K-Drama Review: ‘Bad Guy’ is a Dark and Convoluted Revenge Drama You Are Going to Enjoy

The Cast

Main Characters

  • Kim Nam-gil as Shim Gun-wook
    Kang Soo-han as young Gun-wook
  • Han Ga-in as Moon Jae-in
  • Kim Jae-wook as Hong Tae-sung
    Park Joon-mok as young Tae-sung
  • Oh Yeon-soo as Hong Tae-ra
    Moon Ga-young as young Tae-ra
  • Jung So-min as Hong Mo-ne

Supporting Characters

  • Kim Hye-ok as Mrs. Shin
  • Jeon Gook-hwan as President Hong
  • Shim Eun-kyung as Moon Weon-in
  • Ji Hoo as Lee Beom-woo
    Chae Gun as young Beom-woo
  • Kim Min-seo as Choi Sun-young
    Lee Ji-eun as young Sun-young
  • Kim Jung-tae as Jang Gam-dok
  • Ha Joo-hee as Jeon Hye-joo
  • Park Ah-in as Da-rim
  • Jung Seung-oh as Uhm Sang-moo
  • Jeon Min-seo as Hong So-dam (Tae-ra’s daughter)
  • Song Ji-eun as Gun-wook’s mother
  • Song Joo-yeon as Song Joo-yeon
  • Uhm Tae-goo as Tae-ra’s bodyguard

Soundtracks

No. Title Artist
1. “가끔은 혼자 웁니다” (Sometimes I Cry Alone) Kim Yeon-woo
2. “가시꽃” (Thorn Flower) Jung Yeop
3. “고해요” (Confession) 4MEN (feat. Ben of Bebe Mignon)
4. “어디에 (Orchestra Ver.)”
(Where (Orchestra Ver.))
Mi
5. “혼잣말” (Soliloquy) Jung Yeop
6. “웃지마 울지마” (Don’t Laugh, Don’t Cry) 4MEN and Jang Hye-jin
7. “몰랐었어” (I Didn’t Know) Yelocloc
8. “웃지마 울지마 (Male Ver.)”
(Don’t Laugh, Don’t Cry (Male Ver.))
4MEN
9. “기다림은 상처만 남기고”
(Waiting Only Leaves The Pain Behind)
BMK
10. “바보” (Fool) Bae Joo-young
11. “슬픈여자” (Sad Woman) Seo Yoon
12. “어디에 (Piano Ver.)”
(Where (Piano Ver.))
Mi
13. Main Title Kim Ji-soo
(Music & Arrangement)
14. Sub Title
15. “회상” (Recall) Jung Ye-kyung
(Composition & Arrangement)
16. “사랑하는 사람에게” (To Someone You Love) Kim Ji-soo
(Composition & Arrangement)
17. “아주 옛날에” (Once Upon A Time)
18. “흉터” (Scar)
19. “향수” (Perfume)
20. “Tatoo” Choi Sung-kwon
(Composition & Arrangement)
21. “스턴트맨” (Stuntman) Park Jun-soo
(Composition & Arrangement)
22. “Dogma”
23. “Prologue”

5 Reasons You Should Watch Bad Guy

1. Manipulative Main Character

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Shout out to Kim Nam-gil, who successfully portrays Shim Gun-wook for being manipulative. He has totally different characters when he meets different people. He seems to get on anybody’s good side for his own favors. He lets them think that they have power over him when, actually, he is the one controlling them. He acts nice to Mo-nae so she likes him and chases after him. She doesn’t let anybody to stand in her way to Gun-wook, not even her own family. At the same time, Gun-wook also tries to seduce Tae-ra, Mo-nae’s sister, using her unfortunate marriage situation. Later, he uses Jae-in to get closer to Tae-sung when Gun-wook finds out that she is interested in him because he is well off. We can see he can easily manipulate the women here, so what about the men? Apparently, he gets Tae-sung’s trust for being by his side all the time. Yep, in the end his manipulative method helps save him from his enemy, Madam Shin. Literally everybody defends him whenever Madam Shin tries to get rid of him. Well played, Gun-wook!

2. Whole New Level of Romance Intimacy

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This drama also provides a brand new level of romance intimacy. We can see it clearly between Gun-wook and Tae-ra, who seemingly develop feelings when they rarely have a real conversation! They mostly just stare at each other and sometimes steal touches by holding hands. Yet, somehow, we can feel their intimate passion for each other with those simple things. This actually is a fresh thing in romance, knowing that Korean drama usually uses the cute concept of romance instead of the mature ones.

3. Learn More About Different Effects of Trauma

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If you notice, most of the characters’ behaviors are the result of their past traumas. For example, Gun-wook, who plans a revenge on the Hong family. He was once taken to the family, parted with his family at the time, only to get dumped on his birthday. On the same day, he lost his dog along with his parents in a traffic accident. Poor child, now he knows all of that happened because of Madam Shin and gives his all to realize his revenge plan to the Hong family. Jae-in, who is after rich guys, once got dumped by a guy because he met another woman who was rich. Tae-sung, who lost his ex, blames himself and swears that if he ever falls in love again, he will treat her better. We can learn that a certain behavior or attitude must have a reason, whether we are aware of it or not.

4. Different Partner, Different Chemistry

This drama provides a really complicated yet interesting love line.

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From the start, Gun-wook is paired with Mo-nae, who is already engaged to a man. Gun-wook seems to be like a mature oppa who takes care of his younger sister as Mo-nae seems like a spoiled rich girl.

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When Gun-wook approaches Tae-ra, it definitely feels like a 180 degree difference from when he is with Mo-nae. This time he faces a much more mature and already married woman. We can’t help but to feel the ‘heat’ between them whenever they meet. We can’t deny Tae-ra has a sexual desire towards Gun-wook as she imagines ‘hot’ things with him.

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Jae-in finally has her relationship with Tae-sung. It’s nice to see that Tae-sung tries to make things right over his guilt to his ex so he tries to do anything for Jae-in. On the other hand, even though her feelings are not fully true, Jae-in understands Tae-sung’s guilty feelings and supports him. Rather than a lovey-dovey relationship, they are much more like best friends who keep supporting each other no matter what.

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Later, Gun-wook shows his chemistry with Jae-in. They try to push and pull things without knowing or admitting their true feelings towards each other. Gun-wook keeps encouraging her with Tae-sung and Jae-in also follows up Gun-wook’s relationship with Mo-nae. It is interesting to see them in their own denial and ,of course, we know who is the true couple (without being fake) after all.

5. Compatible Second Lead Male and Female Characters

As mentioned above, they have a different chemistry with different characters. That also means that the second lead male (Tae-sung) and female (Tae-ra) are compatible enough to be paired with the main characters, Gun-wook and Jae-in. As much as we like Gun-wook and Jae-in, we can’t deny that we actually look forward to a deeper relationship when Jae-in is with Tae-sung or when Gun-wook is with Tae-ra, despite the fake feelings for them.

 

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In conclusion, Bad Guy serves a different kind of Korean drama. Despite all the complicated conflicts in it, the acting skill of the cast is outstanding. We can invest a lot in them or at least understand how they feel. Only if the story line were compatible with the cast, it would have been a great drama. Regardless, they try to put a plot twist for the ending and we can simply take the meaning: life is full of surprises, not anything can go with our plan even when we have prepared it for a long time, so beware.