Last year, OCN impressed me with psychological k-drama Voice. It had me hooked from beginning to end. With Voice 2 looming ahead, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk a little about Voice and the new season.
Please proceed with caution as spoilers are below regarding the first season.
Let me tell you, the first installment was dark and twisted. Some might even find the content triggering and downright sickening. We’re dealing with seriously unhinged, mentally unstable people that are murdering innocent people. It’s not a drama I would ever recommend watching late at night. I was constantly shivering and getting goosebumps as different cases unfolded from the aid of the emergency call center’s division: The Golden Time Team.
Now, it wasn’t perfect. Jang Hyuk’s character was a level of broody that could make anyone pause the drama and run for the hills. His anguish over his wife’s murder has decimated him for years and everyone refers to him as a “mad dog” because he’s a bit crazy like a rabid dog. His character is constantly in pain, recklessly jumping into things, and drinking an awful lot. I think the only thing that keeps him centered and grounded is his young son who is sick and in the hospital. He could be too much at times, but I think Jang Hyuk mostly pulled it off.
As for Lee Ha Na’s character, she was a bit more hit and miss for me. She could be just as reckless and thoughtless as Jang Hyuk’s character, but once they started working together and cared about each other in a platonic manner, they were much more bearable. Jang Hyuk’s character was so against working with Lee Ha Na’s character initially. It took a long time for them to get beyond their preconceived notions.
My only complaint is that Lee Ha Na isn’t my favorite actress. Sometimes she seems a bit dull and stiff. Her acting isn’t always on point, but she did well enough that it didn’t deter me from finishing season one. I’m going to be holding her to a lot higher standards for this season, so I really need to see more from her character this round.
All in all, I liked Voice.
The main criminal in Voice is a seriously, unhinged, calculated criminal who murders for the fun of it. Yes, Mo Tae Go has the gall to laugh when he’s terrorizing and murdering his victims. It’s pretty heinous and just shows how deeply psychologically damaged he is. This is all a game to him as he has wealth and connections on his side, which unfortunately has also made him hard to catch because so many are doing his bidding and cleaning up after him.
But even more than this character who started killing after his mother’s suicide when he was twelve, a lot of the blame clearly lies with the father. Even when he discovered young Tae Go who had murdered his dog for biting him, his father chose to cover it up. Again and again and again. Because Tae go never had to opportunity to be treated, he became a murderer. Yes, his father owns the guilt of breeding a murderer and doing nothing to stop it.
In the end, Tae Go’s father shoots himself right before the police are about to take him in his for crimes. Not only has he killed, but he’s been scamming good, hardworking people.
Some of the people who you believe are bad and criminals aren’t as inherently evil as they appear. One of the recurring themes of this drama, is that the higher ups of Seongwon Transportion strong-arm and target those that are mentally weaker than others. They use their power to force these people into doing things that they don’t want to do. But these are all people who just want to live.
Take Dae Shik for example. He’s all about doing right by and protecting his hyung, Jin Hyuk. He also wants to protect his dad; he’s not a bad person by any means. The problem is that he was too weak to oppose the bidding orchestrated by Tae Go and his father. Dae Shik is clearly wracked with guilt when Jin Hyuk discovers the truth. In an effort to do right by his hyung for the last time, Dae Shik agrees to meet with Tae Go. Going into it, he clearly knows he’s not going to survive when he’s up against such a psychopath.
Wealth and power accomplish almost anything. Moo Tae Go and his father are a shining example of this. For a very long time, they’ve both gotten away with things the average person couldn’t. It’s nice to see that justice prevails in the end.
I won’t disclose how Voice ends, but I was very hesitant when Voice 2 was announced. Lee Ha Na and some of the other cast reprise their roles, but we’re without Jang Hyuk. I guess his story will have to work from the way that it ended during the first series. It’s a bit bittersweet when main characters don’t carry on over in k-dramas, especially when season twos are extremely rare.
Lee Jin Wook is our new male lead for Voice 2. With the return of a serial killer, Lee Ha Na and Lee Jin Wook cross paths. The target appears to be the Golden Time Team appears judging from the trailers and promos. This is becoming personal for her. Of course, the central serial killer from the previous series will not be here, so I’m curious to see what kind of mentally unhinged person we’ll be seeing. Kim Jae Wook was uber creepy and perfection as Moo Tae Go, so there are huge shoes to follow up with this season.
I can’t say too much, but the trailers make season two feel epic. Forgive me for using such a word, but it honestly feels that way. Maybe it’s just really great editing. All I know is that I’m committed to watching the new season. The teasers and trailers are poignant, dark, and gripping. The music and sound effects are so spot on that I get shivers.
Honestly, Lee Jin Wook is not an actor I have much k-drama experience with. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled to see Jin Wook nab a lead role in Voice 2. I’m cautiously optimistic. I just hope that since his character is also a detective, that he isn’t a carbon copy of Jang Hyuk’s character. As much as I adore Jang Hyuk, I’ve had enough of the “mad dog” character and hope we see something different to refresh the series and help give Lee Jin Wook’s character his own separate personality. Please let the writers get this aspect right. If that’s the case, then a huge chunk of my worries will be thrown out the window.
I know that Jang Hyuk turned down this offer as he didn’t believe he had anything further to bring to his character, which I completely respect. Despite my occasional grievances with his character, I will miss him terribly. Jang Hyuk played one heck of a detective.
I look forward to seeing how they weave Lee Jin Wook’s character into the team. Will it be smooth? Maybe it will be a messy transition? What will he add to the story? There are honestly so many unknown variables at this point.
All in all, I will be tuning in to watch Voice 2. I plan to post more about it later this week, so stay tuned. The drama will be airing on August 11th and will be available on DramaFever. I will be watching this as it’s airing. I may see if my podcast co-host Tiff wants to binge-watch Voice so that we can review series 2 together here on the blog, or at least to share some of our thoughts.
Will you be watching Voice 2? We’re in very dark k-drama territory here, so I’m not sure how all of you feel about the content. I love rom com’s, so this will be a vastly huge transition from the cuteness that was What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim. I honestly hope I’m ready for this season.
Updated 1/17/19: With DramaFever being shut down, Voice 2 is not currently available anywhere legally to stream.