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[Drama 2019] Leverage, 레버리지

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the start was good and promising. it was different than the original but I like some of the changes. 

 

I laughed and cried. 

 

 

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Some brief thoughts on the first episode with spoilers in the spoiler.

 

Spoiler

The first case is LTJ trying to save his son. His son's doctor says that his son's leukemia is so far advanced that he only has months to live. However, another doctor gives LTJ a clue to someone who might help his son. LTJ goes in search to find that it's a North Korean doctor who is treating his own son for the same disease. LTJ asks where he can get the medicine. The NK doctor tells LTJ that the medicine was something he had developed before he came to South Korea, but he had had it stolen from him in SK. The NK doctor comments that LTJ might not be willing to murder to save his son, but would LTJ be willing to do a little theft for him. The NK doctor asks LTJ to go steal the medical formula for him, and that it wasn't even unethical since it was originally his. LTJ agrees, and is given enough of the medicine to help his son for the time being.

 

GNB and JUS were thieving partners already. During a job, JUS abandons GNB in order to save his own skin, so they're quarreling. LTJ recruits the two of them to help steal the medicine formula.

 

Roy Riu is the security guard at the corporation where they are trying to steal the formula. The team plots the theft during RR's gym time since RR is known as being ruthlessly efficient.

 

A mysterious voice calls RR and alerts him to the fact that there is theft going on in the building.

 

NB and US get to the data and manage to send the file, but the NK doctor calls LTJ to tell him that the file was empty. Turns out that LTJ had gotten played. It was a case of corporate espionage that LTJ had unwittingly helped out in his desperation to save his son.

 

The elevator that NB and US are using to leave the building explodes.

 

 

This drama is slick and action-packed. This first episode was mostly set up, as we meet 4 of the 5 members of the team. Also, it deals with LTJ's motivation to go from someone who catches criminals to someone who masterminds a crime. GNB isn't as proficient as Parker, but she is pretty feisty with a smart aleck mouth. KSR looks amazing as GNB.

 

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Episode 2 brief recap in the spoiler

 

Spoiler

LTJ asks his police friend who was arresting him for a week to find the medicine for his son.  Officially, LTJ becomes a fugitive. LTJ  goes to HSK to ask for help. First task is to find NB and US.

 

Once the four of them are together, LTJ plots his revenge. First up is to spread it around that they have the formula and are willing to sell to the highest bidder. That forces the bad guys to move as well with their sale of the formula. The Leverage team puts a wiretap into the bad guy’s office.

 

As they’re putting their info and plan together, LTJ finds out that his son is going in to surgery. So, LTJ rushes to the hospital, but there are police everywhere around his son since the police want to apprehend LTJ. LTJ is saved from being caught by the police by RR. RR, who had lost his job over the loss of the medicine formula, wants to know what happened, so LTJ tells him how he had been scammed into doing some dirty work.

 

LTJ just wants the medicine to save his son, and he’ll give the data and formula to RR so that RR can get his job back. So, RR joins the team.

 

They run a scam with HSK representing the potential buyer, a Japanese firm.

 

As they’re running the scam, LTJ’s son becomes worse, but LTJ wants to get the medicine before he goes to his son.

 

At the potential buyer’s offices, RR convinces the bad guy to test his samples. RR claims to have a working sample representing his new office and is there to sell it to the Japanese firm as well.  

 

LTJ is desperate for the medicine, so he goes to where they are testing in order to grab the samples. HSK manages to grab a sample vial and give it to LTJ so that he can take it to his son. She sends LTJ to the hospital while the team finishes off the scam.

 

The bad guy contracts with the buyer. And, then the police comes in to arrest the bad guy. It turns out that HSK told the buyers that she represented the seller, and even took a commission from them. While the contract terms were being put together, US grabbed the data and erased the files on the bad guy’s device.

 

LTJ runs to the hospital, but he’s too late. His son has died. The police arrest LTJ and take him away without even letting him see his son.

 

 

Thoughts about the episode. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit once I stopped trying to compare it to the US version, so I'll minimize mentioning the US version in this thread from now on. :)

 

Bringing LTJ's loss of his son into the present time line changes a lot about LTJ's motivations. And, it seems that the team keeps going to try to find the Big Bad who caused all of the events in these first 2 episodes to happen in the first place. I assume that while they do that, they will also help some other people as well.

 

All of the characters are very human and very flawed. LTJ is a brilliant planner, but his emotions involving his son cloud his judgement, as might be expected. I think we're going to be seeing LTJ descending into his private hell before somehow climbing back out in order to lead his team.

 

The relationship between LTJ and HSK is interesting. HSK is a scam artist that LTJ has captured in the past, and she hasn't forgiven him for that. Apparently, his capture of her and subsequent arrest caused HSK to miss an important audition. Though, HSK is not a good stage actress. She's really a gifted scam artist, able to improvise to keep the scam going as she needs to. However, despite their history, it's clear that LTJ and HSK have formed a friendship, of sorts, and that they both appreciate each other, even if they don't agree.

 

GNB and JUS still need some settling down, I feel. Their relentless bickering is actually a bit tiring, and I hope that they'll show something that shows why they have been able to establish a working partnership, of sorts. Individually, though, both of the characters are pretty cute. GNB is the physical one, JUS is not physical but a whiz at computers.

 

RR has mostly been stoic, lethal and chiseled. He looks amazing, but hasn't really been given that much to do as yet. I assume that it's coming. However, he projects a hardness and an aloofness that serves him well, not to mention, he seems to be the most controlled and least emotional member of the team.

 

 

So, I couldn't find the preview video, but here is a translation for the preview to the next episode.


LTJ to Bad Guy: Even using my child, why did you do that?
Bad Guy to LTJ: You and I, we’re just pawns on the board. We don’t determine how we move.
HSK: How long are you going to be like this? Become the rude Lee Tae Joon that you used to be before!
RR: Given the scale of the incident, there is no way that that guy could have pulled it off himself.
US: What is all this?
HSK: He looks like a connected guy. It’s too much for us to handle by ourselves.
Man: Go ahead and try as hard as you can. There is no way that you’ll win.
LTJ: You wait and see. What you did, I’ll make you pay for it.

 

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Loved the first 2 Eps  Has all the elements needed to pull you in and with the seasoned actors/actresses, the emoting is on pointe when gravitas was needed.  I like the dynamic that the different characters have.  All subtly different with their strengths and weaknesses.  I didn’t expect the ending of Ep2..:tears:. but I guess it sets up the future episodes for the team.  It’s fast paced and slick.  Aside from JUS and SooKyung (the actress), the other 3 have to be fit as :lol:.  All that running up stairs... 

 

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Noticed the flurry of activity on this thread and discovered that two episodes had already been released. ;) Thought that I should have a bit of a look see since I've been putting my two cents here and there. Besides I am somewhat curious about the execution.

 

I know there will be those who say we shouldn't compare but that's quite impossible. Of course comparisons will be made. The question is will the show be able to stand on its own merits that we will not think too much of the original along the way. That's always the challenge. 

 

As far as adapting the concept of criminals playing good guys and going outside the law to achieve some measure of justice, the show has taken a decent stab at it. I never thought that was going to be the problem. There's a good tradition of Kdramas that do this from Bad Guys to Mad Dog. That wasn't the part that worried me. I liked the way the show re-contextualized the Nigerian Job in the second episode and as I had suspected, we're looking at big arcs more in the vein of S 3 and 4. As with most K dramas... there's a big conspiracy between the usual interested parties in high places who are behind these support acts  which are trotted out as misdirections and pawns. So the plotting of the show is good (although they could do more to improve the pacing) especially in how it brings in material from the original.

 

I note too that this Leverage team too isn't the well-oiled machine of the original (a bit sloppy in parts) but I suppose that can be attributed to the fact that there is this Big Bad (I have my theories about who that is) calling the shots so early on (keeping them off balance) and that Tae Joon isn't quite the multi-talented strategic mastermind... yet.... hopefully he will. Going to prison will certainly change him as will losing his son in such tragic fashion. 

 

I don't want this to be entirely about Tae Joon's revenge so it will be interesting how the rest of the show proceeds. One of the charms of the original is about helping individuals, helping the little people to redress wrongs perpetrated by the rich and powerful.

 

My greatest concern was always about how the characters would be fleshed out. Right now, the one I'm most impressed with is Su Kyung, the grifter played by Jeon Hye Bin. She's captured Sophie's poise, elegance and confidence perfectly. Even the "bad acting" was on the nose. ;) (I guess that's why she was cast in the role) She's the only one that actually reminds me of the original positively. I'm not entirely sure what I think of the others yet because it's clear their taking a different approach with them and admittedly I'm not immediately entranced. I imagine something is lost in translation because the humour isn't landing for me either. Humour was always a big part of why I loved the original, particularly the banter between the younger men. I want to be fair and give it time... it's early days yet.

(On another note... the fake Chinese doctor/CEO... oh man... his Mandarin gave him away completely! :lol: )

 

I also want to put a good word in for the main OST theme... that was another highlight... In the style of the original but with its own take. Really happy with it and how it was used throughout.

 

It's not a bad start. I haven't decided if I will keep watching it while airing or wait till the whole thing is done and marathon it during the Christmas-New Year period.

 

I've never heard of TV Chosun. Is it a new cable station?

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43 minutes ago, 40somethingahjumma said:

I've never heard of TV Chosun. Is it a new cable station?

 

Off topic so in spoiler

Spoiler

It’s one of those really obscure stations...they don’t churn out dramas on a regular basis, they have varieties and lifestyle programs mainly I think.  Maybe 4 dramas a year usually with a lull between them?  And their dramas used to only screen on a Saturday/Sunday slot and now it’s purely on Sunday 2 episodes back to back?  The only reason I know is that I watched Grand Prince (with Yoon ShiYoon) last year and that was the first time I heard of the channel.

 

I am not sure I can continue with this. I got caught up watching a gripping whodunit on OCN instead :lol:... I will probably binge watch this when it’s done.

 

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On 10/15/2019 at 10:14 AM, Khin Qian said:

Where can I watch this series live or eng translation? Did viu pick up this one?

Yes they did.  But it depends on which country. Viu Sg has it. So there will be subs floating.

@stroppyse Thanks for your recaps. Overall it was an entertaining 1st two hours but it does seem like TV chosun is not as polished as say  OCN in setting the story. There were some messy parts  in terms of editing as well as the sound. Also quite surprised that the team worked so well together in the very 1st job without any clashes of ego. It  took me a while to understand why JHB's character would have so quickly agreed to help Tae Joon given that he got her into trouble 3 years ago. Nevertheless , I do think she has a soft spot for TJ ( have not watched the original, so purely basing my impressions on this adaptation ) and she was moved by his desperation to save his son. @40somethingahjumma I like her character best...I thought the drama "came alive" when her scenes came on.  She was very good in all the scenes where she was acting as the CEO of the pharmaceutical firm. 

 

It was so sad at the end that Tae Joon' s son died after all the trouble he had to go through . But I suppose this lays the foundation for what's to come. TJ was understandably too emotional that he almost messed up the plans of the team and put them in danger. I was a little annoyed but then I can't blame him . He isn't a trained con artist like some of them are and when it is your child's life at stake , it can be difficult to remain calm. I suppose his time in prison and desire for revenge will harden him and teach him to think strategically.

 

So is the mastermind the faceless  CEO of Mirae? I am confused - so he basically  used TJ's desperation to steal the formula from his own company so that he can artificially inflate the share price of another pharmaceutical? How does that work? 

 

@nrllee While I do prefer OCN's The Lies Within a bit more, think I will keep this for now :lol:

Edited by triplem
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14 hours ago, triplem said:

 

@stroppyse Thanks for your recaps. Overall it was an entertaining 1st two hours but it does seem like TV chosun is not as polished as say  OCN in setting the story. There were some messy parts  in terms of editing as well as the sound. Also quite surprised that the team worked so well together in the very 1st job without any clashes of ego. It  took me a while to understand why JHB's character would have so quickly agreed to help Tae Joon given that he got her into trouble 3 years ago. Nevertheless , I do think she has a soft spot for TJ ( have not watched the original, so purely basing my impressions on this adaptation ) and she was moved by his desperation to save his son. @40somethingahjumma I like her character best...I thought the drama "came alive" when her scenes came on.  She was very good in all the scenes where she was acting as the CEO of the pharmaceutical firm. 

 

It was so sad at the end that Tae Joon' s son died after all the trouble he had to go through . But I suppose this lays the foundation for what's to come. TJ was understandably too emotional that he almost messed up the plans of the team and put them in danger. I was a little annoyed but then I can't blame him . He isn't a trained con artist like some of them are and when it is your child's life at stake , it can be difficult to remain calm. I suppose his time in prison and desire for revenge will harden him and teach him to think strategically.

 

So is the mastermind the faceless  CEO of Mirae? I am confused - so he basically  used TJ's desperation to steal the formula from his own company so that he can artificially inflate the share price of another pharmaceutical? How does that work? 

 

The clashes of ego will come from time to time like the original... I expect. It was never anything really big and usually humorous. The biggest issue was always I think with the team leader and his alcoholism due to grieving over his son. He was always confident that he had it under the control while the others had their doubts.

 

If it follows the original template reasonably faithfully, there should be a long history between the grifter and team leader. In the original he was in pursuit of her all over Europe for art theft for yonks when he worked as an insurance investigator. Sophie was a long-time grifter that had multiple identities that she developed over time but in between jobs  all she wanted to do was be a real actress. :D That's the really humorous part. A terrible real actress but once she's doing a grift, she transforms into an actress par excellence. Great psychologist and reads people like a book.

 

The theft would have caused a fall in stock prices of the other pharmaceutical company for one, and my understanding is that if that Mirae were to announce that they had a new product to sell then that would bring in new investors which would boost stock/share prices.

That's how it worked in the original... I think... 

 

That's why I said in my first post here that I would really have preferred this on OCN. But there are things to like about it.

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I am sorry if there are fans of the actors in the thread and feel offended about my opinion. I am not really a fan of any of the actors.

I liked kim sae ron in her child roles and its so nice to see her as all grown up here. ANd I am happy about Jeon Hye-bin that she finally got a main role. I never REALLY liked Lee dong gun but he seems to be a fit for this role. The other guys are also fine, the security Guy has such intense eyes and looks.

BTW, it feels like this genre is like the horror genre where there will be some stereotypes. richard simmons faced but soft hearted character, quirky and funny, feisty and something something. Kim sae ron's and the hacker boy;s character felt like that. I liked lee sun bin's character in Police Unit and Hwayoung's character in Mad dog in this feisty fighter girl archetype before. Even tho they all fall into one generic character type both were different. I hope they will develop KSR's character further. 

The best scenes I liked where by JHB. Like @triplem mentioned before, It felt like the drama came alive when she was on screen. I feel like she will be very likeable going on. I kinda wish for a 'some' between Roy and her. Though from the pics I have seen in this thread it is going to be with Ksr and him. 

 

Also, Did anybody felt like the action scenes in the beginning by KSR were sloppy? I mean it is not her fault but the stunt team that choreographs has to take care of this. Since it will be a main part of the story going forward I wish they will make it look little more suave. 

Also I have to give it to the Climax scenes of both the eps. I was not sure whether I will watch the second ep but it was the climax that made me click the next button. 

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I liked the first 2 episodes more than expected. I am not a fan of Lee Don-Gun. Or i should i actually dislike him which is rare. Normally i just dont care. But Jeon Hye-Bin + Kim Sae-Ron outweigh him. And he fits the role of a sketchy scammer pretty well.

I skipped some scenes where he was searching for that doctor. I wasnt really invested in the family stuff. Reminds me heavily of Big Issue recently where you also had the sick child in the hospital and the wife standing by the bedside all day. And the male lead has to somehow come up with some money. Bad trope and the worst part about that drama. I was surprised and relieved we are already done with that so quickly in this one. Now we only have him drunk for a couple of episode which is fine by me. 

 

About episode 3. I dont understand what's going on. The scammer dude seems like one of those "HOW TO MAKE 1 MILLION DOLLARS IN ONE WEEK" on youtube. I guess there are always more people falling for it than you can imagine but the other members of the crew are all about what a great scammer he is etc lol. I get that there are probably a lot of student loans scams in korea right now and it is a cool topic to tackle atm but i would assume that they are a bit more clever and appear more trustworthy than this dude. Who would fall for that dude? 

And yeah i know Jung Ui-Sung is dumb. But i have trouble to believe that can be this dumb. He even makes a living sacmming people. Highly unbelievable. I guess he wanted to show off, got sucked in by the parties and girls. But then also show it like that and dont portray him like this naive victim.
 
And was that just his part or all the money? If yes why didnt they split it? Why would they entrust him with it? Especially when he already scammed Ko Na-Beyol before and has proven himself to be unreliable and that he can't handle money.
 
 I am all in support for some romance with Ko Na-Beyol + Roy Ryul because the hacker dude has become really annoying. The characterization of Hwang Soo-Kyung is pretty cool. Otherwise i am just in for when they carry out their masterplans. That's the fun part for me.
 
 
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I am actually enjoying this drama.

I never really followed the original but I know the premise of the drama.

I always loved KSR and finally to see her in a more adult role is great!

ZhyJIL.gif

 

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scam a scammer. not easy or too easy. I don't which one it is.

 

ANd the money in YM car when he went to see the big boss. Why did they show that? was he robbed and someone switched the money.? or AM I overthinking?

 

IS TJ friend somehow involved?

 

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