Let’s talk about a good, old drama: Quiz’s God (OCN). If you’re going to watch it on Netflix, it is good to know that Netflix named this drama as Quiz from God.
That was 12th OCN drama (but 7 of them weren’t exactly dramas, because they were shorter than a drama should be). So, we can consider this as one of the first serious productions of OCN inside the world of Crime and Mystery dramas. Before that, I can mention “Korean Mystery Detective Jung Yak Yong”, which seems to be interesting. Maybe in the future, I will review it too.
Quiz’s God has just 10 episodes in its first season (12 for the other 3 seasons). The seasons were on air in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. It is not impossible that a 5th season will be produced after Ryu Deok Hwan – the male lead actor – is discharged from military service.
Quiz from God: Plot
The story is about an elite forensic group which works to solve mysterious cases.
Ryu Deok Hwan played Han Jin Woo, a genius young doctor who accepted the job after feeling intrigued by all the mysteries of human body. You will discover there was another reason, but this would be a spoiler, so… watch it and find out by yourself!
He’s the brain of the team, so he is the center of the drama and the main character.
His personality can remind us of Dr. House, especially in the first episode, because they share the same rationality, analytical skills and they have interest in the challenge behind the medicine and humans, but Dr. Han has better humor and social skills than the English version did. Also, Dr. Han is worried about the ethics and human motivation to act, which is very different from House and his cynical personality.
Doctor House started in 2004 and finished in 2012. So, the similarity is very likely. Other American shows can have some similarities too, such as Cold Case and CSI. So, there’s a lot of series in this same style and it’s ok because the subject is very interesting.
There are other important characters: his superior Jo Yeong Shil (Park Jun Myun) and the detective Kang Kyung Hee (Yoon Joo Hee). The latter is the female lead role in this drama.
Episodes and characters
The first episode is very nice. It has been a while since I watched such a good first episode. Here, we are introduced to all the main characters and we have a sample of their personality and which role they will play in this drama.
The first case was interesting and emotional in the right way, and those qualities were enough to attract my attention. I particularly liked how the details were being developed and revealed at the right time. The detective investigation was the weakest part of the episode, however, there wasn’t any point in which I had to use my “Suspension of disbelief”, as it had happened in other recent similar kdramas as Criminal Minds. So, this was a very good episode.
If I have to complain about something I would do it about detective Kang Kyung Hee. Her character starts pretty similar to the typical kdrama female lead, who is on almost all investigation dramas.
[General comment about this kind of character: The author decides to give a woman some power. Ok, so we have a female on charge, which could be interesting. However, the character doesn’t know what to do with that power because the author is not prepared to empower the woman as he should to do. So, the woman thinks that the best way to show her authority is scolding others and reminding them she is in charge of the mission. Needless to say, this behavior is boring and causes the opposite effect.]
Here, the things didn’t get worse when it comes about detective Kang Kyung Hee because Ryu Deok Hwan is an amazing actor and he made his role look funnier than arrogant. So, their interaction didn’t look as sexist as it could have been. During the drama, the sexism will appear and sometimes I think the jokes could be suppressed.
The actress Yoon Joo Hee also sometimes lets her character use ironic or funny expressions, so she escaped from being “the righteous but very boring female lead” as Kang Ye Won allowed her character, inspector Yoo Mi Yeong, to be in Bad Guys [read my review about Bad Guys, here]. Detective Kyung Hee is not naïve and she is smart and proactive.
After the first episode, I started to like her character because she also knew how to listen to the opinion of the doctors with whom she works. Also, I appreciate her actions scenes. Yes, girls also can kick ass! [In this point, she reminds me of Jo Soo Ji (Lee Shi Young) the female lead in Lookout (MBC/2017)].
Detective Kang Kyung Hee is essential for the author to help the public understand medical terms, as Watson was important for us to understand Sherlock Holmes. She is the one who asks about the explanations we, the public, can be searching after listening to the medical terminology.
I want to call attention to some episodes:
Episodes 1 and 3 were amazing because the author talked about empathy in a very sensitive way. For me, the third one was the most original and one of the best episodes of the season. I can’t describe it with details, but if you want to know if you should watch this drama or not, you should give these two episodes a chance. Episode 7 recovered the same kindness from episodes 1 and 3. So, this is on my list too.
In episode 5, the medical team became more of a multidisciplinary team. They abandoned medicine as their exclusive area of research and helped more actively in the investigation using other skills of the team. I didn’t love this episode, but I understand that it helped the drama multiply the possibilities of cases for the future episodes.
Episode 6 was interesting because Dr. Han and detective Kang Kyung Hee were making separated investigations that intersected at some point and they could rebound their dynamic as partners. I liked it because it broke the formula of the episodes and, at the same time, the story gave us something interesting to watch.
It means that half of the episodes were above the average, which is a very impressive number. I liked the two last episodes which were the conclusion of the season. The drama finished very well, even if they hadn’t produced the second season, the story would have finished in a good way.
In the first episode, the camera tried to follow some movements in scenes where there’s more action, but sometimes this causes the image to be blurred.
In general, the production is simple. However, I think the necropsy are well done. I like the respect the doctors show the bodies and it’s interesting to see how the edition/direction managed to demonstrate it in the screen.
About the production, I saw more positive points. So, I’m satisfied.
What I like most:
The characters discuss the cases and reflect about the reasons behind them, but the dialogues are very well written and performed so the lines don’t sound like a lecture, but as a real chat among co-workers. The drama also reflected about the society and human behavior.
At the end, there’s a talk between Dr. Han and his mentor. These scenes are not complicated at all, and they summarize the episode, speaking about the ethical aspects of being human. I particularly enjoy these moments because I feel we can understand Dr. Han better. Also, I appreciated the fact that the drama is trying to transmit something beyond the cases themselves.
Kdramas has a lot of good bromance between the male leads. Here, we find an amazing interaction between Dr. Han and his fellow Kim Seong Do (Nah Yoon). Their relationship will often substitute the relation between Dr. Han and his mentor, which was stronger in the first episode but then it tends to vanish over the episodes [they will recover it in the last episodes].
I’m in the middle of the second season. I will review that season too.
For the first season, my score is 9.5/10.
It’s a very good drama, I highly recommend it, but there were some flaws the author could have been more careful about. So, those little things are not a huge problem, but they reminded me that it wasn’t a 10/10 drama.