Queen of Mystery – Final impressions

I’ll do my best to be non-spoilery, of course!

If you are a fan of the “cozy” genre of mystery novels (where an amateur sleuth gets involved in solving crimes), then I think you’ll enjoy this drama quite a bit. I think too that it helps that Choi Kang-hee and Kwon Sang-woo are doing some good work and are playing appealing characters, and are surrounded by good supporting characters. Add to that mixture the fact that while the crimes involved aren’t always as fully fleshed out as one might like, the storytelling in general keeps things percolating.

It turns out that the producers envisioned this as the kind of story that can have multiple seasons and, while that may seem like a spoiler, I mention it so that you’re not caught out as I was at the end of episode 16. The combination of short crime/detect/solve plots plus the longer bigger (older) mystery that weaves throughout the entire series kept my attention – small rewards and pending gratification – but the decision to do things that way can backfire if they never make a season 2. If that is the case, I’ll have to mentally write my own!

Choi Kang-hee has become more and more versatile in her characterizations over the past 3 or 4 dramas, and her basic good-heartedness and dogged pursuit of the truth (even when Korean drama writers will persist in having characters demonstrate a complete lack of awareness of dangers – can it be because of the relatively low crime rate in most areas?) might not seem to be up to her previous roles in terms of complexity. As the housewife who adores her husband and in-laws seems less of a challenge, you can see her as being more of a stereotype, but they’ve given her an emotionally complex backstory. I particularly came to love the relationship between her Seul-ok (aka Sherlock) and the MIL.

Kwon Sang-woo is actually more appealing as a gruff and impatient cop than as the slick suited type, at least IMO, so I found more to enjoy in in Wan-seung (aka Watson, which is funny when thinking of how this puts him in a more intellectually subservient role if it’s a literal interpretation) than in his recent roles. He gets to be the muscles with his own intuitions and intelligence and I liked the growing relationship (platonic, for now) with Seul-ok in the drama.

It didn’t get super high ratings so season 2 may not pan out, but you know, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they decide to take a chance on it. I would happily sit thru more of the unfolding story and the growth of their partnership.

 

#ahn-kil-kang, #choi-kang-hee, #kwon-sang-woo