Following the landslide success of the Korean drama ‘Squid Game,’ Netflix has picked up the grungy and pulpy drama ‘My Name,’’ which is packed with plenty of gangsters carrying around lethal sharp blades. This TV series is directed by Kim Jin-min best known for the teenage escort drama Extracurricular that came out last year. The first three episodes premiered during the 26th edition of the Busan International Film Festival held in Haeundae-gu, Busan, on October 7 to critical acclaim.
Now the international audience has a chance to binge all the eight episodes of this intriguing drama as My Name is available to stream on Netflix starting October 15. The series was initially called ‘Undercover,’ when it was first announced back in August 2020 but changed to its current title.
The show boasts a stellar cast of well-known Korean actors ranging from Han So-hee, who recently appeared in ‘The World of the Married’ and ‘Nevertheless’ leading the cast as a young woman who teams up with a mob boss and infiltrates the local police department with the aim of hunting down the person who killed her father right in front of her eyes. Other cast members include Park Hee-soon, who plays the crime boss, Ahn Bo-Hyun, Yull Jang, and Kim Sang-ho, alongside other members.
Han embodies the character of Yoon Ji-woo, a high school student whose life becomes complicated after her father becomes a man wanted by the law due to his shady and illegal dealings that include drug dealing. Her father’s infamous occupation makes Yoon a target for bullies at school, and eventually, even her school principal expels her on her 17th birthday.
Extremely mad at the decision, Yoon lets her anger take the best of her, and she snaps. A classroom brawl with a ton of other girls follows, which marks the beginning of the many incredibly choreographed fight sequences involving the actress throughout the show. As she continues to establish herself in this new persona, she encounters bigger, meaner, and lethally armed opponents as the show progresses.
Everything in the entire eight episodes is extremely intense. The cinematography is splendid, and the scenes are bathed in red, black, and brown tones enhanced by the liberal amounts of violence, making this series an exciting watch. Being a revenge thriller, audiences should, of course, expect the tropes associated with these kinds of movies, thankfully though, despite the genre cliches, the show never feels old or boring.
The creators of the series have wittingly organized the plot so that the interesting cliffhangers are as suspensible as they are intriguing, which definitely draws one into proceeding to the next episode as everything is tied together into a nice bow that keeps audiences at the edge of their seats.
Looking generally at this show, it’s not just the action, the storyline, and the thrills that make it an excellent piece. ‘My Name’ features a profound emotional connotation at its core which surrounds the lead character. Yoon’s sadness and heartbreak are obvious, and the emotional situations that she has gone through in her life both before and after the death of her father is what propels the story forward and allows the audience to connect with the protagonist, understand her more and relate with what she has been through both in the past and present.
Some of the most gut-wrenching scenes that are pretty emotional to watch yet very crucial in Yoon’s growth and moving forward with her life after a tragedy is the events that happen in the gym when she joins the criminal gang led by Choi Moo-jin, who also happens to be her uncle, a role played by Park. Yoon is an outsider and unfamiliar with the world she is trying to join. She is the only woman in a male-dominated environment.
Just the mere fact that she is a woman makes her be perceived as a weak person. Insults are hurled her way, and she even faces sexual harassment. But the most admirable aspect amidst all these obstacles, her eyes are focused on the target, and she is determined to reach her goal no matter what. Her determination and hard work see her rise like a phoenix above those who looked down on her. It’s a pretty proud moment, and audiences can’t help but triumph at the achievement.
The series is quite the spectacle packed with a mixture of emotions, preferences, and connotations. It is gruesome, horrifying, but still an exhilarating watch. There are instances that the violence can make one spill their guts if they don’t have the stomach for macabre scenes. Other than that, one can’t help but drum for Yoon every single moment, she’s facing an opponent. Viewers will definitely be rooting for her as she blossoms from a caterpillar to a lethal butterfly yet still gentle and tender.
Han Soo-hee’s performance in this series is outstanding. Filled with spite and seeking to avenge her father’s death, she is a cannon waiting to explode. She is also looking for redemption and killing her dad’s murderer waivers part of that guilt. Her performances come out naturally, feels natural, and there are no exaggerated moments despite the melodrama that is normally a common aspect when it comes to Korean dramas. She displays both the rage of a beast ready to tear the world apart for justice as well as the vulnerable, scared, and heartbroken individual deep inside. All these oozes out of this star effortlessly.
The fight choreography, too, is as authentic as can be. Despite being a bad-ass butt-kicking babe, there is no single moment that comes across as being overacted. Contrary to the cliches in the genre where the protagonist beats the bad guys into a pulp solo, it is not really what happens in this show. In fact, the action is so thrilling that it makes watching them quite a charming affair. If you are a sucker for great chick flicks, awesome action, excellent performances and an intriguing storyline, then this show is a perfect fit.