Yoon Shi-yoon holds the scales of justice in SBS’s Your Honor
SBS’s upcoming legal drama Your Honor is gearing up for its launch later this month, and has released its first teaser and an initial set of stills featuring its main cast. Yoon Shi-yoon (Grand Prince) stars in the lead role of a bad judge with a past criminal record who makes a change for the better, while Lee Yoo-young (Tunnel) plays a Judicial Research and Training Institute student who works hard to realize her goal of being a judge.
Based on the teaser, Yoon Shi-yoon’s transformation ought to be dramatic; he starts out playing a free-spirited character with five priors on his criminal record, who “becomes a judge through a chance encounter.” I’m speculating that it has something to do with mistaken identity, since Yoon also plays a judge who disappears, and also because judgeship isn’t something you just fall into by accident.
The drama will take a ripped-from-the-headlines approach, taking the incredible and outrageous incidents that fill our news feeds in real life as inspiration for its cases. The teaser reflects a couple such cases, first featuring the voice of the Supreme Court’s former chief justice Yang Seung-tae, who has been accused of trading trial outcomes and abusing his position when he served on the court. His words take on an ironic tint here, as they swear to protect the minorities and the powerless and ensure their rights are not infringed upon.
Then, the scene shifts: The image laid over Yoon Shi-yoon’s sorrowful face comes from a protest scene involving KTX employees who were unjustly fired and then lost their legal battle against their employer, KORAIL. An investigative report released recently stated that the court, under Yang’s leadership at the time, used cases such as KTX’s in bargaining with the Blue House, essentially selling out the workers to curry political favor.
The piece of twine in Yoon’s hand snaps, and what look like tears fall on words that ask, “Am I being judged by the law, or you?” A particular nice touch is the use of the song “Hatred Is My Strength” by Kim Yoon-ah of Jaurim, which sings, “Every day, I think tomorrow I may kill you, I carved it into my heart. So many thousands of thoughts swim in my head, sneering at my powerless self.”
The cast also includes Park Byung-eun (Because This Life Is Our First playing an ambitious and unscrupulous type of character, one who hides his inner thoughts with a smile. Hello Venus idol Nara (My Ajusshi, Suspicious Partner), meanwhile, will be playing an ambitious announcer. “Ambition” always seems to be dramaland shorthand for untrustworthy, so I’d watch my back around these two.
I’m intrigued by the strong teaser, and I’d love it if the show did really take a hard-hitting approach to scandals in the news and providing satisfaction that perhaps we don’t get in real life. I have to say I’m most wary of the writer, who is (gulp) Chun Sung-il of Chuno, The Pirates, and both the film and drama versions of Level 7 Civil Servant. He’s a writer who likes his action and drama, and I dearly hope he has met with and conversed with some women since his last drama because I swear he writes women as though they are imaginary beings. It could happen?
On the upside, I feel on firmer ground with the director, PD Bu Sung-chul of period romance Jang Ok-jung, Live By Love, teen romance Heirs, and soapy doppelganger melodrama Mask.
Your Honor will take up the Wednesday-Thursday timeslot after Handsome Guy and Jung-eum ends its run; its first episode airs on July 25.