The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

38 Task Force



Aka -  38 Revenue Collection Unit / Squad 38
Genre -  Crime, comedy
Writer -  Han Jung hoon
Network -  OCN
Episodes -  16
Released -  June  - August,  2016



CAST



PLOT


As a reference to Article 38 which pertains to tax payments, this special police unit utilizes the criminals' own tactics of scams and deceit to catch rich tax cheats. ~Wiki.d-addicts
The task force chief of Seoul City Hall and a con man work together to collect taxes from those who avoid paying large amounts. ~AsianWiki

REVIEW

Two words: Thrill ride.

What an exciting 16 this turned out to be!

This was another stumbled-upon for me, and again, so glad it worked out that way because Squad 38 was interesting, action-packed, and filled with enough riveting plot to keep me wanting more.

The writer took a mundane plot device (taxes) and used real-life situations taken from the news to mold this drama into what it became: amazing.

Why the 1/2 star deduction, then?

The ending, and a few WTF instances that made me groan.

The ending, while funny and as dramatic as the rest of the show, fell flat with me and mainly because I hadn't wanted to see one of our heroes land behind bars (again).

This is about taxation, misrepresentation, corruption at all levels, and just a few of the many wealthy people who go out of their way to avoid paying what they owe.

Not surprisingly, I kept thinking about Donald Trump as I watched -- which might deserve a LOL but I can't bring myself to do it.

He's not funny and I'd rather NOT think about him.

The extended cast did as great a job of reeling me in as the leads, and the two worked together like magic.



Ma Dong suk has an effortless way of tugging at ones heart strings even when he isn't trying.

The quintessential huggy-bear with a sad sack exterior and all-the-feels inside that blend so well for some guys ... guys with heart and soul, that is.

He made me cry about as often as I expected him to burst into frustrated tears.

Then there is Seo In guk, the guy with appeal and an ease of movement that if you're not careful and blink, you may miss something.

In guk possesses that rare and unique ability to transform himself on-screen so that what you are watching isn't Seo In guk the hot actor, but Yang Jung do, the con artist.

These two team up to go after the biggest tax evaders in the district, and while one of the Info sites said it was Seoul, the translator kept using Seowon or Seuon to name the fictitious city -- unless the translator is wrong and it was actually Seoul.

A majority of the dialect used told me this took place somewhere to the south of that big city, but I could be wrong, too.

The con artist has connections to help make a few of their schemes work to their advantage, but it was as refreshing as it was frustrating to see a few of those schemes blow up or not pan out as expected, making for a more realistic story.

With wealthy people comes corruption, greed, and a holier-than-thou mentality that would turn off most anyone, especially me, but the writer weaved as much believable magic into this drama as there was unrealistic nonsense.

And, again, not being familiar with the workings of public office over there, it is difficult to know what is real and what is made up in these types of stories.

Reality would mean the suggestion that a 'mayor' is capable of or possesses the authority to disband the Tax Collection department at City Hall is laughable.

That the media outlets hadn't sniffed out at least half these news-worthy stories a long time ago seems doubtful since most tax evaders end up going down due to a sly news reporters careful and thorough digging up of dirt on said evader.

I've never been tossed in the pokey before, but I'm pretty sure the first thing a cop does prior to bringing any suspect into lock-up is to dispossess that person of all their possessions -- to include jewelry, wallet, and cell phone.

Baek Sung il wore nerd glasses in the first few episodes, and then suddenly they were gone and he never put them back on.

He also drove around in his wife's Pig Trotter's mini van but then usually walked home.

Soo young's Chun Sung hee had a major part in the first half of the 16 episodes, and then she just fell off, appearing only briefly to answer her cell phone or watch her chief, Sung il, get chewed out by an upper inside the tax office.

Not sure if this was the uploaders fault or an OCN decision to annoy, but in every single episode there were at least three overlap instances, making for a drawn-out and repetitive watch that started to irritate after episode four.

Lastly, I think I would have enjoyed this one even more if each episode had shown this team going after a new disreputable character for tax evasion, and I do hope in the sequel that the writer does this instead.

Still, despite those issues, this was a fun watch and I have no doubt it will be something I fall back on whenever there is a lull in the drama viewing world I live in from time to time.

Best Actor


Jo Woo jin's Ahn Tae wook

Dude stole this one and scared the crap out of me more often than the real bad guys!

Pretty Woman


Lee Sun bin as Jo Mi joo

I know there were three leading ladies vying for this coveted spot back home, but for me it is a no-brainer.

Sometimes I had to wonder if the male's on the set had a hard time keeping their eyes in their head or on their own business whenever she was around.

Super beautiful woman and a great supporting actress.

Favorite Scene


Didn't remember to capture a screen shot, but it was when Baek Sung il brings home some apples for his omanee and sets them down while she's sleeping on the floor.

Memorable, heartwarming, believable, and a tear-jerker moment.

The soundtrack was nothing great and one of the two tunes that repeated throughout became a bit monotonous, but it wasn't distracting or horrible.

Thumbs up!


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