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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 9

2016/04/25 | 1063 views | Permalink

"Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" can go heavy on the sugar-coating and feel-good approach at times, but I cannot blame a show for trying to give some hope and joy. The time has come for our food criminal to get her just des(s)erts in this case and Deul-ho is definitely eager to provide. Eun-jo is hanging onto her dream and desired mentor, but life is not so peachy when you are broke. Hire her already!

With one episode left until we are half way into the show, I do feel slightly disappointed over Eun-jo (Kang So-ra) having taken the back seat too long. Seeing some progress in her work with the Neighborhood Weirdos and also her current life situation is a nice change. I have been wondering how she supports herself through this and now we know she does not. It speaks volumes about her determination to become a good lawyer that she sacrifices so much for it. Deul-ho's (Park Shin-yang) own determination is tested by the reality of ungrateful clients.

Deul-ho and Eun-joJa-yeong

It is regretful that the mothers are such stereotypes, because parents and especially mothers do struggle between family and work in Korea. It feels unfair to show them as a collective so uncaring of their children's well-being. Instead, a person who was feeding children garbage is given forced redemption. Her abrupt change is too unbelievable. At least they use her to finally address our team's luck in getting away with inappropriate methods.

Moving on to more satisfying developments, I am so relieved to see Ji-wook (Ryu Soo-young) does not cross over to the dark side. He still uses all he has to win and that urge is strong, but it never crosses the line into crime and cruelty. I want to like him and I am afraid for him. His father is torn as well. He wants Ji-wook to be just and avoid becoming like him. I appreciate the creators for this moral complexity. Korean drama characters can get too one-dimensional.

Ji-wookNeighorhood Weirdos

While we do get such delightfully human characters, I could never call "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" a realistic series. Its world is presented through rose-tinted glasses. I would not blame anyone for not being able to fully connect to the drama due to this. Personally, I do roll my eyes and find its outcomes too idealistic and difficult to acknowledge and relate to at times.

The world is not fair and the good guys do not always win. However, good people exist. No matter how big or small their actions are, they can make a difference in someone's life by taking interest. I love the drama for trying to remind us that. If I have one wish, it would be for Deul-ho to lose a case and see an innocent person jailed or defend a good person who is guilty. Personal greed aside, I am pleased.

"Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" is directed by Lee Jung-seob, written by Lee Hyang-hee and features Park Shin-yang, Kang So-ra, Ryu Soo-young and Park Sol-mi.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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