Netflix’s newest kdrama “D.P.” has premiered last night and its already made the top list of my favorite kdramas of 2021.
Netflix’s newest kdrama “D.P” led by Jung Hae In and Koo Gyo Hwan, it tells the story of two soldiers who are part of the D.P. (Deserter Pursuit) team, their responsibility is to catch soldiers who run away from their base. It tells the stories of soldiers and why they’d think about running away from the military.
Today, I am here to review Netflix’s “D.P” and share my thoughts on it and whether you should stream it or skip it.
Note: This is a subjective review and it’s spoiler-free.
Netflix’s “D.P” is written by Kim Bo-Tong [he wrote the original webcomic too] and Han Jun-Hee who has a background in writing for movies.
Netflix’s “D.P” only has six episodes which works greatly in its favor, and helps enhance the plot and eliminate most of the issues that would’ve come with such a setting had it been dragged on for too long.
Personally speaking, I’ve never seen a kdrama that was strictly about the Korean military experience. I didn’t know how things usually go in such situations despite it being a huge part of their society.
“D.P” is a depressing story at heart, hence the title. It is a heartbreaking story that doesn’t end with a resolution, mimicking real life and how accountability is relative to your situation.
“D.P” solely focuses on military brutality. It deals with heavy topics such as bullying and suicide. But it is not the type of bullying you’d assume, imagine at least 100 times worse than you see in your regular kdrama.
I don’t know if this happens in real life in South Korea, and there is honestly no frame of reference for me on the topic. I can’t really say whether it’s heavily dramatized or not, but the stories are executed well enough to feel real.
So right off the bat, if you’re uncomfortable with such topics being discussed at length, this might not be for you.
This is the type of drama that’ll make you basically hate society.
We live in a society~~~ [sorry I had to do it]
Having six episodes greatly benefits the drama, you can tell that for the most part, the script was meticulously planned out and every single minute counts. The episodes are around 35 minutes to 55 minutes which makes it even better, because even if it had turned out bad, you couldn’t really be mad.
Luckily for us, “D.P” is beautifully written, each episode tends to focus on the next one with some of them leading to the other, it doesn’t feel intrusive at all. There are a bit of ‘coincidences’ that feel a bit unrealistic but it’s not to the point that it would interrupt your viewing experience.
The stories are common and you have likely seen some of them play out in kdramas 100 times already but you can sense it comes from a genuine heart that truly wants you to take note of how brutal and damaging the military experience can be for some. Despite what you could label a lack of originality on the part of the screenwriters, there isn’t really much you could tell about the topic otherwise.
I liked just how the characters’ emotions lingered and how each event shapes and changes them in noticeable but subtle ways. Terrible happenings in this drama aren’t brushed aside and you can sense it affects the characters as they move along. This makes the drama feel even more real.
The plot takes us through the eyes of Ahn Jun Ho [Jung Hae In] who is quiet but has his limits, we get to learn about his character and his struggles through flashbacks and interactions with his colleagues. You truly end up feeling for his character and begin to resent the people around him.
I do have a slight nitpick with his character, I wish we got to know him better but I understand why it didn’t happen, you can tell the drama exists to tell a story and focus on telling people what happens behind-the-scenes in such conditions and how being harassed and bullied would tip even the most docile people into their breaking point.
Koo Gyo Hwan plays the role of Ho Yeol who often serves as the only comedic relief in the entire drama, intentionally or unintentionally. Luckily, the script doesn’t play his character for laughs too much because the drama deals with heavy topics. In his case, there is almost zero character development, I don’t think there would have been room for it either considering the format of the drama. I don’t find myself as curious about his character because he isn’t really that special.
The supporting characters feel 2-D but, again, there isn’t really much to tell about them, however, in the case of the soldiers who run away, there are a lot better and are written well, enough for you not to feel they’re 2-D, despite their actions, the screenwriters get you to sympathize with them in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive or cheap.
Everyone did so well in this drama, I especially liked Koo Gyo Hwan’s performance. I know of the actor but personally speaking, I’ve never paid close attention to him, he does focus on movies more but he’s such a charismatic talented actor.
Jung Hae In does a great job here. I’ve talked about Jung Hae In and his drama choices before, this is probably my personal favorite drama of him ever. I don’t say this lightly, but if we compare all his other dramas across the board, I believe this one comes on top easily.
One of my complaints with Jung Hae In remain in this drama, I desperately want to see him play a different character, he’s been type-cast into the same basic character role. It could be his eyes because they’re so cute or his smile because you can never imagine him in a villain role.
I don’t necessarily mean I need him to take on the villain role but a different type of character would’ve been a good change.
All the supporting characters did a good job, my personal fav Son Seok Koo pulls through well with what could be labeled another unmemorable role for him. Shin Seung Ho also did well, he’s such a talented rising actor, I’ve had my eyes on him for a while now, I hope to see him in a new drama soon, he’s truly talented and needs that one great drama role to propel him to to fame. He could be big if he takes on the right roles.
Should I watch this drama?
“D.P” is an amazing drama all around. It will definitely go on my list of the top 2021 kdramas. If you like the actors of this project then go ahead and watch this drama, if you like the idea, then also watch it.
The only case where I wouldn’t recommend it is if you have trouble viewing content that focuses on bullying, suicide, and harassment in detail, it could be triggering to some people.