“The First Responders” is here after almost a month of delays due its predecessor’s, “One Dollar Lawyer,” alleged conflict that caused multiple delays and cancellations as well as an early end. So how was the premiere of “The First Responders”?
Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.
Let us discuss!
Its been a while since I’ve last seen Kim Rae Won and Son Ho Jun, and I am glad they’re back. “The First Responders” was originally set to air in the 1st half of 2022 but one of its producers’ suicide due to work pressure halted production and it resumed a while later.
This is why the drama was delayed so much. It will also have two seasons with each season being 12 episodes long to those who didn’t know.
For a premiere, or at least, a first episode, I’d say I enjoyed the drama.
In kdramaland, we rarely get a look at firefighters and police working together in a setting like this exclusively, this is one of the first kdramas to attempt this, if not the first ever. I am not quite sure.
Regardless, its a nice change and adds a different dimension to the story, it makes it more interesting in comparison to how it would have been if it was another story about a defiant police officer.
So far, I’d say Jin Ho-Gae appears to be the text book example of the ‘crazy’ righteous police officer. In that regard, I’d say I found him to be very average so far. I am not quite interested or that excited to see what and why he’s like this, I mean we got so many similar characters to him this year alone, so its not really something I haven’t seen so much this year already.
I mean, if this drama had come out in early 2022, I might have had a different response, but this year, we got so many police and legal kdramas intertwined that it became quite predictable and boring.
It also appears his father is a corrupt high ranking character which is about as expected as a script about a ‘crazy’ police officer gets.
In regards to Bong Do-Jin and Song Seol, I don’t think we’ve seen enough from them thus far to make an impression. The first episode focused a lot on our police officer so I am expecting we’ll get to know more about them in episode 2 next week.
The stakes were high and it was a fun watch that went by so fast.
Its also the type of project that can, in theory, have two seasons because its about two departments working in tangent with each other. In an ideal setting, you can never run out of script ideas.
However, I’d say this, I am not liking the fact that this is the direction many SBS, and generally other broadcasting stations, dramas are going through. Its becoming a habit to filming around 20 to 30 episodes of a drama and split it into seasons without seeing audiences feedback or pausing to question whether a 2nd season is necessary at all. This is like the 5th one this year alone if not more that I might not be aware of.
Generally speaking, SBS dramas in this time slot perform exceptionally well in ratings. “The First Responders” 1st episode was a success and had recorded 7%, so I am assuming that more or less, the drama will hover around this point if not perform better depending on how the script is handled moving forward.
Originally, I was surprised that Son Ho Jun took on the 2nd leading role since he’s a first leading man actor at this point, and has been one for some time now. Kim Rae Won tends to pick interesting scripts to varying degrees of success. What you can count on is him doing his best, but at times, the screenwriters fail him. Honestly, I enjoyed his last project but I understand why many didn’t vibe with it.
Gong Seung-Yeon has had her fair share of hits and misses throughout her career, but she’s generally a reliable actress.
I think if done correctly [script-wise], this drama can end up becoming a hit elevating its actors’ status.