First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: The Good Detective

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for this one! The Good Detective has finally hit Netflix, much to my delight. Come see if this mystery drama is living up to my expectations.

The Plot

Our friends over at have this to say about the plot:

“Neither his forensic skills nor his deductive / inductive reasoning skills can aptly sum up the green Detective Gang Do Chang. His best qualities lie in being righteous and diligent.

Returning to the force after a year-long leave is Oh Ji Hyuk, a graduate of the Korean National Police University. An unsympathetic man, he catches criminals using his keen insight and his sharp attention to detail.

These opposites are partnered together to reopen a case from five years ago, when the verdict called for the death penalty for murderer Lee Dae Chul. Do Chang had been the arresting detective and when reviewing the file he discovers evidence that would clear Dae Chul while putting himself in a compromising position.

More evidence is found following a recent murder involving Dae Chul’s daughter, Lee Eun Hye. Time is running out for Do Chang as the mounting evidence threatens to expose his error. Should the verdict be overturned, Do Chang and all parties involved in the process would be held responsible.

Finding himself caught between those who seek power and those who seek justice, Do Chang must rely upon his guiding principles to resolve this ethical dilemma. Will he choose to save an innocent man from a wrongful execution or succumb to a temptation tinged with corruption?”

The Characters

Son Hyun Joo (Itaewon Class, Criminal Minds) plays Detective Kang Do Chang. Detective Kang has been in the mystery-solving game for a long time, but hasn’t really lost his personality along the way. He’s not as dumb as some of the other detectives on his squad, and is up for promotion soon. A reinvestigation into a five-year-old murder committed by Lee Dae Chul could seriously derail that promotion, since Detective Kang was the team lead on the case.

Jang Seung Jo (Encounter, Money Flower) plays Detective Oh Ji Hyuk, a detective with prestigious credentials who has recently been transferred to Detective Kang’s squad. Everyone else on the squad expects him to use his position to pad his resume, so he ends up partnering with the more affable Detective Kang. We get to see, almost immediately, that Detective Oh has a sharp mind and a good eye for detail. He and Detective Kang begin to bond, and his quick intelligence is already proving to be useful in the Lee Dae Chul case.

Lee Elijah (Chief of Staff, The Last Empress) plays Jin Seo Kyung, an ace reporter who is asked to interview the victims’ families once more before Lee Dae Chul is executed for his crimes. A few things start not adding up, and Reporter Jin is called up by the imprisoned Chief Prosecutor to look into Lee Dae Chul’s case.

Jo Jae Yoon (Catch the Ghost, Mad Dog) plays Lee Dae Chul, the accused murderer who has been protesting his innocence from the very beginning.

First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts

I went into this thinking that The Good Detective would be a hard-hitting police procedural — everyone seems grim-faced and serious in the posters. And while there is a lot of seriousness, there are also lighter notes. For instance, Detective Kang, upon being introduced to Detective Oh, shows him the bald spots he’s developing because of the massive stress he’s under. They also do an excellent version of good cop/bad cop in the second episode that shows how well they’re going to play off of each other.

I also really, really like how smart Detective Oh and Reporter Jin are. They won’t make me want to reach through my screen and smack some sense into them. The other detectives in Detective Kang’s squad already do — I’m not quite sure how men this incompetent passed the police academy exams, much less keep their current jobs. And I thought Detective Kang would be pretty silly, given his introduction, but the silliness passes quickly, leaving a detective who is wondering just what happened five years ago. His determination to figure it out and his fear that he screwed up big time are already evident, but I’m already trusting him to do what’s right.

The mystery itself is gritty and intriguing. There are enough clues laid out that I can keep up with the detectives’ investigation and feel like I’m part of the search, but not so much that I’m rolling my eyes at heavy-handed writing. There are shady characters all around, and the puzzle of which detective-prosecutor-reporter triumvirate contaminated the Lee Dae Chul case looks like it will have several layers. I’m definitely up for watching the rest of this drama!

What do you think, drama fans? Have you watched The Good Detective already, or will you be watching it soon? Drop down in the comments and let me know!

Until the next false accusation, I remain —

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

6 thoughts on “First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: The Good Detective

  1. I checked this out because it was available on Netflix. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hooked right from the first episode and binge watched only this show in one week. I loved it. I loved how it was not a procedural drama but loved the overall mystery and how it was revealed bit by bit. I loved the characters and stories too. This one was a winner for me.

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