Live Korean Drama Review

Live tells the everyday stories of police officers and follows their relationships, joys, and struggles. Yeom Sang Soo (Lee Kwang Soo) tends get into trouble on all of his cases and Han Jung Oh (Jung Yu Mi) is another police officer who encounters chauvinistic attitudes because she is a woman.

I was more than a little excited to see Lee Kwang Soo finally in a proper lead role. Although he is known for his comedy, he is an incredibly talented actor which has been seen in his various supporting roles.

But now he steps into the spotlight as Yeom Sang Soo who decides to become a policeman after struggling in his career and family life. And Lee Kwang Soo puts forth a wonderfully nuanced performance that really brought this character to life.

Jung Yu Mi plays Han Jung Oh. She has had difficulty landing a decent job so she chooses to join the police force in hopes of bettering her life. She has to deal with a lot of misconceptions regarding women. But she is smart and does her best to show that a woman can be an excellent police officer who is vital to the team.

Oh Yang Cheon (Bae Sung Woo) is a veteran police officer. He begins as a tough trainer at the police academy and then ends up working at the same precinct as our rookies. He’s a difficult man with lots of rough edges. But there is a lot more to him than what we see on the outside.


There are plenty of interesting supporting characters that make up our police team including veterans and rookies. They each have a story and play important roles throughout the drama.

Live takes a unique look at the lives of police officers in a more realistic way. The drama has a very slice of life quality to it that combines with a crime element. If you’re wanting a more in depth look at what the lives of police officers might really look like on a day to day basis, Live is an excellent choice.

It brings to life not only the job aspect but the personal aspects of the officers. It highlights the everyday struggles that the police face whether they are rookies or veterans. Everyone faces challenges, but they face theirs in the middle of life and death situations.

Now slice of life isn’t really a favorite genre of mine (give me high drama and fantasy any day!) nor are crime shows without a heavily serialized plot. Live is both of those things. It has that low key slice of life vibe, and I tend to find more realistic dramas feel slow to me. And Live was like that. I also don’t love episodic cases which the drama is filled with.

But that being said, I still found Live mostly enjoyable. It really brings the characters to life and takes us deep with their emotions and problems. It was a slow burn, but I began to bond with them and found myself invested in their lives.

I felt their joys as well as some extreme sorrows. And there are quite a few completely emotional and sometimes heart wrenching scenes. Some involve the police officers while others involve crime victims. The drama really does well at creating an emotionally tense atmosphere while feeling very true to life.

All kinds of relationships are explored throughout Live. Not only do we have the work relationships of the police officers, but there are also their personal relationships. Marriage, dating, colleagues, parent/child relationships, and friendships are explored. The drama depicts all of the relationships we experience in life in such a thoughtful and down to earth way.

It’s also interesting to see the journey the rookie cops go on as they learn what it means to be a good police officer. It’s a tough road that is filled with difficulties and many mistakes. But they slowly learn from their mentors and mature. The mentors also grow from their partnerships with the rookies. It was a great dynamic to watch play out and to see the camaraderie develop between everyone.

The drama even deals with some harsh realities that officers face from politics, corruption, and the media. Every decision they make not only impacts those involved in a crime but also the officer’s jobs, colleagues, and the entire police station. It was incredibly sad to see how external factors made it so difficult for them to just do their job and save lives.

Because the drama had such a realistic feel to it, I really felt like I was watching all of the happenings at a police station. Multiple units were always being dispatched to different crimes. Some of the crimes and complaints were very basic and then in an instant the officers could be whisked away to a serious crime.

We as the audience and the characters themselves never knew what we would encounter in any give episode. For me, I think this mystery added a nice layer of tension that I typically wouldn’t experience with more episodic cases. It just felt like there was a lot going on and that kept things interesting.

Live was able to do something quite unique in its portrayal of the lives of police officers. It truly creates a world that feels real. For a genre that I typically don’t gravitate towards, it really drew me in with its rich characters. None of them were perfect and some were more difficult to like than others, but they were all just trying to make it through life and do a good job. The writing, directing, and acting all highlighted this so nicely to give us a very solid and entertaining drama.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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13 Responses to Live Korean Drama Review

  1. Timescout says:

    I watched couple of episodes of Live when it started but at that point I wasn’t up to quite that much ‘reality’. So, I eventually skipped it. I might pick it up at some point, if I can find the time. Lack of time is always the problem these days. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      This one is definitely more of a closer to reality type drama. Not a genre I usually go for at all as I usually am not looking for “realistic” in my dramas. But this one really won me over with its characters and a presentation that worked for me.

      I actually thought this might be one you would like since it seemed a bit more similar to the type of dramas you usually enjoy. But yes, if time permits, maybe give it another go at some point especially if you’re in the mood for those more realistic takes on life 🙂


      • Timescout says:

        I don’t know if it’s because it’s summer or because I’m always totally done in after work, but I seem to be craving for fluffy and easy to digest these days. SO not my usual fare. 😂 I’m enjoying the “foxy boys” aka Moonsine & Valentine far more than I should. I’ve also heard good things about Why Secretary Kim, which seems to be a traditional romcom.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          I understand. I think we all go through those moods where we simply gravitate toward a particular genre or feel for whatever reason. And sometimes we just need cotton candy fluff! 🙂 Everyone keeps raving about Moonshine and Valentine so I’ve got it on my list. At least it’s a manageable episode count for me, lol.

          And yes, lots of good things being said about the beginnings of Why Secretary Kim. A lot of people have been longing for some more traditional romantic comedies since there is a bit of a shortage of those lately, and that drama seems to fit the bill 🙂


  2. Rose says:

    After a hard days work, I’d take off my shoes and relax watching “Live,” it was quite suspenseful and entertaining. The cast was phenomenal in the roles they played. One can feel the closeness and love of the cast, they was a close knit family. It makes you think how hard a police officer works and the abuse they put up with, going to work every day risking their lives so others can live safely. It was real to life urban living and crime drama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Oh yes, the cast was amazing in Live! Everyone was cast perfectly, and they all worked so well together. And I really felt for them watching all that they went through just to do their job. It was both sad yet also very inspiring to see them overcome 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it too!


  3. Pingback: Korean Drama Update for June 2018 | Kdrama Kisses

  4. Jon says:

    Great review!

    This show deeply resonated with me on a level that doesnt happen often. The writing juggles so much complexity but pulls it off with some ease. There’s so much depth to these characters. I began to feel like I was really getting to know them and care about them.

    This show was my first foray into K Drama. Im glad I took the olunge. I’d also like to mention that as a U.S. citizen. I wish our police force were like these characters. We’re going through some really difficult times here in America regarding police. It was so refreshing and just a good feeling to see Police officers represented like this. I really love this show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Thank you Jon! Oh wow, this was your first kdrama? What a nice introduction! It really is a complex an emotional drama that has such a raw, realness to it. And the characters were just fantastic. I really cared for them too. These are definitely the kind of officers that you want to be protecting yo in your time of need. I’m glad you enjoyed this show too. Welcome to the world of kdramas, and I hope you find many more wonderful dramas to enjoy 🙂


  5. Charry says:

    I liked this show however I disliked the fact that you guys placed so many expletives in your show. I don’t get why kdramas are trying to be more like the united states because you all have no reason to be you were already better in my eyes having your own natural zeal and amazing storylines. I felt so happy to have found dramas to just watch without having to worry about hearing curse words and so on.. I wish you all whould think over adding expletives to your dramas because quite frequently its youngsters who watch your dramas. So are you going to teach them the act of cursing??????


    • Kay says:

      Yeah, it’s disappointing to see so much cursing added into the dramas, particularly on Netflix. Netflix tends to add a more western flair to their subtitles and frequently translates non-curse words to curse words in English. If you have Viki, they tend to have much less cursing in their translations on average 🙂


  6. Jyoti says:

    This drama is amazing! Thank you for the review. I have no idea why it is so underrated.
    Do you know the song that play at the end. Can’t find the track.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      You’re welcome! I’m happy you enjoyed the drama so much. It really is extremely well done 🙂 Sorry, I’m not sure what the end song is though.


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