Netflix’s “D.P.2” was released over the weekend to much fanfare, I was super excited about the drama, let us discuss what I liked and disliked.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the drama. This is a subjective review.
Its been 2 years since the release of the 1st season of “D.P.” The drama garnered immense attention and praise from critics and viewers alike for its portrayal of military life. It was poignant, heartbreaking, and super engaging.
So, it was only a matter of time before Netflix would capitalize on that and release a 2nd season. And its finally here, but its not what I had expected, in some ways.
The 2nd season is both written and directed by Han Jun-Hee who worked on the 1st season too. “D.P.2” script this time has some very obvious flaws unlike the first season, but regardless, the messages the creators wanted to convey come across in the best way possible. Lets talk about it.
In terms of script, this time the drama was not as I had expected, the 6 episodes have a lot to carry on their back, and at times, it feels that a lot of scenes are missing or we’re missing additional context, and the context missing pertains to some very crucial plot lines that cannot be overlooked.
On first inspection, you feel the drama’s six episodes are more than enough to carry the messaging its trying to say. However, on closer inspection, you realize that there are a lot of points that need to be addressed in greater detail. It feels like it needed to be at least one more episode long, if not more to quickly and correctly wrap up certain plot points and address other important ones too.
One of those plot points is how Han Ho-Yeol was traumatized by the suicide attempt by a deserter he pursued, so much so that he has not spoken to anyone in a couple of months. However, due to one instance where he felt like he needed to speak out in order to save another deserted soldier’s life, that entire issue is never brought back up and suddenly he can speak fully now.
I understand that sometimes in certain situations the shock and certain factors can force you to react in a way that is different from what you’re currently going through, but I would have appreciated it if we dove into exactly what happened to him and why he couldn’t speak. I would have also loved if this particular plot point and his mental health issues were brought up again.
I felt that this particular plot point was very important but somehow overlooked immediately when the script needed to move forward.
Another point is the death of Cho Suk-Bong who turned out to have not actually died but in a coma. I Would have loved it if they explained a bit more about what happened to him and explain exactly whether the team knew he was alive or dead after that suicide attempt.
While some may perceive my previous remarks as addressing minor situations or plot points that might not seem crucial, and it is plausible to argue in favor of that perspective, I firmly believe that several other aspects required greater focus and meticulous development to truly blossom and effectively convey the profound messages intended.
Another example would be the introduction of Gu Ja-Woon, it appears out of left field and he’s Immediately assigned as the villain of the show, but I would have loved to know more about it. It felt a bit lacking in that area.
Another one was the introduction of Lim Ji-Seob’s wife which many Korean reviewers and reporters also pointed out how off it felt.
And this season it feels more like we’re thrown into the mix and a lot of things have happened before or after, but we’re not giving proper explanations of certain important plot points. And I feel like a couple more episodes, one or two, would have been more than enough to properly account for those plot points in order to create a well-rounded story that would have made this likely one of the top 5 kdramas of 2023.
Regardless of what I just said, I still feel that the drama’s messages overall account for the lack of execution of some plot points. Despite the issues I pointed out, I still feel the passion and the hard work that Director-screenwriter went through and the profound messages he wanted to convey. The messages are very clear. They’re poignant and paint a picture of the way our society is and what its headed for.
I felt frustrated watching “D.P.2,” I felt sad and anxious, while I am not Korean, I am Asian and a lot of the points they’re going for resonate with my own society, it’s the state we’re in and how government and institutions screw everybody over.
While the ending was sad, it felt very realistic, in the sense that you cannot just sugarcoat the harsh reality of the system, and sometimes, even with the best efforts from good people, nothing changes.
I think some people were a bit harsher on this season because of how inconclusive the ending felt but that truly touches on an important issue in their society as well many others around the world. I don’t ‘like’ it in the emotional sense as it made me feel very sad and frustrated, but I loved the writing for it.
There are also many plot points I loved, including how An Jun-Ho was the final deserter of this season, which was super clever.
A huge strength point for “D.P.2” is the amazing performances by its actors.
Jung Hae In skillfully navigated the complexities of his role, leaving an indelible mark on the production with his presence and flawless execution. He’s so good as Jun Ho. Koo Gyo-Hwan is so darn charming and does a great job as the comedic relief here too.
Ko Kyung Pyo also gives a great performance as he returns for a cameo this season, he’s so good as a villain or a good character, what an amazing actor.
Moon Sang-Hoon was also amazing, and deserves a nomination for the best new actor award.
And in a display of sheer virtuosity, Choi Hyun Wook artfully conveyed his character’s inner turmoil, painting a mesmerizing portrait of vulnerability and strength that resonated deeply with me. He also deserves a nomination for this short impactful performance.
Now onto my love, Son Suk Ku who faced some drawbacks for his performance.
Maybe I like his acting style, but I felt he was good here, his speech in the final episode was emotional. He felt like an even angrier version of Mr. Gu from “My Liberation Notes,” which takes me to what netizens have been saying how his performance here is very similar to Mr. Gu.
I won’t deny it because I see it too, I feel its his personal style, but I have to see other performances by him to judge that fully. Regardless, I loved him here. At the same time, I understand why some netizens felt the increase of his role and his performance to be a bit odd.
While “D.P.2” has some issues and has a difficult time living up to the expectations of its hit 1st season, I think the drama still did a good job tackling some very heavy topics delivering a message that might not have been preferred but is definitely applicable to our society, and for that, I am thankful.
Have you guys seen Netflix’s “D.P.2” yet? What are your thoughts on it?