Rating:
Average user rating 4.1
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Drama Hangout: Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho

Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho began its run last week on KBS, and for such a seemingly human drama, netting over 10% right out of the starting gate is no small feat. Yet another webtoon adaptation in the latest stream of webtoon adaptations, Neighborhood Lawyer stars Park Shin-yang as a former hotshot prosecutor who gets knocked down, but who picks himself back up by becoming the titular neighborhood lawyer, there to help out those in need.

Kang Sora also stars as a lawyer who works for the people, but one who may have larger (and as yet unfulfilled) aspirations. I’ve always loved Kang Sora in roles that count on her to be a little more down to earth, since she always nails being relatable. Even though the wacky tone of the drama may not necessarily qualify as being that down to earth, it’s unusually fun for what it looked to be on the surface.

There also looks to be meta fun galore inherent in the premise, and with the reception the show’s receiving overseas, it’s one worth a look. Though we can’t take a magnifying glass to it, these Drama Hangouts give us the chance to hear from you, the Beanies, on how a show is doing. So, without further ado, let the discussion commence!

 
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Kang Sora! ❤

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+1

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I m also in love with her.I truly wish that she becomes the most successful actress.

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I saw that truck coming a mile away. The predictability of the white truck of death totally ruined my initial impressions of the drama. I laughed. Does it get better....

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LOL. I totally didn't expect the truck. When that I happened, I was like "Why didn't anyone tell me there's going to be a truck of doom?" (Like in SUFBB, where we all knew it was a just a Lee Min-ki cameo.)

But the USB. The second he pulled that out of the envelope, I knew exactly what was going to happen. And sadly, because I don't think that's even a credible plot device anymore, I bailed after that episode. Because it's not just that every character is too dumb to do backup (which professionals should absolutely know that they should do), but it was a multiple-times fail: 1) intelligent lawyer is too dumb to do back up 2) intelligent lawyer for some unknowable reason doesn't keep life-changing evidence which he's going to need the next morning on him but leaves it in the office instead 3) we've got the cloud now 4) lawyer doesn't even try asking the ex-detective he originally got the USB from if he has a backup (yes, the guy might not respond, yes, the guy might not be willing to risk meeting him again, yes, the guy might have destroyed the evidence – but surely, that's the most logical place to start if you've just lost crucial data?).

That was just too much lazy writing for me to take.

And, I confess although I kind of like Kang Sora's character, I'm just not sure she has to be that naïve. Inexperienced sure, but naïve, no.

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Oh and let's not forget the part where intelligent lawyer didn't even bother reviewing the USB before heading to the courthouse. He just picked it up, went straight there and plugged it into the system. Who makes a presentation without first confirming that the contents are not accidental baby pictures of you wearing no clothes or a picture of you supposedly 'hooking up' with your secretary?

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About the USB, he was looking at the file when the loan shark came in interrupting him and asking him to buy him a meal. It seems like the lawyer is sleeping, eating, showering and working in the loan shark's office, so probably he was coming back to the office after grabbing some kimbop with the loan shark. And the detective guy had already warned him to watch his back because that USB can be a tricky thing to be carrying around. Momentarily he could have misjudged and thought "oh, I'm just going out for some kimbop and coming back, so what the heck, leave it here." And the loan shark's office does not seem to exactly keep up with the latest tech and he may not have cloud storing and what not.

After making all these excuses, what I absolutely don't understand is why he did not check the USB again before presenting it to the court? As @Itenoria asked, that is absolutely beyond my comprehension.

As for his not going after the detective for a copy of the USB, it's because the chairman's son cannot get caught at this point. That will have to come in later episodes. Yes, lazy, unimaginative writing but maybe a necessary one for the plot.

At any rate, for some reason, the laziness and obvious tropes don't bother me as much as in other dramas. I think they are mainly going after that warm fuzzy feelings and I am getting some of the vibes.

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<And the detective guy had already warned him to watch his back because that USB can be a tricky thing to be carrying around. Momentarily he could have misjudged and thought “oh, I’m just going out for some kimbop and coming back, so what the heck, leave it here.”

But if he's aware enough to worry about getting mugged (which, I agree is a distinct possibility), he should be aware enough of making a backup. He should have done that immediately, the moment he saw what was on the USB stick. Copy to the computer. Send yourself an email (multiple email accounts). Upload to Googledoc / TransferIt / Dropbox --- whatever! Even upload to Youtube, as a private video or even public, because then it's out in the open forever.

Yeah, clever Itenoria thought of even one more reason of why this was stupid! :-)

<As for his not going after the detective for a copy of the USB, it’s because the chairman’s son cannot get caught at this point. That will have to come in later episodes.

I don't agree on this though. I know he will eventually prove that the chairman's son is the murderer, but "it needs to come later because it would mess up the narrative right now" is not a good excuse for a plot device that was just lame beginning to end. The writer needs to come up with a more compelling reason why the proof isn't there in Laywer Do's hands.

I wasn't really bothered in ep 1 and 2, but, well, the silly USB just was one time too many in a kdrama!

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No seriously an extremely happy person set foot into a crosswalk and turned around to lock gazes with someone in a heartwarming moment. I literally yelled "look out for the tr---" as it came across screen.

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Oh that truck of doom. I knew it was coming the moment he put down the ramen bowl. No drama gives you a heart warming scene with like some sort of touching they did them wrong and need to make it up to them background story, without killing that character in the next breathe.

When he was standing in the road just talking and talking, I kept waiting for the tuck to come. It was just realistically unsafe for him to be standing in the middle of the road for that long talking and not going to the other side to finish their conversation or even have the JD get in the road to walk with him. It was just so obvious a truck of death was coming. Every kdrama ever said a truck of death was coming.

Funn kdrama's love of this trope had me thinking that the second leads in DotS was gonna die when the idiot was making out still driving hands on the wheel but not looking where the heck he was going. It was dangerous and took me out of the moment because I was waiting for a car or something to hit them and they die. Seriously don't do that at home folks.

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LOL, I hear the car was in the auto-driving mode? Yes, Genesis, you annoyed the heck out of me with your unnecessary PPL. I'm not buying one of you ever.

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Really. I don't really pay attention to that show (I fast forward so much. The show is just not for me) so I must have missed that.

In the moment I kept yelling "who the heck is driving the car?..this isn't safe...who is driving?...designated driver?...they gonna die" LOL. Learn something new everyday

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Yeah exactly. That's why I'm so ashamed I never saw it coming. When it happened I was like : of couuurse ! That's why they gave us the ramyun bowl and the playful making-up scene. That's also why they made them shout tearful stuff to each other in the middle of the road (I went to Korea. You DON'T do that, EVER if you want to stay alive.)

That's one truck of doom I never saw coming. Maybe because it was the first episode and I don't know, I wasn't expecting the lawyer-turned-bum to turn lawyer again so quickly...

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Oh yes, the white kdrama truck of death. I saw it coming as soon as he stepped into the road. I believe it does get better. I am really enjoying it. Also its not really a kdrama if it doesn't have at least one troupe.

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I thought it was just me!! And now every time they flip back to it, I feel a flatness like this: -______-

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As a viewer, I absolutely love it. The drama has great humor, some very masterful acting by Park Shin Yang and plenty of warmth. Its faults are not hindering my enjoyment.

As a reviewer, my only worry so far is the fact that a couple of important events only came to pass because of highly stupid and highly improbable circumstances. They need to get more creative, otherwise it is going to get too silly to keep tolerating.

If you like the genre (human/sort-of-legal), don't have romance as a requirement and don't mind a potential ajeossi age gap romance if we do get it, it is definitely one of the very promising ones and I recommend it at this point.

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Same here. I don`t mind the flaws, just enjoying the great acting and the humor. Will be all right if there is no romance. FUN. FUN. FUN.

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Honestly I was planning on not watching this but I haven't got much dramas to watch so decided to give it a go. I'm glad i did, it has reeled me in and look the quirky ajhussi.
however's its not perfect but definitely recommend it for now (the 4 episodes watched).

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Same here, I'd seen the wacky trailer and decided to watch an episode...really like this so far, just 2 episodes in, will watch next 2 tonight. Somewhat like a whacky Punch. And what a stellar cast...

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KBS finally breaks its Mon-Tues curse. I figured Daebak (from the 6FD lead-in) or Monster (because of the writer's trackrecord) would've won ratings in the first week, but that Neighborhood Lawyer would overtake it in the 2nd or 3rd week. I think if this was led by anyone besides Park Shinyang that it would have been seen as a hammy drama though, and would have failed to pull an audience, since the plot progress is flimsy. It's still enjoyable for what it is, worth watching for Park Shinyang to me.

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i am liking this drama. just what i needed, upbeat, cute and uncomplicated. okay a little expected but am looking forward to a show where some story lines get wrapped up. The kdrama tropes are all here but somehow i am not rolling my eyes at them. i want to continue watching. i hope there is no romance between the leads though. i don't know why but the age gap is too much for me to deal with. plus i am hurting for the prosecutor who is gonna romance the ex-wife. his dad is nasty and he is gonna make some morally questionable decisions, i can just predict it now.

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I love this underdog drama, my fave for monday-tuesday slot. Eccentric lawyer with mischievous gank, TOTALLY LOVE THEM!!!!!!!

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+1

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I agree with what everyone has said really the USB and the truck of doom. Lame and lazy. BUT this drama has such wonderful feeeeeeels that I am managing to get past it. Plus the acting is good, the characters are enjoyable and the directing is slick. I really like it!

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While I mostly enjoy this drama, something needs to get a bit better before I'm turned off by all the cliches. Or use a whole lot more to make it absurd enough to keep watching.

These days whenever a character is in the road I'm not paying attention to anything said because I keep repeating 'get out of the road!'

I would be surprised if anyone in the real world fails to copy a USB; but I just murmur 'idiot' during a kdrama.

This supposedly smart lawyer also keeps making some stupid mistakes in the courtroom. What parent would let their child come forward years later and admit they were the real criminal to a crime the parent already admitted to? He just expected that Dad not to deny his son's words?

Now that I vented, I really am enjoying 'the gang's' involvement with helping him become the neighborhood lawyer. That is slot of fun.

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Decided to watch this drama because of Park shinyang and he didn't disappoint, he's a joy to watch, very refreshing, he's a solid actor, love this drama so far.

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Park Shinyang is the reason why this drama isn't annoying to me, he makes it endearing. Also I love his speech pattern, it's so distinct, I could go on and on about how well he uses it.

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so far i like this show, because i'm really enjoying watching park shin-yang and kang sora. park shin-yang is an amazing actor. i agree that kang sora is very relatable, and she's just so natural. it's hard to find anything cliche in her acting.

but story wise, not terribly original and not even terribly good. they got lucky with the actors!

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Agree on not being original. But it is feel-good underdog story and I like it so far. And good acting helps too.

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The drama that I love for Mon/Tue slot.
It's not perfect + the shaky camera but I still like it.
When he took off his penguin head, I burst into tears.
Park Shin Yang is love.

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There's nothing new or extra-ordinary about this drama but who need that things when the simple ordinary things can be entertaining too.
Park Shin Yang & Kang Sora play their character really well. They look really natural.
The first 2 episodes were too shaky and it make me dizzy but thank god that episode 3 & 4 getting better and better, not so shaky anymore.

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Mon and Tue are glorious days now because of this drama. Absolutely love the cast from leads to supporting actors. Surprisingly, a very charming pairing of Park Shin Yang with Kang So-Ra!

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I love this drama. It's heart-warming and fun to watch. Of course, there're a few flaws but they can totally be ignored. I think it's because they had to wrap up his journey back from a prosecutor to a homeless man to a lawyer within one episode so there had to be a catalyst to push him back to the law game. It's really fun and entertaining how he and his team worked out a way to prove that his client was innocent. We all had already known who the culprit is but we still don't know how lawyer Jo will bring this person to justice. To me it's very interesting. On top of all these, it's great to see Park Shin Yang back on the screen after 5 years. It's a pure joy for me to watch his acting. He had done comedy, action, drama all in one episode. He's such a pro.

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When he was investigating he reminds me of our belovedly rumpled Det Colombo of the old TV series.

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From the synopsis on wiki.d-addicts, I thought this would be a feel-good story about a lawyer defending the innocent from corruption. That's nice, I thought. But the actual drama is a lot more layered, with the lawyer coming from corruption, through the gutter of prison and the streets, with friends who are on both sides of the law...I like how connections are unexpected. Not only does he threaten a loan-shark to cough up money to a fellow ex-con, he also uses the same loan shark to ferret out information on corruption on the 'strait' side of the law. I like the unexpected layers, even if it means that sometimes the story seems to switch rails with a bit of a bump before it settles back into its groove.

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Great comment!

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I started watching this drama (without seeing any of the trailers or reading the synopsis) and I was pleasantly surprised. I like the cast and this drama reminds me a little of Legal High (minus the silliness). I really hope the drama continues to show how PSY's character overcomes the corruption like the first episodes. It's nice to see the underdog win a couple of times during the drama rather than only at the very end.

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I'm really enjoying this show a lot and I didn't have any expectations going in. Having the actor who played the boxer Ahjussi in Last playing the goofy loan shark who essentially becomes their landlord and "muscle" is just killing me. Killing me! (rolls to dodge a truck)

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Oh, yes, Park Won-Sang is fast becoming one of my favorite actors.

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That curly hair style was a good ploy. Took me a few minutes to realize he was #2 (or was it 3?) from Last.

The lawyer assistant (last seen in She was pretty) n ajusshi make a funny pair. The fight scene in Ep 4 at the restaurant was comically epic!

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Fun drama to dive into as I just finished Neighbor Hero which was also fun to watch (the bad guy was a real dapper dude)

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YES! YES! YEEEEEES!

If I had to make a sacrifice to drop all other else... I will stick with Jo Deul Ho til the end of time. Oh Jo Deul-ho, oh Park Shin-yang, Oh Kang Sora, Oh Ryu Soo-young.

Everything about this drama is fantastic. I am not fond of the camera works... But when you see the acting and the writing... It is TOO GOOD.

And the CHEMISTRY between Kang Sora and Park Shin-yang?! Ladies and gentlemen, I am telling you, I AM KNOCKED OUT. Watching this every week, and I cannot wait another day. I am hooked, day in day out. No regrets!

PARK SHIN-YANG ♥
Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul Ho ♥

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I like that the show is having some fun with the audience. Taking us from the dreaded truck of doom reliably showing up on a late night all-but-deserted side street; to having the lead sprawl himself in the middle of a major road during busy daytime traffic. Moral of the story: that's the difference between a lead and a bit player.

He dismissed the USB thing so casually and likewise the recording at the shopping center meeting. Hoping he's just keeping them as cards up his sleeve. Or perhaps his strategy is to create chaos and a sense of vulnerability in people accustomed to feeling in control. Provoking them to rash action. People get sloppy when that happens.

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This is an awesome show!! It has heart, and it makes me care about the characters. There are some flaws, but the actors make up for it. I love that our hero uses his crazy and offbeat tactics to get his point across. Kang Sora is cute and awesome too!

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I hope the comments above don't turn people off the drama, it is great!!!! It's one of few currently airing dramas I'm enjoying at the moment. Love the whole gang at the loan shark office and I'm engrossed in all parts of the story. Also very funny!

This is my first introduction to the main leading actor and he's definitely gained a fan! Also much love to my wife, Kang Sora. She's doing a great job also ;)

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Loving the show so far. And I cried at the end of episode 8. It wasn't a sad cry type of cry though. Just moved at how every resolution of every case makes me fall even more in love with this merry band of troublemakers who stand up for those less opportune: whether it's the homeless guy who was falsely accused of murder, to the young man who was being illegally forced out of his business to the young teacher who was falsely accused of beating the altruistic student she loves.

This drama ranks high for me right alongside Ms. Temper and Nam Jun Ki. Where one looks at the work environment and how it relates to women and those who wouldn't necessarily speak up for themselves, neighborhood lawyer Jo Deul Ho focuses on how the less fortunate in society can be mistreated by the law if they don't have a competent defense. Thankfully, lawyer Jo and his team are up to the task.

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I watched the latest episodes(7,8), thinking 'well, this is feel-good drama, but it needs something more'. I felt some story is forced and too predictable.
PSY's acting is great, but I thought some portion of the scene where he met his daughter felt awkward.

I am watching but not particularly excited.

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