TV Review: Confession (Spoilers!)

If you have been following this blog for a while, then you would know that 2PM’s Lee Junho has a very special place in my heart as he is the actor/Kpop idol that pushed me back into watching Kdramas and into listening again to Kpop. Aside from this, he is an extremely talented actor who gets better and better in the various and different roles that he chooses to portray. However, as I knew that his mandatory military service enlistment was coming up, every time I heard that he had a new drama or movie project, I would always wonder whether it would be his last prior to enlisting. And then, just right after his last drama project ended, two days before he enlisted, it was announced that he would be serving as a public service worker. And while I wish him well, I’m very glad that his last drama project, tvN’s “Confession”, was one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was nothing ground breaking, but it did have a solid cast, great performances, and a safe yet satisfying conclusion, that never failed to hook the audience in episode after episode.

This tvN drama ran for sixteen episodes from March 23 to May 12, 2019, was directed by Kim Cheol Kyu (“Mother”, “Chicago Typewriter“, “Emergency Couple”), and was written by Im He Cheol.

Image Source: tvN

“Confession” follows Choi Do Hyun (Lee Jun Ho), a successful heart transplant patient, who becomes a lawyer in order to prove that his father, who is currently on death row for murder, was falsely accused of his charges. Along the way, he teams up Ki Choon Ho (Yoo Jae Myung),a veteran detective with whom he used to butt heads with;  named Ha Yoo Ri (Shin Hyun Bin), a freelance reporter whose father was also a reporter and a heart transplant patient alongside Do Hyun, and Madame Jin (Nam Gi Ae), Do Hyun’s office secretary whose son also has a connection to Do Hyun’s father’s case. As they dig deeper into the case, they discover darker and more deep rooted secrets that they must work hard to expose in order to ensure that justice is served. The drama also starred Song Young Chang, Choi Kwant Il, Lee Ki Hyuk, Jung Hee Tae, Moon Sung Geun, Ryoo Kyung Soo, Kim Jung Hwa, Kim Do Hyun, Choi Dae Hoon, and Yoon Kyung Ho.

Yoo Jae Myung as Gi Choon Ho and Lee Junho as Choi Do Hyun, working together.
Image Source: tvN

As mentioned earlier, the story, and its treatment was nothing groundbreaking, to the point that some viewers might say that they played it too safe. However, for me, in the midst of experimental dramas and the like, sometimes, returning to something safe and formulaic is okay. However, despite this, the drama still had some surprises up its sleeves, it gave viewers a very satisfying conclusion, and still managed to hold the audience’s attention week after week. It also didn’t have much to offer when it came to really great character development, but it gave us enough to go on, and to be honest, as I continued watching the drama, what I really did care more about was how they were going to get the bad guys so that the good guys could win. I also liked the fact that the connections between our four main characters were strong and realistic.

The entire cast gave great performances all throughout the drama, and I was thoroughly and emotionally invested in our main characters all the way until the end.

Yoo Jae Myung as Gi Choon Ho
Image Source: tvN

This is the fourth drama I’ve seen Yoo Jae Myung in, and I love that he convincingly manages to inhabit all the roles that he’s been in, no matter what it is.

Ryoo Kyung Soo gave a standout performance for his role as Han Jong Koo, and I cannot wait to see him in other dramas in the future.

This drama, which I did thoroughly enjoy, will definitely have a special place in my heart, as this was the last drama of Junho before his mandatory military service. He never fails to impress me, acting-wise, and this was no exception. I’m also glad that this was his last drama project for a while, over “Greasy Melo/Wok of Love”, which was fun and quirky, but didn’t leave as much as a lasting impression as compared to this one and “Just Between Lovers/Rain or Shine”.

If you are looking for a solid legal drama with good acting, that keeps your attention in every episode, and that has a satisfying conclusion, but doesn’t go all experimental on you, then “Confession” would be a good choice for you.

Now, you know the drill! From here on out, there will be spoilers!

As I mentioned earlier, this drama was nothing groundbreaking, and tread familiar waters when it comes to stories that showcase the good guys being the underdogs while trying to go up against a way much more powerful yet very corrupt system. However, I did love that it did give us a very satisfying conclusion and that everything paid of well in the end. The pacing of the story narrative itself was good, which is a relief, as one of my biggest pet peeves is when they try to rush character arcs or the story at the very end, which means that the middle part of the drama ends up being a bit too draggy.

Ryu Kyung Soo as Han Jong Goo
Image Source: tvN

Aside from the wonderful performances of the cast, with Ryoo Kyung Soo being the biggest standout and surprise of the entire drama, I really loved that the connections between our main characters were very realistic, something that I hope we’ll be seeing more often now in Kdramaland, and I liked that the reactions of our characters were more or less realistic as well.

The biggest example of this would be how Yoo Ri reacted when she learned that her father wouldn’t have died if Do Hyun’s father hadn’t taken the fall for a murder he didn’t commit so that Do Hyun could get the heart transplant that he needed. In most Kdramas, Yoo Ri, whose best friend also happens to be Do Hyun, would play the noble idiocy card too much to the point that viewers may get frustrated about it. Instead, here, she did leave and left a note behind for Do Hyun, and at the same time, he also understood what that revelation meant to her, and respected the fact that she needed some time and space to process things. And I’m glad that that did not have to involve actively cutting off ties with each other because of it.

Shin Hyun Bin as Ha Yoo Ri
Image Source: tvN

I also liked that the villains in this drama are pretty much realistic as well, because it doesn’t take too much of a stretch of an imagination to think that things like this may happen, or may already be happening at this very moment. Also, while I do love an over the top villain, I’m glad that they weren’t too over the top.

Junho never fails to impress me with his acting, even if the drama itself doesn’t end up living up to expectations as much (“Wok of Love”, I’m looking at you), and he impressed me here as well. Knowing how much he prepares for his roles, he was convincing (despite all the staring and close-ups, as I do believe that those were more of directorial rather than actor choices), and he was able to present a wholly different character, down to his micro-expressions, from his previous roles.

 

Choi Do Hyun (Lee Junho) in court.
Image Source: tvN

I really do hope that he does land a good drama project after he serves well as a public service worker, and I can’t wait to see him back again on the small screen when he comes back. However, all in all, this was a great last hurrah for him on the small screen.

I also do admit that there were some things that you needed to suspend your belief for, such as the fact that he could feel the feelings of the person whose heart was given to him, and the fact that the prosecutor he went against during the trials was pretty much incompetent, but it didn’t detract at all from my enjoyment of the drama.

In the end, “Confession” was a great last drama project for Lee Junho before he left to fulfill his mandatory service, and was a satisfying drama all the way through, without it being too intense to handle.

Have you seen “Confession”? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

Image Source/s: tvN

 

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