4 K-Dramas Like “Numbers” To Watch If You’re Intrigued By Case Files & Corruption
“Numbers” wrapped up tidily recently, having joined the rare number of K-dramas spotlighting the accounting profession. Here are some of the closest and best shows that’ll fill that void featuring case files aplenty, hotheaded do-gooders, and some pretty wacky ones too! Check out these four dramas that’ll fill the void after “Numbers”!
Note: this is a spoiler-free review!
This was the show that first showed the public that Namgoong Min has so much more to him than playing villains. Kim Sung Ryong (Namgoong Min) is whiz at numbers, who uses his considerable talent to manage money for a gang. When a chance accident places him as the chief of the accounting department within the TQ conglomerate, the usually outrageous and morally iffy Sung Ryong decides to uproot the corruption within the company as a whole. What follows is a serious of increasingly amusing events, as Sung Ryong takes on everyone from petty managers to TQ’s golden boy Seo Yool (Lee Junho).
Why you’ll love it: With a host of talented actors like the underrated Nam Sang Mi and backstabbing a plenty, this show makes a serious subject a joy to watch. Plus Namgoong Min and Lee Junho have one heck of a fun bromance!
Check out the show below!
Ye Jin Woo (Lee Dong Wook) lives as quiet a life as an ER doctor can live at one of Korea’s most prestigious hospitals. But he has a secret. He’s constantly plagued by visions of his brother Ye Sun Woo (Lee Kyu Hyung). In real life, Sun Woo is disabled and requires a wheelchair to get around, but the version that Jin Woo sees doesn’t requires one. Jin Woo’s world is further shaken when the hospital director, a father figure to him, dies under mysterious circumstances after supposedly embezzling money. The hospital’s vice president is implicated in his death. While the hospital struggles to figure out the new chain of leadership, ambitious surgeons and department heads make a play for power. So when the ice-cold and mercenary Goo Seung Hyo (Cho Seung Woo) is brought in as a replacement director, a rift forms among the staff between those who think Seung Hyo’s profit-first mentality is necessary and those, like Jin Woo, who are prepared to fight to keep profit out of healthcare. Only junior pediatrician Lee No Eul (Won Jin Ah) seems to see both the merits and the problems of Seung Hyo’s deeply unpopular policies. As Seung Hyo and Jin Woo separately uncover a web of corruption and a potential murder cover-up within the hospital, the question arises of who the villain is here. Seung Hyo? Jin Woo? Or is it whoever could have killed the previous director?
Why you’ll love it: This drama is by the same writer as “Stranger” and features much of the same cast of very talented actors like Yoo Jae Myung. It’s a powerhouse of acting, directing, and writing that highlights complex ethical debates in the medical profession, not regarding the treatment of patients, per se, but how hospitals view patients: as people in need of help or as profit-making machines. This drama is beloved for very good reason, especially for Lee Dong Wook’s portrayal of Jin Woo, who is torn between his duty to his patients, his job, and his desire to fight for truth in a corporate world that seems bent on crushing all meaning from the truth.
But it’s the always incredible Cho Seung Woo that shines as Goo Seung Hyo. He’s charismatic, terrifyingly competent, makes dangerously good points, and you just aren’t sure whether to root for him or not. There’s a subtle romance he has going with Won Jin Ah’s character that’s just beautifully crafted, where both are slowly able to see whether the other is coming from. All in all, this drama is a must-watch and one of the best dramas written to-date.
When speaking of incredibly well-written dramas, you can’t omit “Pied Piper” from the list. This drama is so underrated but so good! Joo Sung Chan (Shin Ha Kyun) used to be a renowned corporate negotiator who cared only about the bottom line: money. That is, until he loses his fiancée in an act of terror that claimed numerous other lives. It’s an act of terror that he blames himself for because he was on the phone with the killer and couldn’t stop them. Only he heard the killer’s eerie signature whistle, and he’s spent the years since illegally plugged into the police radio to use his negotiation skills for good—until the killer resurfaces. He teams up with Yeo Myung Ha (Jo Yoon Hee), who also lost her uncle in the explosion that killed Sung Chan’s fiancée, and an elite news reporter named Yoon Hee Sung (Yoo Joon Sang) to take down the killer once and for all. But the more the trio delves into the killer’s methods, the more they start to realize that whoever it is may have a point.
Why you’ll love it: This show keeps you on your toes until the very end! It’s the perfect mix of action, thriller, mystery, and subterfuge. Without going too much into detail, the central mystery is well-crafted, and Shin Ha Kyun acts his heart out, as always, in here. If you love thrillers, this is one to watch!
This show and its main character are all about fighting corruption. Jo Jin Gab (Kim Dong Wook) used to be a member of the national team for judo until he made the mistake of protesting a rigged name and found himself kicked out of the sport. He later becomes a gym teacher but makes the mistake of standing up against the bullying and violence committed by the school chairman’s son, so he gets kicked out of another profession. What’s worse is that his wife Joo Mi Ran (Park Se Young) divorces him. Jin Gab passes the civil servant exam and begins work as a public officer, vowing that he won’t get into any trouble. Yet, when he’s transferred to work as a labor inspector at the Ministry of Employment, Jin Gab is forced to contend with greedy bosses and the straight up evil Myeongseong Group, all while crossing paths with his ex-wife. With new allies and a renewed will for justice, can Jin Gab take down all his foes while keeping his job?
Why you’ll love it: Kim Dong Wook is always a delight, and he won the Daesang for his portrayal of Jin Gab. But the rest of the cast is just as great! In particular, Ryu Deok Hwan‘s portrayal of Woo Do Ha, head of the legal team at Myeongseong, is just spectacular and one of the best, most well-rounded characters in the show. If you’re looking for a satisfying watch that’s all about tearing into corruption, then this is the show for you!
Hey Soompiers! Which of these dramas have you seen? Which ones are you interested in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she fangirls over Ji Sung, and spins thrillers set in increasingly fantastic worlds. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!
Currently Watching: “Revenant,” “Numbers,” “Longing For You,” “My Dearest,” “Not Others,” and “My Lovely Liar.”
Looking Forward to: “Gyeongseong Creature,” “Ask The Stars,” “The Girl Downstairs,” “The Worst Evil,” “Queen of Tears,” “Vigilante,” “Demon,” “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.