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Kolorful Palette: Not such bad guys [Bad Guys]

It’s funny how TV can take people that we would normally consider the most depraved dregs of society, and have us rooting for them and even admiring them within minutes. Bad Guys really does cram a lot of “bad guy” archetypes into the mix, but I find myself liking every one of them: the abusive alcoholic detective, the mob boss, the hitman, and even the serial killer.

If anything, TV makes us like criminals more than perfect heroes, and that must not be a secret to script writers since they’re always making heist movies follow the lives of the thieves, and not the victims. It’s weird that we (the viewers) enjoy things in such a seemingly warped way, but I think it stems from a couple different things. For one, I think we naturally want to understand and sympathize with others, especially when it doesn’t cost us anything or require any actual action (which is certainly the case when watching television). Sometimes it’s hard to be sympathetic in real life when we have pesky emotions like fear getting in the way (I personally would be a little scared to befriend a mob boss just because he might have a heart of gold). Mostly though, I think that purely good characters are often boring, and that makes it hard to care. It’s more compelling to watch someone who struggles, but is badass or exemplary at the same time. If the typical knight-in-shining-armor type was also crazy badass and supremely gifted he would be way too overpowered, and who wants to watch that?

From the outset, Bad Guys was quick to have us appreciate our criminals’ more attractive traits. Mob boss Woong-chul is loyal, hitman Tae-soo is focused and remorseful (or so it seems) and serial killer Jung-moon is incredibly intelligent. Off the bat that made me admire all three of them, at least to some extent, and I think those first impressions can make or break a show. The premise of this drama is pretty absurd, and it’s particularly insane to let a serial killer who murdered 15 people work off his jail time by catching someone who has killed about half as many, but I honestly don’t mind. An absurd premise makes for an interesting story; it’s an absurd ending and deus ex machina that ruin a plot.

So far I’m not very interested in the current serial killer that’s on the loose, but I am very interested in serial killer Jung-moon (isn’t it crazy that he’s Hwi-Kyung from You From Another Star?). He’s the big question mark that has me wanting to watch more. Does he even know if he killed his parents? Or is this whole memory lapse thing an act? The scene I drew is of him smiling over the body of a dead puppy, and I really can’t think of anything that could possibly explain that away, so he’s certainly got some psychopathic tendencies (and maybe even multiple personalities). I found it quite chilling that this smile was the only time he openly showed an emotion in the entire episode (I don’t even know what emotion it is, but it’s creepy!).

Still though, I find myself rooting for Jung-moon and wanting to understand him. There’s certainly more to the story, and I’m particularly interested in seeing how his relationship with Goo-tak develops. Why did Goo-tak want him, specifically? Was Jung-moon responsible for the death of Goo-tak’s daughter? If so, I couldn’t really blame Goo-tak for having the urge to kill Jung-moon with his own two hands, and getting him out of prison as a means of doing so. Easier thought than done though, especially once they’ve worked together for a while and the empathy begins.

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock all summer because this is another show my radar completely missed, but its quality is excellent in pretty much every way. I love the casting, and the writing, directing and camerawork have all been stellar with an attention to detail that we don’t often see in k-dramas (just the lighting in the church alone had me impressed). It seems unfortunate that there are no official subtitles for Bad Guys just yet, but hopefully someone takes note of its potential and picks it up before long. I for one would love to see more dramas like this, so the more people who watch it, the better!

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Hi Fanderay, good work with the light and shadows and great depiction of the creepiness. I'd say that his face has an expression of satisfaction or of one that shows accomplishment, but because it is over such a dastardly deed, it's super creepy.

I found the English subbed episode at Dramacool but only the first episode is subbed so far and some of the subs are hard to understand.

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The subs are completed for episodes 1 and 2 at Darksmurf... the reason the ones you're seeing are hard to understand is because they were taken from Darksmurf before they were finished and just a software translation.... so much better now.

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Thanks! Now that subbing is being done more quickly, I'll just stick with Drama Cool! It's been good!

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Well, now that's a nice painting. Kind of disheartening how the best dramas currently airing are impossible to find subbed on "official" sites. Cable shows should take a hint: We international viewers are ready to pay for you since you give us quality shows. The camera work for this drama is worthy of the best movies & yes, the characters are why we are watching. Really reminds me of the TEN universe: Very dark but not depressing either.

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There are subs on dramacool.com! :)

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check myasiantv.com for the English sub.. They've posted Ep 2 either.. :)

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Aha, by the way, thanks heaps for keeping us in the loop. Whenever I need comments or review, this page is no doubt, the 1st page that pops out.. ^^~

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Although there are some very strange translations of dialogue in Episode 1 at myasiantv.com -- (not that I speak Korean but the English made no sense) -- still great show. I want the hit man guy to be the new James Bond when Daniel Craig gives up the role.

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Precisely! The English translation didn't do much justice. It needs to be corrected and synced.. For the sake of faster uploads with sub, you know... ^^~ Nevertheless, it's a pretty good start there, quite impressive, isn't it?

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That's because MAT took the subs from DSS before they had been properly translated/edited. Basically the subs MAT have are mostly machine-translated from the Chinese, like running the dialogue through Google Translate. There's a better version available elsewhere, though it's still not 100% done.

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So true! all credit to DarkSmurfSub's crew actually...The other sites basically just uploaded the version before it was even finished...the price of success I guess...

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Just finished watching episode 2, can't wait for episode 3.

It is good and this drama truly deserved my attention.

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Your comments are right on target. Why do we root for bad guys on screen when in reality we curse them? But as you said, it's easier to understand them and also we all really hope for their redemption at the end. Do the cool stuff without the bad.

Lovely art as always~♥

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As usual great artwork! I love how you capture the intensity in his eyes and his smile. You are very talented.
Thanks for sharing info on sites that have subs even if they are less than 100% accurate. As a kdrama fan sometimes we will take what we can get. I wish the official sites would have more variety, and get the license of more cable dramas.

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Of course I'm thankful for subbers who help us understand & enjoy kdramas. This is even more so when a group or a site decides to work/picks up shows like this one that the "official" streaming sites sadly don't.

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Well, I tried to be patient, waiting for better subs, but now I'm just gonna have to watch and put up with it. I thought this drama would have someone pick it up right away and sub it quickly since the cast is awesome and the story is great but sadly that does not seem to be the case. Why? I really can't understand it since a great deal of shows are fan-subbed now anyway. Oh well, we will indeed have to take what we can get. But I wish we didn't have to.

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The attraction of the villain is just as you say--heroes are often created to be boring partly because we expect too much of them. Look at how we glorify actors or athletes and then just as quickly turn on them when they do not live up to our glorified image--and I am not talking about people who have been accused of crimes but think about the tabloid pictures of them going to the grocery store or playing with their kids on the beach. How many people look good for a quick trip to pick up milk at 7 AM or after being at the beach with toddlers all day? But villains, they et to say all the things that we were taught we shouldn't say, play out all our revenge fantasies, and usually get the best lines and the best clothes (a shout out to MinJung in Jang Bori!).

This show is excellent even if the premise isn't believable; however, it does make some sense in relation to the comments about heroes vs. villains. If the heroes have to play by the book and the villains have no rules, who has the advantage? You at least need someone who can think and fight like them to level the playing field. Everyone in this cast is playing his/her role spot on. Even our token good female lead has the whole X-file Scully thing down.

I watched ep. 1 raw and then watched with subs that did not make a lot of sense and then went back and watched it with better subs. The first time I have a watched anything three times before the next episode. It is really that good.

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Just wondering but where did you find the subs? I've been trying to find good subs for a while now.

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I am absolutely in love with Park Hae Jin! I picked up "My daughter Lee Seo Yeong" again, just for him! I am currently on epi 47 *phew*

I am gonna watch this show once it's done airing! but i really hope PHJ rests some more, I read that he recently collapsed at his home, poor bb ?

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Great artwork! I think you captured his eerie expression well.

I'm liking everything about this show so far. The actors, the action, the mystery, etc. I do hope it gets more interest and subbers.

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http://www.dramabay.com/bad-guys-episode-1/ -- subs are a bit better here :)

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Once again, I am in awe of your talent! Excellent pic!

I so badly want to watch Bad Guys, the first episode completely hooked me! I really hope subs come soon so I can watch it!

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I for one find myself many times rooting for the bad guy to win over the lead even if i know i should root for the lead or that the bad guy will fail in the end by most drama rules but can't help it...i guess it's because bad guys are fun and entertaining for us,most of them are complex characters....Dramaland makes most of the time the hero/heroine a boring lead who being the good guy as he is told to us means he is like almost a saint and of course the ragtag of half of the drama cast making him a pityful character to watch not to mention most are stupid witch i hate and find boring,the same old stereotype:hardworking,always smile even if the shy falls,innocent type that is boring for me while the bad guys most of the time are the most complex characters and let's us wanting for more and more

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Fanderay,

Lovely artwork again contrasting colors - dark colors with specs of light. Usually you talk a little bit about the techniques used to acheive the image in your commentary. But, this time you didn't. I'm curious and would like to know the process?

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Although the title of the show is Bad Guys, the set-up so far argues more for anti-heroes rather than real Bad Guys, with the possible exception of mob guy. Not complaining mind you, I love anti-heroics ... and so far I love the way the show is written, performed and shot.

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Yep - caught this drama over the weekend when i saw Kim Sang Joong - our favorite bad-ass ajusshi and also like Min Ji-ah since she popped up as the dead wife in 'My Spring Days'.

Wow - very hard-edge drama - and after the 1st episode - I was hooked.

Thanks for the art work! The lighting in the church - like u said was very interesting - add so much to the atmosphere!

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