Lessons in Fatherhood from Jang Hyuk | Bad Papa

After a hiatus of four months or longer, I am back to watching dramas thanks to winter vacation. The first one I have managed to finish is Bad Papa which was airing a short time back and must I say I was in for a very exciting ride. So without further ado, here goes my take on the story.

Jang Hyuk has really become one of my favourite older actors, ever since I was made to watch Beautiful Mind. However, this was the first time I got to see a much softer side compared to his normal brooding nature. When the drama starts out, we see Yoo Ji Cheol as a detective who fails at a job of catching gamblers after which he is kicked out of work. He is living in a small rented apartment with his wife and his daughter. Both complain about the poverty they are in driving him insane by their constant complaints. However, he had an occupation before he became a detective: a professional boxer. Due to some rich folks in the industry pulling some strings, he was made to lose a match against a younger boxer, Lee Min Woo (played by Ha Joon) he had previously been training. With this loss, he was kicked out of the boxing world and suffered huge blows financially. After also losing out on his stint as a detective, he has nothing he can do in order to earn money. While trying to look for something to do, he ends up testing for the effectiveness of a new drug being produced by a pharmaceutical company. He somehow is able to get the drug even though it is illegal to be distributed publicly. The drug when consumed, gives him incredible strength which helps him win an underground boxing match. This lures in a promoter who offers to pay him in kind if he will restart his career as a boxer.

Ji Cheol’s wife, Choi Sun Joo (played by Son Yeo Eun) is a passionate writer who just never got her break. As a childhood friend of Min Woo, she accepts his favour of writing a biography for him. However, Min Woo has great resentment for Ji Cheol, because he took his first love from him and also because he is well aware that his own victory eleven years ago was an unfair one. Though he continues to play an almost evil character, he somehow manages to correct many misconceptions we have about him as the story progresses. Nevertheless, Sun Joo’s friendship with Min Woo causes more damage to Ji Cheol’s career as well the peace of their family.

On the other hand, the real evil lurks elsewhere, in the drug testing labs of the pharmaceutical business run by a tiny Jung Chan Joong (played by Park Ji Bin). I stressed on the tiny simply because the kid may have grown up but he’s still as cute as ever. Last I saw him was in Boys Over Flowers so yes, he has grown up and even though I was chilled by how diabolical he was, he is still adorable. The calm and calculated manner in which he delivered his characters and his sinister facial expressions definitely show that this guy can act and do a brilliant job at it.

Bad Papa was a roller coaster ride, with elements of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I enjoyed the soft and fuzzy family scenes as much as I was on the edge of my chair through the suspense filled ones. The amount of blood in this show was greater than many other dramas I have seen, so I had to avert my gaze at those points. However, it was honestly so warm to see the story being told from the perspective of a father and I must say Jang Hyuk made such a good father that I can stand him moving away from any romantic roles and sticking to being a responsible family man. Oh and before I forget, a drama choosing Hyukoh to do their very first OST is obviously a jackpot.