Your Honor (Dear Judge) Korean Drama Review

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Yoo Young

Your Honor (also called Dear Judge) is about twin brothers (Yoon Shi Yoon) who have led very different lives. One is a repeat criminal while the other is a respected judge.  When the judge mysteriously disappears, the criminal has to step in to take his brother’s place.

Since legal dramas are very hit or miss for me, my main interest in checking out this drama was for Yoon Shi Yoon. I watched a couple short trailers for the drama, but mostly I didn’t know what to expect going in. And you can count me as pleasantly surprised that I quite enjoyed the drama!

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon

Yoon Shi Yoon plays dual roles as twin brothers Han Kang Ho and Han Soo Ho. Kang Ho is the protagonist of our story. As the younger twin, he always lived in the shadow of his brother who excelled in school and was favored by their mother. This leads Kang Ho to a life of crime and repeated stays in jail. He’s a pretty upbeat guy though who is also very outgoing.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon

Soo Ho succeeds in life and becomes a respected judge. He doesn’t exactly have the greatest personality though. Honestly, he’s such a stick in the mud! I never really warmed up to his cold and selfish personality. But when circumstances lead him to disappear while Kang Ho needs to hide from the cops, Kang Ho soon finds himself unintentionally impersonating Soo Ho as a judge. Kudos to Yoon Shi Yoon for making me love one of the brothers and really dislike the other!

Your Honor Korean Drama - Lee Yoo Young

Lee Yoo Young is Song So Eun. She’s a judicial trainee who ends up working under “judge” Soo Ho. Her life experiences have led her to have a lot of empathy for others as well as having a strong moral compass when it comes to the law. But she’s a bit of an oddity in the judicial world where it’s pretty much a given that money and power dictate the law.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Yoo Young

Your Honor really was a great drama on many levels. It had a pretty decent central story to keep me engaged throughout the show. With it being set in the courtroom, it also handles several individual cases which isn’t something I tend to go for. But this actually worked for me for a few reasons.

A lot of the cases spanned a couple episodes which at least gave me more time to get invested in them. Plus, a big thing was that the cases were very emotionally engaging. Most of them drew my interest and kept me invested in the short amount of time they had.

Another reason this worked for me ties into the main story. There is a lot of corruption going on behind the scenes and many of the cases were connected to this plot line. That’s a big selling point since it creates a much larger story.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon Your Honor Korean Drama - Lee Yoo Young

The cases were also very important to Kang Ho’s growth as a character. He starts out as a low rate thug looking to better his bad hand in life through quick money. And when he suddenly finds himself judging cases, he doesn’t really see the people, only the case itself and how the law should apply to it.

But despite his surface appearance, Kang Ho has a really good heart. With the help of So Eun, he begins to learn that each case greatly affects someone’s life. Things aren’t always simple when it comes to the law and what is appropriate punishment. We get to see Kang Ho grow as a person and want to use his newfound power for good.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon

There’s also part of the story running throughout the drama concerning someone out to get Soo Hoo which is why he disappears in the first place. Luckily, all of these elements blended together quite nicely to make for an all around solid drama.

The relationship between the brothers Kang Ho and Soo Ho is quite strained. These twins do not get along in any sense of the word. They have such a strong dislike for each other, and their mother is right in the middle of it adding to the problem. This really is a dysfunctional family! They don’t get a lot of screen time together, but the brothers remain at odds for the bulk of the show.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Yoo Young

I was very surprised that I ended up with such a sweet little romance in Your Honor! Kang Ho and So Eun were such a cute couple. Kang Ho quickly relies on So Eun to help him survive impersonating a judge while So Eun becomes a bit captivated by Kang Ho being such a different “judge” who frequently does unusual but honorable things.

They grow close along the way and just have such a sweetness to their relationship. And this is one of those times where he is a genuine nice guy to her almost right from the get go. No bickering their way to love here. Just lots of cute!

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon

Your Honor also contains a fair amount of humor. Much more than I expected. Now a good chunk of this does come from Yoon Shi Yoon. His comedic abilities are on full display which was not something I was expecting in a legal drama. Kang Ho has a lively personality that’s very bold and funny.

Something that potential viewers of this drama should be aware of is that Yoon Shi Yoon uses a very exaggerated comedic style, and he really goes all in here. He makes such an array of crazy faces with exaggerated mannerisms to fit his character. Really, he’s a complete ham! Not everyone will like this style though.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon

I personally absolutely love him and his comedic style. He made me laugh so much which is not something I do easily with dramas and especially not of the legal genre. The drama itself is definitely a good drama, but for me, he made it great. If this is a concern for you, he does tone down somewhat as the drama progresses. He’s definitely still making his crazy and excited faces, but it’s a little bit less.

But as I always say with Yoon Shi Yoon, as much as I love his comedy, he is also very talented when it comes to being serious. He is so genuine and endearing in a way that really touches my heart. He packs in the emotion and gives it everything he has to deliver an intense performance that is so compelling.

Your Honor Korean Drama - Lee Yoo Young

I also really liked Lee Yoo Young’s character So Eun. She’s soft spoken and such a kind woman with a big heart, but she has an inner strength that really shines. She knows how to speak her mind while at the same time still being conscientious of others. She was a fantastic character that Lee Yoo Young played beautifully!

Your Honor Korean Drama - Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Yoo Young

So, Your Honor ended up being one of those pleasant surprises. In a genre that’s difficult to impress me, it completely won me over. I loved the characters and was very interested in the story. It doesn’t do anything particularly different, but it made me care and kept me engaged all the way through. That’s pretty much what I want from a drama.

My Rating: 8/10

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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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23 Responses to Your Honor (Dear Judge) Korean Drama Review

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    Well, count me in as surprised as well! I know legal dramas aren’t your favorite genre, so it’s nice to see that a show managed to exceed your expectations for it, and then be a legal drama as well. This show was already on my list (so for a change I don’t have to add it) mainly because of the fact that I quite like the premise. I’m a bit concerned about the comedy elements you describe (because they usually turn me off a show), but I have to say that overall this does sound like a very fun show to watch. Nice to know! It won’t be a series I will be seeing soon in all likelyhood, but I will be getting to it eventually. As always: great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yes, it definitely was a surprise! Which is always great when that happens 🙂 Most of the comedy really does come from the one character while everything else is quite “normal”. This particular actor can be a bit polarizing since his style many times is a love it or hate it thing. He is very exaggerated and really so in portraying the “thug” character.

      But it’s interesting because the other twin he plays is completely different and serious. If you just saw him you wouldn’t have any idea what craziness lies beneath the surface! lol He is incredibly talented especially if those who don’t care as much for his comedic style can look past it. And then yes, the rest of the show is very engaging and well done, so I think the other elements balance things out. And at least it doesn’t make your list any longer since it’s already there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fred says:

    Oh no! Secret identities plus a cute, kind-hearted (?) female lead! Will have to watch this! Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, yep, it’s a good combo 🙂 I think you’ll like Lee Yoo Young here. She’s really sweet. And as a bonus, the guy treats her well which should also let you rest at ease 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Oh! Here it is! Will absolutely watch this one maybe next month after all those pending currently-
    watched dramas. And I have to say it would be the first Yoon Shi Yoon drama I’ll be watching, so I am quite excited. “)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yeah! This one really surprised me too. I thought that I would get bored with it~ But I didn’t! Great review Kay!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Korean Drama Update for October 2018 | Kdrama Kisses

  6. MyKDramaticLife says:

    I am now on the 12th episode (23, 24) of Your Honor. A legal drama for me is a miss or a hit. And I have to admit this one hit me so so much that I wished it was extended up to 20 or 24 episodes. 🙂 Well, for a heads-up, I am loving it a bit more than Remember (9.5/10) and Defendant (9/10) which are both memorable to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Oooh, yay! I’m glad this one is a hit! I’m the same way with legal dramas. They can seriously easily go either way since I’m very picky with what I like in them. And I loved Your Honor!

      I wish it was longer too. It was actually reduced a couple episodes which was super disappointing. Not really sure why since it was doing fine in ratings and all. They should have kept it longer. It really was a wonderful legal drama though. I’m thrilled to hear you’ve loved it too! 🙂

      Like

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        Yes. One of the things that I really love in it is that there are no ‘excessive’ killings that happened in the drama. Well, I am not particularly disliking those killings and murders in a legal drama though. It differs on how interesting and appealing they made it to. On the other hand, for Your Honor, I am happy to say that they made this a one great legal drama without killing much. XD Hahaha, which for me is just impressive!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Your Honor really did do it right. It handled the legal stuff well and still presented engaging cases. And it got the characters and their stories right as well as a lovely little romance. I was impressed too since everything tied together so well 🙂

          Like

  7. MyKDramaticLife says:

    My K-Dramatic Review on Your Honor (aka Dear Judge)

    It stars Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Yoo Young. This drama is the first Yoon Shi Yoon drama that I watched. After only an episode, I immediately liked him. 🙂 So, Yoon Shi Yoon played the dual roles, the easy-going, funny, troublemaker angry Han Kang Ho, and the very logical, smart and serious well-respected judge Han Soo Ho. Well, playing two different roles, I did like Yoon Shin Yoon much in here and will try my best to also check out his other dramas such as Grand Prince, Best Hit, Flower Boy Next Door and more. (And wish he’d accept, together with Jo Jung Suk oppa, the leading role in a 2019 historical drama.) It’s just funny how I see Kim Nam Gil and Lee Yi Kyung in the funny facial gestures of Yoon Shi Yoon’s character, Han Kang Ho. While I see Lee Jong Suk and Ji Soo in the seriousness of Han Soo Ho… Wahahaha. Is it just me? Well, count me in for those who like YSY’s comedic style. 🙂 It was so Kim Nam Gil. :)))
    While I also just love Lee Yoo Young and her character here as Song Soo Eun. Waahh!!! She cries so beautifully. Applause for this actress. I knew it from Tunnel (9/10) that she would be famous very quickly because of her impressive acting and her very fresh look. I will be rearranging my top 10 unnis in my list because of her. For her character as Song Soo Eun, I like how despite scared and soft-spoken she is, she still pursued her career in the field of law. Of course, at first for her sister’s sake, but eventually she learned to love and have faith in the name of the Law.
    We also have the romance between Han Kang Ho and Song Soo Eun. For a legal drama, I was not really expecting a romantic side of it. I have seen, well quite a few number yet, of legal dramas. And Your Honor was the most romantic one! That I even wish to see them again together in a pure romance or romcom genre. 🙂
    For the other characters of the drama that I did not care much, they still did their best performances. Was the second lead the friend of our cat-lover Nam Se Hee in Because This Is First Life? Hehehe, I did not notice him before but yes his acting is good. And Kwon Na Ra is also pretty. 🙂 I am glad that I liked her here because I didn’t get to like her character in her last drama, My Mister ( 8/10).
    So, for me, Your Honor is one the best legals that I have watched so far. It gave me the fun Defendant (9/10) vibe and the heartfelt Remember (9.5/10) feels. So I just want to justify why it didn’t beat Remember because I precautioned that I liked it more than Remember. Well, as for the last two or three episodes, I kept on wanting to see more, like some very big bangs in the legal side of the drama, yet it didn’t happen. I feel like the drama still needed an additional episode to have a clearer happy ending. Waaahh!!! That’s it.

    MY RECOMMENDATION: It’s legal drama with lots of bit sides of anything which formed to make this one simple yet great and heartfelt drama. And with a great couple of course!

    MY RATING: 9/10

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Well, you just gave me a great review on Your Honor too! 🙂 I’m thrilled you had a good first experience with Yoon Shi Yoon. I love him to pieces! And we both love his comedic style! Yes, definitely check out his other roles, especially if you like the comedy go for Flower Boy Next Door. I also loved The Best Hit and Grand Prince too. And King of Baking and Me Too Flower and the list goes on, lol.

      And yes, what a surprise that Your Honor had such a nice romance! The romance is usually so low key in legal dramas, but it was prominent in this one. And it was just lovely! Loved both Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Yoo Young as a couple.

      I do think we would have had a much better wrap up for the drama if it wasn’t cut short. There was still plenty of story to tell, and it was a bit rushed. But still good enough, and we did get the happy ending 🙂 Just like you, I highly recommend this drama. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I’m glad you loved it 🙂

      Like

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        Thanks also. It was your great post that convinced me to watch it. 🙂 Will surely watch more of YSY dramas. Will reserve Flower Boy Next Door and Grand Prince early next year, and the rest of his dramas later. 🙂

        Fighting to both of us and all of the K-Drama fans/lovers out there!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          You’re very welcome 🙂 I’m glad you gave it a go and loved it. It really was such a surprise to be such a nice and romantic legal drama. Hope you enjoy more of Yoon Shi Yoon in the near future 🙂

          Like

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