Whether we like it or not, an unexpected event will disrupt our usually mundane lives. Sometimes it’d be a blissful moment but most of the time it’d be a tragedy that would ultimately change the course of our lives.
This is exactly what happened in the characters of the 2018 MBC comedy thriller, Terius Behind Me.
Mission: Saving Candy
The series started with a tragedy. The main characters Go Ae-Rin (Jung In-sun) and Kim Bon (So Ji-sub) experienced losing their loved ones. It triggered the start of their connection as the death of Ae-rin’s husband turned out to be connected to Bon’s failed mission in Warsaw, Poland. The legendary NIS agent suddenly became an equally legendary babysitter for Ae-rin’s two children Cha Jun-soo (Kim Gun-woo) and Cha Joon-hee (Ok Ye-rin). All of this led to Ae-rin’s part-time stint as NIS informant and to all other strange scenarios that made her life different.
Mission: Attacking King Castle
A rebelling secret agent fighting a large global syndicate is a typical plot for a spy series so I really expected that it’ll deliver complicated conflicts and mind-blowing plot twists. As it turned out, Terius Behind Me was made to elicit laughs and not theories.
Saying that this series is funny would be an understatement. Instead of introducing mysterious characters that we often find in our usual spy thrillers, Terius Behind Me has a collection of characters you can easily find in your neighborhood.
The Ahjummas and Ahjussi of King Castle Information System were a bunch of parents that you couldn’t help but fall in love with. Their leader Shim Eun-ha (Kim Yeo-Jin), also known as Galaxy Shim, confidently guided the group in their adventures and close encounters with NIS and its target, international syndicate Cornerstone. She and her fellow KIS members Kim Sang-ryeol (Kang Ki-young) and Bong Sun-mi (Jung Si-ah) provided some hilarious sequences especially when they unknowingly involved Bon in their parenting agendas.
Even the supposedly more serious side of the series was funny. Jin Yong-Tae (Son Ho-jun) was introduced as one of the villains but I couldn’t take him seriously and I meant this as a compliment. He also has a dark past like Bon but the series presented this character in a comedic manner. Although his character seems like a stupid puppet at times, Yong-tae still contributed to the series’ success in entertaining its audience.
Meanwhile, NIS agents Yoo Ji-yeon (Im Se-mi) and Ra Do-woo (UNIQ’s Sung Joo) were there to provide some subtle romantic atmosphere in the series filled with humorous antics. They take their work seriously but they couldn’t help falling into the trap of hilarity set up by the KCIS people.
Mission: Becoming Terius
So Ji-sub and Jung In-sun both have track records of good dramas. It wasn’t surprising that both of them gave some solid performances in this lighthearted series. So Ji-sub was fortunate enough to be surrounded with good comedians that helped him in delivering his comic scenes. But he doesn’t need assistance on moments were his proven acting chops were needed.
Jung In-sun, on the other hand, cried her heart out on scenes were her character’s real vulnerability was shown. Her comedic timing has already been proven in the JTBC series, Laughter in Waikiki. But some of her scenes in Terius Behind Me really reminded me that she can be a dramatic actress as well. At first glance, Go Ae-rin may seem like an ignorant character who always gets into trouble but she was definitely more than that. I was surprised she was acting normal immediately after her husband’s death. I thought it was unnatural and then there came her explanation that she doesn’t have time to cry because of Joon-Joon. She needed to be strong and move on. It was actually me who forgot the fact that she’s already a mother; someone who might look vulnerable but is as strong as a boulder. It was then that I realize it was the character’s greatest trait. I really love that this series has a single mother as the main character. This definitely showed that a K-drama female lead doesn’t always have to be innocent and bubbly. I really need more damsels who are in distress but can actually fight their own battles.
Maknae’s Series Verdict
Terius Behind Me is So Ji-sub’s comeback in the small screen after two years of starring in hit movies. So forgive me for expecting a lot for this series. I actually focus on the “spy” and “thriller” billing for this series that I suddenly found myself wondering why I am suddenly laughing so hard instead of making theories and uncovering conspiracies. Although I have a very different expectation from this series, I wouldn’t judge it for what it is not. Since the pilot week, it was obvious that Terius Behind Me shouldn’t be treated like other serious thriller dramas. Its charm came from its humor and quirky characters, not on smart plotlines nor well-choreographed action scenes. This might not be as memorable as previous Jung In-sun dramas nor as heart-wrenching as other So Ji-sub melos but Terius Behind Me still stood out for the outlandish fun it gave to its audience.
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