecturing the people they catch as often as possible on the benefits of choosing to live righteously. His fighting is glorious to watch, but the best part is the asthma inhaler he uses before he really gets going. He is basically a big, fierce teddy bear and I loved him.
I highly recommend Team Bulldog. At 12 episodes, it doesn’t have time to drag, and there’s nothing to distract from the main plot. I give it two thumbs WAY up!
Until justice needs to be served again, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi