Someone once asked me, “If you could travel back through time and kill Adolf Hitler while he was still an infant, would you do it?” Well, the drama Sketch makes us think about things like that. Cause and effect.
“If you knew someone was about to commit a crime could you kill a person in order to stop that crime from occurring? For the first and last time, you need to kill an innocent person. However, … if you are prepared to dirty your hands by taking that life, if you are ready to take on that guilt and blame for the rest of your life, you will be able to save dozens of lives. No, hundreds of lives.” – a quote from the Kdrama Sketch
What should have been the most wonderful day of his life turns out to be the most tragic when Kim Do-Jin returns home from the army to find his wife dead on the living room floor in a pool of blood, the victim of an attempted rape. With his whole reason for living snuffed out in one brutal act, he decides revenge is the best way to deal with his grief. But when he encounters a stranger that gives him the opportunity to stop others from feeling the same kind of pain he is in, he makes the difficult decision to go along with the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The bright future Detective Kang Dong-Soo was so looking forward to is lost in an instant when he discovers his kidnapped fiancée strangled and left in a heap next to her kidnapper who was shot to death. Although the police want to rule it a murder/self-defense, Detective Kang’s intuition tells him her killer is still at large and he’ll stop at nothing in order to catch the person responsible for taking the woman he loved away from him.
Detective Yoo Shi-Hyun draws future events that point to crimes resulting in death, and her sketches have never been wrong.
Kang Dong-Soo is an intelligent cop with excellent intuition and first class fighting skills. He is respected by both his juniors and seniors and gets along well with at least one prosecutor – his fiancée Min Ji-Soo. She wants him to take a desk job, knowing the kind of work he does is dangerous, but realizes his heart and skills are best suited out “in the field.”
Ever since she was five years old Detective Yoo Shi-Hyun has had the ability to foresee bits and pieces of the very near future and now that she is an adult the four person Butterfly Team uses the sketches she makes of future happenings to help them solve crimes before they occur. Shi-Hyun and her older brother lost their parents to a brutal double murder when they were still young so it’s not surprising they both chose professions that have to do with law enforcement.
Sergeant Kim Do-Jin was part of the Special Warfare Command in the army commonly called 707 Special Forces, considered to be the special forces of the special forces, and received the Order of National Security Merit which is a very rare recognition. One of Dong-Soo’s cop buddies tells him, “… this guy [Sergeant Kim] is a human weapon. The Rambo that we’ve only heard of is right here.”
Rain, born Jung Ji-Hoon, is an international entertainer but before he joined JYP Entertainment he remembers being repeatedly turned down because of his looks. Rain got the last laugh, however, when in 2007 he made it onto People magazine’s “Most Beautiful People in the World” list. During his early years as a trainee Rain was a backup dancer. Then, when he was 16 he debuted as a member of the boy group Fanclub but the group was not a commercial success. His solo debut came in 2002 with the release of his hit album Bad Guy. Rain’s third album topped the charts throughout Asia and his first concert tour, spanning eight countries, made him one of the regions top musical acts. His acting debut came in the form of the Kdrama Sang-Doo, Let’s Go to School which won him four awards including Best New Actor. If you haven’t seen My Lovable Girl yet I suggest you put it on your watch list. I was extremely impressed with his performance in that romance drama! He’s also amazing as Detective Kang Dong-Soo in this. Rain has participated in lots of humanitarian projects over the years, such as donating money to have drinking water wells and playgrounds built in Cambodia, volunteering in the Taean oil spill cleanup, and participating in the MTV EXIT campaign against human trafficking in Asia. In 2006 Time magazine placed him on their list as one of the “100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World.” He married actress Kim Tae-Hee in January of last year (2017) and became a dad in October.
If you’re interested in learning a bit about Lee Dong-Gun, the actor who plays Kim Do-Jin, you can read about him in my Queen for Seven Days review but I need to do a little update first – since that review he has become the daddy of a sweet baby girl. That makes me think of his role in Super Daddy Yeol.
The lead female character in Sketch, Yoo Shi-Hyun, is Lee Sun-Bin. She was a member of the girl group JQT for only four months before their disbandment sent her back to being a trainee. She was a CF model and appeared in some music videos until she began her acting career with a role in the Chinese historical drama Saint Wang Xizhi. Since then she’s been in a handful of dramas and two movies. Her Best New Actress award came from her role in the mystery drama Missing 9. She was recently cast along side Hyun Bin in the historical/action/sci-if motion picture Rampant, set to be released in October of this year.
In the show, Dong-Soo tells Shi-Hyun, “(someone) became a monster while trying to catch a monster.” Before the first episode was over I was explaining to a friend that Sketch’s premise reminded me of Death Note, my favorite manga. For those of you who have never read the series, the books are about a teenage kid who decides he can make the world a utopia by using a magical killing notebook in order to get rid of evil people. It would be wonderful to live in a peaceful, safe world but at what cost? Do you justify murder to keep someone else from being in pain? It’s an interesting topic for discussion but the way I see it, playing god is never a good idea.
Since the drama is entitled Sketch I thought I’d tell you a little bit about how Shi-Hyun draws the future. All of her sketches are done in the same notebook and while drawing she’s in a trance-like state. She uses a pen and doesn’t always look at what she’s doing so she’s unaware of what’s been drawn until every picture has been completed. Usually there are four or five separate pictures that encompass one particular crime, clues that help the Butterfly Team figure out what’s about to happen. Her visions are of the not to distant future with all of the pictures coming to pass within three days of when they are drawn. The sketches themselves are very good. Whoever the artist is I hope they received recognition in the show’s credits.
The fight sequences in Sketch are amazing! The choreography is exciting and, while they don’t have the same physical stature, Rain and Lee Dong-Gun’s skills are a perfect match. Their hand-to-hand combat is explosive and full of emotion. Anyone who enjoys action will love the brawls in this particular drama.
In my opinion Sketch didn’t need to be a full 16 hours. I think the story could have been told just as well with a few less episodes. Although it didn’t seem to be deliberately padded for time I did get the feeling it didn’t need to be stretched out as long as it was.
Sketch is the second drama Lee Dong-Gun and Rain have been in together. The first was Sang-Doo, Let’s Go to School, 15 years ago. In that show the two men compete over a girl and in Sketch, although they’ve been through the same kind of heartbreaking loss, they are on opposite ends of the law. I really enjoyed seeing them work together again, this time as much more seasoned actors.
The drama’s ending is just right and even leaves room for a sequel. The premise of stopping crimes and catching criminals by using sketches drawn of future events is original and creative enough to be used with another plot and I’d love to see Rain reprise his role as Detective Kang Dong-Soo!
Sketch’s soundtrack is small. The music isn’t impressive and a couple of the vocals are gruff and scratchy sounding, which isn’t bad it’s just not what I enjoy. Every single piece of music that is sung has an acoustic guitar as its main instrumental accompaniment which makes all the vocal songs sound too much alike. However, they aren’t played often so the fact that they are similar isn’t really a big deal.
Although the Butterfly Team is made up of cops their office is separate from the police station. It’s an old warehouse type office, furnished with the best of the best computers/technology but the place itself is dark inside and looks kind of run down. Kim Do-Jin’s hideout is sparsely furnished and has really creepy dead vines all over the walls, a visual reminder of what his role is in all the chaos. There’s lots of darkness in the drama – indoor places are dimly lit and many of the scenes are shot during night hours. I guess evil and death are best presented in the dark.
Sketch gives us quite a bit to think about. Wrap your head around this one…
“Is it possible to change a fate that’s already been set? Our fate is always standing still and watching over us. Through all the many accidental coincidences it laughs at us because we don’t even realize what’s going on. Even now, the wheels of fate keep turning and squeaking. The important thing is where will it stop?”
Rain’s acting is superb
Super excellent fighting sequences
Gives us something to ponder
Didn’t need to be so long