If possible, go into this series knowing as little as possible about it for maximum effect. So before getting into major spoilers about the series, the bottom line is the Studio Dragon-produced tvN/iQiyi original series Bad and Crazy (배드 앤 크레이지) is simply crazy good. Lee Dong Wook and Wi Ha Joon are absolutely electric as their performances and perfect chemistry power an unexpectedly fun, wild and fascinating action thriller. I did exactly that and it made the experience all the more satisfying and exciting.
Bad and Crazy centers around Ryu Soo Yeol (Lee Dong Wook), a competent and ambitious detective in the police department’s anti-corruption unit. Which is quite ironic considering Soo Yeol’s own questionable ethics as he quickly climbs the ladder. But his outlook on life and justice gets shaken by the arrival of the mysterious leather jacket and helmet-wearing “K” (Wi Ha Joon). K is more than willing to fight (very literally) in order to achieve the righteous justice he believes in.
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K’s quirky, yet fiery and hot-blooded personality clashes with Soo Yeol’s more laid-back and corrupt ways. But Soo Yeol is shocked to discover that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder and that K is a split personality of his. While embroiled in the investigation over the death of a police officer and the potential corruption behind it, Soo Yeol must come to terms with K’s existence and the tragic past that manifested him. All while K comes to Soo Yeol’s physical defense when he finds himself in trouble.
The revelation of Soo Yeol’s split personality is a legitimate surprise for anyone (like myself) who didn’t read up or knew anything about the series’ plot beforehand. And the series is able to drop the bombshell in a very exciting way.
As soon as that revelation makes the picture a bit clearer, the series is able to explore both Soo Yeol and K’s characters more in a way that is at the same time fascinating and fun. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is not a common idea for a Korean drama series to be centered around. And in many films and television series, DID is used very differently. That is, a person’s split personality is some kind of murderous criminal and the like.
Bad and Crazy does it much differently wherein K is actually supportive of Soo Yeol. Proclaiming himself to be a hero of justice, K is the righteous contrast of the slightly corrupt Soo Yeol. But as the series plays out, that relationship and Soo Yeol’s character growth takes center stage.
Lee Dong Wook and Wi Ha Joon are just electrifying and magnetic with their performances and chemistry. The series has an enjoyable balance between quirky fun, police procedural and dark themes. But it’s Soo Yeol and K’s equally hilarious and dramatic banter that provide the highlights of the series that keep you coming back for more.
Their performances, along with the strong supporting cast, quickly establish a fully realized world. Both action-packed fight scenes and emotional, thoughtful moments are seamlessly intertwined for what is a well-rounded experience. Slick production and the fast-paced story pair well alongside the hilarity and the more pensive and dark turns, especially in the latter half of the series . And alongside familiar themes, the series is able to keep the focus on our two main characters and their unique relationship throughout.
It is really a fascinating and refreshing idea for a series’ story. Especially when there can be a bit of sameness to such stories involving psychological thrillers or dark crime dramas on Korean television. Aside from the many lighthearted moments, there is an endearing sincerity as well thanks to both the writing and the performances of our two leads. And the series deals with Soo Yeol’s condition in a meaningful way.
There’s certainly some small missteps as the story unfolds. Especially when Soo Yeol’s past is explored and answers arrive. But pretty much everything else is able to pick up the slack.
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Overall, Bad and Crazy holds many surprises that are effectively laid out across 12 episodes of electrifying, action-packed fun. Lee Dong Wook and Wi Ha Jun effortlessly bring to life two dynamic characters whose chemistry helps deliver what is ultimately a fun and satisfying ride.