I haven’t had much time to focus on Korean dramas recently but there are times when there are series that grab your attention and hold it until you absolutely have to watch what happens after. This was the case of Jang Geun Suk and Han Ye Ri’s “Switch: Change the World” and I am still having separation anxiety now that I have finished the drama.
Synopsis: Sa Do Chan (Jang Geun Suk) is a brilliant con artist who preys on scumbags with his team. Unknown to him, he looks absolutely identical to Seoul District Prosecutor Baek Joon Soo, a straightlaced civil worker who is caught in the middle of complicated case that threatens his life. In a critical moment, Baek Joon Soo’s partner, Oh Ha Ra (Han Ye Ri) approaches Do Chan with an offer to pose as Joon Soo to obtain a critical piece of evidence for their investigation, not knowing that it will set off a chain of events that will unravel deep connection between the con man’s past and the prosecutor’s current case.
I am a bigger fan of rom coms than legal dramas, I must admit, but this new concept in Jang Geun Suk’s last drama before enlistment got me absolutely hooked from the beginning. Geun Suk is great at dramatic roles but he absolutely kills it when it comes to roles that are more playful. He gets to to both in Switch. I don’t know how he did it but So Chan’s personality and quick wit completely won me over and Joon Soo’s gloom and doom expression always left me baffled but in a good way. I knew that they were the same person in real life but how could I feel such loyalty for Do Chan’s character and ship him so much with Ha Ra when Joon Soo could have filled out the role of Ha Ra’s love interest just as well? It was a testament to Geun Suk’s acting skills that he made me feel so torn between his two characters which had both strengths and weaknesses.
I loved that even though the love story was not the main focus of the drama, there was an unmistakable chemistry between Oh Ha Ra and Sa Do Chan. In as much as the same way Geun Suk naturally shifted between his two roles, Ye Ri also dealt with the two characters differently, and it made a great impact on the series. She was more reserved with Joon Soo even though she harbored a crush on him for the longest time, and she was strict and playful with Do Chan at the same time. When they smile mischievously at each other after a successful con or when they simply worked on a case side by side, I was absolutely rooting for them to start liking each other. I loved the way Do Chan always went to Ha Ra first, and his subtle hints that Ha Ra made his heart beat faster. By the series’ end, it was implied but they did not really get to say it. Still, I was satisfied because actions are better than words.
Another thing I loved about the series was the flow of the drama. The series of cons executed throughout the battle between the prosecutors and Geum Tae Woong were very exciting because the results were always unpredictable. There were times that the prosecutors succeeded but there were also times that the villain got the upper hand. It was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, especially when Joon Soo and Do Chan were caught in the crosshairs of scrutiny.
I thought that the parallel between Do Chan and Ma Chun’s story versus that of Tae Woong and his son was a great touch too. The supporting cast also made the drama very solid. Their absolute loyalty to each other was very touching, even through the most dangerous missions and it was their great skill and competence that led to the success of most of the set ups. Its great that each set up followed a specific pattern but they were well thought out and executed creatively, making for a more entertaining watch. Speaking of good actors, special shoutout to Park Woon Sang (District Six Chief Prosecutor Yang) whom I absolutely detested on W: Two Worlds but entirely rooted for in this drama.
All in all, I would definitely recommend Switch because of the great story, solid casting and great chemistry. A major plus is the catchy soundtrack by Teen Top and FT Island’s Lee Hong Ki. Switch is an interesting 16 episode series (split into 32) that sustains its momentum from start to end, something that not all dramas are able to pull off. I hope Geun Suk and Ye Ri get to work together again after his enlistment because these two are absolute acting gems.