[REVIEW]: Voice

Hello! It’s been a while since Voice has come to a close.  Interestingly, this drama appears to have elicited an array of different responses ranging from love, to disappointment and everything in between. Despite having its fair share of blunders, Voice has been one of the most engaging dramas I’ve seen in a long time. I know this might fly in the face of the underwhelmed reviews that seem to be gradually coming out of the woodwork, but I personally found it to be one of the best crime dramas ever made. Read below for my review where I take the time to explore some of the reasons I found it appealing, why I didn’t have as many issues with it as the general public, and some of the drama’s turn offs.

[Be Forewarned: Spoilers Below].


Shaky Camera work: This was frustrating in a couple of areas, particularly with the action scenes which were totally undermined by the whizzing and whirling of the camera. Many times I felt quite dizzy because the camera was bouncing up and down as if the camera man himself were also running in order to film some of the more intense scenes. This was not only distracting but subtracted from the overall quality of the drama itself and made watching a bit tiring for viewers.

Stupid Decisions vs. Believable Mistakes (Know the Difference): Some of the characters in this drama made some of the most baffling decisions and I found it impossible to wrap my head around their train of thought. There’s a difference between these incredibly stupid decisions and what I would dub, believable mistakes. Let’s break down a few examples so we can pinpoint some trouble spots:

Believable Mistakes:

  • Dae Shik makes the sad choice to become the mole due to the pressure from Chairman Mo and Mob Boss, instead of coming clean to Jin Hyuk about his situation.
  • Jin Hyuk trusts Tabloid, someone who has been delivering him leads, and goes to meet him.

Nonsensical Decisions:

  • Jin Hyuk decides to singlehandedly chase down an armed, southeast Asian, specially trained martial artist.
  • Madam Jang makes a risky call to the police while leaving the door completely open.
  • Kwon Joo exits her apartment despite not knowing whether Mo Tae Gu (the murderer who has just knocked on her door and threatened her) is still there or not.
  • After going to meet Tabloid, Jin Hyuk decides to stay even though the situation is looking extremely sketchy and Tabloid doesn’t receive and answer to his phone call. He even stays after Tabloid leaves him alone in the car.
  • Eun Byul bends down to look inside a random handbag in the middle of a dimly lit parking garage, while traveling alone.
  • Bok Nim decides to walk around despite the clear warning from Kwon Joo that any movement could prompt the killer to come back upstairs and find her (he actually does because of this mistake).

Some Make Up/Costume Jobs Leave a lot to be Desired: Some of the make up went a little…overboard. One girl straight up looked like she popped out of Ju-On (A 2000 Japanese horror film for those who don’t know). Though I must say most of the make up jobs were pretty good. I found Dae Shik’s make up in the final two episodes to be quite spot on and believable and I’d say the same for Ah Ram from the child abuse case. An example of a dud costume would have to be Jin Hyuk’s deplorable helmet hairstyle which he sported for the entirety of the show, and the disgusting jacket bandage combo that he modeled for at least half of the series. He looked incredibly grimy like he needed a shower for at least six episodes and it wasn’t until the end was nearing that they finally cleaned him up and gave him a new jacket. I found it humorous that they expected us to believe he hadn’t changed his outfit over such a long period of time. I get that he was hungry to catch the criminal but damn, I don’t need him looking like he hasn’t bathed for a half century.

Scenes/Situations that Call for a Drastic Suspension of Disbelief: Some of these jewels include the several times that Jin Hyuk managed to beat up about 15 to 20 people on his own. My favorite example of this was when he was trapped at the meat house and was hanging there for hours but then magically mustered up some unlimited energy after escaping from the pulley to beat the crud out of the whole mob team in a matter of minutes. I don’t know what energy drink he had between scenes but if they were going to try and convince us that he could do that I’m confused as to why the mere five or so men in the scene before at the lot gave him so much trouble compared to this massive group of martial artists. Anyway, here’s another fun one. Tae Gu murders Madam Jang who had already called the cops. He has time to make a little art project with her blood, pry out her eyes and clean up all before Kwon Joo gets there. Here’s the best part. The body is nowhere to be found in the building, but he clearly didn’t have time to ship it home and come back. Madam Jang is also a similar height and stature to Tae Gu, which means she would have been no easy feat to lug around so easily. Still wondering how he hid the body and then casually managed to take it home and wrap it up without being discovered in the process. But here’s another one for you: I want to know why Ghost (the southeast Asian martial artist hitman that was sent to kill Dongwoo) took so damn long to kill a child when it was quite clear that he had no ethical qualms about the situation. He had enough time to smile, and walk forward at a turtle’s pace, but apparently killing a child is an extremely lengthy process for a professional hitman. I’m obviously glad Dongwoo survives, but I wasn’t buying the ‘still buffering’ status of the hitman when he was undoubtedly allotted plenty of time to complete the task. There are countless more examples, but let’s move on.

Cringeworthy Product Placement: Hyun Ho and Eun Soo were clearly on product placement duty. The samsung phones, the subway promos, you name it, they advertised it. The scene where Hyun Ho drops his fancy new waterproof samsung phone in the bathroom sink had to be the most painful, and glaringly obvious of them all. I laughed, but it was a sad, pitying laugh. I felt like they were both gipped in terms of their characters. It would have been a lot nicer if they were given more screen time and relevant tasks.

Shim Dae Shik—A Track Star in the Making: I think this dude ran in every episode. Seriously, the only moment he wasn’t running was when Tae Gu put him into a coma. Poor guy looked like he was participating in an intense weight loss program. I think Baek Sung Hyun was offensively underutilized in this drama. He really wasn’t given a chance to shine until the later half of the drama, where he delivered a very outstanding performance and, I’d say stole the show along with Tae Gu, in the final two episodes.

Fun IdeaDrink Whenever Jinhyuk says Scumbag: Don’t do it. You’ll be drunk by the fifteen minute mark of the very first episode. I literally had a headache from the amount of times Jin Hyuk shouted this word. It wasn’t necessary nor helpful in any way to the drama. I swear the drama would have been just as believable and effective even if they had sliced down his usage of scumbag by half. I get it. He’s supposed to be tough but jesus guys I still would have thought Jin Hyuk was badass without hearing the same profanity every other word. I didn’t need to be reminded every five seconds, thanks.

The Infamous Jaw Crack: Is anyone bitter about the fact that this was mentioned countless times but never fully explained? Maybe I’m just stupid and it went completely over my head when they told us, but I don’t recall ever getting a clear reason as to why Nam Sang Tae or Mo Tae Gu had this excessive jaw cracking issue…which is a bit problematic since half of the show revolves around that detail. I know Sang Tae’s dad mentions something about having taught his son a lesson when the topic comes up, but what does that even mean? Did he beat him, did he perform some creepy dental operation, did he break the kid’s jaw? What the hell happened? And why did Tae Gu have the same issue? I guess I’ll just have to spend the rest of my life pondering the answer.

‘Follow the Rod of Love’: Okay, seriously. What the fuck was that? I hope you all know what I’m talking about. That cheesy line delivered to Mo Tae Gu courtesy of Kang Kwon Joo. Not sure what the hell the writers had in mind here but I was cringing and throwing up all at once from the campiness of such an unfortunate line. I get that she was trying to show some sympathy toward such a misguided man, but there are ways to do it without it feeling like a complete joke. The full speech was supposed to buy her some time until Jin Hyuk popped out, and I assume showcase her capacity to feel compassion, even towards a twisted murderer. Maybe the audience was even supposed to feel a little sad about his fucked up life as well, but it went a bit too far in my book. Did she really need to get all teary eyed while talking about finding love when he’s literally, bloodied, sweaty and hunched over her with a knife? I think not.

Redeeming Factors:

Solid Cast: A main reason for this drama’s success was the (mostly) excellent cast. Most of the actors/actresses delivered, especially in the villain and victim roles. Kim Jae Wook, Kim Roe Ha, and Baek Sung Hyun were three side characters that performed very well in my opinion. Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Na left a bit to be desired, but at least no one really over acted to the point where I found myself annoyed. I did find Ha Na a bit too wooden for my tastes. Aside from that, Everyone worked together well, and the chemistry was definitely noticeable between all the characters.

Shim Dae Shik: I’m gonna say it. I love Dae Shik. I don’t care if he was the mole. The scene between him and the little girl at the welfare center will forever go down in history as one of the most iconic, tear inducing scenes ever. I found his character so endearing and it broke my little heart when I realized he was the mole man. I was actually crushed when I first realized what was happening, but I was glad they delivered a reasonable explanation for his turn to the dark side and appreciated that he didn’t go 100% dark and had regrets the whole time. I also love that he made an effort to correct his wrongs despite going about it in the wrong fashion by stupidly agreeing to meet Tae Gu while incredibly intoxicated, but hey, no one’s perfect. I’m also grateful to the writer gods for keeping him alive. I wasn’t pleased to see him in a coma, but hey. It’s better than nothing folks, and the finger twitch has me thinking that he was probably going to wake up soon. Also, god bless Jin Hyuk for still loving Dae Shik in the end and not harboring the grudges or hatred I was so fearful of. I gotta admit that talk in the Grandma’s restaurant had me near fooled that he was done with Dae Shik, but I’m forever thankful that they kept the broship alive, because I would have been shattered had they not done so. I also found it lovely, that they had Kwon Joo there visiting him too, because let’s be real, girly had a zillion reasons to dislike the man since he was purposely talking smack about her in the beginning to mislead Jin Hyuk. But the fact that she visits as well shows that she too understood that Dae Shik was good deep down inside and was only doing what he felt he had to in order to protect his father, the person he loved most.

Moo Tae Gu: Kim Jae Wook was probably 99% of the reason this character was so successful. I honestly can’t imagine any other actor pulling off the role quite as perfectly as Jae Wook did. There’s just something in Jae Wook’s appearance, the ease with which he walked, talked, and delivered spot on facial expressions that simply made everything work. His whole aura was crucial to the character and I think that’s the reason why so many of us really ended up liking Tae Gu, despite his deplorable nature. I thought that Tae Gu himself wasn’t anything special in terms of killers. He’s not much different from killers we’ve seen before, but there were a few small details that, combined with Jae Wook’s acting, made the character so chilling and believable. The scary part about Tae Gu is the fact that he’s just like us. A normal person in society, who happens to be a higher up. And yet, despite all that money his father had, he refused to get his son help for his mental illness, and therefore, created a monster. There was something so interesting about Tae Gu’s relaxed state, but dainty mannerisms that made me want to know more of his story and I found him captivating every time he took the screen. He killed brutally, but everything was carried out elegantly. Everything was done with precision and thoughtfulness. It was horrifying, yet impossible to turn away. A very excellent performance on Jae Wook’s part.

Kang Kwon Joo: I liked that Kwon Joo was at the focus of the story. She was strong and the drama was not a male dominated drama as per usual. I liked that she wasn’t a cry baby or constant damsel in distress. In fact, she was quite the opposite. If anything, Jin Hyuk was the more emotional of the two, and I like that the drama arranged things that way. I loved seeing Kwon Joo be the mastermind behind a lot of the crime solving and the logical mediator between Jin Hyuk and the higher ups. She helped balance him out and reminded him what was important when he had tendencies to get out of control or let his emotion do the talking. Kwon Joo was fresh, and the type of female lead that I’ve been wishing writers would create for a long time. I hope the success of Voice inspires other drama writers to make similar strong female characters so that I don’t have to keep drowning in this trend of weak, helpless heroines.

Gory, Gritty, and Realistic Feel: I love horror films, so naturally, I am really into gory films and dramas. I feel the more bloody a drama is, the more realistic it is. That’s just my personal thought. I’m not going to worry about a character getting shot if it doesn’t even look like they’ve lost a drop of blood, nor if it looks like ketchup is squirting out of their wound. I like when the make up artists put in that extra effort to make things look terrifically real. When the blood looks convincing, I too become convinced. This can turn some people off, especially if they have a light stomach, but I really enjoy this type of thing. It may sound creepy, but hey, to each his own. Anyway, most crime shows are much too censored for my taste or the make-up jobs are just downright laughable. I get that some crimes shows are also geared towards teens or younger audiences rather than adults which means they have to tone it down a notch. What I appreciated was that Voice didn’t back away from pure grittiness, and when things were getting too stomach churning for some viewers, they kicked their rating up a notch so that we could continue to enjoy the brutal reality that they intended to show. I think what really added to the show’s gritty nature was the clever use of sound. Many times, we didn’t actually see the kettle bell hit the victim’s heads (not until later episodes). Usually we just heard the sound of it, and the sounds were extremely realistic. A lot of people commented that they really disliked this and they found it way to gruesome too handle, but I very much enjoyed this aspect. I thought it made the scenes incredibly real to the point where I felt like I was right there in the scene, like a witness to the crime. I think this is exactly what the show was trying to do. Murder is ugly, and grisly. People watch tame crime shows all the time and become desensitized to it because they’re watching more cleaned up versions of these crimes, but Voice decided to show people the truth, and forced us to come face to face with some of the ugliest aspects of crime. For that, I applaud the show.

Suspenseful and Gripping: The biggest reason why I enjoyed this drama was because it was indeed suspenseful. I hate hate hate predictable dramas and this drama was far from predictable. Just when I thought I had figured out what would happen next, the drama would unveil something new that had me #shook. I enjoyed it very much and I thought ending each episode before the cases were solved was an excellent tactic for keeping viewers hooked and secured for the next episode. Even the very final episode itself was a wild ride of unexpected happenings. Nothing could prepare me for what happened in the finale and I liked that. Sometimes dramas like these lose steam half way through, but thankfully Voice avoided that hurdle.

Impressive Cinematography: For the most part, I found the cinematography quite impressive for a crime drama. I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary, but from the very first episode I was surprised by how beautiful many of the shots were. The vibrant color palettes were simply breathtaking and there were some amazing zoom out shots of the snowy wheat fields or other scenic spots that were phenomenal and unexpectedly pleasing to look at.

Nice OST: There were only three songs on the OST but I found all of them catchy or fitting for the mood. My favorite was the track by Changmo, which included some rap that was pretty damn awesome.

Focuses on Marginalized Groups & Not Just “High Society”: What I thought was really fantastic about this show was that it showed both sides of the story. There are wealthy, rich people with lots of power, but there are also the marginalized, the outcasted, and those who are easily taken advantage of. We got to see both extremes instead of simply basking in the glitz and glamor of ‘high society.’ If anything, we saw the dirty nature of both the luxurious life and the deprived life. There was an impressive showcase of these marginalized groups as well, which I appreciated. We got to see just how ugly and unfair life can be. Voice refused to shy away from hideous truths like these and by doing so, gave a voice to these people.

Prioritizes the Stories & Crimes Rather than Romance: The show also made sure to make the victims and their stories the heart of the show. I’m not a huge romance fan, but I appreciate it every now and then in certain dramas. I thought it was a smart move to keep the romance to a minimum in this drama. Honestly, there wasn’t much room for romance, and it would have been inappropriate to have made it any more significant than it was considering the morbid agenda of the drama. The tiny exchanges between Hyun Ho and Eun Soo were just enough to lighten the mood between some of these extremely dark stories. I really loved getting to know all of the victims and their stories. All of the stories were extremely compelling and I became very attached to the people in each case. I think this served the drama well, and was a good way to get people to shift their focus on the victims instead of allowing them to become too enraptured with the killer and his luxurious lifestyle. For me at least, the show was designed to give voice to the victims, and it accomplished what it set out to do.

Impressive Mix of Cases alongside from the Main Case: I mentioned earlier that we got to see a lot of marginalized groups throughout the episodes. We encountered the poor, homeless, orphaned, abused, mentally ill, outcasted, and then some. Each story was carefully and thoughtfully designed. I liked that we were given all of these cases aside from the main case. They kept things interesting because if they hadn’t existed I’m sure the drama would have been quite boring to say the least. Each case was unique and touching in a different way and I found all of the individual actors/actresses playing the roles in each story very convincing.

A few comments on some individual cases themselves. My two favorites were the child abuse and the welfare center cases. These two cases had me the most nervous and also included the most unexpected twists. They were also two of the most gruesome of the bunch, though I do admit the Chun Ok townhouse case was also a grisly scene to witness as well. However, that case was ultimately too sad for my liking, especially after Chun Ok dies and her handicapped brother is left in the world to fend for himself. The child actors who played played Ah Ram and Sae Bom were downright excellent and I found myself really moved by their performances.

Two cases I was less impressed with were the first portion of the Eun Byul/Hwang Kyung Il case and then the entirety of the Ho Shik/Hyun Ho stalking case. The reason I disliked the first portion of the Kyung Il case specifically, was because I found Eunbyul’s character to be not only annoying but also a throw away. Her acting was also the only acting I found a bit underwhelming from the bunch. I didn’t find her believable so much as I found her whiny. The stalking case itself was kind of a mess. It seemed like a sloppy way to throw a curve ball into the show but it didn’t quite work for me. I wish Hyun Ho had been given another way to have that extra screen time because this was a bit drab. It was the only case I really wasn’t invested in and though the actor playing Ho Shik was good, I just really didn’t like the character of Ho Shik itself. These two cases seemed to lack the well thought out nature and shock factor of the top two I’ve listed above.

Cases Knit Well Together to Tie back to the Main Case: Not only did we get this wide variety of cases, but amazingly most of them worked together to reveal a lot about the main case which was super cool and not an easy feat to pull off. Even Ji Hye’s murder ended up being related to the cases and the whole Sungwun Bus Company. I never thought that would be so, and was pleasantly surprised at how they were able to weave everything together. I actually loved how Hwang Kyung Il ended up aiding the situation despite being one of the bad guys in a previous case. It was surprising to find out he was a witness and even more surprising when he got murdered by Mob Boss and we realized we were only scraping the tip of the iceberg. It was thrilling to witness each case and see how they led to the slow unraveling of Tae Gu’s world. Though many innocent people died in the process, many of the victims were able to contribute to Tae Gu’s take down by providing as much information they could.

Issues I (Personally) didn’t Find too Troublesome:

These seem to be some of the most frequent offenses people have listed as turn offs. While I found some of the points listed below to be true, irritating, or noticeable, none of them were enough to bother me significantly or hinder my viewing experience. They were more like the occasional gnat you swat away at a summertime barbecue. A few of them weren’t even problems from my perspective, so I will go through my reasoning below.

Character Development: This has probably been the number one complaint I’ve seen circulating around, and ironically, this is something I took the least issue with. It must be my own personal views taking over here, because I have never been into the concept of significant character development being a thing when it comes to the detectives in crime shows. When I used to watch Law and Order: SVU back in the day, I hated when they tried to construct stories about the detectives’ personal lives and give them these complex personalities. If I sit down for a crime show, I’m simply looking for thrill, background on the victims and their stories, background on the offenders, and skillful detective work. I don’t want to hear about Detective Stabler’s divorce, anger management issues, etc. I’m not interested in Detective Benson’s recent adoption and personal struggle to maintain a relationship either. For me, it takes away from the story rather than making it more interesting.

But enough about Law and Order: SVU. I felt satisfied with the amount of information and overall characteristics of Jin Hyuk and Kwon Joo. I never found myself curious about what was going on behind the scenes in their personal lives or needing some great spurt of growth to show their progress. I liked that they kept the focus on the victims’ stories, because I think that’s exactly what the drama was aiming to do and I think especially in this case, we were purposely led to pay more attention to the victims and the killer. I don’t think the characters had to be super deep or 4D to be likable or believable. Yeah, Jin Hyuk wasn’t a complex guy with many layers, but that didn’t matter to me. He was well intentioned, he was determined, and I was trusting in and rooting for him throughout the series. I consider that enough. The same goes for Kwon Joo, who had enough going on to satisfy me as well. She had an accident, developed abnormal hearing abilities, and decided to put them to good use. She too was determined, grounded, and able to persevere despite that tragedy she faced and hardship she endured. I liked that the two seemed to counterbalance each other. Jin Hyuk was emotional, erratic, and seemed to have a one-track-mind when pursing his wife’s murderer. Kwon Joo was composed, sympathetic, but resilient and she knew when it was necessary to put things on the back burner for the sake of saving lives.

If anything, the only major character I found underdeveloped was Tae Gu. His backstory seemed a tad rushed and I think too much was left out for the sake of time constraints. I like what they gave us, I just wished they had provided more. I think details about the Chairman’s relationship with Tae Gu, Tae Gu’s mother, Tae Gu’s childhood, the Sungwun Bus Company, and Nam Sang Tae’s relationship with Tae Gu during his younger years, could have all been fleshed out in more detail. I was fascinated with the killer, and wanted to know more about how his whole family ended up in such shambles. I get that people felt the whole mental illness concept was somewhat cliche but at the same time what else could we have expected?  No serial killer nor murderer is mentally sound, so this was bound to be part of his story. Because, If he didn’t have a mental illness, I know I would have been scratching my head for answers. However, I think the mental illness plot could have been better if some of the topics mentioned above had been explored in a more detailed fashion. I think Tae Gu’s most interesting moments were his brief moments of guilt, as witnessed in his basement when he checked to make sure Jin Hyuk hadn’t found the key, and then again during his hallucination in the mental facility.

You could surely argue that a few of the side characters were underdeveloped, which is undoubtedly true. Hyun Ho and Eun Soo were pretty much serving product placement duty, but I still found them likable and as much as it would have been great to learn more about them and have them play a more active role, I think they wouldn’t have contributed much to the overall story. I most likely wouldn’t have cared about their story because it would have been interrupting the overarching goal of discovering the killer, unraveling his motive, and chasing him down. It wasn’t Hyun Ho or Eun Soo that made me want to watch the drama, it was the killer, the variety of victims, and Kwon Joo in particular that were key to the story. Because of this, I really wasn’t bothered in the end by the fact that we only knew Hyun Ho and Eun Soo on the most basic level. It was a sacrifice that seemed necessary for advancing the more engaging aspects of the plot.

Jang Hyuk: Now, I fully sympathize with the Jang Hyuk stans out there. I’ve seen tons of Jang Hyuk’s work. I love Jang Hyuk, I really do. I’m also really glad he took on this project, because I think he was the only person I could really imagine fulfilling this type of one dimensional role in a satisfying way. However, I completely agree that this is not his best work, and far from it. It was clearly not a role that allows for an actor to showcase their huge range of abilities. It was limited, and because of this, Jang Hyuk seemed to struggle a bit in this one. He barked a lot in the beginning to the point where I constantly found myself turning the volume down in annoyance. Sometimes I felt he was melodramatic and not in a good way. However, he seemed to find his footing after a few episodes and I came to appreciate the emotion and dedication he put forward. His action scenes are always fantastic, but I really loved it most when he held back and spoke in a more controlled but menacing tone. A few great examples of this were when he was talking to Tae Gu on the phone at the police station (when Tae Gu was making his way over to Kwon Joo’s apartment), when he tells Tae Gu to never utter Dae Shik’s name ‘with that dirty mouth of his‘ again, and of course, at the very end, when he has Tae Gu helplessly caught on the roof. That scene was just awesome. He really figured out how to get under Tae Gu’s skin, and I felt it was truly the ultimate moment of triumph for Jin Hyuk. Loved the way he petted Tae Gu’s head.

Lee Ha Na: Some people really didn’t like Lee Ha Na. I thought she was just okay. Not abominable, but definitely not great either. I’d say she was pretty average. It’s kind of hard to portray a stoic character without looking heartless, bored, constipated, or all of the above. I found Ha Na somewhat believable or, at the very least, I was able to pick up on her compassion and dedication towards the victims of each case. Her various emotional scenes were semi-decent, but not exactly worthy of my time either. The only extremely awkward scene I need to complain about is the one where she was on the roof with Jin Hyuk and Tae Gu. When she delivered that, ‘you don’t have to become a monster to catch a monster’ line, and begged Jin Hyuk not to kill Tae Gu, her crying was quite bad. I actually started laughing. First of all, we all knew Jin Hyuk wasn’t going to kill Tae Gu. Secondly, it was like a completely different person took over the role. Her crying during her father’s death scene was WAY more believable than this mishap.

Moo Tae Gu’s Mental Facility Scene: I interpreted this scene as a hallucination. We know he was prone to them, because of two earlier scenes. The first hallucination where he sees the man in the vehicle whose mouth fuses together and the second in the basement where he hears and envisions his mother and Nam Sang Tae. The room he was wheeled into looked very similar to his blood hut back at the villa where he slaughtered his victims. The patients who attacked him seemed metaphorically reminiscent of those he had killed in the past (most of them were homeless or marginalized people). The doctor seemed to take up the authoritative killing position he himself had previously occupied. I felt it was the culmination of his guilt, his newfound solitude, and his drugged state of being. Being alone and confined to his thoughts, he imagines himself as the victim of his own terrors. It’s a nightmarish scene that shifts to black and white, which only strengthens my belief that it was illusory. I think the point was to show his guilt and fear; his human side, and to communicate the idea that he was probably haunted by these thoughts until he was ultimately killed in reality by a patient later on, as Kwon Joo reveals in a voice over. I think Jin Hyuk hit the nail on the head by deeming the worst punishment for Tae Gu as being trapped in a space of solitude with no one to torture, because if he’s not doing the torturing, it’s his own thoughts that become a torture to him. Personally, I found it fitting and pitiable.

Overall Thoughts:

I loved this show a lot. I wanted grisly, dark, and realistic suspense and Voice delivered that. Though it had some blunders, they were all minimal and didn’t take away from the show significantly. The good overwhelmingly outweighed the bad in this case. This show was consistent from beginning to end and it is a drama I could easily see myself coming back to and watching again. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite dramas to date. I highly recommend this drama to anyone looking for something decent to watch. If you like crime, suspense or all things creepy, this is for you. If you are squeamish at the sight of blood and gore, sensitive to bodily or violent sounds, or don’t like intensely suspenseful dramas, I’d sincerely advise you to stay away from this one.

Rating: 9.0/10 

Did you watch Voice? What did you think of the drama? If you haven’t already, you can check out the five minute extended preview here.



  1. interesting take, i agree on most part. but personally i find Lee Hana did well for her character. She wasn’t wooden/emotionless all the time other than when ‘needed to’. in fact, she’s mostly only stoic when dealing with people in the police station who are mostly always making things difficult for her, thus, she needed to be tough, but i like that she approached everything with calm, levelheaded yet no-nonsense n determined way around the policemen and the higher up. if she had shown more emotions around them, she could easily be pushed around or deemed weak, and we know she gotta be tough if she could survived being slandered and belittled but persevered and instead fought to get better position to seek for justice and avenge her father’s death. i like that even her emotional scenes which were plenty around the victims were still constrained/controlled and not full blast emotional most of the time, because if it had been the latter, it wouldn’t be Kang Kwonjoo. i agree that Mo Taegu only become a hit because of Kim Jaewook and the character really is the standard bad guy psycho character, although Jinhyuk is even more standard super cliche loud hero character for crime dramas. i guess the writer isn’t good with writing male characters, but Kwonjoo is really a refreshing character especially for female character in kdrama and i feel that it’s not an easy one since the characteristics itself isn’t something that can easily be seen in female characters in kdramas, and i feel Lee Hana did well, maybe one thing i didn’t like is how her character tends to nag/preach too much at times – to the bad guys, to her higher ups and other chief, basically to everyone…even to Mo Taegu(which, in the scene where she was teary eyed, i interpreted it as she had a lot of emotions, because he killed her dad and so many victims, and she hated him yet she felt sorry for him after learning on his life history, those are opposing feelings, and trying to contain all the overwhelming feelings, while perhaps mixed with desperation/fear since she’s about to be killed afterall…getting teary eyes is not all that out of place, if you think about it), also, when she cried to Jinhyuk to not murder Taegu – yeah, we know he ain’t gonna kill dude, but Kwonjoo doesn’t. i mean, Jinhyuk is a ‘mad dog’ afterall, filled with fiery hate for Mo Taegu who’s provoking dude till the end, it’s not impossible for Jinhyuk to just shoot Mo Taegu to shut him up out of annoyance. at least if we think from Kwonjoo’s perspective instead of viewers. i might sound so much like a overdefensive fangirl now, but yeah…overall, there were so much criticism on Lee Hana’s acting at many sites, which i feel undeserved. made me wonder if she had been a more popular actress(with international kdrama fans) and delivered same acting, it’s very possible opinions would’ve been different sadly. but still, thanks for the interesting writeup.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, and firstly thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy Lee Ha Na in this role as well as the character of Kang Kwon Joo. Aside from a few blunders I mentioned, I was a fan of her character as well. I love a strong, no-nonsense female character that doesn’t take any bullshit and speaks up for herself. I also liked the juxtaposition of an emotional male character, with a more logical and grounded female character, because it’s usually the opposite being depicted in k-dramas. This was a nice change for once, and I really appreciated it. I agree in that I thought Jinhyuk was a very run-of-the mill detective character. He yelled, threw tantrums, etc. and it was pretty generic and boring to witness on screen. This is the typical OCN detective, so I wasn’t very surprised that he was fitting that same mold, because most of their shows suffer from this character trope.

      I am going to have to politely disagree with you and stick by what I’ve deduced about Lee Ha Na’s performance. My pointing out that she felt wooden was not directed at the scenes where she was supposed to be more stoic. I felt there were scenes outside of those necessary stoic ones, where she was not performing up to par. However, that is merely my own observation, so I don’t expect you to share my opinion. I’ve seen various female actresses play these types of roles, and so, I felt that Lee Ha Na was not as good as some other females who have performed similar kinds of roles. That’s not to say she was bad. I didn’t find her awful or anything of that sort. I just found her mediocre, as in, she did enough to get the job done, but in a way that was not as satisfying as it could have been (for me). In other words, I think there were things that could have been done better. No hard feelings!

      I know many people had bad things to say about her performance, as I remember reading many peoples’ reviews on the drama after publishing my own. You are correct in that many people were very harsh on her (and I agree that some people were just putting her down for the sake of putting her down), so I can understand why you feel defensive. Truthfully, I don’t think Jang Hyuk had an amazing performance either. I think both of them had room for improvement. Personally, I could care less about an actor or actress’ popularity. Most of my favorite actresses aren’t popular or relevant to begin with. Furthermore, most of the very popular actresses that the majority seem to love are ones, that I feel, can’t act at all.. So I can assure you that my reasoning for critiquing her had nothing to do with her popularity level and I have no ill will toward her. I actually find her quite cute and charming, but at the end of the day, I’m just here to watch the show, and if I’m not 100% sold on a performance, I make a note of it here.

      Lastly, I just want to say I’ve been in your position before as well, where people have been unimpressed with performances from actors/actress I thought did an outstanding job. I know that doesn’t always feel too great and you wonder why people aren’t seeing what you’re seeing. Even I have to remind myself from time to time that it’s up to myself to decide and to not let other peoples’ sentiments ruin the fun. These things are subjective, so there is no right or wrong answer. Some people are always going to like vanilla, and others chocolate, but don’t let it stop you from enjoying what you love. If you think she nailed it, than that’s all that matters. Cheers! ♥️


  2. I can’t believe I actually read all of this. There were points with which I disagree but overall I had the same feeling. Honestly, I thought I was gonna come here and feel like physically fighting you, can’t believe that didn’t happen. Thank you for mentioning the so freaking annoying habit of Jin Hyuk saying the same swearing over and over again. Also, the whole love talk, I just can’t deal with how absolutely weird that was. Anyways, nice review. Thank you for recommending me the drama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t believe I have actually reached the point in our relationship where my blog is worthy enough for one of your precious comments. I also can’t believe you watched this so fast…like how do you find the time? It’s all good, I’m glad you disagree in some areas. If everyone agreed on everything and anything the world would be a boring place without any individuality. I’m glad you don’t want to physically fight me either because a bitch has no strength to fend you off. So what did you think of it? Did ya like it? Hate it? Think it was a good, bad, or mediocre recommendation? I’m curious to know your personal thoughts on the matter! And yes…Jin Hyuk was annoying af. Thank you for reading and watching!!!!


  3. Man I loved your review, i felt like everything that i felt while watching the drama was right there in what you’ve written. Btw, have you watched Voice season 2 yet? i just finished re-watching both the seasons and ended up stumbling on your review cuz i was missing Kang kwon joo so much :). If you haven’t i’d say you give it a try i loved it a bit more than the 1st season and the new male lead is good too, sure it did have its flaws (kinda like the first season) but it really was enjoyable, and guess what? the show’s getting a third season next year February!

    Anyway your review was super nice and detailed, and i apprecitae the time and effort you’ve put into it.I hope you do keep writing reviews like this, i really did have fun reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stars! Thank you so much for reading my review and giving me such generous compliments! I am so grateful and truly happy that you enjoyed the review! ❤️😃

      I was indeed looking forward to watching Season 2, but unfortunately the actor they ended up casting as the male lead is someone I don’t feel comfortable supporting (due to the rape allegation made against him). It is my own personal preference to avoid watching or supporting any actors/actresses who have been accused of sexual assault. I understand this is a bit of a touchy subject for some, but I am not judging anyone who chooses to watch these shows or actors/actresses. It is simply a policy I have adopted to fit my own needs. Hopefully you can understand my decision with no hard feelings. 😭💕

      I am glad to hear that the second season was just as riveting as the first, because I really loved Kang Kwon Joo and thought the overall writing for the first season was pretty solid. I did try to follow some of the recaps written up on other blogs, and I am a fan of the actor Kwon Yul, so it was cool to see him make an appearance in the show! You will have to let me know what you think of the third season once it’s out! I’d be interested to see how it holds up compared to the other two.

      Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts and comment! I really appreciate it! ❤️ I will definitely try to keep putting out more reviews in the future!


      • Oh that’s okay, dramas are in the end for our entertainment so you don’t need to watch something if it has an element you would be uncomfortable with 🙂
        And yes i’ll definitely let you know how s3 turns out! Voice attracted me so much to it because of the female lead character and that really is why I think I ended up loving the series 😊❤️
        And as I said before do keep writing more reviews! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks so much for your understanding! ❤️

          Me too! It is often pretty difficult to find k-dramas with strong, independent female characters, so it’s always a treat when the writers do justice to the female lead! Will do, and take care!!


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