Last year, when I was slowly but surely getting back into the Kdrama game, I decided to pick up “Voice” as I thought that the perfect way for me to ease back into it would to be to go for a genre that I am fond of, and“Voice” was definitely the perfect fit for me. So, when I heard that there was going to be a second season, I was understandably excited for it. Now that “Voice 2” has come and gone, I must admit that I really enjoyed it, especially as they kept things refreshing by giving us interesting cases and as the villain and our new main male lead were interesting and very much different from what we were given in the first season.
“Voice 2” ran for 12 episodes on OCN from August 11 to September 16, 2018. It was directed by Lee Seung Young (“Ten”, “Ten 2”, “Missing Noir M”); and was written by the screenwriter of the first season, Ma Jin Won. “Voice 2” also broke records as it not only set the record for the highest premiere rating of an OCN drama, but its overall ratings broke the record set by last year’s “Tunnel”.
“Voice 2” follows Kang Kwon Joo (Lee Ha Na), the leader of the Golden Time police hotline center that tries to solve emergency cases as soon as they can, and who has the gift of hearing things that most people don’t; as they try out their program in Poongsan City. There, she teams up with a hot head detective with a mysterious past named Detective Do Kang Woo (Lee Jin Wook), as they try to not only solve emergency cases but a case that ties the Golden Time and Kang Woo together.
It is definitely hard to be a sequel as there are a lot of expectations thrust upon it to live up to its original. In my opinion, what I liked about “Voice 2” was the fact that not only did they honor continuity by giving us nods to the first season, but that it kept things refreshing with the different cases and the fact that this season’s villain and overarching mystery were different from the first season’s.
The first season was more gritty with a lot of action sequences, given the nature of that season’s overarching mystery, villain, and the main male lead; while this one was a little bit more cerebral.
The pacing and the writing was well done as it was well paced and as they kept us guessing, with regards to the main mystery, until the very end.
The direction was also good here, and one of the things that I really appreciated was the fact that there was no shaky cam here at all, which had been a little bit of a gripe for me with the first season and with OCN dramas in particular.
Lee Ha Na was once again fantastic as Director Kang Kwon Joo, and Lee Jin Wook was great as Detective Do Kang Wo. I like the fact that they are able to get main male leads that work well with Ha Na, and the two of them made quite a formidable pair.
Now I know that many took issue with how the ending was handled, especially with the announcement of an upcoming third season, but I think that we have to wait and see as to what will happen next before we make any big judgments to jump ship. Of course, I have many theories about what can happen, but I’ll get into that in the spoilers section.
Also, I saw that many took issue with the fact that Kang Woo dominated more of the story line than Kwon Joo, and that Park Eun Soo (Son Eun Seo) and Jin Seo Yool (Kim Woo Suk) didn’t get as much time to work on their characters. For me, I think that with everything that was happening, it was balanced out fine, as we already saw Kwon Joo get to grips with her past in the first season, and we see her more here as a more seasoned leader, and a more open person to others now as compared to before. Eun Soo has progressed wonderfully into Kwon Joo’s right hand man, who also has her own problems to deal with, and I thought that they handled her main episodes well. As for Agent Jin, they didn’t delve too deeply into his character, but I thought that he had great moments here, and I really do hope we get to see more of him in “Voice 3”.
“Voice 2” was definitely a great and fun ride with interesting new characters and old characters that we have come to love in the first season. It also succeeded as a sequel as it kept things fresh by giving the audience a season that was very different tonally, yet is still the same old “Voice” that we love, which also honored and acknowledged the events that happened in the first season.
Okay, now, you know the drill…from here on out, there will be spoilers!
As I mentioned earlier, I loved the directing style and the cinematography of the entire series, and I found it interesting how similar and different this season’s was to the first season’s. The first season’s was understandable dark and gritty, while this one, although darker and more twisted without the gore, was less dark, and thankfully, had less shaky cam than the first season.
I also liked the nods that they had to the first season, as they explained right away as to what happened to the other characters who didn’t come back for the second season, and that they showed that Kwon Joo is still in correspondence with Moo Jin Hyuk (Jang Hyuk).
I found the writing and its pace well done. At first, I was surprised that the villain reveal was a little bit earlier on, but I later on realized that half the fun was actually seeing him coldly executing his plans and surprising us with his back up plans, all the way until the end, even though there were times when things didn’t go his way. I also liked the fact that the writer kept us on our toes as we continued guessing until the end whether Kang Woo did kill that Japanese girl or not, and as to whether he could be the culprit.
Speaking of Kang Woo, I really enjoyed delving into his character and learning his tragic back story. I also like that even though in the end, the flashback presented to us still makes us wonder whether he really did kill that Japanese girl as a child, for him, the past is in the past and doesn’t define who he is today, something that he had been struggling with ever since, and what we saw him struggle with during this series. However, with that ending, I really hope that he won’t succumb to his darker instincts.
Bang Je Soo (Kwon Yul) was a very interesting and twisted villain. The one thing that made him worse that the first season villain was that although he does have issues, he was able to convince others to follow his own twisted way of viewing the world and knowingly manipulated people to do his dirty deeds for them by manipulating their weakest points. Also, he seemed to have contingency plans for almost everything, and that level of planning is impressive.
Kwon Joo’s character progressed nicely from everything that happened in the first season. Here, we she’s a little bit more open to others as compared to before, and is a good leader, although, at times, she does make mistakes, like doubting Kang Woo even though she knew that he was telling the truth.
Just like everyone else, I was shocked with that ending. In order to wake up his darker, baser instincts, Je Soo blew up the basement of the opposite building, where he lured Kwon Joo to.
With “Voice 3” already being green lit, this decision makes sense. First off, from a more realistic point of view, they, of course, will have to still negotiate with the actors regarding both pay and schedule. As this is their job, they might also have some other projects that were scheduled that might come into conflict, or, if they want to stay on, they’ll have to find an agreeable schedule that would be good for all of them. So, if Lee Ha Na doesn’t want to stay on or has projects that would be a scheduling conflict with this, then having her character die in the blast would make sense.
However, if they all stay on, as I hope they will, especially as the show will not be the same without Kwon Joo, then it would still be okay, if they give us a reasonable explanation on how she survived the blast. If there’s anything that years of watching tv has taught me (and what several seasons of “Chicago Fire” has also taught me), is that a character isn’t dead as long as there’s no body and if the writers don’t confirm it.
Now, let’s delve into theory time.
If Kwon Joo doesn’t make it out alive, and if Lee Jin Wook stays on, then the third season will most probably involve those men at the end who said that Kang Woo is ready to return to them. We still have to figure out who they are and what really happened in Kang Woo’s past. Having them being Japanese will allow the Golden Time team to expand, as Kwon Joo wanted. After all, the Poongsan Center was a pilot for more Golden Time Centers to be established in every city. With a more international case, we could see Eun Soo take on Kwon Joo’s mantle, with Agent Jin by her side, and them working with agencies on a more national level instead of local.
Now, if Lee Ha Na does stay on, then we’ll see them get to the bottom of things, as I mentioned earlier. Also, just like my first theory, Kwon Joo will be able to see her dream to establish Golden Time Centers nationwide, especially as the scope of the overarching mystery will be more nationwide and more international. I think that her losing several seconds of her hearing during this season will also come back here, and we’ll maybe see her struggle with the fact that she might not be able to rely so much on her ears anymore as well. However, even though that might happen, I still think that they can still operate well, also as there are specialized software that could help them analyze the recorded sounds of their emergency calls, although it won’t be as fast as Kwon Joo figuring things out there and then.
As a sequel, “Voice 2” was a success, and it managed to still be familiar while being refreshingly different at the same time, which is no easy feat. And while there has been a lot of backlash from the viewers regarding the way the ending was handled, I am still putting my trust in this writer and the director, and I cannot wait to see what they will give us in “Voice 3”.