Hindsight Review: Legend of the Patriots is More Than Just a History Lesson

TYPE OF REVIEW : HINDSIGHT REVIEW
Minor spoilers. For spoiler-free First Impression Review, click here.

KBS’ Legend of the Patriots (전우/Comrades) is more than just a well-produced history lesson. It was an incredible story about the cost of war, the life of a soldier, friendship, family and love.

The series was emotionally gripping. It didn’t matter whether or not you were directly or indirectly affected by the Korean War. The universal message of the series touches on everyone with the Korean War adding that much more emotional heft.

Last month, I said Legend of the Patriots was incredibly impressive, and that was true all the way up to Episode 20 (the final episode). The scope of the drama’s production could rival even the biggest American-produced series, boasting a terrific film-level quality.

That excellent production boosts the already powerful story. We got to see the Korean War through the eyes of the South and the North and everyone in between. It was emotional and powerful, thanks in large part to its great ensemble cast. Being in the trenches right with them, you feel like you are in the moment, feeling the pain of loss and enjoying the moments of celebration.

The series was very character driven, giving each of them deep, multi-dimensional personalities that were fleshed out over the course of the series.

The series slowed down a bit for a few episodes in the latter half of its run in the concentration camp, which might have taken up more episodes than it should have. Nonetheless, the episodes did deliver some great stories in and out of the camp.

It may have been tough to watch the struggles of life as a soldier and life during war in general, but overall Legend of the Patriots was a heartbreaking, incredible, engaging and enlightening experience. I am so happy to have discovered the series and easily one of the very best Korean dramas of the year.

It is hard to review a miniseries just after seeing one part of it. That one part could be amazing, but then everything is downhill from there. Or, that first part could be nothing special but builds itself up into a fine series.

And so it can be with Korean dramas, most of which are closed-ended 16 or 20 episode miniseries. Earlier this year, reviewing my first Korean dramas, I waited until seeing the entire series to critique. But during the Summer, I was so amazed by three Korean dramas that I just couldn’t wait to sing their praises.

Now that I am close to finishing them, do I still feel the same way about the series as I did when I first reviewed them? Here’s the second of what I call my Hindsight Review.

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