K-Drama Review: “Partners For Justice” Scales New Crime Drama Height Through Indelible Plot & Portrayals
Partners for Justice excites its detective and courtroom stories with cohering and neat forensic science seasoning.
Overwhelming viewers with tedious crime-busting activities that can either go in circles or hinder the characters’ growth is a prevalent challenge for crime themed series. So you could only imagine how happy I was when K-dramaland gifted me with Partners for Justice this year.
Title: Partners for Justice
Theme: Crime, Drama
Length: 32 Episodes (back-to-back)
Broadcast Date: 14 May 2018 – 17 July 2018
Main Leads: Jung Jae Young, Jung Yu Mi, Lee Yi Kyung, Park Eun Suk
Highlights: Consistent nimble writing, Well-thought side stories, solid cast portrayals and synergy
Drawback: Unexpected finale cliff-hanger
Related Dramas: Voice, Tunnel
Trust Jung Jae Young to bring on more than what is expected of him by playing the role of lead medical examiner Baek Bum. He works with detectives and prosecutors in unraveling questionable deaths by running intensive autopsy reports.
With an equally brilliant supporting cast to back up the multiple cases driven narrative, Partners For Justice has astonished with its consistent elevated progression that escalates one superb chapter after another.
A team of prosecutors, detectives and forensic science experts team up to solve murder cases by analyzing information retrieved through autopsy reports, police investigations and keen deductions.
Efficient use of legal and crime themes
Partners for Justice made sure to stick on its framework by weaving in the cases tackled by the cast while limning the growth of its character. It intelligently captured how crime drama can be made polished without excessive aberrations and pointless plot bends by depicting a straightforward narrative.
Each case that functioned as a side story propelled the general story flow with its impeccable provision of life lessons. In a way, it gave enlightenment through sketching the mini conflicts derived from socio-political issues such as school bullying, powerplays, internal family grudges and more. While the examples of disheartening issues were probed in the series, it did not dwell on its sad reality and pushes for a reminding note so the viewers can learn from it. It did not make you feel depressed or pensive-like in a this-is-a-cruel-world mood, owing to how it cushioned the “evil” tones highlighted in the story by layering it with lingering retrospective messages.
Big Cast but Equal Exposure
It is not surprising why the series got an extension nod since the characters moving in the story did a superb job of making their characters memorable individually. When people go in and out of the story, it has a risky tendency to confuse the plot. But Partners for Justice neatly separated the main cast that paraded in the long run, while making sure that the introduced characters of the mini stories were also given proper acknowledgments.
Jung Jae Young arguably gave out a solid rendition of his detached medical examiner character, with cold and uncaring facade which functioned as the keystone persona of the series. His interaction, with the vivacious prosecutor portrayed by Jung Yu Mi along with the police officers and fellow NFS experts like Lee Yi Kyung and Stephanie Lee, is a surprising proof that South Korea’s legal-crime dramas can be explored through the perspective of engaging cast instead of romanticizing the evil themes discussed in the series.
Consistent nimble writing
Halfway to the series, I had to check the creative team backing up MBC’s new drama, because I was enthused on how the execution of the smallest details relating to forensic science were clearly presented. The blow-by-blow coordination of the teams handling murder cases was adorned with subtle humor. So I was really surprised when the writer-tandem last worked together on Cinderella and the Four Knights, a trendy drama with amazing cast but predictable plot. The flawless writing in Partners for Justice is half of the reason why the eventual popularity curve rise in terms of rating was inevitable, because the audiences have easily immersed to the storytelling.
Unexpected But Worthy Possible Sequel
Partners for Justice definitely deserves the second installment hinted at the finale of the series. Baek Bum and the rest of the gang certainly qualify to proceed with their crime solving adventure, but I was honestly not prepared that I will be brought at the pinnacle point of a Ferris wheel ride and be left to wait for the continuing story. chuckles Nevertheless, if that means seeing the diligent cast work on the savvy plot for a second serving, then I give a big “YES” to it.
Partners for Justice is reminiscent of the feel Western TV crime series usually imbibes. That if it goes for more seasons to come, I would gladly remain loyal as a fan. It has mastered an approach to make crime stories not too emotionally taxing to watch, and the diverse human atrocities depicted were carefully selected and given proper redemption. It was a surprise favorite for me this year, given how I did not have any expectations of how it would go about when I first read the synopsis.
Partners for Justice is a well-portrayed and cleverly penned drama that I would highly recommend if you like thriller-crime genres.
abbyinhallyuland watched the full series of Partners for Justice on VIU.
All photos retrieved from iMBC.
About the writer
abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting watching K-Dramas as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.
Favorite Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and City Hunter