This is going to be a busy week in K-drama land. Two high-profile Mon-Tues dramas are wrapping up in Gu Family Book and Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, while next weekend a sprawling cast weekend drama Goddess of Marriage premieres. In between I’m toggling Cruel City (Heartless City) to start off the week with the sweet kids-bonding-through-music Monstar to end it. I was initially rather annoyed at myself for jumping into CC so early – it’s not the high probability of heartbreak at the end of the drama when all or most of the main characters might die, it’s the anxiety of wanting more but having to wait. But the wait from last week’s excellent episodes 7 and 8 til now has been bearable actually. That’s likely due to this drama being so dense and rich in acting and story goodness the wait gives me time to go back and savor it again to catch the little things I might have missed. Since its a cable drama there have been very little spoilery goodness that comes out during the week so I turn my mind towards rifling through what’s happened so far. Soo Min gets in with Auntie’s organization, while Auntie’s full scale war with Soo almost rips Shi Hyun in half until it’s Soo who takes a step back for Shi Hyun’s sake.
Shi Hyun’s character is really so rich beyond being an undercover cop pretending to be a drug lord mastermind upstart, the way Auntie and Soo flank him speaks volumes. He is a force to be reckoned with, but for Soo and Auntie, he is someone they will do anything to protect. Even if it means destroying each other. He is family to them, playing all the roles of father, brother, son, and for Auntie, perhaps someone she can rely on for the rest of her life. It’s not romantic but it’s her way of loving him because he’s the only untainted thread in her life. They are both as dirty as can be in the world they live in, but the bond between them was formed way back when and is a reminder of goodness. Soo Min is such a wild card in this story, and in some ways Kyung Mi would have made the perfect (and logical) female lead. But then the story would be some standard love triangle between Shi Hyun, Kyung Mi, and Hyun Min, throwing in some first love bits and bad guy-good guy dichotomy. I am anticipating how the drama chooses to have Soo Min disrupt Shi Hyun’s increasingly complicated undercover mission. So far they see each other in moments of authenticity, what happens when the veil descends and they have to play their parts? Looks like a kiss is about to happen and however that goes down, I’ll revert to fangirl mode for an instant and savor the chemistry that is sure to erupt.
Their 3 very brief interactions for the past 8 episodes were highly anticipated on my part that I cannot wait how much more they will affect each other. Especially once they realize they are going around the same circle. Their chemistry is tangible and I could feel that Jung Kyung Ho’s Shi Hyun will deliver those piercing gaze and smolder towards Soo Min very very well.
I don’t think i would have felt much of a connection had auntie, safari, and doctors son not had a past together. Most of the time i am rolling my eyes at that convenient connection in k-dramas nowadays, but i find that it actually serves a purpose in Cruel City because it gives more depth to our characters. They’re all battling it out to stay on top but at the end of the day, they are family. People who found each other when there was no one else.
So stoked for our OTP to meet formally and for the possible upcoming kiss.
Im planning on re-watching episodes 1-8 because i feel like i may have missed something. It’s one of those shows where you understand it alot better the 2nd time around cause you pay attention to the little things.
At first I thought she was going to be inducted into Shi Hyun’s world and that would be where they fell in love. But from the looks of it, both will fall for each other outside of the tangled threads and secret identities, which is even better. I’m fan-girling right now just reading your post on them.
Normally I’d be annoyed that the OTP have only had 2 real interactions with each other since it would make it hard to believe that they fall for each other so quickly. But, strangely I think this kind of works in their favor. Their own lives are filled with so much pain that it would make sense for the two of them to find solace within each other.
On a different note, I love that the bad guys are so layered. Their past relationships are pretty deep that when the time comes, I really wonder if Shi Hyun will be able to arrest them all including Safari and Soo.
Ah! <3 Finally you write something about this. Thank you, Koala!! As much as I love romance, Nam Gyu Ri is just too much to watch. I don't hate her, I don't have anything against her. It's just about how she looks in screen. She almost looks (un)human.. That's the only thing that I find off in this drama.
I even hope her other friend, who acts as a call girl in CC to play Soo Min instead of Nam Gyu Ri.
This is the first drama where I see JKH and of course I want a heartthrob romance from him, but it's just a little bit too hard.
Though I don’t like nam gyuri, it has nothing to do with appearance but more to do with acting. She was okay as the bumbling rich and naive heires who didnt have a clue that her fiancée and Bestfriend was conspiring for her downfall. Though there was some serious acting needed, She was serviceable, lee yo-won was the one who carried the chemistry with Jo Hyunjae and bae soobin.
But here it feels so lacking, she fell short of what I want the main lead in this drama should be. Maybe my discontent with her comes from her lack of scenes with Jung kyung ho, they have so little scenes together.
Yes she does have range in her acting, better than in 49 days but when her soomin faces the intensity and depth of kyung ho’s shi hyun all the chemistry is coming from his side directed to her.
Just like my post previously, I do hope that with this next episodes, there will be more scenes. And I hope nam gyuri proves me wrong in that she can make her soomin adjust to a level that can make me feel some sizzle between the OTP…!
Anyway just wanted to day that ep7&8 just killed me. Shi hyun trying to mend the broken faction of his aunt and soo was just heartbreaking. He will do everything to make sure that family he created in the cruel world of drugs and mafia will stay solid, he’ll beg for understanding and forgiveness even with the most unforgivable act. And in return his aunt and soo gave in, not for family but for him…
But in the end, what will become of that family he cares so much about? As a cop, when all the cards is revealed, he would either catch them or make them escape somewhere but then its still betrayal! Betrayal to the family he will die to protect!
The scene when he was talking over the phone with the police chief to save soo was heart breaking…! I dont think he ever asked for help from anyone and when he finally did, he was turned down. What a cruel world they live in…
Love love love this drama
Well, her lack of acting skills actually are killing her character for me. She’s a girl who’s gone through a lot in a short time, and still, I can’t feel nothing when I look at her, just emptiness. And not the scary, nothing-to-live-for, badass emptiness, but the amoeba kind :/ It’s quite a shame tbh, Soo Min has a lot going on and should be one of the richest characters for having to interact with people in the two worlds without experience in either one.
Jung Kyung Ho, on the other hand, I just can’t with him here. I remember watching Smile, you and thinking he was barely tolerable most of the time. Here, I can’t handle his intensity and the depth of his eyes, it’s quite shocking actually.
Dear ms. koala i want to ask u. are u not gonna recapped monstar again?
very good indeed,
I waited until I was in the right mood (and had enough free time) to start “Heartless City”. Yesterday I finally watched all 8 episodes. AND I LOVE IT!
Jung Kyung Ho… I always saw potential in him, but he’s really exceeded all my expectations. I’m so glad he got this role, this chance to prove his worth. I hope he lands some more lead roles after this is over.
Urgh, how am I going to survive the next 6 weeks waiting for each new episode?! On the other hand, it was becoming really difficult to avoid people’s spoilers.
The actress playing the sister who died would have been a better choice as the lead than Nam Gyuri in my opinion. Really liked her short stint in this show.
luv nam gyuri here!
totally in love with this drama! Nam Gyu Ri’s character is awesome! Jung Kyung Ho is smokin!. can’t wait ’til ep. 10!~ woohoo!~ xD
I think nam gyu ri’s acting is good here…. I don’t know about you guys but she improved alot… I’m shock! Her crying scene in 49 days makes me cring. But here…. She is delivered! She acted better than the actress playing kyung mi.
And she actually can pull off fighting scene convicingly!
jung kyung ho and nam gyu ri has such great chemistry! cant wait for episode 10
I watch episode 9 I am so happy 🙂
The actress who played Kyung Mi was like a mix between Yoon eun hye and Han ga in 😀 LOL
BTW i dont know why but i dont find Nam Gyu Ri that lacking:( Yeah she seems to have a lot of things done but apart from that i think we shoul give her a chance:D
I actually disagree with all the comments about Nam Gu Ri’s acting. It’s raw. I love her character and her chemistry with JKH is hot!
unnie :)))) Can you recap just episode 10 😀 you would love for sure:D pretty please? :DDD
Nummy!!! I’m digging this show!