I’m still watching and loving Cruel City (Heartless City) on cable network jTBC. But I’m glad I didn’t decide to jump into recapping it because I enjoy the watch but enough episodes have aired that convince me a deeper analysis and read of this drama isn’t going to enhance my enjoyment. It’s easily one of the best K-dramas this year in acting and execution, but the writing hasn’t been able to continue the taut and seamless streak from earlier episodes. This drama is airing on jTBC with a smaller budget than if it was a prime time drama on a big 3 network, and the lack of a sprawling cast now undermines a bit of the credibility of this dark story by making the same few cops chasing the same few drug dealers. And the same few undercovers caught in the middle either trying to game the system or scrambling to survive. I’m pointing out a visible pitfall in this drama as it heads towards its final arc but that doesn’t mean I am not loving it. I have so much built up goodwill that I’m willing to give the drama a longer leash – its pretty damn cool watching Shi Hyun sock it to Busan not once but twice, even with his amazing overnight healing tricks and bruises that shrink within hours, Soo Min is about the most useless and clueless undercover yet which rather underscores how idiotic and jerky Hyun Min was for sending her in the first place, and the law enforcement seems as shady as the drug lords so its no wonder Shi Hyun doesn’t know who to trust or work for anymore. The poor man appears close to a breakdown and everything about Jung Kyung Ho‘s performance through the course of this drama has been nothing short of transcendent. Not a single missed beat, and he makes Shi Hyun not only believably flawed but also stunningly capable. He’s been a fave of mine since forever and its gratifying to see this role as The Doctor’s Son propel his craft to a new level that is well deserved. CC has been really generous with releasing goodies and this latest batch of official stills and BTS outtakes featuring Jung Kyung Ho are both gorgeous and adorable. The scene where Shi Hyun battles Busan’s goons and uses his suit jacket like a weapon on and off with ease was a balletic tour de force.
Jung Kyung Ho being goofy on set. I still think this drama is about as tightly written as it can be with the constraints set around it. If anyone is still uncertain of whether to check it out, now’s a great time to dive in before the drama heads towards what is surely a shocking (but maybe hopeful) conclusion.