Sorry for the lack of updates, because sab is away on holidays and work has never been too kind to kooriyuki *sadface* This is just a quick first impression, because 1) kooriyuki is not too much of an action fan, 2) I’m not sure if I’ll continue with Show even though it looks quirky.
Note: I don’t care about the controversy that surrounds Park Shi Hoo because I’m not a fan, and this is a drama, not some reality show. He’s an actor, and dramas should be watched for the plot and acting, not for the actor/actress.
Neighborhood Hero opens to a short history of our protagonist Baek Shi Yoon (Park Shi Hoo) when he was still an agent for the Korean central intelligence agency. He and his teammates were carrying out a mission in Macau and it was suddenly caught off without a reason. He and his teammate decides to follow it through as another colleague’s disguise was being seen through, but all three of them end up being caught by their target. One of them sacrificed during mission, and while we were not told why and if the colleague Shi Yoon wanted to rescue survived, the time jumps to 3 years later and Shi Yoon is about to be released from prison.
The entire of Episode 1 is an introduction to all our major characters in Show, an old bartender/owner of bar, a part-time waitress/aspiring scriptwriter Bae Jung-yeon (Yuri of SNSD), a police academy hopeful Choi Chan Gyu (Lee Soo Hyuk), and a kind police officer Im Tae Ho (Jo Sung Ha) who’s not all that upright. Thus, it doesn’t feel the most coherent as we’re not told how is everyone going to be linked, except that they’ll all probably be meeting pretty often at the bar which Shi Yoon eventually buys. It is only towards the end it is revealed that Shi Yoon is hellbent on avenging the death of his ex-colleague and finding out the truth behind the botched mission.
There seems to be a whole lot of (ex) spies and agents, given how Shi Yoon keeps track of the people he comes across everyday after being released from prison. He has a keen eye for detail and is able to tell almost instantly who is/was a spy. I think he knows beforehand the bar is some sort of a meeting place for exchange of intelligence, and the old bartender knows who Shi Yoon is. The overall feel is pretty laidback and different from the usual OCN dramas which can get quite heavy on action from the premiere. I do like that the cast here are mostly playing roles different from their previous works, such as Lee Soo Hyuk’s Chan Gyu. I’ve never seen Lee Soo Hyuk in anything but brooding or sharp! Park Shi Hoo’s Shi Yoon feels a tad like Kim Seung Yoo in The Princess’ Man, but definitely more sleek and perhaps less rash.
No promises if there’ll be further commentaries on Show; it’s all up to sab!