Premiere Watch: Falsify, Criminal Minds
Get ready for the criminal element to make its presence known this week, with the addition of two crime-n-corruption-filled shows ready to hit the air. Overall, I think these shows round out our current lineup nicely, in terms of diversity of genres and styles—we’ve got our rom-com, sageuk romance, fantasy, melodrama, and slice-of-life bases covered. And if it feels like your watchlist just got an extra bit more crowded, it’s not in your head: tvN is adding an extra show with its new Wednesday-Thursday block. More dramas for everyone!
Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Genre: Legal thriller
Episode count: 32 (half-hour episodes, 16 hours in total)
Reasons to watch: Namgoong Min is setting aside his wacky 4-D side to go serious again, and while I’ll miss his unique sense of humor, he is really quite strong dramatically as well; his career revitalization came through playing fearsome psychopaths. He’ll be on the other side of the law here, playing a reporter navigating a minefield of corruption and abuse of the law. When he finds his path blocked when the news organizations conspire to withhold the truth, he decides to do things his own way—and a righteously angry rogue Namgoong Min ought to be a fierce thing to behold.
The PD and writer are relatively new, so they are a bit of a question mark. But despite their relative inexperience we’ve got a solid cast all around, with Eom Ji-won playing a badass prosecutor who’s fired up over the corruptions and cover-ups in her own office, while Yoo Joon-sang and Jeon Hye-bin play fellow journalists. I find that shows like this depend heavily on hitting the right balance between throwing up challenging obstacles for our protagonists and letting them make gains once in a while, because nobody likes watching them get beaten down all the time. Here’s to hoping Falsify delivers a fresh stream of gratifying twists and counterstrikes to keep the plot moving.
Time slot: Wednesday & Thursday
Genre: Crime procedural, thriller
Episode count: 20
Reasons to watch: Lee Jun-ki! Moon Chae-won! Sohn Hyun-joo! Come on, we’re gonna watch this, right?
Okay, so Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won have both chosen some clunkers in the past. But Criminal Minds puts them on solid ground—he’s fantastic in action thrillers, both historical and modern, and he’ll be the hotblooded profiler while she’s the cool-headed teammate he clashes and bickers with. Sohn Hyun-joo is one of those veterans with tremendous range who is strong in every role, and this time he’ll put his gravitas to good use as the leader of the team.
More than the cast, though, I have faith in the production team. Hollywood-to-Hallyu remakes can be a tricky beast, but PD Lee Jung-hyo handled last year’s The Good Wife adaptation with a lot of skill and style. He’s also got cult noir hit Heartless City on his resumé, so while he’s listed as the second director here, I feel like we’ll get to see his slick style come through. The other PD is Yang Yoon-ho, who was the second director on blockbuster action thriller IRIS. And writing is Hong Seung-hyun, who wrote both seasons of the thriller Ghost-seeing Detective Cheo Yong and was one of the team of writers on the clever sci-fi historical thriller Joseon X-Files, one of my favorite dramas of all time. We’re in good hands here! (Knock on wood.)
- Assembling our profiler team in extended teaser for Criminal Minds
- Criminal Minds promo galore with takedowns and stakeouts
- The news and the law come together for Falsify
- High-speed chases through the streets of Seoul in new Criminal Minds teaser
- Righteous prosecutor and journalists challenge the corrupt in Falsify’s first teaser
- SBS’s Falsify finds its female lead in Eom Ji-won
- Namgoong Min offered spot on Jeon Hye-bin’s Falsify team