Bad and Crazy, tvN's late December action-comedy drama starring Lee Dong-wook and Wi Ha-joon (who gained international fame after appearing in Squid Game), premiered with relatively high ratings in Korea. It wasn't able to sustain the ratings, however, and ended at a disappointing 2.8% nationwide. That's really a shame because the drama is a fun, fast, and entertaining watch from beginning to end.
Lee Dong-wook plays Ryu Su-yeol, a violence-averse and morally ambiguous detective (with fabulous hair!). A member of the police anti-corruption investigation division, he doesn’t exactly have a clean record. But the sudden appearance of K (Wi Ha-joon)—a violent, unstoppable punisher of sorts—upsets Su-yeol’s life. As Su-yeol attempts to solve a particularly difficult drug case, he constantly comes into contact with K, who slowly causes Su-yeol to reconsider the choices he’s made in his life.
You can tell right from the first two episodes that Bad and Crazy doesn’t take itself too seriously. And to fully enjoy the wild ride, its viewers shouldn’t either. We look at the good, the bad, and crazy elements of the drama that make it so bingeable.
The best thing about Bad and Crazy is the bromance between Su-yeol (Lee Dong-wook) and K (Wi Ha-joon). It should be enough to just watch two incredibly attractive men share the screen, but the palpable chemistry between the two leads brings so much more to the table. Hilarious and playful, they provide witty banter and some slapstick hijinks but also some surprising depth and refreshing honesty. And in an ultra-masculine, testosterone-fueled story, there is plenty of room for sensitivity and vulnerability.
The next best thing is the abundance of a great supporting cast: the maknae (youngest) cop (Cha Hak-yeon) who brings in much-needed innocence and freshness to the beleaguered team; the female ball-buster (Han Ji-eun) who can totally hold her own against the pre-requisite drug gang (the fight choreography is insane!); the long-suffering colleague (Cha Si-won) who keeps the team grounded; and the bootlicking clueless chief (Sung Ji-ru) who is ready to tear his hair out. Su-yeol’s mom (Kang Ae-shim) and brother (Kim Dae-gon) round out the cast.
Villains are a dime a dozen in k-drama crime. Bad and Crazy has a whole host of them. Kim Hieo-ra’s performance of a lollipop-loving cold-blooded mafia boss is amazing. Devoid of the paranoia and narcissism that are staples of villain performances in crime shows, the mafia boss is chillingly understated. I’d talk about the other villains but I don’t want to give spoilers.
If you’re looking for an accurate portrayal of mental health issues, mental health professionals, and psychotherapy, then you’re looking at the wrong drama. There are a lot of things going on plot-wise that you should just totally accept as it is and continue to suspend your disbelief. Otherwise, you’ll pick the whole drama apart. The good news is with only 12 episodes, the pace is so fast and the characters so engaging, you’ll enjoy every minute of the high-octane ride. Bad and Crazy is actually crazy good!
STREAM: If you enjoy action and comedy and don’t want to think too much.
SKIP: If you’re not into detective and crime stories