Despite everyone loving and praising the quality of OCN dramas, the only one I’ve completed is Someday from a billion years ago. I often give them a shot but lose interest very early on so I can say that I didn’t think this drama would be any different. However, boredom – and Seo In Guk – led me into giving it a shot despite it being about tax collectors. I mean, tax collectors? How could this be any fun?
I didn’t really know what to expect or what character Seo In Guk would play but I quickly got my answer: the fun is that Seo In Guk is a conman who’d be helping his local IRS office. Interesting.
The first episode introduced the main character, Sung Il (Ma Dong Seok) – an honest office worker doing monotonous work and earning just enough to provide for his family. His boss – who was once his junior so he’s clearly been passed over for promotions several times – tells him to step up his game to meet their annual target so he decides to attempt to collect taxes from their biggest offender.
Since in Korean dramas, rich = evil, their debtor is a big jerk who loves to throw his money around expect when it comes to paying taxes. His tax accountant is a former colleague of Sung Il’s who, instead of using his in depth knowledge to help his rich clients use loopholes to legally minimize their taxes, is knee-deep in bribes and corruption. In fact, it looks like the entire upper management of their tax office is corrupt. In comes Jung Do (Seo In Guk), an ex-convict who mistakenly scammed our Sung Il, thinking he was his corrupt namesake.
Sung Il catches him – and with his back against the wall with his superiors falsely accusing him of taking bribes – recruits him to help him procure taxes from rich clients who grease corrupt officials’ palms.
I think Seo In Guk has carved out a good career for himself by taking varied roles. Instead of getting stuck playing love-struck second leads or even love-struck leads, he gets to play slick, smart characters. This can take him a long way.
The first two episodes were very introductory. They revealed Sung Il’s life and showed us how Jung Do operates. Not much happened but they kept me entertained enough to keep watching.
One thing I will say is I didn’t enjoy all the scenes with the rich dude because he was too horrible to be fun. Instead of looking forward to him getting caught, I just wanted him off my screen. They need to tone this down. Even the ex-accountant being so horrible, saying that he should tax the poor and not the rich… these evil guys are caricatures who make my eyes roll. I’m surprised they didn’t have them twirl their moustaches.
Here’s the preview for next week:
I don’t know if there’s a romance but SNSD’s Soo Young plays a fellow tax collector who shares a past with Jung Do. So he’s definitely on her shit list and will hate working with him. But we all know she’ll soon come around and start to respect him.
Will I soon lose interest in this drama? It remains to be seen. 38 Task Force airs on Fridays and Saturdays on OCN (and tvN).
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