Kang Chul-Soo (Lee Joon-Hyuk) is an enthusiastic fireman who poses as a nude model to make money for his sick friend. He is then targeted as the criminal of an arson-murder case that took place 10 years ago, and together with mysterious heiress Han Ji-Ah (Jung In-Sun), he tries to find the real culprit.
I’m not used to mini-dramas. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever watched any apart from the incredible Long Time No See. But a fellow French drama fan recommended Naked Fireman, and I just couldn’t resist.
Fast and Furious
The perks of watching a mini-drama is that you just don’t have time to get bored. This struck me all the more because I’ve been watching mainly Chinese shows for the past year, and they often add filler episodes to make more money, oftentimes ruining the pacing as a consequence. Excellent shows such as Oh, my General have suffered from this, which is, simply put, a pity.
With only four episodes, Naked Fireman manages to include suspense, emotion, flashbacks, mystery, and even a hint of romance all in one well-paced, well-constructed package.
I already knew Lee Joon-Hyuk from Are You Human, Too? and of course from City Hunter, but in my head, he was kinda… stuck in the background. I did want to see him lead a show, however, and was happy to see him portray a straightforward, honest, spontaneous, naive (maybe too much so) Kang Chul-Soo, whose antics will never fail to make you smile.
As for Jung In-Sun, I’d seen her in the disappointing Terius Behind Me, which I dropped as soon as I realized it would be yet another iteration of shows featuring incompetent spies (yes, Man to Man, it’s you I’m looking at) and in which nothing ever happens. Jung In-Sun was the only thing which left an impression on me back then (well, okay, apart from the kids), and she’s just as good here.
It’s also a pleasure to see familiar faces again, such as Lee Won-Jong (Empress Ki, The Guest) or Jo Hee-Bong (Tunnel, The K2), who are as good as ever. Lee Won-Jong’s character is especially easy to get attached to.
Masters of the Merry Chase
It’s no secret that I love shows that can lead me around, make me believe I’ve got it, and then turn around and just cackle “you couldn’t be more wrong, and here’s a list of reasons”. (Take my beloved Mad Dog, for example, which does this to perfection. So many tiny clues scattered right under my nose!) If I had to point one thing I loved in Naked Fireman, apart from Jung In-Sung, it would be the way the show merrily leads its audience around by the nose. I was so sure I knew what was what in episode 1, and then they just turned around and flipped everything over. Even by the end, new reveals kept happening which I didn’t see coming and I enjoyed the heck out of it. If you enjoy the thrill of this feeling, then Naked Fireman is definitely for you.
All in all…
Pretty much the only thing in Naked Fireman that disappointed me was the original score (some tracks were really loud, and didn’t quite fit the show): apart from that, it made for an entertaining, well-paced watch.
Title: Naked Fireman
Country: South Korea
Starring: Lee Joon-Hyuk, Jung In-Sun, Lee Won-Jong, Jo Hee-Bong
Aired: 01/12/2017 to 01/19/2017
Number of episodes: 4
Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Romance