Bad And Crazy is iQiyi’s latest original Korean drama, which generated a lot of anticipation since September, when they announced Guardian: The Lonely And Great God’s Lee Dong-wook and Squid Game’s Wi Ha-jun will star in it.
The series has just released its first two episodes on the streaming platform. It features Lee as Ryu Soo-yeol, a “bad” and materialistic cop. As he goes about his day, he encounters a “crazy” and mysterious person K (Wi Ha-jun), who wears a motorcycle helmet and assaults him every time they meet.
Here’s why we feel that Bad And Crazy is not off to a good start:
1. Ryu Soo-yeol takes two episodes to find out he has a split personality.
Perhaps it is to build suspense or to emphasise the confusion that Ryu has, it is only until the end of two whole episodes (each more than an hour-long) that he finally understands all the strange happenings — why this violent guy is only visible to him.
Due to the way this split personality is presented, it becomes perplexing for the audience as well, as some scenes showed the two, who supposedly share the same body, at different places simultaneously. It may also be more entertaining if the series adds some easter eggs to show that it is all happening in Ryu's head, when the other persona has taken over his body.
2. Half the time we see Oh Kyung-tae getting bashed up or framed.
Cha Hak-yeon plays a young and passionate police officer Oh Kyung-tae, who chances upon a case that someone wants to cover up. Having been attacked once, he should know better than to take action alone. Without getting a trusted partner to tag along with his investigations, Oh gets brutally beaten up time and again, and he is even framed for things he did not do. Yet, no one wants to believe that he may be on to something, or wants to lend him a hand. Instead, they ask him to wash his hands of the case. The lack of realism in the story makes it less compelling to watch.
3. The truth of a case finally sees some light after two episodes.
Despite everything that the mysterious persona is trying to show him, Ryu does not find things suspicious with the case Oh is working on. At one point, he even gives up on the case when the leads go cold. It is only until detective Lee Hui-gyeom (Han Ji-eun) reminds him of the discrepancies and tells him another side of the case that he finally “wakes up his idea.” All of these, again, take two whole episodes to unravel. Although there are a lot of intense action scenes, they feel like a filler as the story makes minimal progress.
4. It is still unclear how Lee Hui-gyeom will help with the story.
As one of the four main actors in the series, Han, sad to say, has not yet been given a lot of screen time. As of the second episode, she only appears in two separate and relatively short scenes. Apart from understanding that her character Lee is the ex-girlfriend of Ryu, who comes from a wealthy background, we barely know anything more. But she tends to argue with Ryu, and knock some sense into him, which will likely spur him into becoming a better policeman.
All in all, the way things unfold did not do justice to the intriguing idea about split personality. Certain comical and exaggerated scenes look like they come out of a webtoon, but they do not work that well in a live-action drama. However, Wi Ha-jun’s portrayal of crazy is spectacular, which may take the peak of his career to another new record.
Bad And Crazy is now streaming on iQiyi, with new episodes every Friday and Saturday.