When I was telling my husband about the premise for Bad and Crazy, he commented that mental illness seemed to be a frequent focus in Korean entertainment. *looks at It’s Okay Not to Be Okay, Let Me Be Your Knight, and many more* Y’know, he may be on to something. Come and see if Bad and Crazy is the drama you’ve been looking for!
(Courtesy of AsianWiki) Soo-Yeol (Lee Dong-Wook) works as a police officer for the Mooui Police Department. He is competent at his job, but he also has questionable ethics. He will do anything to achieve success. Due to his ambitious personality, he has received promotions in a short period of time. His smooth life suddenly changes with the appearance of K (Wi Ha-Joon). K is a righteous person, but also a crazy person. Whenever he faces injustice, he meets it with a fist. He dreams of being a hero.
Meanwhile, Hee-Gyeom (Han Ji-Eun) works as a police lieutenant on the drug squad at the Mooui Police Department. She is also a righteous person and enthusiastic at her job. She once dated Soo-Yeol.
What Was That About Mental Illness?
[SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO EPISODES HERE. SCROLL TO THE NEXT SECTION if you want to be surprised as you watch.]
So the mental illness aspect becomes perfectly clear by the end of episode 2, in a brilliantly filmed scene involving a dirty politician and a flying kick. Let’s just say that I can see the influence of Fight Club here as our main character develops Dissociative Identity Disorder (also known as multiple personalities). It’s fascinating to watch the interplay between the two personalities as they face different situations, because there are definitely opposing motivations at work.
[OK, IT’S SAFE TO START READING AGAIN.]
The Rest of the Story
I had to watch four episodes of Bad and Crazy to really get a handle on what’s going on. There are a lot of layers to the initial murder case that Ryu Soo Yeol is trying to solve, since the aforementioned dirty politician has involved his own network of bad guys on the case.
There’s also a little jurisdiction competition between the anti-corruption squad that Soo Yeol’s on and the drug squad that Soo Yeol’s ex-girlfriend, Lee Hee Gyeom, is on. But they work together when they need to, and the bad guy is shut down pretty quickly. It turns out there’s a mastermind behind the politician, and it looks like they’re the true villains of the series.
Will I Keep Watching?
So I’m torn on whether to continue the series. On the one hand, watching Soo Yeol deal with his mental illness would be a ridiculously fun ride for a lot of reasons that became clear in episodes 3 and 4. Lee Dong Wook is doing an amazing job of a mildly corrupt detective who is completely baffled with the turn his life has taken, and Wi Ha Joon is a HECKTON of fun as K, with his bright smile, quick wink, and crazy antics. N from VIXX is a teddy bear of a rookie police officer as Oh Gyeong Tae, and he really must be protected at all costs. Han Ji Eun as Lee Hee Gyeom is scrappy and competent and had me rooting for her from the get-go.
However, the level of brutality in just the first four episodes made me cringe more than once. For instance, naïve but sincere Oh Gyeong Tae gets beaten to a pulp THREE TIMES in those four episodes, and the camera never cuts away from the beatings. I think I’ll wait to hear how the drama ends before committing to watching that much violence.
What about you, drama fans? Has Bad and Crazy pulled you in? Drop down in the comments and let me know!
Until the next motorcycle ride, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi