JTBC adaptation of upbeat legal drama courts Infinite’s L to star
JTBC is in talks to schedule a new legal drama titled Miss Hammurabi, an adaptation based on a novel of the same name, and has an extended an offer to Infinite’s L (Ruler–Master of the Mask) to play a leading role. It’s described as a lively and upbeat story, and centers around the main character of Park Chaoreum, a female rookie judge who likes to wear miniskirts and kill heels and is full of passion and enthusiasm for her work.
The role L has been offered is that of Im Ba-reun, a principled judge. I’m sure the casting has to make sense within the context of the show, but my first reaction to hearing that baby-faced L will play a judge is incredulity, though I suppose he did just get through with playing a (fake) king in Ruler, so maybe age is just a number. I did think L showed improved acting in Ruler, though I would classify it as “better, still not quite good,” which gives me some pause to hear this news. On the upside, I feel like the character description falls within his acting wheelhouse (detached, cool), so maybe it will work out.
The character graduated from an elite law school and is an individualist who chose the law in order to live a life without having to kowtow to others. Despite being among the creme de la creme, he’s uninterested in a path of material success and rather apathetic in everything, preferring to be by himself most of the time. He considers the engagement of his personal sympathies or making exceptions based on good will to be abuses of the court’s power, although I’m wondering if those are just excuses for him to keep apart from the world.
Miss Hammurabi is also described as aiming to be a “legal Misaeng,” which conjures up images of downtrodden rookies finding small victories in the workplace (although I’d argue that invoking the Misaeng comparison also implies narrative excellence, and that remains to be seen!). Moreover, it intends to focus more on the people’s stories than the cases, which is something I can appreciate (I have limited patience for strict procedurals, where it’s just case after case every episode).
I do have to pause a little at the director, though: It’s PD Kwak Jung-hwan, who I have come to think of as that talented director who ruins his shows with excess because he just doesn’t know when to quit. See: Chuno, Runaway Plan B, Basketball, The K2. The project marks a move away from tvN to JTBC for Kwak, and also a move away from flashy, special-effects-laden action dramas that make no sense. At least, I hope this marks a move away from dramas that make no sense, since I’ll probably get stuck watching it, against my best intentions, for reasons I can’t understand. As I do.
Miss Hammurabi is in talks for an early 2018 broadcast on JTBC.
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