Show Review: The Innocent Man | Nice Guy | 세상 어디에도 없는 착한 남자 (2012)

Oh my gosh, The Innocent Man has me hooooooooked. If you like intense dramatic romances, this one is fantastic. I’m only about six episodes in, but I can’t stop! (It’s on Netflix as Nice Guy, if you’re looking!)

[I keep writing reviews for these shows before I’ve finished them but I just have a lot of EMOTIONS and OPINIONS so bear with me (and also there are some spoilers for the first six episodes herein, so if you don’t like spoilers, avoid until you’ve seen the show!).]

The main characters are Kang Ma-ru, Seo Eun-gi, Han Jae-hee, Kang Choco and Park Jae-gil. At the start, Kang Ma-ru’s madly in love with Han Jae-hee. They grew up together without money and have been together for years. There’s nothing Kang Ma-ru wouldn’t do for her. One night, after proving himself in medical school, he comes home to find his sister unconscious on the floor. Choco suffers from a long term illness and is constantly fainting and needing medical care. He’s in the process of bringing her to hospital when Jae-hee calls him, frantic. Torn between his sister and his girlfriend, he promises his sister that he’ll be right back, she only has to count to 500, and he runs to Jae-hee.

At a hotel, he finds Jae-hee sitting beside a dead body. They panic about what’s going to happen and in a spur of the moment decision, Ma-ru takes the fall. He’s kicked out of medical school and goes to prison, Choco’s health worsens, and Jae-hee ends up marrying a rich older man.

Five years later, Ma-ru’s jaded and furious. He’s on a flight when he encounters Seo Eun-gi, an heiress and step-daughter to Jae-hee. When Eun-gi faints onboard the plane, he uses his medical knowledge to save her life. In the process, he encounters Jae-hee once more.

Later, Jae-hee comes to his house and offers him compensation for taking the fall. Disgusted, Ma-ru returns the money but he gets caught in the crossfire between Jae-hee and Eun-gi, and is accused of blackmailing the family for money. So, that’s twice now that Jae-hee’s got him into trouble with the law.

I don’t know what to think about Jae-hee, honestly. She’s a really interesting and well developed character. Like, I cannot stand her in most of her scenes, but I do feel deep empathy for what her character experiences before the start of the show. She’s truly broken and terrified of going back to where she came from, so even though she’s manipulative and awful at times, she’s an interesting character and I hope she finds peace by the end. Also, her chemistry with Ma-ru is unreal and their scenes can be really heartbreaking.

Both of the women have great side relationships outside of Ma-ru and the love triangle, too. Eun-gi is close with Park Joon-ha, who’s been her friend all her life and fights for her within the company she runs, and always has her back. Jae-hee is close to Ahn Min-young, her husband’s secretary who’s secretly in love with her and helps her fight back against Eun-gi, who’s hated Jae-hee since her father kicked out her mother to make room for Jae-hee. There’s also Choco’s relationship with Park Jae-gil, Ma-ru’s best friend, who lives with them and supports Ma-ru through thick and thin. It’s a really splendid cast overall!

I really adore Ma-ru the most, though. He’s an amazing character. He’s such a good brother to Choco and he loves fiercely even though he’s been deeply hurt by Jae-hee’s actions. I love how his relationship with Eun-gi develops even as he’s battling Jae-hee and their tangled history. There’s so much intrigue and tension and looks. Seriously, this is a show that thrives on glares and side-long glances and I am here for it.

I can’t wait to see how it ends! Has anyone else seen it? If not, you totally should!

Non-English Language Show Recs

I’m a big fan of international television. Which is to say, I watch a lot of shows in a lot of different languages. As a teenager this meant watching videos in clips on YouTube, but with streaming being what it is, finding programmes from other countries is easier than ever. And that makes me so happy! Thank you, Netflix. King of Streaming. So, I’m randomly compiling a list for anyone looking for non-English language shows.

**This is by no means a full list, just what I’ve written up reviews for. **

  1. Le Bazar de la Charité [2019] french, romance, costume drama | ‎★‎★‎★‎★‎★ | that romance
  2. Zone Blanche [2017] french, noir, crime, fantasy | ‎★‎★‎★‎★½ | so spooky, so good
  3. Øyevitne [2014] norwegian, crime, lgbt+ | ★★★★★ | couldn’t relax, couldn’t look away
  4. Suspicious Partner [2017] korean, courtroom drama, romance | ★★★★½ | adorbs, fab, whoa
  5. When the Camellia Blooms [2019] korean, crime, mystery, romance | ★★★★ | awww romance and aaahhhh evil villain
  6. Crash Landing on You [2019] korean, drama, romance | ★★★★★ | THEIR LOVE LASTS FOREVAAAA
  7. Made in Heaven [2019] hindi, drama, romance | ★★★★ | right in the feels
  8. The K2 [2016] korean, action, romance | ★★★★★ | I will never get over this couple. NEVER.
  9. Because This Is My First Life [2017] korean, contemporary, romance | ★★★★ | d’aww, you guys
  10. When Heroes Fly [2018] hebrew, spanish | thriller, action | ★★★★ | non stop action like whoa
  11. Kurt Seyit ve Şura [2014] turkish, romance, costume drama | ★★★★★ | IT’S SO LUSH, EVERYTHING IS LUSH
  12. Élite [2018] spanish, drama, romance | ★★★★½ | everything about this is cray
  13. Don’t Dare to Dream [2016] korean, contemporary, romance | ★★★★★ | the storyline, the ending
  14. Beautiful Gong Shim [2016] korean, contemporary, romance | ★★★★ | I want to draw hearts around them
  15. Il était une seconde fois [2018] french, science fiction, romance | ★★★★ | confusing in a great way

Writing up this post has also made me realise how many other shows I should write up reviews for! Seriously, there are so many amazing shows out there and I have so many in my queue, but alas, time.