While I was waiting for us to officially kick off the commentary on Man X Man, I decided to check out Park Hae-jin’s earlier action drama, Bad Guys, from 2014. I won’t say that it was time wasted, but there are plenty of one eye-rolling moments (in honor of the ridiculous hairstyling of both Park Hae-jin and Kim Sang-joong, aka evil daddy from City Hunter). Both of them sport hairdos with one eye completely obscured thanks to an overlong angled fringe of hair! Seriously, I would think it would cause vision problems!
The premise: suspended detective cooks up a plan to use 3 criminals in jail for their respective crimes (serial killer Park Hae-jin, gangster Ma Dong-suk, and contract killer Jo Dong-hyuk) to track down a serial killer (and later other criminals). They get sprung from jail for each mission with the promise of time off their sentence if they solve the crime.
I generally enjoy Ma Dong-suk, our burly muscle-bound teddybear baddie, so he was okay, though his part is fairly predictable. The best part of the show for me was Jo Dong-hyuk. He was just that little bit more compelling – his roundhouse kicks were swoon-worthy and (hallelujah) he had a very short-cropped haircut so you could enjoy his chiseled features.
Unfortunately, the woman who plays the primary female role, Kang Ye-won, is either not very good at acting, or has no idea how to play the ambitious policewoman type of role. It wasn’t exceptionally well-written, but her delivery was pathetic and annoying.
The music is also generically cheesy – swelling violins at inappropriate moments – and it’s little things like that which take you out of the moment.
All-in-all, it’s highly formulaic, repetitive, and not all that exciting, so I’m not sure why they want to do a season 2 (different cast, slightly different plot angle, so more of a spin-off), but it just goes to show that there’s something for everyone!