Second drama in a year for Namgoong Min. After having finished one show based on social corruption in Lookout, I was pleased to catch another, especially since I have developed a fascination with this actor.
The story revolves around an online tabloid newspaper, where one employee, Han Mu Young (Namgoong Min) is on a quest to find justice for his brother who died brutally in a hit and run. His brother had been a reporter at a large newspaper agency, Daehan News, where he was forced to falsify crimes and was then conveniently removed when he started digging too deep for information. Mu Young’s brother’s colleague, Lee Suk Min (Yoo Joon Sang), has been a silent spy within the agency ever since his friend’s murder. The signs of corruption are there but there is no clear evidence of the newspaper’s culpability. Lastly, forming the team is Kwon So Ra (Uhm Ji Won), who has been demoted from the status of prosecutor for mishandling a case of five years ago that Mu Young’s brother has been handling.
The trio takes a stand against the bad guys by gradually aligning themselves on one side, trying to take down the people who have had cause to falsify newspaper articles as well as conduct murders and assaults in order to maintain their position of power. While we know most of the people this team is up against, we never get to the root of all evil, as if the show was being realistic in telling us that crime and corruption will never have an end. This left the ending very inconclusive, despite the richness of the plot. I have never seen such advanced criminals in a Korean drama so I was definitely in love with the diabolical nature of our villains. However, I would have liked to have seen a greater balance between the criminals and the good cops, because despite all the reasons to bring angst into the plot, an element of being driven was lacking. Only Mu Young had the motivation, while the rest of the two seemed to have other reasons why they were seeking to catch the criminals.
In conclusion, even though on paper or script-wise there was nothing particularly lacking, I wanted something more from the story. On top of it all, giving a crime drama an open ending was so not the way to go. The last 5 minutes of the show took away all seriousness from it as the director was probably tying to bring Kim Sung Ryung from Chief Kim back to life. Had they kept the slightly comic element of the first episode of Falsify a constant occurrence throughout the drama, I might have approved of the last Pink Panther-esque scenes. Since was a very serious drama, that entire 180 degree turn did it some serious damage and left me feeling very unsatisfied by how the story played out. The open-ending made it even worse, because the script lost on two very crucial points: conclusion and tonal change. Nevertheless, the show is a must-watch for those interested in exploring the corrupt machinations of the upper echelons of journalism and law.