On the surface, this is the formula: take one predictable buddy cop drama, shake it up with a timid team lead, an egotistical neuroscientist, and a kind-hearted detective, and you’ll get Brain Works. HOWEVER, there’s more to this drama than meets the eye. Come see why I’m excited to see where this story goes!
Shin Ha Ru works as a neuroscientist. He comes from a family that has had doctors for 3 generations and he is wealthy from inherited property. Shin Ha Ru is a confident person who acts and speaks according to his convictions, but he has no mercy for people he views as scum.
Geum Myung Se works as a detective. He acts and speaks surly around people, which causes people unfamiliar with him to assume he might be a corrupt cop. In reality, Geum Myung Se is a kind and righteous detective. He was also once married to Kim Mo Ran. She has a particularly strong libido.
Shin Ha Ru and Geum Myung Se solve criminal cases together with the help of Hypnotic Investigator Seol So Jung.
The Story So Far
Shin Haru (played by Jung Yong Hwa) is a genius neuroscientist with an unhealthy obsession – the psychopathic brain. He’s doing everything in his power to gather data for his Psycho Brain Rebuilding Project, an ambitious experiment in collecting data to predict what psychopaths are going to do next. He’s all arrogance, which leads to him being kicked out of Brain Hub, his place of employment, and partnering with the Neuroscience Investigation Team at the local police department. It’s all about the optics, right? Right.
Detective Geum (played by Cha Tae Hyun) is a divorced father of a teenager. Right there, his life is tough enough. Add in an ex-wife who still turns to him when she’s in trouble and his turbulent relationship with his new team member, and it’s a miracle he’s still laughing. But laugh he does, even when he’s suspected of being corrupt, because with his kindness, things tend to turn in his favor. He takes Dr. Shin’s jabs with equanimity, and while he doesn’t quite bumble his way through his investigations, he’s definitely not assertive.
Rounding out our trio is Team Lead Seol (played by Kwak Sun Young). She’s intelligent, but it’s overshadowed by her all-consuming timidity. Despite her rank, she’s often bowing and apologizing to everyone around her. Detective Geum is unfailingly kind to her, looks out for her, and treats her with respect. Dr. Shin acknowledges her intelligent contributions to their work, and is neither respectful nor disrespectful to her, as he’s usually in his own head as he chases his leads.
What Makes This Worth Watching?
First of all, Cha Tae Hyun’s affability is always fun to watch. His humor is the exact kind of cheesiness I can roll my eyes at or laugh at, and his chemistry with his co-stars is always playful and good-natured. Jung Yong Hwa is absolutely believable as the arrogant scientist, but there’s an underlying humanness to him that shines through when he’s hanging out with his aunt.
But best of all is the turn the story took halfway through episode 4. (MILD SPOILERS) Up until now, our bromantic team has been ridiculous and still doesn’t trust each other, despite surviving an hours-long lockup in a freezer. But more of Dr. Shin’s backstory has been revealed, and not everything is what it seems. Add to that a psychopathic serial killing doctor whose influence reaches beyond his prison cell and a traumatic brain injury that alters Team Lead Sul completely, and I’m intrigued. What will the psycho doctor do to get to Dr. Shin? Will Team Lead Seol’s new personality mesh with the Neuroscience Team? Will Detective Geum stay kind through it all? I want to know all of this and more, so I’ll continue watching.
What about you, drama fans? Did the ridiculousness turn you off, or is this a drama you look forward to completing? Let me know in the comments below! Brain Works is available every Monday and Tuesday on Viki and KOCOWA.
Until the next murder, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi