Life Special Investigation Team

In his mid-year assessment of 2008’s drama offerings, kdrama critic extraordinaire, X (also known variously as MisterX, Anarchist, and Grump’s-My-Middle-Name), praised Life Special Investigation Team as “one of the most exhilarating shows of the year.”

X went on to say:

LIFE focuses on a group of agents investigating insurance frauds, and although there is a good amount of detail, this is not a CSI style show.

What it has in droves instead is personality. The self-contained, one-episode-per-week format is much closer to Japan than the US even in atmosphere, but it’s handled with remarkable wit and panache by Im Tae-Woo and Co. This is one of the first times a US-system (several writers and producers handling one episode each, with a creator in the middle dictating the drama’s direction) was used in Korea, and although there is still room for improvement, it’s definitely a good start. But the real standout is Eom Gi-Joon, a theater/musical-trained actor who you’re likely to see quite often from now on, as he’s been cast in Noh Hee-Kyung’s upcoming 그들이 사는 세상 (The World they Live in). Good acting, good writing, fun and interesting characters with personality and a nice atmosphere. LIFE would be the perfect launchpad for a season drama, if they ever decide to go back to the format. Otherwise, it can just stand on its own, as one of this year’s nicest shows.

You can read the whole article (where, among other musings, X goes misty-eyed over La Dolce Vita and confesses to a soft spot for Strongest Chil-woo) here.

X’s review made me curious about LSIT and I figure some people might feel the same way, too; hence, this post. But I’m also rather apprehensive because this is the first time I’m sharing download links for a drama that I’ve yet to watch. (So far I’ve only shared links for dramas that I can recommend unreservedly.) As I hardly have time to watch dramas these days (watching only one at the moment and very slowly at that), you’ll just have to take X’s word that this is a show worth your twelve hours!

EDIT:

All links deleted.

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16 thoughts on “Life Special Investigation Team

  1. Too many pleasant dramas to watch now : midas which I like a lot , royal family with a new ji sung , crime squad where is my favourire actress Park sun Young : these three have very good actors .
    We are always so pleased to read new posts from you ! But first take care of you and your loved one

  2. Thanks for sharing! Life Special Investigation Team is a great drama. Uhm Ki-joon is absolutely fantastic! Though some episodes outshine others, the drama overall is fun. Plus it’s “only” 12 episodes so I would recommend it to most people.

  3. Just posted on SoP post but I wanted to give a shout out to this drama…it’s is a great watch (though I’m only on episode 3ish) and is pretty hilarious. Love UJK! and Kim Heung-soo (MINE!MINE!MINE!MINE!). Thanks for posting this 🙂

  4. Psst, hjkomo, lovepark and Taohua…

    Guess who is X’s pick for best actor of 2008?

    We like surprises. And, continuing with tradition, 2008 was marked by once again another, almost shocking surprise. Because, folks, a star is born, and his name is Eom Gi-Joon. He’s a freaking star, there’s no other way to classify him.

    No, no, I don’t mean star, some two-bit pretty face a la Won Bin, who would go on to prance around a few popular films and dramas, make billions on CFs and go to Japan making fake smiles in front of housewives with too much money to spend. I mean “star.” The Song Kang-Ho’s, the Kim Yoon-Seok’s, the Ha Jung Woo’s. Hell, the Oh Man-Seok’s. Because this guy has it all, ALL. Range, delivery, a mask that could fit anywhere from sageuk to serial killer dramas; comic touch, a gift for ad-lib, and he can play a mean badass every day and twice on Sunday. Eom is one of the many — like Oh Man-Seok — who transitioned from theater and musicals to drama a little late, but he certainly compensates for his late start with tremendous fundamentals, and a certain verve that sort of reminds me of a very young Choi Min-Shik in 서울의 달 (The Moon of Seoul). That… “I’m so much better than anyone my age here that I’ll have to nonchalantly embarrass you every time you breathe next to me on camera” aura?

    I mean, I have no problem with Hyun Bin. He’s a passable, if a tad insipid actor, who makes uneven choices but generally looks to be headed for a decent career. But Eom was eating him alive every second they shared on camera, every single second. This guy was acting next to legends like Kim Gab-Soo and Yoon Yeo-Jung on the same level, as if he walked into a room with Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Duane Allman and Eric Clapton and went… “Oh, what’s going on guys? Hand me that Strat over there, will ya?”

    What’s even better is the immense range displayed, just this year, only his third in the business after almost a decade of musicals. In Life he played a sloppy and nasty “investigator,” as silly as humanly possible. In Worlds Within, the complete opposite, complete with smartass banter and all the weight of the elite on his shoulders, slowly melting in front of all the cutesy silliness that was Seo Hyo-Rim’s character. A 180 degrees turn, yet every single second he’s on screen he knows what to do, how to do it, and how to read the reaction of his fellow actors and help them out make a better scene. That’s, like, the biggest praise an actor can receive. And he just did that. He probably won’t become some name on a multi-million dollar blockbuster loved by kiddos all over Asia, but this guy has “it.” The kind of vibe that makes you go…

    “Ahh… Eom Gi Joon? Man… the guy sure can act.”

    To find out who else was in the running, go here:

    http://testing.withs2.com/view/the-2008-x-drama-awards/8/

  5. @Taohua

    Can we share KimHeungSoo pretty pretty please….
    That man is hilarious. I am just on episode 3 and we’ve got perfume-spraying scene, and his trip with the bags was cracktastic :-))

  6. Hi Thundie
    I’ve just finished watching the series on your recommendation. Wow, what a lovely series! Thoroughly enjoyed it. Don’t know why it wasn’t on my radar when it was first shown. This series is funny and I loved Eom Ki Joon. His character is hilarious. How many times have we tried not to fart in public? LOL!!!
    My only gripe is that the series is highlighting the incompetence of the police department. The team were able to find new evidence and solved cases which have already been closed by the police department.
    Thank you so much for continuing to post and please, please take care of yourself and your loved one. Hang in there because I believe every cloud has a silver lining. I’ve been through it and I know how you feel. Xxx

  7. thank you, thank you! I just finished downloading all episodes and ep 12 took 3 hours!

    anyways, I hope to start watching as soon as I finish doing my taxes!

  8. Greatly enjoying this! The characters are such a hoot! This series was completely off my radar and I never would have even known it existed except for you. Thanks for recommending this, Thundie!

  9. Episode 1 was great. Episode 2 wasn’t quite as good but I think this one is definitely interesting. Reminds me a lot of Evasive Inquiry Agency.

    • Oops, thanks for letting me know, Smile! Strange how no one has alerted me before. I’ve updated the Ep 12 link above. Happy watching!

  10. I’m Eom Kijoon big fans!!!!
    And since I watched this drama, I started liking him more! This drama is so funny and I enjoyed everybody’s cute ekspresion, especially Eom Kijoon 😀
    And this drama has a nice ending >//<

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