“The Killer’s Embarrassment” Explodes Online: Netflix’s New Series Wins Big!


In recent years, the type of drama where things get tough at the drop of a hat has been incredibly popular. Indeed, who wouldn’t enjoy a satisfying revenge story? Take the recent hits, the brainless fun of “Wilderness” and “Beekeeper,” for example, no matter how the plot falters, just seeing “Guo Da” (Jason Statham) and Ma Dongxi is enough.

Not long ago, Korea released another new drama, which exploded right from the start, with plot twists and turns that left viewers dazzled. This drama quickly became the champion of viewership in 11 regions on Netflix. Those who finished watching all said, this drama is truly unexpected and incredibly enjoyable.

“The Killer’s Embarrassment”

A Killer Paradox


An Accident

Netflix’s latest Korean original series, “The Killer’s Embarrassment,” inherits the brilliance of “The Killer in the Shopping Mall” and once again showcases South Korean film and television works’ outstanding innovative ability in the crime and suspense category. This drama adopts the popular short drama format, consisting of eight episodes, each about 50 minutes long, meticulously constructing a mysterious and psychologically complex world.

Based on the webcomic of the same name by CCOMABE, although it revolves around the old theme of “crime and punishment,” it delves deep. After watching, you’ll find that the confrontation between good and evil here is not just about satisfying one’s appetite for revenge.

The main storyline of this drama revolves around Lee Tang (played by Choi Yoo-jik), an ordinary person who works in a convenience store in his daily life.

In a chance conflict, his instinctive counterattack resulted in the death of a bystander. However, as the plot progresses, all evidence against him unexpectedly disappears, allowing him to evade legal repercussions. Even more surprising is that Lee Tang gradually discovers that he can identify bad people, and the man he killed previously happens to be a notorious criminal.

The tense atmosphere of the story does not end there. Detective Jang Nankan (played by Sun Sik-kyu), who is determined to seek the truth, quietly enters Lee Tang’s life and begins to investigate secretly in the convenience store. As this detective gradually approaches the truth, the risks and challenges faced by Lee Tang increase day by day, making the plot even more thrilling.

In addition to the ingenious plot, the lineup of this drama is also remarkable. Directed by Lee Chang-hee, the mastermind behind the explosive popularity of the Korean drama “Hell Is Other People.” With the combination of the two male leads, Sun Sik-kyu, the charming male star in the hearts of many young girls, his acting skills are breathtaking. His combination with Kim Ji-won in “My Liberation Diary” is simply adored by the audience. And in “Crime City 2,” he transformed into an extremely vicious villain, demonstrating versatility.

This time, Sun Sik-kyu portrays a police officer with clear goals and decisive methods, perfectly fitting his image.

The other male lead, Choi Yoo-jik, is our unconventional gentle heartthrob. Do you remember his fragile brother in “Parasite”? In “The Witch,” he became a completely different wild and perverted character, showing extreme personality changes. This time, his character combines the previous two sides, one is an ordinary college student, and the other is a ruthless serial killer. Such a character setting is exhilarating.


Profound Theme Significance

The TV version of “The Killer’s Embarrassment,” while retaining the original comic’s black humor and anti-logical spirit, adds more dark elements, providing viewers with a new visual and emotional experience. The production team carefully reproduces the unique personality and emotional depth of the protagonist in the comic, giving the series not only entertainment value but also deeper artistic value and ideological depth.

In this world, the traditional definition of good and evil is completely shattered, revealing the complexity and diversity of human nature. The drama portrays an ordinary person, Lee Tang, who, due to a series of accidental events, unexpectedly becomes a social “janitor,” eliminating those seen as social tumors. This accidental “hero” role makes him feel both unexpected joy and deep fear at the same time, making his moral choices appear extremely contradictory.

As the plot develops, the director provides his own answer. That is, after Lee Tang realizes that the people he eliminated actually pose a threat to society, he begins to morally defend his actions, believing that his actions do not constitute a crime. This self-defense is not only a redefinition of “sin” but also an exploration of the relationship between individual behavior and social values.

By showing Lee Tang’s psychological changes, this drama raises a key question to the audience: when individuals firmly believe that their actions are based on justice, does the inner pain and moral struggle caused by such actions become a form of self-punishment?

In the drama, both perpetrators and victims are trapped in a cycle of cause and effect, like the thugs Lee Tang knocked down, who were once the bullied but grew up to be perpetrators. Lee Tang’s anger towards society drives his rebellion and makes him believe that reclaiming self-rights is a necessary action.

Detective Jang Nankan’s words, “The victim and the perpetrator are actually just one word apart,” reveal the cruelty of reality. In the case of Jiang Yanshu, the perpetrator did not receive the deserved punishment, and for the parents of the victim, they naturally yearn for retribution. The viewpoint that “a person can be both a victim and a perpetrator” turns this case into a spiral of “crime and punishment,” and what people consider punishment may be seen as a crime by others, forming a negative cycle in the social psychological aspect.

Lee Tang is revered as a “hero,” a positioning that makes his judgment of guilt and punishment become blurred.

Furthermore, the plot meticulously designs a psychologically tense game where the interaction between a seemingly mild-mannered killer and a seemingly tough detective challenges people’s inherent perceptions of traditional “justice.” This “cat and mouse game” is not just about surface pursuit and evasion but delves deeper into the inner struggles and survival state of the underprivileged in the face of injustice and oppression.

It can be said that “The Killer’s Embarrassment,” through its characters’ complex psychological changes and behavioral choices, showcases the darker side of society and the true reactions of individuals in extreme environments. Every choice made by the characters in the drama seems to be an exploration: in this world full of challenges and injustice, how does an individual find self-rescue and inner peace?


Both Versions Are Worth Watching

“As a Korean drama adaptation born out of a comic, “The Killer’s Embarrassment” has attracted the attention of many viewers, with its unique narrative style and exploration of deep themes becoming the focus of discussion.

Personally, while the Korean drama version demonstrates smoothness in the overall story layout and development, compared to the original comic, it appears somewhat shallow in depth of expression and detail handling. The inner dramas full of black humor and illogical thinking, especially the absurd logic faced by the protagonist Lee Tang after significant events in the original comic, not only abound in humor but also prompt deep reflections on human nature and many social phenomena.

The Korean drama adaptation focuses more on the dark side of the characters and the special abilities of the protagonist Lee Tang, which adds more layers to the characters but also weakens to a certain extent the light and humorous tone prevalent in the original work. For instance, the character of Detective Jang Nankan in the comic is beloved by readers for his easygoing and unrestrained personality, whereas in the Korean drama, this character trait is somewhat subdued.

However, the Korean drama version innovatively supplements some details, providing viewers with a different perspective and experience from the comic. While this adaptation method has its limitations, it also demonstrates its unique charm, indicating that whether it’s a comic or a film adaptation, each has its merits worth appreciating.

Although personally inclined towards the unique humor style and delicate emotional depiction found in the original comic, one cannot deny the efforts and achievements made in character development and storytelling in the Korean drama adaptation.

Whether you are a comic fan or a Korean drama enthusiast, both versions of “The Killer’s Embarrassment” provide an opportunity for a deep exploration of human nature, justice, and moral boundaries, and are worth watching.

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.