K-Drama Premiere: “HYENA” Darts To Courtroom Battles & Outsmarting Games

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Two equally competent lawyers wager wit and foresight in SBS drama, HYENA

At the center of HYENA‘s courtroom drama stage are premiere actors Ju Ji Hoon and Kim Hye Soo. Their lawyer roles delve on presenting cases that involve elite people.

Premiere Week Rating:


Scoring 7.7, 10.3, 7.5 and 9% on its first four episodes, a quick introduction of the main leads piques interest on the outsmarting game that has been in motion for HYENA.

The drama from My Love From The Star director zoomed in with fancy editing and interesting music. That certainly made up for its fairly done opening week.


Premiere Week Recap

After settling a high-profile case, Yoon Hee Jae (Ju Ji Hoon) elevates his status as ace lawyer in a prestigious law firm. As a top-notch lawyer his routine life includes court cases, snooping intel from his trusted sidekick and doing regular chores – like visiting a 24/7 laundromat before the dawn breaks.

It was there that she meets a woman whose interests mirror him. Soon, he takes charge and asks her to date him. Things are getting better for him since his recent big win, he was also tasked to work on another prominent case involving a well-heeled but wicked CEO – Ha Chan Ho.

Thinking the custody case is a sure win for the law firm, he did not expect when reality goes otherwise. The woman, whom he has given his valuable time, turns out to be the lawyer Jung Geum Ja (Kim Hye Soo). She represents the defendant of the case involving his client. But as his woman, he knows her to be Kim Hee Sun. Rubbing salt to the wound, she drops a critical evidence to win the case which she got secretly from Hee Jae.

But Geum Ja’s victory is not enough for her law office’ dire financial situation. Hence, she needs more clients to get more money. Interestingly, she creates connection with Ha Chan Ho which involves the latter’s mistress.

Pondering on the case involving Ha Chan Ho, Hee Jae makes a move to win the trust of Chan Ho’s sister who is being groomed to compete in the highest position of the family owned business conglomerate. Predicting Geum Ja’s line of thinking, he goes a step ahead and poaches the mistress presumed to be Chan Ho’s soft spot.


Premiere Week Afterthoughts

Aside from noticeable sleek editing, HYENA made a decent introduction. However, its thrilling drive is mediocrely done. That it hangs by a thread whether legal K-Drama aficionados would spend time to see the end of it.

The outwitting games primarily surge the plot’s impetus and I honestly found it lacking. It does not help that the cases previewed to be tackled are something that we have seen already in K-Drama court land.

For a legal drama, it really needs to amp its spirit because no matter how great Ju Ji Hoon and Kim Hye Soo, a solid story precedes a successful series.

Expect our mid-series check for HYENA since I also want to know and sincerely hope that its power lead cast will blend well to a smartly-written narrative – which could just had a slow start.

HYENA airs on SBS every Friday and Saturday and streams on Netflix the same day.

Images Credit: SBS | Netflix

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