Drama Reactions & Reviews
Time Between Dog and Wolf: A Review
by | November 3, 2012 | 125 Comments

It took me a while to get around to this drama, but I finally did. Yay – old drama checked off my list! I’m glad I watched it, because in a way I got to see how action dramas worked in 2007, and compared it to the more recent dramas of late (think IRIS, ATHENA, and City Hunter). I have to admit I went into the drama with pretty low expectations; when I watched the first episode years ago, I couldn’t sit through the first half-hour. I was bored to death. But with nothing to do except some snuggling against my couch and huddling under a blanket, I sat through the entire first episode – and the entire series.

This drama has almost every melodramatic cliche you could squeeze into a 16-episode revenge/action drama, which is both its strong point and its weakest. While the fast pace of the drama helps keep the tensions high, it has more plot holes and crazy plot lines than I could keep track of. It also fluctuated between the story being propelled forward, and then stretches of meandering about as characters dance around the truth but never really get there. But perhaps a summary is in order for those who haven’t seen this series.

Lee Soo Hyun (Lee Jun Ki) was raised in Bangkok by his widowed mother, who worked tirelessly as a prosecutor, trying to bring the Jung Triad to justice after the untimely death of her husband (an NIS agent). Her investigations and police operations attract too much attention, and the Jung Triad decides to swiftly eliminate her.

It also doesn’t help that one of the higher-ups, Mao Liwarat (Choi Jae Sung), just lost his wife and daughter Ari to Seo Young Kil (Jung Sung Mo), one of his underlings. Young Kil made a deal with Soo Hyun’s mother where he would be given safe passage to Korea with Mao’s family (whom he loves dearly) in exchange for information about a scheduled drug sale. So Mao is filled with vengeance when he goes to kill the mother – point blank, and right in front of Soo Hyun’s eyes.

Mao, wearing a Thai costume mask, aims to kill again, but Soo Hyun holds his hand over the nozzle of the gun, holding his mother’s last gift: his father’s broken watch. Moved, and unable to shoot a child in the face, he leaves, but not before Soo Hyun remembers the tattoo on his arm. Soo Hyun had met Mao before when he walked Ari home, and shook hands with him, but guess he never saw the tattoo then…

Ari is forced to leave her home and her newfound friend for Seoul; she never had issue with her father, who was the best father he could be, but she wanted her long-suffering mother to be happy as well. Likewise, Soo Hyun’s parents’ friend Kang Joong Ho (Lee Ki Young) adopts Soo Hyun as his own and takes him to Korea.

His son Min Ki (Jung Kyung Ho) doesn’t have much of a problem with Soo Hyun, but dislikes that Soo Hyun is so distant and cold. He just wants to be friends!! They get into a schoolyard scuffle, and then get caned by the father at home. Joong Ho’s wife and son think that he would never hit Soo Hyun because he’s not his real son and is favored, but Joong Ho whips the boy for his insolence. Bonding moment — and Soo Hyun becomes a real part of their family.

Time passes. They grow up, and Min Ki and Soo Hyun become NIS agents just like their fathers. Min Ki is the troublemaker, being the more lazy agent, and so he ends up in the data mining section. Soo Hyun is quiet but brilliant, and super sharp – he becomes a field agent. It’s a testament to their bond as brothers that neither side is jealous, and neither is surprised by Min Ki’s playboy ways.

They bump into Seo Ji Woo (Nam Sang Mi) accidentally, with Min Ki pursuing her as a love interest, and Soo Hyun in the middle. But when the two old friends recognize each other and reunite, Min Ki can’t stand in the way of their sparkling chemistry. Or more like, Ji Woo’s enthrallment with Soo Hyun, and Soo Hyun’s indifference.

Soo Hyun is assigned a reconnaissance case against the Jung Triad and Mao, who have arrived in Korea in hopes of expanding their market and establishing a hub there. He’s nervous as he plants a camera bug, but then is in for the shock of his life when he recognizes Mao’s tattoo.

He goes rogue, attempting to kill Mao himself, and fires his gun against him. It’s caught on tape – and caught by Min Ki as he reviews the case, no less – and he is subsequently fired. Soo Hyun goes to Thailand immediately, and is followed by Ji Woo and Min Ki, who know he’s plotting revenge.

Soo Hyun tries and fails, and gets hurt, and then goes home. Director Jung, the chief of NIS, recognizes his talent and thirst for revenge, and offers him a position as a narc – he will go deep undercover in Thailand and attempt to infiltrate the Jung Triad. Commence Infernal Affairs plot, with a dash of Amnesia, a heavy dose of Denial and Revenge, a teaspoon of Brothers Reuniting, and a sprinkle of Final Showdown with a Twist.


This drama has loads of Lee Jun Ki at his best, or should I say, trying his best? Whether it’s making spinning kicks or besting others at “Who can shoot first?” he always looks impressive and cool as he does it. Just how I like my heroes. However, there were moments of him screaming in despair or agony that had me wondering, “Are you screaming because this is all too much? Too over-the-top?”

Jung Kyung Ho holds up his end admirably, going from dorky to badass agent when he tries to take Soo Hyun’s place in NIS. The best part is putting the two of them together; together you have a wonderful bromance that shows how much they love each other and support each other.

Despite all the lies and betrayals, I’m glad that Min Ki quickly gets over it because he realizes that 1) he has his brother’s back, and 2) he understands his brother’s need for revenge. I think this drama had too many episodes with them not together, which totally sucked.

In regards to the love triangle though, because Jung Kyung Ho played Min Ki so well, I really wished that he ended up with Ji Woo. Though he threw tantrums when she couldn’t let go of Soo Hyun’s memory, he tried so hard to win her hand. He was a good guy, and I felt bad that Ji Woo wouldn’t accept him.

As for Soo Hyun, I never felt his love for Ji Woo – I think he lacked any chemistry with Nam Sang Mi, despite the drama claiming otherwise. Nam Sang Mi herself was quite annoying – she was always getting in the way of Soo Hyun and Min Ki’s plans, and I just wanted her to shut up and wait until the fighting was over. Though she saved Soo Hyun a couple of times, she also put him in a lot of danger too. Grr – I guess because I didn’t like her character, I didn’t like how these two guys were fighting over her.

[SPOILERS AHEAD] The drama had some crazy plot lines and plot holes that raised more questions as I watched than answered. I mean – when Soo Hyun comes back from the dead in the movie theater, the first thing the agents do is arrest him. Really? You don’t pause and stare mid-punch, crying: “Is that you, Soo Hyun!? Welcome back, buddy!”

Granted, you all asked once, “Is that Soo Hyun?” as you stared at him through the one-way glass, but it falls flat because no one even wants to pursue the possibility with a DNA test. It’s like in Ocean’s Twelve, when Matt Damon makes a passing remark that George Clooney’s wife looks like Julia Roberts. Umm, duh?! At least in Ocean’s Twelve, they do something about the likeness; in Time, they don’t.

Soo Hyun even conveniently gets amnesia, and at that point in the drama (around Episodes 6-8), I felt the series was dragging its feet. Things didn’t make sense – I kept asking myself, “Wait, don’t Mao and Soo Hyun recognize each other already? There are so many signs!” or “Shouldn’t he have seen that watch earlier?”

And then nearer to the end, I wondered, “How’d the Chief survive that flash bomb in his office?” and “Was Mao’s bodyguard Giraffe a double agent too or something?” and “Why the hell do we find out now that Mao and Soo Hyun’s father were friends?” At that point it was such an unnecessary detail that I wish they didn’t include that connection. The drama would have been fine without it.

It was ridiculousness built upon ridiculousness, to the point that when I reached the end, I was willing to buy everything despite my questions because there were too many gaps and potential plot wells to keep track of. “Don’t you know that already?” and “Oh, now you know?” were constant refrains in my head.

I felt the show didn’t pick up again until around Episode 13, when every episode after that had a better cliffhanger than the last. It’s like they got a whole new scriptwriter and editor for the final episodes, because suddenly the story was quicker, more exciting, and wrapping up its story.

Once Soo Hyun remembered who he was, allied with his brother, and their plans came to fruition, the wait became worth it. I don’t like the ending because it was so cheesy, and yet, I love how Min Ki and Soo Hyun essentially became their fathers, and Soo Hyun continued being a narc. In the end, I only cared about these two brothers.

I don’t mean to bash this drama, since I do think that because it was so short, and was trying to move as quickly as possible, it kind of glazed over a bunch of details.  I will give this drama some props for developing solid characters like Min Ki, Soo Hyun, and even Ji Woo (as annoying as she was). It had a great supporting cast in Sung Ji RooLee Tae Sung, and Kim Gab Soo, all of whom made me feel sympathy, made me smack my lips in deliciousness, and made me love to hate, respectively. 

At its core, Dog/Wolf was about revenge, and yet it got sidetracked with the side story of Soo Hyun trying to take down the Triad in forgettable ways (except the time he finally teams up with his brother – see, two heads are better than one!). I’ll draw some parallels to more recent shows. IRIS took a little diversion with the whole NIS takeover, which was important, but all you really wanted was for Hyun Joon to just get chief Baek San already! 

It also makes me appreciate City Hunter more, because it had a well-thought-out plot with enough twists that weren’t dropped in the last five minutes to keep me interested. City Hunter was also about revenge, but its plot of going against five men was actually laid out better than this drama’s plot of going after one man. Time Between Dog and Wolf is a drama that marks its time in 2007 – it’s a drama that makes me appreciate the later action dramas, which had less ambitious plots, but more focused storytelling.

If I were to ever watch this drama again, it would be because of Lee Jun Ki and Jung Kyung Ho’s bromance. I might just watch the first five episodes over and over again, and then skip to Episode 13. Anything with the two of them is worth it; episodes with them apart just makes the drama fall apart.


125 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. tiffany

    YAAAY such an old drama, but so good! <3

  2. Nokcha

    I watched a little bit looking forward to the action, but it was so ridiculously over the top, I couldn’t finish it….You are a sturdier soul than me.

    • 2.1 Dana

      I really tried too! but I lost!

    • 2.2 Rachel

      Doesn’t Lee Jun Ki’s beauty alone surpass your expectation for the action?

  3. seraphine

    bromance ftw 😉

  4. Baerchii

    might watch it cuz I’m starting to like *love* Lee Jun ki

  5. Llamaesque

    I love that Dramabeans is posting these reviews of older shows or dramas that aren’t currently being featured with recaps—very horizon-broadening!

    It’s funny how different people take to different dramas, though. I felt the exact opposite about City Hunter and Time between Dog and Wolf. To me, City Hunter was simplistic to the point of being laughable, while TbDW felt better plotted and much, much more involving.

    • 5.1 Annie

      Agreed. I also don’t care for either PMY or LMH, so City Hunter just felt like a waste of time.

    • 5.2 ilikemangos

      I agree on the whole DBs part.
      I love how these minions are going back and giving us reviews of these old shows! Especially since they don’t have to, and because the DB goddesses aren’t too fond of revisiting the past shows due to lack of time.
      Totally appreciate these, keep em coming!

    • 5.3 anais

      Ditto about your feelings re: City Hunter and TbDaW. Their only commonality for me was that I just wanted the heroines to get lost b/c I found them annoying (TbDaW) or unbelievable (City Hunter).

      In fact, TbDaW and Full House were the two dramas that really got me hooked on kdrama. While I can understand the datedness (i.e., changing drama conventions) barring kaedejun’s appreciation of this drama, I love its treatment of various family relationships – blood and surrogate. I found it far more compelling than City Hunter’s. I also loved its engagement with questions of identity, loyalty (to friend or ethics), etc.

  6. LotusW

    LJK at his hottest!

  7. Dafne

    NoOOOOOOOOO!! No, why did you do it?! I didn’t want to know.. T.T
    How could you? one of my favorite kdrama ever with Resurection! I’m so sad now that you made me opened my eyes on its flaws, were they so many? really? It’s crazy how some stuff are better left as memory..
    Thanks for the review 🙂 I enjoyed it!

    Ps. Did you like IRIS so much more? I’m asking because I couldn’t bring myself to watch it ^^

  8. jenhul

    Where can I watch this one online? I can’t seem to find it.

  9. becca_boo

    wow, you perfectly described my feelings about the pacing and ridicoulousness of this show, right down to the lull between eps 5 and 13 when the boys were apart and the cycle of confusion whenever new discovery was made.

    despite all the craziness, I do have a soft spot for this show because it was a major crack drama for me when I watched it, even as I scratched my head and screamed “just DO something already!!”

    thanks for taking the time to review this, kaedejun. it was fun revisiting the memories of this crazy ride. : )

  10. 10 CA

    (My dad and) I loved this drama back when I watched it a few years ago that I bought the dvd. lol. It was my first time watching Lee Jun Ki in a drama and he was awesome, revenge and all.

    Maybe if I re-watch it again now I might think there are loopholes in plot like you said, but from my memories of my last watch (which was a few years back), it was one show that stayed well with me. Very memorable. Love it!

  11. 11 dany

    I really like this drama, don’t care about its flaws, Lee Jun ki being cool is all that interests me! 🙂

    • 11.1 lishuys

      me toooooooooooo:)

  12. 12 JoAnne

    I started to watch this after Arang ended -a few episodes each weekend. Its on dramacrazy.net. I have been enjoying it but even by the first few Eps I was saying ‘wait how do they not…’ Still. LEE JUN KI. That is a a face to enjoy. Except when he screams-you are right about that.

  13. 13 kakashi

    Thank you, kaedejun! I’m sure there are many people out there with Lee Jun-ki withdrawals at the moment, so this comes just in time 🙂

    Like you and some other commenters, I gave this drama a chance a few years ago, but dropped it somewhere around episode 6. Since, I’ve been keeping it in the drawer. In case Jun-ki doesn’t pick a new project soon (or in case it’s a movie! God forbid) I might take it out. Or I might just leave it there – the simple knowledge that I could watch some awesome Jun-ki if I only wanted to gives me comfort of sorts.

  14. 14 QQ

    hey, I just started this drama, I’m only on Ep2. What a coincidink! Hahaha. Almost gave up due to the drama being hard to find, most the links I found are dead. I will read this after I finished watching.

  15. 15 Appledumpling

    The year 2007, for me, was the very best year for dramas! After only five years has passed, I guess it doesn’t take very long for the cliche’d quote “old school” to get bandied around, huh? 😉

    • 15.1 Mystisith

      In Dramaland time goes by faster! It’s true than we watch oldies only when we need a filler… Meaning when we are in the middle of a a bad batch of currently airing dramas. SO MANY DRAMAS really.
      Thanks for the review kaedejun. 🙂

    • 15.2 lenrasoon

      oh definitely 2007 was the best year for dramas imo with “Evasive Inquiry Agency”, “Que Sera, Sera” and “Dal Ja’s Spring”

      time flies.

      • 15.2.1 ---

        Wasn’t Coffee Prince in 2007 as well? 2007 was awesomeeeee!

        TbDW as a drama I actually enjoyed the 1st time around.. I haven’t re-watched it… and judging from kaede jun’s review it will most likely not hold very well upon re-watch! I’ll just leave my happy memories alone haha

        • ---

          On an additional note.. I actually never could press play for city hunter in spite of several sincere attempts… something about it seems boring and doesn’t grab me enough haha…

          A commenter below noted something important… some drama’s do have an expiry date of sorts.. especially dramas like TbDW since they show their dated-ness as we move forward… romantic/comedies/dramas I find are less of a victim to this problem whereas the action/melo kdramas tend to become less watchable and perharps more annoying with time. This is why not all but a great number of shows tend to become horrible on re-watch.. But all the 2007 dramas you mentioned: “Evasive Inquiry Agency”, “Que Sera, Sera” and “Dal Ja’s Spring” + “Coffee Prince” I have re-watched several times and I love them every single time!

          In conclusion, YES, I absolutely enjoyed this one when it aired.. felt all the emotional tugging. I’m sure it resonated similarly with majority of its viewers during it’s broadcast in 2007… but sure it can be less fun, and justifiably so, for KaedeJun in 2012!

  16. 16 tinatot

    OMG. after watching arang and the magistrate, i stalked lee junki for a bit and i came across the plot summary of this drama and its now on my must watch list. i cant get to reading your blog because of the spoilers but i sure will read this again after i watch the drama 😉

  17. 17 Febulous Febs

    I just watched TODAW this morning!
    Dramabeans you sure love me! <3 <3 <3
    Thank you very very very much for this post kaede! 😀

  18. 18 risugirl

    I watched this drama coz of Junki only.
    I agree with you that the lead actress was so annoying.

  19. 19 Sowon

    as far as i remember from the time i was hit with the Leejunki craze and went over ALL his works in less than a month, they did conduct a DNAtest when he was first arrested and that NIS chief (whom i badly despised from the very first eps) manipulated the results somehow to hide his real identity! or im mistaken…?!

  20. 20 zam

    Really a coincidence. With the end of AATM, started looking for other Lee Jun Ki dramas. Just finished watching the whole episode of TBWAD now on the 5th ep of Iljimae. Cant get over Lee Jun Ki. Whether its good or bad I’ll still watch LJK dramas.

  21. 21 JoJo

    Thanks for the recap…and your critique. I was curious about this drama, but never watched it. To me, it’s always a question of whether I really want to invest 16 hours of my time (Dr Jin is my exception…I watched it for laughs and the great recaps and comments). Think I will pass on this one.

  22. 22 jomo

    I loved my TBDaW experience – like you said – maybe because it had all the possible drama cliches.
    I didn’t think it was trying to tell a different revenge story – you knew where we were headed the moment little SH covered the gun with his chubby little hand…☹
    But I really enjoyed the ride. I know I marathoned it – propelled by the inevitable showdown. The emotions I felt came from how they handled the interactions between the characters. I bought the inherent conflicts from the get-go.

    Crazy eyes aside, LJK did a bang-up job in all three versions of his character. Jung Kyung Ho, my heart is so sad for him! was a second lead to jump ship for. I agree that the bromance was the strength of the series.

    Seeing the supporting cast full of acting sunbaes getting the job done in their roles, is always good. Even though you know all of them have done similar if not EXACTLY the same dialog before and after, they are still convincing.

    As the spunky but not sunny Ji Woo, I liked NSM. She never hid behind anyone or anything. Never backed down from what she wanted. How nice to see a K-heroine who barrelled forward despite everyone trying to stop her.

    Of couse, LJK looked soooooo good throughout. The camera (and wardrobe and make-up) love him. It was neat how tiny changes in hair style helped sell the different characters. And his voice, of course, he has a great low voice to set my heart a-flutter.

    I don’t think it needs to be compared to CH or Iris – different time, different styles of filmmaking.
    TBDaW is old school crime/intrigue – like repeats of 1970’s cop shows – and there are so few of good ones out there.
    I recommend this series to anyone at all -whether they like action or not.

    • 22.1 nova611

      i second

    • 22.2 anais


    • 22.3 JoAnne

      It DOES have a 70s feel – wow I noticed it sort of peripherally but didnt put into words

  23. 23 kopytko

    It was the very first action kdrama that I ever watched, and one I got to see quite early on, at the beginning of my drama adventure. As something else than fluffy romcoms and teary melos, it was a welcome change. After over three years I am sure I did enjoy it, don’t know what I would say if I watched it today. Plotwise, because it is a top notch Lee Junki feast anyway.
    Another advantage of TBDAW were its secondary characters. Especially the mysteriously silent GiRapeu the Giraffe.

    • 23.1 anais

      OMG, Giraffe. Drool. Chased him over into Antique Bakery even!

      I personally really, really loved Mao. I love that actor and I loved his characterization of Mao. So badass.

  24. 24 swui

    I watched this after finishing Iljimae, was on LJK crack back then. Hunted down every drama he acted, even movies. Gawd I even youtubed his cameo roles. Yeah was that nutty that.

    Still love him till this day. I didn’t care about the loopholes then guess I was too blinded my my LJK fangirlishness. Haha. TBDAW was a favourite of mine, not sure if it would withstand the test of time – but I loved it then.

  25. 25 lenrasoon

    I remember seeing at least 3 episodes when it aired back in 2007 ’cause it had my two favorite actors Lee Junki and my bb Jung Kyung Ho but i thought the story dragged so much that i gave up, maybe one of these days i should watch after episode 13 to see how things ended…maybe lol.

    thanks for the review!

  26. 26 Jules

    I haven’t watched this drama, but… aren’t Ari and Ji-woo the same person? (it wasn’t stated here, but I thought I remembered that from reviews on other sites – am I totally wrong?)

    • 26.1 JoAnne

      yes Ari is her Thai name that bio dad calls her

  27. 27 Mar

    Thanks for reviewing this. It helps me alot. This drama is recommended to me over and over and yet I have always delayed watching it. Recently I think I have discovered why. I have found LJK to be a lot like coffee to me. The THOUGHT of coffee is appealing, the aroma, the warm goodness. But once I go to drink it, I’m not as thrilled and get bored with it quickly. I think LJK is quite striking and has a presence, and I enjoyed the fun and energy he brought to My Girl. I watched Arang, and enjoyed elements of it, but I was less enamored of Sato as others, despite the over all quality of the series and the moments when LJK’s acting really shines (the moment his dad saves him, the look in Sato’s eyes). Sato character spent way to much time making squinchy faces, and I think a lot of LJK’s appeal to me is the imp that lives behind his eyes that we do not get to see in these intense roles. So. if I decide to watch this 2007 show I will take your advice and watch the first episodes and them skip ahead.

    Regarding plot holes, I sort of winced when this was compared to City Hunter about plot. Again have not watched TBDAW, so I cannot completely interpret the plot holes, but just stepping off Faith which had so many dropped threads and plot bunnies, and totally ignored seeming important shit from day one, I can totally be receptive to wtf just happened concerns about plot holes in a show (and for the record yes I understand the concept of the theme of faith and layers of meaning and foreshadowing and all that awesome stuff that WAS in Faith the series but that doesn’t make me blind to ignore gaping wounds of fail in the show). I digressed, back to City Hunter as an example of tighter plot. Which could be true, and the pacing was good for sure. I loved it. It’s immensely enjoyable, it takes you for a ride. It’s got just about everything I like in a show. However, I am the first to admit, and have said this before, it had big gaping plot holes Optimus Prime could walk through. Great pacing, superb casting, and all the other good elements make it a great show despite it’s weaknesses in silly plot fails. But I also see that the BASE plot concept was cohesive and it was followed throughout, so maybe that is what you were going with in comparison.

    That’s my 2 cents anyhoo.

    • 27.1 jenhul

      “gaping wounds of fail”

      You just put my entire thoughts on Faith into four words. Thank you!

      • 27.1.1 Mar

        Don’t get me wrong, Faith had a lot of good, but had equal amount of problems.

  28. 28 Ems22

    This is one of my favorite drama of all time.. I bought a dvd eventhough i watched it a lot of times online!

  29. 29 lulu

    that last picture…his eyes are gorgeous…

  30. 30 xiaoSxin

    I love this. One of the best revenge drama.

  31. 31 xiaoSxin

    And one of the best bromance as well. Watched this for Lee Jun Ki at first, but Jung Kyung Ho owned me here.

  32. 32 foolmoon

    Sometimes (I say sometimes) great chemistry between actors, solid acting can cover up the plot holes flaw or ridiculous premise. Did I say sometimes ?
    Me in this case will just enjoy Lee Jun Ki’s hotness ^___,^

  33. 33 Sammy

    Wow now I feel totally discouraged. I’ve downloaded up to epsiode 5 since I was planning on watching all Jun Ki stuff just coz I ended being pulled like a magnet to his character in Arang. Should I watch this or not?

    • 33.1 kopytko

      Well, if you wanted to watch it for Lee Jun Ki, you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, even when you dislike it, you can simply drop it, right?

  34. 34 dulcedeleche

    I watched this back in the day…. and wow was 2007 really that long ago? Feels like ages…..


    I think i stopped watching it when he just regained his memory after trying kill the girls step father ….. did it get better?? should i finish it?

  35. 35 Arhazivory

    This is one of my all time favourites. Loved it. Loved it. LOVED IT.

  36. 36 JenJen

    This was actually one of my favorite dramas (of that time period in kdramaland) but I will admit that I watched it when I was relatively new to kdramas and paid less attention to plot holes etc. Both then and now I skip over the childhood back story because it’s that kdrama element that becomes tiring quickly. Kyung Ho’s character was the best of the story. JunKi did overact many times but I found some of his subdued reactions (after his big breakdown) were good. Although Nam SangMi’s character did get in the way often, I liked that at least she was able to put 2 and 2 together. I didn’t like the ending then and still don’t like it now which is unfortunate because, as 1 of my first few dramas, I was more forgiving.

  37. 37 Brenda

    This is one of the shows that’s been downloaded to my laptop for awhile now, but I’ve never found the time to sit down and watch it.
    I’ll probably get to it one of these days and it’s probably going to be due to my love of Jung Kyung Ho.

  38. 38 Lulla

    Wah, an old drama! This used to be one of my favourite and I was a fan of Lee JunKi, hehehe. Well, I know that this drama has many many flaws. But, I can still undestand bcoz, well once again, this is an old drama. I wont compare this with any recent action dramas coz the writers and PDs must have learned much compared with when they were in 2007, so that they are able to make much-less-cliche dramas with more logical plot. For and old drama like that, it’s understandable.

    Still, despite the flaws, I like LJK’s acting and the tension of the drama. The scene where he was shocked after meeting Mao in the restaurant was very good.

  39. 39 Conny

    This was one of the dramas on my list. I almost bought it at Hanbooks yesterday but decided to hold off. Reading your review makes me wonder if I did the right thing. 😉
    It also makes me wonder what you’re doing in my head since this was seriously one of the older dramas I’ve been meaning to watch but hadn’t been able to find good reviews on it.
    Guess I’ll catch it on Dramacrazy when I get my new laptop since I can’t install Adobe Flash on my iPad. Sigh.

    (And yes, I guess I could watch it on the desktop, but I’d rather relax on the couch while watching my KDramas..lol)

  40. 40 kaigou

    I love the drama but had to quit it about three episodes before the end. I just couldn’t take any more of it.

    I loved the cast, but the lead actress, my god. She certainly seems intelligent enough, and she’s good enough to deliver lines with enough sincerity that you believe she believes what she’s saying. The problem is that the lines she had to deliver were so damn STUPID that I started wondering if between takes she hid in the bathroom and banged her head against the wall to get into character. Like the pivotal argument when she tells Soo Hyun that if he doesn’t quit being undercover, she’ll go to her father… and tell him that Soo Hyun is undercover. IOW, she’ll get him KILLED. His lines weren’t exactly stellar, either, but the logic they gave her to say was just so non-logic it made my head hurt.

    And that was after at least five episodes of her always calling out his real name, and always where someone from the mob could overhear. The stupid was handed around in equal doses, it seemed, for various nefarious types to be all, “what? what name? what was that she called him?” And so on. I mean, it’s not like she didn’t know what he did for a living, who he (and his brother) worked for. If I were him, I would’ve run to five countries away to get away from her, given the number of times she put his life in danger just by calling his name. Sheesh. They say you only hurt the ones you love, but the story made her more than a little ridiculous about it.

    (The one detail I could forgive, easily, was the amnesia! But then I’m familiar with people going deep undercover, playing a role. There’s a reason — at least in the US — you’re required to have contacts and time off, even in deep undercover. Otherwise, the mental and emotional damage to play someone who is a murdering drug dealer is brutal, and there is a risk the person will start to slip into their role a little too deeply. There have been cases of supervisors reporting their own undercover cops simply didn’t seem to recognize them on the street, being “in role” and shunting the “knowing the good guys” part of their brain to the back.)

    Then again, the story’s entire present-day premise (in terms of angst for all supporting characters) hinges on having someone go undercover… by pretending to be DEAD. It’s not like that’s not done, in rare cases, but the immediate family (and this would usually include fiancees) does know. You don’t leave them in the dark, or you do get stupid reactions like, well, all of their reactions.

    Actually, the character I ended up liking the most was the father/mob boss. He didn’t appear to be a big name actor but he just played his role with a great deal of humanity and strength of will, such that it was obvious why people followed him and how he got to the top. I liked the bromance well enough, but what I really wanted was for Soo Hyun to come clean and admit to his mob/quasi-father who he really was. He was such a puppy around the mob boss, like his inner little kid was dying for a father-figure. Sigh.

    • 40.1 anais

      Love your read of Soohyun’s relationship with Mao and of Mao the character. Totally.

      • 40.1.1 JoAnne

        Agreed – I found Mao very compelling

  41. 41 Pat

    This was one of the first Kdramas I saw that was not rom com,
    so I was interested. I skipped the 1st ep and FF till it got good.
    Had not seen LJK before, but I loved his performance in the context of the whole over- the- top- ness of the entire drama.
    I remember not liking the girlfriend tho.

  42. 42 Trn

    I watched this drama years ago and I LOVED it! This recap brings back so many good memories 😀

  43. 43 Ennayra

    Thanks for the review!

    When I was new to the Kdrama world, back in maybe 2008, I tried to watch this drama too; so I was really interested to read about what happened without actually watching it. I made it about 5 episodes back then, before the love triangle bored me to tears and I decided I didn’t love Lee Jun-ki enough to suffer for him. Lol. It’s not just you that was turned off by the female lead.

    I agree with what you said about it being stuck in 2007. I think I only made it through the 5 episodes that I did because I was new to the drama world and didn’t know the melodramatic cliches of the Kdrama world. I’ve never been able to handle the makjang, lol.

  44. 44 sudi

    Lee jun ki is the son of the gangster leader,am I right?And the hero -heroine are half brotger-sister!!!And at last our second lead hero get married to the woman who works with him in office & loves him & finally have child..Am I correct??Last 5/10 minutes of scenes I honestly didnt understand!!

    • 44.1 JoAnne

      if that is what happens and you didnt put spoiler on there I swear to God I will hunt you down and teach you a lesson

      • 44.1.1 Dafne

        hahaha!! euh no. That’s not what happened…don’t worry ^^ apart from the fathery figure of Mao (who is a great caracter btw) everthing is a misunderstanding ^^

  45. 45 Mexy

    First of all, I believe there’s an expiry date for dramas. Not that this is an expired drama. But the idea is “Watch Best Before __” and if we fail to do so we may not feel the substance, not because the drama is lacking in any way but because we’ve watched it too late. And when I say this I meant it is applicable to ALL dramas in my opinion.

    Time Between Dog and Wolf is one of the greatest dramas I’ve watched. I am so lucky I managed to watch it even while it was airing. During that time, no drama could compare to this, not Iris definitely not City Hunter. Those two are just too pale in comparison. But watching an old drama with a bunch of been there done that action scenes and not so high tech-y as the recent dramas may make it dull and boring.

    Like watching Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata, Hotelier and bunch of dramas like that.. it will bore you to death but during those times it was airing it was damn good because the target audience is not you.

    Simply put, I think the review underrated the drama. Time Between Dog and Wolf is a revenge plot made nasty by the blossoming and tearful love from the female heroine and everyone else around the hero. It’s supposed to make you feel the pain and the angst.

    The tagline is in the time whether you do not know if the dog you raised is the wolf that will bite you. This is a must-watch!!!

    • 45.1 Mar

      I thought Time between Dog and Wolf referred to the time of day, dusk, when you can’t really being sure what you are seeing in the shadows, as the sun goes down, i.e., if you are looking out your window you cannot tell if an animal is a dog or a wolf as it stands in the shadows.

  46. 46 rpb

    wait, whaa? this is the same kaedejun who watches and enjoyes all the crappy series, right?(i noticed in the last few years, all the good series go to dramabeans and girlfriday, and all the crappy ones to kaedejun). so he/she enjoyes all the crappy ones, but all of the sudden she delves into proper analyses, i never saw that one coming. but the thing is, time between dog and wolf is actually a masterpiece, so the irony is big :D.

  47. 47 Roshogolla

    Your review is pretty spot on. My thoughts exactly echoed yours when I first watched it back in 2007. However, due to it’s larger fan base I started to doubt my view and kept quiet. It’s funny initially this drama was scheduled for 20 episodes, and the plot had all three of them being agents (if you look at their initial promo pictures all of them wearing black suits). But later they changed the plot where they made Ji Woo this annoying useless wench that I just wanted to make her go away (I had same feelings for the female leads in return of iljimae and resurrection).

    Speaking of revenge dramas, could you do a review on The Devil/Mawang. IMO it is the most underrated gem of revenge drama out there. People compare it to Resurrection (done by same team) but the devil was executed so much better (and there’s no horrible whiny female lead).

    • 47.1 Belinda

      I’m currently watching episode 3 of TBDW. I’m surprised at the negative reviews about this drama since practically in every website/blog I visited, 99% of the people who watched it gave it high marks. Seriously, kaedejun should have cut it some slack. It aired in 2007 after all. Obviously, Korean dramas now have “improved” much (although I have to disagree with this statement as well). Hmm, nope I’m not going to be deterred by this review though. I’ll decide for myself if this drama did in fact suck or not. I’ve always loved revenge dramas since I watched Green Rose. And any revenge drama WITH positive reviews peaks my interest.

      Anyway, I do agree with your remark about Mawang (aka The Devil). It was pretty much Korean drama perfection in terms of plot, direction and execution. It was intelligently written and wonderfully acted. Gosh, Joo Ji Hoon’s performance pleasantly surprised me. And Uhm Tae Woong, what can I say? He’s just an amazing actor. Very versatile. It’s just too bad that he’s not recognized that much. My problem with this drama though is…it’s just too dark. It’s tragic. It’s full of angst. The lives of the two leads are devoid of any hope to the point of death. Yeah, I get what the writer wanted to point out (e.g. heartbreaking consequences of vengeance, hatred, grudges, etc). I just can’t manage to watch the whole thing all over again.

      I dropped Resurrection after I finished Mawang because I’m allergic to the cliche in Korean dramas where fake/adoptive/step siblings fall in love with each other. I hate that because I dunno, it’s just so weird. But now I’m tempted to pick up where I left off because people keep saying that it’s just so darn good. Its plot is said to be intricate and convoluted, something which I appreciate very much in a Korean drama.

  48. 48 cher

    TBDAW is LJK’s best action drama ever!!! I’m not blind to some plot holes but LJK’s acting in this drama made me one of his fans. I love the OST too but not it’s meaning. It was a good thing I don’t understand the song because it will just ruin the song for me. I keep my DVD copy in a safe location. Oh how I miss this drama.

  49. 49 missjb

    love this drama to death, way more than city hunter
    The hero is not too perfect, he has flaws and grow up in progress

  50. 50 Lulla

    Hi guys..

    Just wanna add my opinion on this being in 2007 compared to other series. Coffee Prince, for example. Many people still like Coffee Prince. I think, it is understandable bcoz Coffee Prince is a romantic drama. It is a common theme that have been created many years. TbDaW is a different genre. It is an action drama, a theme which is not commonly used a long time ago. So, the writers and PDs should have more experience in creating romantic drama than an action drama, so the quality of the result should also be different. In my case, I want to compare TBDaW with other series with the same genre, in order to make a fair comparison. And, yes.. I think, for a Korean action drama created in 2007, it has it’s own charm.

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