Politicians have often been thought of as conmen, but Assemblyman-wannabe Yang Jung-Kook really is one. Blackmailed into running for a seat in the Assembly, master swindler Jung-Kook has to win the election or he and his police officer wife will end up dead. Watch the political mishaps of this expert conman in the new Kdrama My Fellow Citizens!
Yang Jung-Kook has been running scams since he was a young teenager and now, as an adult, he is a master conman. He and his teammates successfully cheat a big-wig loan shark out of several million dollars but he’s devastated when his fiancée leaves him and runs away with every penny. To take his mind off his wounded heart he decides to drink his sadness away at a club.
While on a stake-out, Detective Kim Mi-Young catches her boyfriend in a motel room with another woman. His excuse?… her job is so dangerous he’s worried something could happen to her (so why not have another girl waiting in the wings, just in case?). Heartbroken, she tells the jerk goodbye and tries to forget her sorrows at a nightclub.
That evening the two rejected lovers meet, decide to date, and quickly fall in love. Jung-Kook isn’t about to tell the woman he adores what he truly does for a living and, after loosing a guy because of her dangerous job, Mi-Young doesn’t admit she’s a cop until after the “I do”s are said. It’s not surprising the two lovers’ opposite professions begin to take a toll on the couple’s marriage even though they sincerely love each other. And, if that’s not bad enough, the daughter of a man Jung-Kook swindled is ready to have him and his precious wife killed if he doesn’t run for the empty Assemblyman seat and overturn a law that is preventing her from making tons of money. Will Jung-Kook be able to follow the orders of a desperate thug without his detective wife finding out who he really is?
The career advice Yang Jung-Kook’s father gave him was, “As long as you don’t get caught by the cops, being a conman is the best job ever.” From an early age Jung-Kook followed that advice, running scheme after scheme, never getting caught. The man is squeaky clean, with no criminal record at all. “I didn’t get caught by the cops, but I am living in the clutches of a cop,” he tells his friend. To the outside world he is a graduate of Seoul National University, a businessman operating his own business, and the recipient of the Brave Citizen award. He is aware of the fact that his hidden profession is causing troubles in his marriage and because of that he just wants to pull one last huge con and retire.
Kim Mi-Young’s biological parents died when she was young and because she was alone so often, she became an unruly teen. A tough cop beat her up one day and from that moment she knew she wanted to be a police officer. That cop later became Lieutenant Kim’s step-mother, the new Chief of Police at the Seowon Police Station where Mi-Young is the leader of a team in the White Collar Crimes Division. Before that position, she spent eight years in the Violent Crimes Division where she is known to have solved 80 violent crime cases. Mi-Young dearly loves her husband but feels him growing more and more emotionally distant.
Park Hoo-Ja is the youngest of four daughters born to the big-time loan shark Park Sang-Pil. When her father fell ill, Hoo-Ja took advantage of the fact that her eldest sister was serving time in prison and took over her father’s company, becoming the Chairwoman of Baekgyeong Capital. She is evil to the core and knows just how to use her money and power to get what she wants.
For information about Choi Si-Won, the actor who plays lovable Yang Jung-Kook, you can go to my Revolutionary Love review.
My review of You Drive Me Crazy contains information about Lee Yoo-Young, the woman who plays the part of Detective Kim Mi-Young.
The character Park Hoo-Ja is played by Kim Min-Jung and you can read about her in my Man to Man review.
As you can probably guess (conman turns Assemblyman) this drama has great character growth – and it’s not just Yang Jung-Kook that goes through an unsuspecting metamorphosis. Several people go through some self-reflecting moments and turn out better because of them. It reminds us that people can change and helps us gather the courage necessary to make the changes that need to take place within our own heart.
There are two things I learned by watching My Fellow Citizens! The first is that South Korea has 300 Assemblymen. (In comparison, the United States has 535 members of Congress.) The next is that employees in South Korea get one day off, personal leave, each month. (What a great idea. I’ll bet that helps alleviate job burn-out.)
Wonderful Daniel Choi makes a cameo appearance as a newly married guy looking for a place to live with his wife. Jung-Kook’s dad is trying to scam them out of some money and Jung-Kook arrives just in time to put an end to the whole thing. Daniel Choi has a puzzled look on his face as Jung-Kook escorts his father out of the apartment saying, “You shouldn’t be here, let’s go home and watch Jugglers.” Anyone who has seen Jugglers knows Daniel Choi is the lead actor in it. I love clever lines like that.
Two things are said in the drama that made me think of the upcoming U.S. 2020 election – “It’s about who has more soul in their lies. That’s the core of winning an election.” and “… make a National Assembly (Congress) that serves the citizens instead of the party.” As for the first quote, I’m sure it is spot-on correct and, all I can say about the last one is Amen!
My Fellow Citizens! is a total of 36 half hour episodes (18 hours). Unfortunately, the show didn’t do well in the ratings department. But don’t let that discourage you from giving it a try. I was hooked by the first half hour (but in all honesty, I’m a tremendous Choi Si-Won fan and that might have been what kept me going so enthusiastically from episode to episode).
Sadly, My Fellow Citizens! had some “oops” – handcuffs being held one way from the front but a completely different way from behind, a hammer that is dropped onto the ground by someone’s head but magically disappears when the person stands up, a stack of papers that are in pristine condition going into a safe but have bent corners the next day when they are taken out of the safe, an arm resting down when the camera is shooting the person’s face but is up when it shows the person from behind. Just little things like that. Small, but noticeable nonetheless.
I was disappointed Si-Won didn’t sing in the show or on the soundtrack. Rats! But the music is good anyway. A majority of the songs are fast-paced and fun – perfect for this drama. Let Me In, sung by NeighBro, and Snowflakes, performed by About, are the only two ballads on the soundtrack. My favorite out of the bunch is Really Bad Guy performed by Seung Hee.
Nothing really stands out as “wow” when it comes to location/scenery. The conman/cop couple has a special restaurant they go to now and then that has lots of tiny yellow lights in the window (kind of charming), but everything else takes place among regular everyday spots.
Choi Si-Won proves once again he’s so much more than a flower boy Kpop star turned actor. The man is a master at facial expressions and his comedic timing is spot on in this political Kdrama, My Fellow Citizens! If you’re a Si-Won fan, this one definitely needs to go on your watch list.
Choi Si-Won’s superb comedic acting/facial expressions
Music fits the mood of the story