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[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Hidden Identity"

2015/06/13 | Permalink

TvN might be best known for its romantic comedies, but the station has offered more genres during its run. Shows like last year's "Incomplete Life" or 'Gabdong - The Serial Killer' have been well received while attempting a new approach for the channel and Korean drama in general. The new addition to this variety comes with crime drama "Hidden Identity", which might not sound exciting yet, but has all it needs to succeed.


The series follows a newly formed group fighting crime by using all kinds of means, legal and not. Cha Geon-woo (Kim Beom) is a former SWAT and SEAL member seeking revenge over his girlfriend's death. Jang Moo-won (Park Sung-woong) is the team's composed and responsible leader, Jang Min-joo (Yoon So-yi) is an expert in disguise, martial arts and psychology and Choi Tae-pyeong (Lee Won-jong) has a great network and underground connections.

The Worrying

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Unimaginative Premise

Teams getting together to fight crime is nothing new. TvN's sister channel under CJ E&M, OCN has been doing it for quite a while. The trick to such crime shows is to have a main draw, something to differentiate one group and their approach from another. The show teases with a team bending or breaking the law to get its job done, but police in Korean drama has been doing that just fine for a long time. The series will have to offer something more than that or do this one thing very well.

One Trick Pony

The promotion done for "Hidden Identity" has clearly been very focused on Kim Beom's Cha Geon-woo. His anger issues and violent behavior seem to be his main characteristic and there will no doubt be a lot of conflict as the team tries to remain as within the law as possible, while having an uncontrollable member wreaking havoc to serve his own agenda. Done well, this can be good, but it will also get tiring. It also leaves one wondering if the other characters will get any focus and why they matter if not.

The Reassuring

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"Bad Guys" PD

Kim Jeong-min-III has shown some impressive work in the past and his latest work, OCN's "Bad Guys" was an impressive one. The series will no doubt be equally good in its delivery of the material used, even if said material's appeal is still unsure. Action and style are both points where PD Kim excels and these are quite important for a crime series, as the world needs to be believable, but still exciting. There is very little to worry about when it comes to the production quality with this creator on board.

Diverse and Fitting Cast

Casting is a big issue in dramas, where compatibility with a role is usually not a top priority. The series could have chosen big stars for maximizing its appeal, but instead chose actors who fit the characters they will be playing and are capable of carrying them. These are by no means nobodies, but everyone here has experience with the type of their assigned roles, as well as the skills their individual features require. They differ in popularity, types of works in their past and create a good variety in the cast.

Final Thoughts

"Hidden Identity" has a lot working for it. A good cast, capable PD and some story elements which can be turned into something good. At the same time, there is not much indication as to what the series will focus on and its basic starting point does not sound exciting or fresh. If it can feature unique characters and keep its revenge part suspenseful and engaging, it might just be a really nice show.

"Hidden Identity" begins its run on June 16th and will air every Monday and Tuesday at 23:10, on tvN.

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Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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