Drama: Man to Man (맨투맨)
Network: JTBC / Netflix
Release Date: April 21 – June 10, 2017
Runtime: Fridays & Saturdays 23:00
Country: South Korea
A longtime celebrity Yeo Woon-gwang (Park Sung-woong) suddenly has a need for a bodyguard and hires Kim Seol-woo (Park Hae-jin), a man trained in special investigations and a mysterious man of many talents. In reality, Seol-woo is a NIS black ops agent who has his own agenda and the role of bodyguard is only a cover to achieve his goals. The drama is about the twisty events they encounter and the budding bromance between the star and bodyguard. In addition, Seol-woo gets romantically involved with Cha Do-ha (Kim Min-jung), the manager of Woon-gwang.
Park Hae-jin as Kim Seol-woo
Park Sung-woong as Yeo Woon-gwang
Kim Min-jung as Cha Do-ha
Chae Jung-an as Song Mi-eun
Yeon Jung-hoon as Mo Seung-jae
First impressions – episodes 1-2
The drama didn’t waste any time introducing our lead character, Kim Sul-woo, to us and how bad ass he is. The only drama I have previously watch of Park Hae Jin is the variety show Family Outing, where he was the timid and shy cast. So, i’m quite impressed with his character as he is smart, capable, and gets the job done. For so many years he has worked as an international spy and this is the first time he will work on a mission in South Korea. He is supposed to act like a bodyguard while trying to find the wood carvings.
Enter Park Sung Woong’s character, the popular villain character actor and all around ass, Yeo Woon-gwang. The last movie I saw of him was where he played a bad guy (i can’t remember the movie though) so it’s refreshing to see him play a funny character. He doesn’t really need a bodyguard, but had to accept Sul-woo as he’s a “gift” from his stockholder. He is portrayed as an actor who is always late and treats others like crap but is a great actor.
Then next we meet Kim Min Jung, as Woon gwang’s manager and biggest fan, who always has a huge crush on him. I dont really like her since (sorry) but I dont find her pretty, her hair looks awful and she looks older than Haejin. Plus, her character is such a pain in the ass. I dont find her endearing and i have no idea how Sul-woo will ever find her pretty. She always jump into conclusions, treats Woo Gwang as if he is hers (that scene where she use a tractor to almost kill Woo gwang and a girl just because she is jealous).
Another female character is Song Mi-eun, who is Woo Gwang’s ex girlfriend and who dumped him (he finds out on tv when she announces she is marrying someone else while he just came from a big car accident and is alone in the hospital – where he eventually meets Do Ha) and is now the company who is funding his next Hollywood film. Sul-woo’s handler was able to convince Mi-eun to make Sul-woo as Woo Gwang’s bodyguard because she owes him a favor (not sure what their connection is yet).
Finally, last important character is Mi-eun’s husband, Mo Seung-jae. This actor is so far excellently portraying his character quite well. His dimples and beautiful smile is so cute and he is so sweet to his son. But then his eyes go dark and his words mean when he tells his minions to “fix” Woo Gwang (I think he caused Woo Gwang’s accident in the first place and tried to kill him again by damaging his car while shooting) or when he goes into crazy deals with the other political men – he is looking for wood carvings which supposedly contains his grandfather’s corruption list or something.
Now you see the connection? Sul-woo is trying to find the wood carvings which might lead to Seung-jae while Sung Woong most probably dislike Seung Jae for stealing Mi-eun from him.
What did i like so far?
- the bromance between Sul-woo and Woo gwang. they are the perfect pair! Sul-woo’s chill and smart attitude can totally handle Woo gwang’s brattiness and keep him in toes. Best scenes so far are the bridge scene when they were running (that look that Woo gwang gives Sul-woo is like he has fallen in love) plus the train scene where Woo gwang became the trending topic for the day. I love how Woo gwang is taking care of his bodyguard. Plus that chicken scene in the alley where Sul-woo was also tempted to let Woo gwang take a bit of the chicken. Oh and how can i forget the fake bomb bed scene? haha. I am looking forward to the time when Woo gwang totally trusts Sul-woo and they will work together to take down Seung Jae.
What did I not like so far?
- definitely trying to put Do Ha and Sul-woo together. On one hand, it makes sense since she is the manager and he is the bodyguard and the cat-and-dog-fight may seem adorable but their personalities are totally different and she is annoying. I dont feel the chemistry between the 2 characters as I feel like Do Ha is not so smart. On the other hand, she has a lot of fire and emotions, which might be just what Sul-woo needs to brighten up his life. I do wonder though how they can be together since he will have to leave as soon as the mission is over and i dont think he can ever tell her what his job is. He may even have to “kill” himself.
Should you watch? Yes! the first episode served as an introduction of all the characters and setting up the storyline of Sul woo becoming Woo gwang’s bodyguard. the second episode had a lot of funny scenes (which I didn’t expect since i thought this will be a straight action and drama) and showing the budding bromance between Woo gwang and Sul woo.
Be wary of: I didn’t like the two female characters. one is a crazy fan-turned-manager who would rather run off the bodyguard then use him to save Woo gwang’s life. One married for money and we are not sure why she is funding he ex boyfriend’s film using her husband’s money (it’s a recipe for disaster! she is endangering Woo gwang and adding more salt to the wound).