Damo, a historical kdrama, revolves are three characters who are pigeon-holed by society. They each want society to change to offer different opportunities. Their lives become intertwined as they each reach for their individual destinies.
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Damo, a historical kdrama set in Chosun era, revolves are three characters who are pigeon-holed by society. They each want society to change to offer them choices in the paths their lives can take. Chae-Ok is a damo (servant) for the police and a woman police investigator. Hwangbo Yoon, the police captain, is her childhood friend/protector and facilitates her investigator role. When the police are assigned to investigate a counterfeit coin case, Chae-Ok volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate a gang of rebels. During this assignment she meets Jang Sung-baek, the rebel leader, who dreams of a society that is not ruled by class but equally by all the people. Now their lives become intertwined as they each reach for their individual destinies.Written by
Fairly entertaining Korean period action melodrama.
Damo is a Korean TV period melodrama from around 2003 or so. It goes by a few other names as well: Damo; The Undercover Detective, Female Detective Damo, etc.
Here's your story: It's Joseon era Korea, and various law enforcement factions throughout Korea are looking to rid the country from crime and corruption. This story focuses on the daily inner workings of one of the state police sections, which include 2 of the 3 primary characters of this series. One of these characters is the handsome, young, righteous police commander played by Lee Seo-jin. The other character is the "Damo", who is played by Ha Ji-won.
A "Damo" is a low level police servant, who is usually from a less than stellar upbringing and is of poor social status. However, this particular "Damo" has become a highly skilled, smart, ambitious, loyal, likable, ass kicking, beauty. As such, she soon rises from a nobody to a trusted & respected member of the police force. She's done all she can in life to get ahead on her own, but, much of her accrued knowledge, abilities, and current status are due specifically to her section commander, who took her under his wing when she was a young orphan, and helped her become who she is in the present.
Ha Ji-won is soon sent undercover to infiltrate a band of thieves; there she meets their leader who's the 3rd primary character involved in the story (played by Kim Min-joon). Like the police commander, he's also a handsome, righteous, young man, except he operates on the opposite side of the law. He's not a bad guy per se however; he's more of a Robin Hood type who fights for the people, and helps the poor and sick from being marginalized and mistreated by the powers that be.
Being a Korean melodrama, the 2 male leads fight for what they believe is right, while they compete for the affection of the female lead in some fashion or another. There's also the sibling angle at play here as, unbeknownst to everyone, the Damo is actually (SPOILERS) the long lost sister of the leader of the thieves. In addition, the police commander is sort of a surrogate brother to the Damo, as they've spent much of their lives growing up and living & working together. From there, it's just a matter of which of the two leads will win out, and which man the Damo will choose to side with in the end.
I liked this show pretty well overall, and, it holds up surprisingly well even a decade after it aired. There's a fair amount of swordplay and wire-fu involved on occasion, and although the budget couldn't have been too enormous, the action rarely looks overly silly. The 3 main leads all do a solid job, as do several other secondary cast members. And, the story is fairly interesting and quickly paced for the most part over its 14 episode run time.
One of the better aspects of this show is that the 2 main male leads are both treated fairly equally. These are both mostly honorable men, and this makes it difficult for the Damo to decide which side she wants to be on. The story, smartly & effectively, never lets you clearly delineate which side (& man) is right and which side (& man) is wrong.
One of the more odd aspects of this story, is that it occasionally tends to want to be a romantic love story. The police commander begins to fall in love with the Damo, but she is somewhat of an adopted little sister to him. The Damo begins to fall in love with the leader of the thieves, but he is her actual brother. I guess one could argue that's just the way it was in that era in regards to the commander/Damo relationship, and since the Damo didn't initially know the thief was her actual brother, it provides an excuse for her to begin to fall for him. Nevertheless, I found this dual sibling vs love interest angle bordering on being a little creepy at times.
One more thing, please stop with the female fighter disguising herself as a man in various Asian martial arts period pieces. You can cover up a girl's hair and rub dirt on her face all you want, but it is impossible to mistake any of the actresses they typically do this with (and Ha Ji-won is no exception) as anything other than beautiful women, in any time period.
This show has a few minor problems here and there, but what KTV melodrama doesn't?...All in all though, it is enjoyable and entertaining enough to recommend. It flows along pretty well throughout, it's written well enough to get the job done, and, it's not afraid to do what they wish (dramatically wise) to one or more of the characters you've invested in by the time it all wraps up.
With all due respect to the other 2 IMDb reviewers of this show to date; A) this is not a 10 star watch by any means or rational, and, B) the other reviewer completely misunderstood how the Damo and her brother ultimately resolved their story line.
It's plenty watchable though. A rock solid 7 out of 10 stars in my opinion!
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