Starting Today: Criminal Minds

The long wait is over. After over six months since I first heard of this Korean remake of the hit US television series of the same name, Criminal Minds will finally take off today. I hope it’s gonna be a smooth journey throughout, considering that having a star-studded cast and early production schedule does not guarantee a positive response from the viewers as far as TV ratings are concerned (The King Loves, for example). Add to that the fact the there is a slew of dramas starting this month, so many viewers are just confused as to which one are they going to watch first on the night of the broadcast or a day after. In particular, people living in South Korea will have to choose one among Criminal Minds, Seven Day Queen, Man Who Dies To Live, and Reunited Worlds tonight. Criminal Minds won’t start at exactly the same time as the other three shows but there’s a considerable amount of airing overlap that will surely give you a headache when you badly want to watch at least two of them as they air.

So is this remake thing going to be an annual trend for tvN now? Last year the cable network broadcast two remakes of other American shows, namely The Good Wife and Entourage. And now we have a crime procedural drama as another remake. Criminal Minds, just like in the original show, will center on an elite group of profilers who analyze Korea’s most dangerous serial killers and murderers to catch them. Taking center stage in the story are the characters played by Lee Joon-gi, Moon Chae-won, and Son Hyun-joo.

Lee Joon-gi is playing a hot-blooded agent who graduated from an elite academy and worked as a police investigator before joining the behavioral analysis unit in the National Crime Investigation (NCI) Bureau. I’m not really sure what NCI stands for because other news reports call it the NATO Communications and Information Agency but I’ll update our Criminal Minds drama information page (DIP) after I watch the first episode. The team under which Lee Joon-gi’s character is working is led by this ahjussi known as South Korea’s best profiler. Veteran actor Son Hyun-joo is playing that man and we expect him to portray his character as a level-headed team leader who knows how to catch criminals the cool way. He’s the team leader for a reason.

Criminal Minds Poster 1

We have the female lead in Moon Chae-won who is taking on the role of a serious and cold female agent expert in reconstructing crime scenes from the victim’s perspective. Her father actually owns one of Korea’s leading law firms but I guess she’s so dedicated to her job that she’s working day and night despite coming from a well-off family. Her character and Lee Joon-gi’s bicker a lot over trivial things but when it comes chasing criminals on the run, they work together very well. I have no idea if they can work together perfectly in romantic moments as well but I expect very little of those given the genre we have here.

The main cast is incomplete without Yoo Sun, Lee Sun-bin, and Go Yoon. Yoo Sun is playing this white hacker ahjumma who has the reputation of being the best hacker in Korea, so I expect to see her a lot in front of a computer tracing criminals and doing a lot of IT-related work. Meanwhile, Lee Sun-bin is the team’s media specialist in charge of getting the right message across to the public while Go Yoon is the literally genius kid who can memorize almost anything in perfect details. Aren’t these characters making a perfect team?

I am looking forward to a badass premiere for this drama. After all, the cast is composed of pretty talented actors and the production team was supported by the producer of the original American show—ABC Studios—whose credits to its name include Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, and Scandal. I’m not sure if representatives from the said company really traveled from another side of the world to Korea just to give their support but I heard that Studio Dragon, the production company handling the remake, did collaborate with ABC Studios just to maintain in the Korean version the most important elements of the original. Mmm, let’ see.

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