Suspicious Partner

Suspicious Partner

Proof why chemistry is vital in a K-drama.

Aside from being a Ji Chang Wook fan, I watched this coz I was looking for a light drama. This did not disappoint in that aspect.

The main cast of Suspicious Partner. Photo by SBS and The Story Works.

Suspicious Partner‘s protagonist, Eun Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) is a budding fearless prosecutor. She joins an on the job training at the prosecutor’s office under the helm of Noh Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook), a notorious prosecutor for his ruthless ways at work. The show starts off hilariously right away as Bong Hee and Ji Wook meet each other first at an unfortunate opportunity. She mistakes him as a molester during a train ride, and everything else went downhill as she catches her boyfriend having an affair with her mortal enemy, tormenting the two of them at work every time she gets the chance.

Because they started off at the wrong foot, they hardly got along, making things awkward for everyone else, too. Things went an ultimate turn when Bong Hee gets framed for murder when her ex-boyfriend, Hee Joon, is murdered at her apartment. She feigns innocence, but as evidences point to her and Ji Wook is assigned prosecutor for her case, he is left in a dilemma. He was given the case by Hee Joon’s father, a powerful senior prosecutor as he knows Ji Wook is an unforgivable prosecutor, but he believes Bong Hee and does not want her to be sentenced to prison. Going his own way, he investigates secretly and proved her innocence. As a prosecutor, he took back his decision and helped Bong Hee walk free instead, but not without a price: he loses his position as a prosecutor and becomes a lawyer as his last resort.

Ji Chang Wook as Noh Ji Wook and Nam Ji Hyun as Eun Bong Hee. Photo by SBS and The Story Works.

The story jumps two years later as Bong Hee is now a full fledged lawyer and reconnects with Ji Wook again, this time at opposing sides of a case. It turns out that the feelings that Bong Hee developed for Ji Wook hardly receded, updating herself for the past two years that they did not meet. As they keep on seeing each other, Bong Hee’s life is on danger again when the real murderer of her ex-boyfriend harass her and he might be closer than they think. They team up to stop the murderer and realize that what they felt was not once-sided after all and their relationship continues to get tested even more as they get to know each other deeper.

Ji Chang Wook as Noh Ji Wook. Photo by SBS and The Story Works.

Like what I wrote in my review for When the Camellia Blooms, the “murderer on the loose” plot is cliché nowadays for K-dramas. But what makes this forgivable for Suspicious Partner is involving the perspective of the killer all along. It prevents the drag of waiting until the end and at the same time, shakes off too much focus on the romantic plot.

Nam Ji Hyun as Eun Bong Hee. Photo from Dramabeans. Photo by SBS and The Story Works.

The reason for Ji Wook’s aloofness is he continues to harbor the betrayal of his ex-girlfriend, Cha Yoo Jung (Kwon Na Ra) and his best friend, Ji Eun Hyuk (Choi Tae Joon). One of the highlights of the show is Eun Hyuk who always tries to woo Ji Wook to revive their friendship. I actually loved his character since as a friend, he never gave up and waited for the right timing for things to fall back into place. I also appreciated Kwon Na Ra’s portrayal of a fierce and confidence prosecutor in a profession dominated by men, as shown by Ji Wook’s need for her help to find the murderer.

Choi Tae Joon as Ji Eun Hyuk. Photo from Dramabeans. Photo by SBS and The Story Works.
Kwon Na Ra as Cha Yoo Jung. Photo from Soompi. Photo by SBS and The Story Works.

I wrote earlier that chemistry is just as important to a good story, especially in K-dramas. While I felt this show might not be a stand out on fans’ lists, the chemistry between Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun was off the roof. It felt natural and easy. Others will relate for the push and pull attraction they have for each other. There were no corny scenes or ones that felt forced. The theme continued all throughout for the other characters. Reconnecting and forgiving all felt natural, something that we can also relate to. The story might be a mishmash of what we have watched in other dramas, but it was executed well. Nam Ji Hyun proves one more time why she might be the next face of the rom-com genre in K-dramas, and Ji Chang Wook continues to explore other genres besides action and he does it here successfully.

Have you watched Suspicious Partner already? What did you find unique in it? If you haven’t, I suggest this one if you are looking for a drama to unwind to.

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