Queen of Mystery – Drama – Review

Queen of Mystery - Poster

Something smells fishy

‘Queen of Mystery’ – Synopsis

The drama centres on a prosecutor’s wife, Yoo Seol-ok (Choi Kang-hee), who has always wanted to become a police officer. One day, she gets to know a passionate detective Ha Wan-seung (Kwon Sang-woo) and he gives her an opportunity to make her dream come true. They start working on mysterious cases together.

Year: 2017
Native and/or alternative titles: Churieui Yeowang, 추리의 여왕, 推理의女王
Countries: South Korea
Languages: Korean
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Suspense
Director: Kim Jin-woo, Yoo Yeong-eun
Writer: Lee Seong-min
Cast: Choi Kang-hee, Kwon Sang-woo, Lee Won-Keun, Shin Hyun-bin, Kim Hyun-sook

‘Queen of Mystery’ – Review

I CAN’T believe I did not review this drama! I came across Queen of Mystery 2 episodes while surfing for new dramas to watch and I was flabbergasted! Why? Because

  1. I didn’t know a season two was in the making
  2. I realized that I haven’t reviewed the first season yet!!!!!!!!! Catastrophe!

So why am I making a big deal about this drama? Because it is an amazing drama! Probably one of the best dramas I have seen in a long time though it is severely underrated (which seems to be the case with most of my favourites T_T). I clearly remember starting this drama with no expectations at all and then completely falling in love with it from the first episode itself!

Plot

So the plot is nothing new here, it is about your everyday Ahjumma who is like Korean female version of Sherlock Holmes (except the crazy manic bouts of madness though she does have her own set of idiosyncrasies). She solves your everyday neighbourhood crimes from petty thievery to busting drug gangs. See, perfectly normal right?

One day she crosses paths with a detective aka Seodong Bloodhound because he can sniff out crimes! Probably this punch line of his will help you get a better sense of this nickname,

 “Something smells fishy” (냄새가 난다)

These two work together to solve some of the most complicated crimes in their neighbourhood and they have a lot of sizzling chemistry between them.

Choi Kang hee, Kwon Sang woo - Queen of Mystery - Hideout
Yoo Seol-ok and Ha Wa-seung rendezvousing at their secret location (the department store) to discuss their case
Why watch?

Despite the plot being quite common, this drama is made really well. There is a perfect balance of comedy, romance and mystery. The story is well executed and the dialogues are well scripted. In short, I loved it!

The actors are really the cherry-on-top in this drama. Every single one of them is so perfect and so lovable. Unlike other Korean dramas, even the dramatic parts don’t seem out-of-place and blend in well with the comic background.

Quite frankly, I was really disappointed when this drama ended. I wished that it would go on for longer (like those 50 episode-long dramas or maybe even forever). I kept hoping that a second season would come out and it finally did!! (Review coming soon!)

The duo of Yoo Seol-Ok (Choi Kang-hee) and Ha Wan-seung (Kwon Sang –woo) is epic. I love those two together. Their chemistry and partnership is one of the reasons this drama is fantastic. The neighbourhood housewife and dashing bachelor together fighting crime and locking up criminals sent an adrenaline rush through me every time I saw them work together. The most important thing is that their relationship is not simply reduced to gender stereotypes and each of them has their own strengths which mesh well and balances out the other’s weak areas making their partnership so strong.

Secondly, the relation is not boiled down to hormones and actually focuses on the crimes so I really appreciate that part. Also, Yoo Seol-ok is a married woman but the writers did not break up the marriage and making the two leads immediately shack up together or even start going out. So, I actually kind-of loved how the writers went about the character development. They first evolved Yoo Seol-ok to become a strong independent woman and then bring in the romance.

The clumsy and good-at-noting-except-solving-mysteries Yoo Seol-ok is at her best when she is making the macho Ha Wan-seung run around doing her bidding in a completely innocent and nonchalant manner. I adore her clumsiness because it feels so real. Best parts are when she is out solving mysteries and suddenly remembers some household errands she has to do and quickly disappears leaving Ha Wan-seung amazed at how house quick-footed this neighbourhood ahjumma is.

Choi Kang hee, Kwon Sang woo - Queen of Mystery - Batmobile
Yoo Seol-ok and Ha Wan-seung rushing to catch criminals on their ‘bat-mobile’

Of course, there were other supporting actors who were brilliant as well. Park Kyung-suk (Park Jun-geum) as Yoo Seol-ok’s mother-in-law was another adorable character. In the beginning, she seemed like she was the typical monster-in-law type but eventually it becomes evident that she probably cares about Yoo Seol-ok more than her own son! She treats and cares for her like a mother as she is her departed best friend’s daughter. The antics that Yoo Seok-ok deploys to evade her mother-in-law in order to go solve crimes are hilarious! I swear I laughed so hard each and every time she tried to pull the wool of her Mother-in-law’s eyes and Park Kyung-suk’s expressions and reactions never fail to entertain.

Even Kyung-mi (Kim Hyun-sook), Yoo Seol-ok’s best friend and Ha Wan-seung’s department senior, Bae Kwang-tae (Ahn Gil-Kang), were amazing in their roles.  I wish I had a friend like Kyung-mi, if I did then I don’t think I would have a dull day in my life and there would be delicious food to eat every day (because she runs a lunchbox store and is an amazing Cook).  Hong Joon-oh (Lee Won-keun) is another character who manages to steal your heart and keeps you constantly guessing about his intentions. The frenemy relationship between him and Ha Wan-seung is so worth watching.

Choi Kang hee, Kwon Sang woo - Queen of Mystery - Cramps
Hong Joon-oh helping out a battered Ha Wan-seung

The music score, the witty comebacks and dialogue delivery were all flawless in my opinion. The best part is that this drama is an escape from the typical over-the-top drama that is typical of many soap-operas or dramas. I had actually gotten bored with those kinds and this show couldn’t come as a better time. This seriously had broken my drama-slump.

I think the writers have done an amazing job with keeping in track the main story and supporting it with many witty and curious mystery pieces along the away with a wonderful balance of comedy. In the main story, Yoo Seol-ok is actually aspiring to become a police officer in order to solve the crime of her parents’ death which had been covered up as suicide. Because of this, her mother-in-law is persistent that Yoo Seol-ok doesn’t get involved with all this police-business because she wants to protect Yoo Seol-ok from facing more heartache. The chemistry between every character is so beautiful that I really couldn’t put down this drama!

Ahjumma - Queen of Mystery
The neighbour mother-in-laws (including Park Kyung-suk) trailing the leads to catch Yoo Seol-ok
To Watch or not to watch?

Maybe I am gushing about this because I am biased but I honestly swear that this show is a masterpiece. It might bore those who crave the more dramatic or romantic types of dramas but if you are looking for a sweet escape into a laughter-filled world of mystery then this is definitely the show to watch. If I had to compare this show to another then I would say it definitely runs along the lines of ‘Castle’, an American mystery-thriller (another one of my favourites).

I loved the addictive, crazy, comic, mysterious storytelling and character build-up of this show. I really can’t point out anything negative about it. For me, this was pure fun and gaiety! Now, I am not sure if I am the freak with unique taste or this verdict goes for everyone but if you think that this could be your type of drama then please pick up the first episode a least and if you are not hooked by the end of it then don’t continue because then it is probably not your cup of tea. And if nothing else then watch it for Hong Joon-oh who is an absolute heart stealer in the show.

Choi Kang-hee, Kwon Sang-woo, Lee Won-Keun - Discussions - Queen of Mystery
Ha Wan-seung, Yoo Seol-ok and Hong Joon-oh discussing a case together
Queen of Mystery - Ratings
  • Story
  • Acting/Cast
  • Music
4

Summary

A riot of mystery and comedy which can uplift your mood!

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About Poornima

A Korea-phile by nature~ Love everything Asian and originally from India. Fluent in Korean language and knows Chinese language as well. Has Masters in East Asian Studies (with special interest in Korean culture and politics)

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