What I was expecting: When I heard the synopsis for this I immediately thought of Strawberry Night, which one of my top jdramas. Both Mrs. Cop and Strawberry Night deal with a female detective who struggles with personal issues and her job handling brutal cases. The only difference would be that the detective in Strawberry Night dealt with her rape, while the detective here struggles to balance life as a cop and a mom.
How it really was: Random Thought – the intro to this show reminds me a lot of the intro of Dexter.
Mrs. Cop wasn’t as amazing as I wanted. I thought Kim Hee Ae’s portrayal of Detective Choi Yeong Jin was great. She isn’t cold or overly emotional, so there’s a nice balance there. She’s tough, as long as she isn’t running, but she still maintains her humanness at the same time. Even though they made it seem like she’s always at work, I don’t think her job has completely taken over her life to the point that its made her jaded quite yet, so that was nice. I also think that the child actress that plays her daughter is super cute!
Unfortunately, I feel like the writers of Mrs. Cop tried to pack in as many cop drama elements into the first episode as they could without proper pacing or development. Instead of feeling like an action packed opener, it felt more congested than anything else. Because of all of the story lines that happened here, I never got fully invested; and therefore, I didn’t connect with anything really.
I mean, not only do we get a serial killer case (which felt very shallow at this point), but we also get: arresting the wrong criminal, parenting issues, a chase scene where the cops try to apprehend the correct serial killer, the serial killer escaping after shooting a cop, dirty cops, bribery, a potential romance subplot, the daughter stealing because she’s lonely and wants to see her mom, the sister of Yeong Jin complaining because Yeong Jin is never around and she has to do everything instead, Yeong Jin telling her Chief, who happens to be the dirty cop, that she knows what he’s doing only for him to retaliate and send the prosecutor’s office to take all of her teams stuff, her finding out why her daughter is stealing from the neighbourhood store, all this resulting in Yeong Jin deciding to quit because she doesn’t want to bring more hardship on her team and her daughter. Only for her to then hear that the serial killer has killed again…
I’m sure I missed another few plot points here, but from that paragraph alone I feel like all of these elements could have been spread out between 2-3 episodes. Have this one spend time on the serial killer case and Yeong Jin’s parenting woes. Also use this time to help us get acquainted with her team, so that we can care about them. By the end of episode, have the reveal of the Chief being a dirty cop.
In episode two, around the midway part, have the shooting of her subordinate and end the episode off like it ended here. As for her daughter, don’t let Yeong jin find out about her daughter’s stealing till episode two or even three. Make it a slow build thing.
Overall: The first episode of Mrs. Cop has a lot of potential, but it gets ruined by too many subplots and not enough development. The acting is fine and I think the child actress playing Ha Eun is super cute, the writers just need to take their time to tell their story and not rush things.
Hopefully the pacing gets better in episode two.