I am wrapping up my mega K-Drama binge with an ending review on the 2020 drama – Search! This shouldn’t be confused with the drama Search : WWW, though because Google confused me a lot on that initially! This is specifically on the 2020 drama – Search. Search didn’t start airing with a lot of anticipation but over its run it has gotten a dedicated audience due to its tight plot, characters and execution. Out of all the late 2020 dramas that I followed this one was really enjoyable!
As always drama expeditions on my blog have synopsis and expectations post, segmented episode recaps, mid run reviews, predictions before the finale, as well as this spoiler free review. For all associated posts on Search, just click this link right here! Now onto the review!
Title : Search (English), 써치 (Korean) , Sseochi (Romanised)
Country of origin : South Korea
Language : Korean
Directed by : Lim Dae Woong, Myung Hyun Woo
Written by : Goo Mo, Go Myung Joo
Starring : Jang Dong Yoon, Krystal Jung, Moon Jeong Hee, Yoon Park, Lee Hyun Wook
Number of seasons : 1
Number of episodes : 10
Status : Completed
Duration of episode : 60 minutes
Broadcasted on : OCN
Broadcast date : October 17 – November 15 of 2020
Genre : Mystery, Thriller, Military, Zombie
The story is based on two main parts – the first part of which is set in the year 1997.
Captain Jo along with his team of soldiers that includes Lee Hyuk go into the Korean DMZ, specifically into Sector 21 for a mission. As they enter Sector 21, a North Korean woman whose a military scientist comes in with a baby and requests to flee to the South. As Captain Jo and his team accept her the North Korean soldiers come in and ask for her back. Finally the woman agrees to go back to the North under the condition that her baby can flee to the South. However with guns aimed at each other, Lee Hyuk starts off by firing which leads to a huge shoot-out. Many are killed including the woman.
Captain Jo is furious and calls in headquarters to report Lee Hyuk but he aims his gun at his Captain and shoots him down and warns the others to stay quiet. Unknown to him all this was being recorded on a camcorder brought along with them on the mission. Meanwhile while all this is happening, we are able to see another man clad in North Korean military uniform escape with a radioactive substance only to meet with an accident and disappear in the DMZ.
Years pass, and Lee Hyuk is revered to be the hero of the 1997 incident and captain Jo a traitor who defected to the North. Lee Hyuk is at the peak of his career as he has received a peace award and is about to run for the presidential election.
This is when we are introduced to military dog handler Yong Dong Jin. His military tenure is almost over and he is getting ready to be released but much to his disappointment he, and his military canine partner Leo are assigned to an operation in the DMZ to find a missing soldier.
He is accompanied on his mission by many other talented soldiers including Son Ye Rim who is an officer from the KCST special forces.
As they set out on the mission they realise they have a bigger situation than a missing soldier at hand as there seems to be a mysterious zombie like monster attacking the soldiers and the nearby village in the DMZ.
The story then follows how the team find out about the truth behind these “zombies” and what really happened on that fateful day in 1997.
To start off, the first thing I liked the most about this drama is that all the characters are revolving completely around the central plot and it’s elements. Usually supporting characters might spin off to other storylines and such, but we have an unhindered focus on the main plot at point here.
Although I was sad the series was only ten episodes in total, because I was really enjoying it, now that I think of it, that was the perfect number. If they did try to lengthen this over 16 episodes I’m sure it would have been slow or draggy which is the last thing we want in a thriller like genre.
The drama keeps up the pace and the excitement in the story by revealing us the whole story little by little over all the episodes. Being a military style of drama with action sequences and zombies, the execution of it on screen is also satisfactory. The main story was led by Yong Dong Jin and Son Ye Rim and they played justice to their roles. Although a previous romantic history exists between thes two I am glad the show didn’t veer off to a romantic stand point either.
The setting of not just the DMZ but the surrounding village and its inhabitants also fuelled the story well although there was one character that I found used maybe oddly. There is a character in the village , a woman whose a tour guide at the memorial for the 1997 incident, who is actually ex-militia. Although she didn’t really overtake the story being ex-militia I did feel that she was out of place at times, especially at the ease at which she involved herself in active military operations which made it not so believable.
The story and the suspense as a whole was decently done. There are surprises, yes, but not jaw-dropping ones especially towards the end it’s quite easy to predict how the show will end. However that didn’t really mess up my experience watching the series at all.
Overall Search was short, with a tightly knot and well executed plot and characters. If you’re tired from a typical kind of K-Drama and are looking for a short break from that, or something different, “Search” is definitely a good choice for that. It was added into my bucket list when I read it’s synopsis and I have watched it along with the episodes being released weekly and it didn’t disappoint for sure.
Have you watched this series? What did you feel? Let me know in the comments!