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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mad Dog" Episode 4

2017/10/20 | Permalink

The dog fight continues as Kang-woo and his team follow Min-joon's lead while at the same time investigating him and his potential motive. The case of Kang Eun-joo's husband clearly has foul play involved and the revelation of her past further fuels the need of the "Mad Dog" bunch for information. Meanwhile, romantic woes start to surface in the lives of leads and antagonists alike.

The plot thickens as connections come to light and I wonder how far back those go, given the latest revelations. I am sure that the orphanage will turn out to be funded by Chairman Cha (Jung Bo-suk) or something, but the fact that it is still difficult to figure out who is guilty of what, what their moral stance on the story's happenings is or who may have been pressured or threatened keeps things slightly more interesting.

Mi-ran, Eun-joo and Beom-joon during their reunionHa-ri challenging Min-joon

On a potentially less positive note, the series seems to have romance in store for its younger leads. I like the idea of a romance for people who clearly do not have much fun in life, but if the flirting between Min-joon (Woo Do-hwan) and Ha-ri (Ryu Hwa-young) keeps happening as fanservice, rather than bonding, I will start to doubt the creators' focus and confidence. The same goes for Min-joon's sudden bouts of toplessness. These characters and their relationships can and should be engaging enough without a crutch.

Their flaunted appeal could, in a worst case scenario, mean that creators think viewers may not care about justice or the heroes' pain enough if said heroes are not placed on a pedestal. The same goes for Kang-woo's (Yoo Ji-tae) overplayed, but underdeveloped drama, although his rediscovery of sympathy is an encouraging element. I also wish to see more "guest victims" with a strong presence. Personal revenge stories come a dime a dozen, but social justice ones carry more weight.

Kang-woo being tucked in by his teamKang-woo and Min-joon after solving a case

The antagonist trio or at least what so far feels like one continue to be painfully dull and while I do have the curiosity fueled by impatience to figure out the role of each, I wish the series would get to that already. "Mad Dog" has just concluded its introduction and we do not even know what the point of their existence in this plot is aside from what the predictability of such stories and their character types dictate.

I am not sure what to make of "Mad Dog" so far. It has some moments of brilliance with its characters, their motivations, development and with its story and mystery, but it also focuses so much on larger-than-life ideas, theatrics and caricature supporting and guest characters that it sometimes feels effortless and forced. Can we drop the barking and get to the biting, "Mad Dog"?

"Mad Dog" is directed by Hwang Ee-kyeong, written by Kim Soo-jin-V and features Yoo Ji-tae, Woo Do-hwan, Ryu Hwa-young, Kim Hye-sung and Jo Jae-yun.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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