K-Drama Review: “HYENA” Presents Hot Shot Lawyers Of Sound Judgment & Strong Conviction
Dwelling on the intense court battlefield, HYENA challenges the viewers’ perception and blurs established idea of a certain situation.
Brimming with satisfying strife and spiraling of events, HYENA keeps you on your toes as it keeps you surprised every single time! The legal series tells the story of two distinct lawyers who mainly works for the richest 1% of the society.
Theme: Legal, Drama, Comedy
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 21 Feb 2020 – 11 Apr 2020
Main Leads: Ju Ji Hoon | Kim Hye Soo
Highlights: Brilliantly-written plot | Gratifying Cast Portrayal | Clever twist of events
Related Dramas: Witch’s Court | Chief Kim | Suits
Our favorite crown prince from the drama Kingdom Ju Ji Hoon, gives life to the role of Yoon Hee Jae – an ace and elite lawyer of Song & Kim Law Firm. He stars along with actress Kim Hye Soo (Signal) as Jung Geum Ja, an ambitious lawyer of an unknown law firm Law Office Choong.
Both of them are man and woman of their own convictions and and are resolute to win every lawsuits at hand.
The competitive and skillful team of Song & Kim Law Firm consists of Ga Gi Hyeok (Jun Suk Ho), Kim Chang Wook (Hyun Bong Sik), Na Yi Joon (Jeong Ji Hwan), Boo Hyeon Ah (Park Se Jin), Lee Ji Eun (Oh Gyeong Hwa) as well as Yoon Hee Jae and Jung Geum Ja. They all team up turning tables with their own abilities and skills.
Quick Plot Roundup
Yoon Hee Jae – a top-notch and well-known lawyer born in a rich household takes national lawsuits from high-profile and wealthy clients. Meanwhile, Jung Geum Ja, a less-known lawyer aims for taking cases from rich clients too, as it will definitely benefit her struggling law office.
Both are fearless and smart lawyers – the only difference is how they handle and defend their rich clienteles.
Entangled with a love-hate relationship, the two lawyers seek the truth and discover love along the way.
Brilliant and well-formulated plot
Fueled with symbolic significance, HYENA successfully delivered convincing and dynamic interactions while demonstrating the relevance and meaning of its drama title to the series as whole.
The fact that it has an intricately-written plot, being hooked and glued on screen is no doubt. For viewers in search of intense exchange of lines and “leave-your-mouth-hanging” drama, this is perfect for you.
As the series serves strong thrills and temperaments, you’ll end up riding an exciting train because the direction of the plot is a great deal. Even if the thing/person they’re fighting for is the evil one, you’ll find yourself rooting and wishing them not to get caught.
In addition, because of its fast-paced plot (2-3 episode per case), HYENA holds an engaging trip to questionable business and law practices. It doesn’t loose the emotions you invested past the halfway mark of the story.
The plot is not rushed but is not slow as well. It has the perfect mix, that do not get the viewers easily fed-up.
Gratifying Character Portrayals
The characters, despite being flawed, leave lingering impressions. Ju Ji Hoon has given big justice to his character Yoon Hee Jae as a competent and unhypocritical man. The drama also displays a parade of humor showcase.
With actor Ju Ji Hoon, every kind of genre is well-played – action, romance and even comedy! His humorist side is quite admirable every time he had his little quarrels with Jung Geum Ja.
Moreover, the role of Kim Hye Soo as Jung Geum Ja is the perfect embodiment of modern femme fatale. She isn’t the damsel in distress waiting for someone to save her – rather she does the saving for her man.
Likewise, a job well done to Kim Hye Soo for an effective portrayal of her role Jung Geum Ja. She made us claps and jumps in joy with her note-worthy lawsuit triumphs. Her flaring eyes and grin are always on-fleek. Her face says it all!
HYENA also flaunts how the heroine looks tougher and stronger than the male lead. Her pure bad-ass personality comes from her tragic past and she came out a lot stronger because of that.
The characters’ confrontations with their opponents are satisfying since it maintains the adrenaline rushing rapidly through your veins.
Clever and Shocking Twists
I am really convinced how every episode ends with cunning twist and bombshell. The moment you start formulating every possibilities and conclusions, the whole situation turns upside down.
The heart-racing turns of events keeps you on your toes while waiting for another plot twist to unfold. A big laud to the production team for a swift plot development and numerous bold circumstance reversals.
Also, due to rapid pacing of events, the incidents encountered seldom lags. The excitement and thrill are also well-maintained throughout the whole run-time.
The plot is totally different from other dramas aired in recent years. It doesn’t end with simply defending their clients but solving the cases – sometimes playing mind games.
Just when the viewers think the rich clients are at fault, it turns out they are falsely accused. HYENA relates not to conclude a situation unless stated with clear evidence.
When you thought at first glance these lawyers are fair and upright – re-think of watching this series. This legal drama engages with the dark and notorious “business-minded” side of law rather than the “Justice will be served” type.
It also asserts several injustices confronted by normal people on a daily basis. However, it tells the opposite for the rich. Justice isn’t well-served for the weak and mediocre but for the powerful and well-off, manipulating justice is a simple task.
HYENA sheds light on issues particularly about greed. The series clarifies too much greed will take you in two places – high ground and low ground. Let’s take Jung Geum Ja as an example. With her greed of earning tons of money to buy a building of her own, her greed took her in high ground.
She got to work in Korea’s top law firm Song & Kim wherein she defended for the wealthiest figures at court and earn huge amount of money. Yet, her antics and means of solving cases are illegal.
When speaking in a lawful manner, it is considered as sin and punishable by the law. But, it is highly stressed that she should be the figure the viewers must empathize.
On a different note, CEO of Song & Kim Law Firm, Song Pil Joong, certainly suffered with his greed. While sailing in different shores, Song Pil Joong did not stop plotting and doing evil deeds because of his ultimate power starvation.
While having full control of political and business figures, he crookedly aims for higher position. With all that, he severely suffered the fall big time.
HYENA may appear as the usual legal drama about lawyers, but viewers can also watch out for strong female characters, unique romantic relationship dynamics and fast-paced plot.
After weighty and critical moments, viewers are served with an ample amount of feel-good moments – between the entire team members as well as the two main leads.
It had a bit of everything – humor, intellect, romance and life. Moreover, the flow of narrative, together with multiple emotionally transmissive dialogues made it remarkable.
With distinguished artists singing HYENA‘s official soundtracks, no wonder how every scenes propels different kinds of sensation. The sweet sounding BGMs were performed by popular artists including Baekhyun of EXO, Seungwoo of VICTON and HYENA‘s main theme-song “Hyena” by Giriboy. Marvelous set designs and fancy cinematography added visual appeal to the series.
If you are tired of a run-of-the-mill type of series with streamlined and easy peasy characters, this drama isn’t for you. However, the casts being inconsiderate and ruthless are kind souls too.
They have the biggest hearts despite the harsh realities they dwell on. Thus, this makes HYENA a special and extraordinary series you must not miss.
The title HYENA is exactly what you’d expect from the characters and the plot itself. The fierce, ruthless and quick-thinking female lead Jung Geum Ja, consistently outmaneuvers everyone with her piercing eyes and bluntness.
The slick, smart and hotshot lawyer Yoon Hee Jae is portrayed as intense and ferocious like how a hyena is. Once he is set on his target, he’ll do anything he can to fulfill his goal.
Both are hyenas – fighting and battling in the jungle called life.
You can watch HYENA on Netflix here.
Images and Video Credit: SBS
Edited By: abbyinhallyuland