There are a lot of Korean legal dramas shown every year and Hyena tried its best to stand out from the rest of them.
Hyena’s story revolves around private lawyers whose clientele only involves those part of the so-called 1% of the society – the elites. Based on this synopsis, it seems this series is your usual K-drama with bits of legal and court battles. But Hyena has introduced two intriguing main leads in the characters of Yoon Hee-jae (Ju Ji-hoon) and Jung Geum-ja (Kim Hye-soo).
Ju Ji-hoon has exuded his natural air of royal-ness to play the role of Song & Kim’s ace lawyer Yoon Hee-jae. He came from a family of judges but he decided to take a different path due to the influence of close family friend and Song & Kim Managing Partner Song Pil-jung (Lee Kyoung-young). What made Yoon Hee-jae different was his unapologetic confidence, which was shaken by his encounter with Jung Geum-ja.
Kim Hye-soo had played so many characters but she has once again proven why she’s one of South Korea’s top actresses. She breathed life to this badass and fierce unconventional lawyer Jung Geum-ja. I especially liked how Kim Hye-soo’s eyes acted every emotion required in her scenes.
The contrast between these two characters was so well portrayed that I tuned in until the last episode despite the lack of romantic chemistry between the two actors. I think that’s my only issue with this series. The romance side story was not convincing enough although the two actors were believable in their roles. Their banters were supposed to be filled with subtle flirtations and unresolved sexual tension but alas, they didn’t ignite any spark.
Good thing, it didn’t become the main focus of the series. Yoon Hee-jae went through a good character development while Jung Geum-ja was a consistent character throughout the series. They were good partners at work and that made the series worth tuning in.
Hyena is a decent legal drama despite the chemistry mismatch between the main leads. The characters were brilliant as individuals rather than working well as an ensemble; unlike other dramas whose strength was its harmony between the casts.
What made it different from other legal drama I must say was that it didn’t take itself seriously. The series knew when to light it up with pinch humor. They also knew when to ramp up the tension on intense scenes. That’s the thing I liked the most about Hyena and what kept me going up to its last episode. The build-up was slow as they let the main plot stew for almost half of the series. But the finale arc was so satisfying to watch they had to be forgiven.
Nonetheless, the series added another color to the two main leads’ already diverse filmography.
-Their bond survived hundreds of years
-I kinda shipped Jung Geum-ja and Kevin Jung (Kim Jae-chol) but the latter’s downfall and greediness were a disappointment. His character was a good plot device, though.
-Shout-out to Atty. Boo. See you in your next drama, I guess.
-I’m praying to dramagods that YHJ picked a light romance as his next project. Jaebalyo!