Live tells the every day 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 every day 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 comaraderie 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 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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