Special Affair Team Ten (특수사건전담반 TEN)
Synopsis: “Special Affair Team TEN” is a criminal investigation unit that tackles the most violent crimes in South Korea. These crimes usually have less than a 10% rate for arrests. They chase the most notorious killers who attempt to commit the perfect crimes.
Country: South Korea
Episodes: 2 season -> 21 episodes
Genre: crime, mystery, thriller
Aired: 2011 and 2012
Casting: Joo Sang Wook, Jo An, Kim Sang-Ho, Cjoi Woo-Sik etc…
I started this drama because I wanted to watch a short show (9 episodes). I was finally tricked since you can not, with the season 1’s end, not watch season 2. So I ended up watching 21 episodes^^ not really what I was expecting but I don’t regret my decision! This drama is a jewel.
It’s an untypical show. Dramaland always (almost always) follows the same pattern. If we are in a medical drama we’ll have a romance between doctors, if we are in the legal world we’ll have a love story between attorneys or lawyers-criminals, if we…in short a drama is hardly a drama without romance. Well this one thumbs its nose to romance. Zero romance. NOTHING, NADA, KETCHI. Nam Ye Ri forever alone bam! It was only crime, crime and CRIME. We follow different, complex cases. When I say ‘complex’ I’m not joking! If you skip only one name, one nano-seconde of the episode you’ll probably be very lost afterwards. If you don’t want to ruin this drama, take a good nap before each episode. Anyway…all these investigations served the main plot: Ji Hoon’s past affair. The end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2 were about this mysterious ‘F case’. We actually hear about the ‘F case’ for the first time, in the very first episode of the show. The team is investigating a copycat of this ‘taped-bound killing’ serie. Following this episode we have lots of tacit references refering to this case. Tacit references…one of the key point of this show. Everything bear a message: the dialogue have to be read on two levels, the shot, luminosity are by themselves meaningful etc…This drama was brilliantly made and written. It explores the darkest side of human nature without showing pure evilness for all that. The characters were all well-balanced. I even sympathized with some of the criminals. Their crimes were not excusable but I understood their motives (like ep 5 season 1).
I can not not mention the OST of this drama. The background music wasn’t distracting and always set the right mood. I also totally fell for the main title “Breath” by Mad Sould Child and the song “담”by 김윤아 that we only hear in the episode 8 of season 2 (“Chase” by Nan Ah Jin was not bad either in season 2). And you should see the opening credit! I really loved this creepy aestheticism that remained me of cluedo and sherlock holmes. I’ve never seen a better introduction in dramaland.
Ji Hoon -played by Joo Sang Wook- is the team leader. Cold, rational, he is called 괴물 (“monster”) by the entire police force: “the monster who catches the monsters”. And I kind of understand why they gave him this name. He has his creepy kind of sexy side in him. Always wearing a sneaky faint smile on his lips and a stone face, letting us wondering what is actually happening in his head. This side of him, actually works against him in the “F case”. He is quickly suspected of being the serial killer of 7 years ago. He thinks like criminals so what stop us to think that he is actually able to kill someone? He becomes suspicious in the eye of the police and even in the eyes of the audience. Besides, he also lied to his team mate about this affair and we learn later on that he received psychiatric treatment in the past (couldn’t sleep without pills or alcohol, couldn’t live without his anger management pill). How are we supposed to trust this character? In fact, nobody really knows who he is. The scriptwriters played on us that really nice trick. He was hardly a hero. He was one man eaten up by his past, living in hell and trying to escape it. The limit between the good and bad was thin. He seeks justice but also revenge. “Are you becoming a monster?”(Nam Ye Ri). He is selfish and obsessed by this only idea >>>>>SPOILER– I was so shocked when I saw him going after Song Kyung Tae, leaving the poor Nam Ye Ri half dying behind O_O –SPOILER<<<<< But that’s why I liked him! he was so far from the typical hero and Joo Sang Wook delivered a mind-blowing performance (his best role so far)
I really loved Jo An’s character: Nam Ye Ri! Each member has his/her role in the team. Nam Ye Ri psychoanalyses the vicitms and potential suspects by visiting their environments. She can also detects if a criminal is lying or not. Of course, since she is not a superhero, she is not always in the true. But this talent is what gets her in the team “Do you really think you can read through everyone’s lies? […] they could be wearing a very thick mask. Try taking it off later. See what kind of faces lie behind the masks” (Ji Hoon).
It seems to me that she had a kind of alchemy with Ji Hoon’s character but maybe it was just me. I was so into the idea of a Ye Ri-Ji Hoon couple that my imagination might have played tricks on me. That was the most frustrating point of this drama. Everytime that both characters where in the same room I was like “Omo maybe something is going to happen *sparkling eyes*” 5 secondes later “Gosh! Ye Ri is way too shy to try anything, I don’t know what was I expecting. Can someone help them, please? T-T “. This was maybe the only point that I could reproach to her character: not being bold enough. It was frustrating but the plot was so intense that, in the end the lack of romance wasn’t that much of a deal (but to the scriptwriters of TEN! If you are reading this message and if a third season is one day planned, please oh please! Do something about Ye Ri and Ji Hoon).
Anyway if I had to described her I’d tell that she is the innocent kind of woman. Really calm, submissive, taking blows without complaining (cf her past). Someone that would not hurt a flea. That’s why she decides to hide the truth when she discovered the truth about the ‘F case’ to Ji Hoon.
Police officers have nicknames that are divided into grades. The bottom one is brainless, then pug (someone who had no IQ and runs around blindly), bulldog (once it bites, it won’t let go) and sitting right at the top is 독사 -the venomous snake: someone that seizes any opportunity he gets and strikes, killing the ennemy instantaneoulsy. Baek Do Shik belongs to this last categorie and he’s known for his methods. If his detectives skills are outstanding is social life is less. Still single at his age, he seems unable to talk to women, always putting his foot in his mouth. He has two facets: he is a kind, smiling, clumsy, funny guy outside business hours and a serious, stubborn, smart, tough guy during the investigations. That last point was probably what decided Ji Hoon to take him in his team “I have someone bothering the hell out of me. When you meet him, can you beat him up for me?” (Ji Hoon). I liked how he got along and cared about everyone. His ‘love’ for Ji Hoon was what drew him apart from the team at the end of the ‘F case’. He was disappointed in Ji Hoon’s behavior >>>>SPOILER– Ji Hoon decided to shot the man he thought to be the criminal of the ‘F case’ instead of letting the justice taking care of this “What could be more painful than watching the person you love kill someone?”– SPOILER<<<<< and feared his thirst of revenge. Just like Ye Ri, he was torn between the desire of telling the truth to Ji Hoon or to keep it away from him-> “Sometimes the truth hurt as well. But it’ll heal faster than the hurt you get from believing in a lie”(Ji Hoon). He feared his reaction: will he be able to handle the truth without turning into a monter once again?
Park Min Ho (Choi Woo Shik) is the maknae of the group and the less experienced since he is a new detective. He assisted Ji Hoon even before the creation of the team because he was one of his students when this latter was a professor. For me he is the puppy of the team. All cute with his childish smile. I particularly liked his dongsaeng-noona (little brother-big sister) relation with Nam Ye Ri. There were so close that sometimes I even wondered if this latter had not a little crush on Nam Ye Ri *the girl who sees romance everywhere!*.
Finally we learn that the past always impact our lives. Min Ho decided to become a detective because of his mother’s death and his dad’s behavior. “I know one other person like Ji Hoon. […] Someone that lost a loved one to a murder. I think he wanted me to understand him. At the very moment they started to doubt themselves…Someone who could listen to their side”
CL: In conclusion I would say that I prefered the season 1 to the season 2 because the cases were more interesting. But the interactions were way better in the second sequel. There are no change in the casting between both seasons. The only difference is that Joo Sang Wook grows a mustache (very british!) in season 2.
Note de Whoovy: 10/10
Note de Dushbadou: 10/10
Note finale : 10/10
Note de Whoovy: 8.5/10
Note de Dushbadou: 9.5/10