Padam Padam, You Have My Heart Racing!

My heart is racing!

This drama is why I love kdramas! Dare I say it’s cracktastic?!…It makes me feel giddy, like I’ve found some new treasure and I can’t wait for the next episode to see what else I can find. Every couple of months, a new batch of dramas premiere and if you search amongst them, you’re bound to find something you love. It might take  some hunting, but that treasure is out there. For me, this time around it is definitely Padam Padam.

Padam Padam has the best 1st episode of a drama I have ever seen. No qualifications.

Padam Padam is the story of Yang Kang Chil, who’s spent half his life in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. 3 episodes in and this drama has everything I love. The writing, the cinematography and directing feel like what you would find in a slick, fast-paced and witty indie film. And the acting is on point, lead by the stellar Jung Woo Sung. It also features veteran actress Na Moon Hee, and a newly-manly Kim Bum. It’s my first time seeing Han Ji Min in a drama and I don’t know much about her, but she holds her own against Jung Woo Sung just fine.

Padam Padam is such a breath of fresh air in kdramaland, starting with our lead Yang Kang Chil, a good-for-nothing convict, part gangster, part young ruffian who’s yet to grow up. His buddy is Lee Gook Soo, a fun loving, straight thinking, fellow convict bank-robber who claims to be an angel and hands out white stars, the currency to get into heaven. And there’s Jung Ji Na, a smart-talking veterinarian with enough moxie to flip off a pervert and rescue animals in danger all in the same day. Love her.

This drama is one part Prison Break, one part Lost, and a splash of Fight Club crazy with a scary/heartwarming supernatural bent.

= Padam Padam Awesomeness!

Prison Break because obviously it’s about convicts, a man wrongly imprisoned, and we have a whole host of characters from prisoners to guards and lawyers and all the politics between them. There’s also the same feeling I had from watching Season 1 of Prison Break thinking, “…how can they possibly keep this story going?!” That was excitement, not frustration and that sense of excitement is definitely here in Padam Padam.

Lost because there’s a supernatural aspect to what’s happening, but also because there is a singular event that propels the plot. In the case of Lost it was the plane crash, and with Padam Padam it’s an execution.

There’s that little bit of Fight Club, because Kang Chil reminds me of Tyler Durden. Just a little bit crazed. And finally, there is also the theme of redemption, of the scary kind and the heartwarming kind as found in A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful life respectively.

What I find exciting about Padam Padam is that it leaves you asking questions, but the good kind as opposed to the frustrating, hair-pulling kind. How did Chan Gul get this hold over Kang Chil? Is Gook Soo really an angel? Does Kang Chil have a kid? What’s with the groundhog day effect? How will Kang Chil ever get out of jail? Why is Jin Goo such a a-hole and keeps beating on Tae Min? How’s this convict going to get together with Ji Na?…I know they’re destined and all, but how does he even have a chance in hell with her?!

The first few episodes of Padam Padam are so satisfying. I’m excited for the next episodes and I pray they keep giving us a fresh story with great acting and directing. I’m definitely reveling in this one so don’t let me down Show!

p.s. Smart drama pick Kim Bum.

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