If you’re still suffering from the “good boy” syndrome then this is a must watch drama to add to your list.
Providing protection to the world’s largest metro and subway system is no easy feat for the detectives of the subway police division. Rookie investigator, Yoo Ryeong (Moon Geun Young) joins the force in the hopes of finding the whereabouts of her twin sister whose disappearance occurs at the same time as a string of serial killings. Ignored by the Metropolitan Police, Yoo Ryeong takes matters into her own hands by memorising every nook and cranny of Seoul’s numerous stations in order to capture the ‘Subway Ghost’ who leaves dead bodies on trains, eluding subway security and the Police force alike. To the dismay of her Team Captain, Go Ji Seok (Kim Seon Ho) who avoids troublesome situations, he finds his daily life shaken by the new rookie who is determined to solve every case and becomes personally involved with victims if she suspects foul play.
So here’s the thing, the drama was on my radar originally but was forgotten until recently as I scoured to find more Kim Seon Ho series to watch, preferably with him as a lead. I initially went into this show for him but it turned out to be exceptionally well rounded in terms of both characters and plot.
Yoo Ryeong is headstrong and at times selfish since she has one singular goal, costing her team and Captain but her desire to help victims no matter how minuscule their worries leads to her solving larger cases. So as a character, she’s both endearing and frustrating, and consistently remains this way till the very end of the drama. I think Moon Geun Young has done a fabulous job portraying the spiteful but lovable Yoo Ryeong but Yoo Jin as well, the autistic twin sister who goes missing. It’s the moments where we witness the dualism of character identities onscreen of both Yoo Ryeong and Yoo Jin, that we can truly appreciate her range as an actress in addition to the more emotional scenes executed perfectly.
Ji Seok on the other hand, is a Lieutenant who had to put his dreams and aspirations on hold. He appears unyielding and unsympathetic in the beginning but is struggling to repress his cravings for justice due to personal family reasons (I won’t spoil it! But his reason ends up being an integral part of what makes the series so lovable!). Kim Seon Ho without a doubt, does amazingly well in delivering not only the bulk of the comedy within the drama but demonstrates character growth and an emotional trajectory that seems natural. Moreover, what you note almost immediately is that where Yoo Ryeong is slightly wooden, Ji Seok is highly communicative and easy to absorb.
The writers are definitely aiming for an opposites attract relationship but the show is more of an investigative drama than romance, knowing when to switch gears to give us glimmers of romantic feelings and heart fluttering moments. There is a love triangle, yet the writers stay true to Yoo Ryeong’s characterisation, love merely secondary to her desperation of finding her sister and both males to a certain degree, are shot down. Heh. This however, leaves room for some wholesome rivalry and jealousy, becoming a part of the comedy within the drama.
The predominating mystery of the drama correlates to a slew of subway thefts and this connection is gradually built upon with plenty of surprising turns and revelations. Just when you think you’ve solved the case, the show surprises you by going down a different path to reveal something else entirely. I’ve seen my fair share of K-drama mysteries and crime shows and I’m not lying when I say this drama ranks highly for me since it delivered on all fronts regardless of minor inconsistencies. There’s simply an innovative quality to having a killer who quite literally operates, evades, and navigates the underground world.
The secondary characters also greatly contribute to the drama’s fluidity. The subway force has a fun dynamic that is refreshing to watch, their energy as a team effortless and gives rise to a lot of the action seen. My biggest peeve would have to be Ha Ma Ri (Jung Yoo Jin) who has major mommy issues and had me swearing audibly because of her unmerited dislike for Yoo Ryeong. I’d classify her as a character who will thoroughly test your patience and love of humanity. Other than her annoying but necessary existence (oh how I wish it wasn’t!) the remaining characters are all likeable and don’t impede on the central characters’ growth or the crime-mystery components.
The moral messages of the drama heavily prevail, especially when it comes to family but the minor lessons imparted through individually unique cases are also well thought out, setting the drama apart from intense thrillers that are more chilling or violent. Despite the sentimental effect of the show, it doesn’t halt plot progression or takes away from the drama’s value of being a detective series. Overall, the story is steady but can be sporadic at times, dependent on the type of case and how much action is portrayed.
With a captivating cast and solid story, Catch the Ghost is a delight that shouldn’t be left under your radar. This drama became a personal favourite that I’d add to any Mystery recommendations list!
Release Date: October 21, 2019