…is Kim Nam Gil. The substantial and versatile acting talent of Mr. Kim can’t be subdued regardless of any deficiencies nor outshined by any merits in the production he participates in. He had since left civilian life to fulfill his mandatory military service for the next two years whilst the final episodes of Bad Boy was still airing, and his excellent performance branded on this last project certainly will keep his far-reaching fans and k-drama audience anticipating greatly for his return in 2012. Cold and tender, suave and goofy, vengeful and forgiving, he convincingly brought out all these contradictory characteristics of his Shim Gum Wook/Hong Tae Sung role with amble charisma to boot.
Bad Boy is a drama about Kim Nam Gil’s character out to exact revenge on the conglomerate family that adopted him because it thought he was the illegitimate son but then unapologetically kicked him out to the curb when it thought he was a fake. It was a drama with great potential- helmed by a reputable director, Lee Hyeong Min, who directed Winter Sonata (2002) and Snow Queen (2006), co-produced by respected Korean and Japanese production teams with filming done in both countries, and starred by a stellar cast of talents from its lead to supporting cast. It became a drama with beautiful cinematography, well developed three-dimensional characters, but sideswiped by coverage of real-time current events i.e. FIFA World Cup, peppered by extraneous scenes throughout the vicinity of episodes 6-11 wasting precious story time, and unexpected departure of its titular lead.
Originally planned for 20 episodes, the drama was forced to cut back to 17 episodes when Kim Nam Gil received his non-extendable draft notice before all the scenes were written, much less filmed. After watching the finale episode with much anticipation and no small amount of trepidation, the final verdict after the initial pre-Orbit mouth outcries is a favorable one. Given these characters’ personalities, the progress of the situation already unveiled, and the time restraint the production had, of all the possible scenarios that could be played out, the one that did was believable enough, in temper with the characters, unforced in tying all the loose ends, and ultimately offered closure. This drama gets a 7 out of 10 stars, keeping in mind the same reviewer gave the monstrous hit Queen Seon Deok an 8.5 out of 10, and abysmal Personal Taste 3 out of 10.