CHIP-IN is a murder mystery that follows a family’s battle for the inheritance of a famous painter after he is murdered, and his daughter (Kim Hye Joon) seeks the truth in the matter.
CHIP-IN is an eight episode drama that presents its story as a classic Agatha Christie style who-did-it murder mystery. It has a straight-forward set-up with a family with a whole lot of issues coming together for a birthday dinner for the head of the family. Then there’s a murder and an investigation ensues.
At the center of the story is Bit Na (Kim Hye Joon), the daughter of the painter (Nam Moon Chul), as well as her mother, Na Ra (Kim Ji Hye). Bit Na becomes the primary investigator of who murdered her father. She was quite needed too since the police honestly weren’t that good at solving the case themselves.
Now, many of you know that I’m not too fond of investigative style dramas, but there is an exception to that. I have a big soft spot for stories in the same vein of the Agatha Christie mystery.
A lot of these types of stories are set in one location or just a few. That is the case here where most of the story takes place in the same house with all of the characters staying there. There are a few other locations featured, but most of it is at the house. We meet the characters, the murder happens, then we play the who-did-it game.
So why do I like these types of stories verses investigative crime dramas? I find that investigative crime dramas are a bit more cold and technical in their examination of cases as well as feeling more removed and distant from the investigations.
Whereas who-did-it mysteries like CHIP-IN have a much more intimate feel with a strong focus on the characters. Being contained in the same setting allows this as we see the characters interact with each other repeatedly and suspect each other. This is all just a lot more fun for me.
Now, CHIP-IN doesn’t do anything revolutionary. It’s a simple who-did-it mystery, but it executes that fairly well. The biggest negative for me was that none of the characters were particularly likable. They are greedy, rude, and just not that nice.
I didn’t even much care for Bit Na despite her being the lead character. Now there are a mixture of good characters and bad characters. Some of the characters become more sympathetic as the drama progresses too, but I still never loved them. It was kind of a too little too late situation.
Something a bit different this drama does is that it uses a mixture of traditional storytelling along with confessional scenes. A large number of scenes features the characters giving interviews to the camera as they are questioned and explained what happened. It was an interesting production choice. I personally didn’t mind it as it gave a window into what the characters were thinking, but everyone might not care for it.
As the drama progresses, a simple murder does blossom into a much more intricate story. This was a pleasant surprise. It allowed for a few twists and gave the story more to work with. Now this was not a drama that had me anxiously awaiting to go on to the next episode, but it still held my interest for the most part. Overall, it presented a decent murder mystery story.
My Rating: 6/10
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