K-drama review: My Name – Netflix gangland revenge drama starring Han So-hee spins its wheels after promising start

Asia's Tech News Daily

The World of the Married, Nevertheless, Park Chan-wook’s, Oldboy, A Bittersweet Life, The Man from Nowhere, The Villainess, Atomic Blonde, Squid Game, Extracurricular, D.P., Hellbound

This article contains spoilers.

3/5 stars

In South Korea, nothing is as important as family – you may be wondering, why start a review of a gangster revenge saga with a mention of families?

Partly because the revenge aspect of Netflix’s My Name boils down to a daughter looking to avenge her father, but mostly because this new eight-part series, despite its many appealing elements, fails to build on its early promise as it spirals in on itself – its world shrinking with each new family twist until it threatens to collapse.

Rising star Han So-hee of The World of the Married and Nevertheless tackles her first action role as Yoon Ji-woo, a student who drops out of high school when her drug-dealing father’s profession is revealed. Her father comes to her one evening and is killed on their doorstep, with Ji-woo looking helplessly on through the keyhole.

Ji-woo searches for her father’s killer and soon presents herself in front of Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon), the head of the Dongcheon drug ring and her father’s blood brother. Ji-woo joins the gang, toughens up among the recruits and, after proving herself in a mass cage fight, she is given a special assignment: go undercover in the police and uncover her father’s killer, who used a police-issued weapon to kill him.

Ji-woo becomes Oh Hye-jin and before long winds up in the narcotics squad of the Inchang Police Department with her new partner Jeon Pil-do (Ahn Bo-hyun) and under unit leader Cha Gi-ho (Kim Sang-ho), who once suspiciously darkened her doorstep soon after her father’s death.

Since families are the linchpin of many Korean screen narratives, their denouements often involve the airing of family secrets or revelations of family trauma. This a natural storytelling device, common all around the world, and has given Korean media some of its most memorable moments – the twist in Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy comes to mind.

However, when Korean storytellers become too obsessed with family units, the worlds they create begin to feel a lot smaller.

The World of the Married, Nevertheless, Park Chan-wook’s, Oldboy, A Bittersweet Life, The Man from Nowhere, The Villainess, Atomic Blonde, Squid Game, Extracurricular, D.P., Hellbound

Park Hee-soon in a still from My Name.

After a pair of punchy opening episodes, My Name starts to drag its feet once Ji-woo becomes a narc.

Things promise to heat up again when Do Gang-jae (Chang Ryul), a fellow Dongcheon recruit who was excommunicated after attempting to rape her, returns as the head of a new drug-addled gang, whose colourful and baggy fashion would make them at home in most pop music videos.

However, Gang-jae’s gang, as well as the existential threat from a larger Japanese organisation that Dongcheon is struggling to supply, are soon brushed aside and when this happens, all that remains is for the series to backtrack and dig into the secrets of Ji-woo’s two families – her father and the Dongcheon gang that brought her in.

While My Name was exciting and occasionally even surprising in its first half, the episodes in its back half are dreary and repetitive by comparison.

Borrowing narrative and visual elements from home-grown revenge hits such as A Bittersweet Life, The Man from Nowhere and I Saw the Devil, as well as leaning on the action choreography of The Villainess, Atomic Blonde and the earlier Netflix series Daredevil, the show runs out of ideas. Ji-woo is put through the wringer in a series of confrontations which start to blend into each other.

My Name is the kind of show where characters are so tough that they spring right back up after getting shot or stabbed. When this happens early on, and recurs frequently, the effect is lost over time and by the finale Ji-woo’s body has been pierced so many times that she should by all rights have become a block of Emmental cheese.

The World of the Married, Nevertheless, Park Chan-wook’s, Oldboy, A Bittersweet Life, The Man from Nowhere, The Villainess, Atomic Blonde, Squid Game, Extracurricular, D.P., Hellbound

Han (left) and Ahn Bo-hyun in a scene from My Name.

Among the show’s major selling points are its fight scenes, which generally feature Ji-woo facing off against large groups of opponents in cramped spaces. These sequences, which tend to favour long takes, are well choreographed but very similar to one another; eight episodes of the same choreography and camera set-ups in different locations becomes tiresome in a binge-ready series such as this one.

Though destined to find a much broader global audience thanks to the enormous popularity of both Han So-hee and Squid Game, My Name isn’t nearly as satisfying as Extracurricular, the previous show from series director Kim Jin-min.

It also lacks the completeness of D.P. and the uniqueness of next month’s Hellbound, recently previewed at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The World of the Married, Nevertheless, Park Chan-wook’s, Oldboy, A Bittersweet Life, The Man from Nowhere, The Villainess, Atomic Blonde, Squid Game, Extracurricular, D.P., Hellbound

Han in a still from My Name.

That said, My Name gives yet another compelling indication that Korean small screen content is aggressively and successfully tackling new challenges.

My Name is streaming on Netflix.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

BTS unafraid of overcoming barriers, including the wall of Grammys

BTS members – From left: V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin and J-Hope pose for pictures at the global conference conducted Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. (BigHit Music) ... Read more »

Macau casino stocks suffer US$5.5 billion sell-off as China's gambling crackdown snares junket boss

Macau casino stocks tumbled, erasing US$5.5 billion of market value in Hong Kong, as the arrest of the head of the biggest junket operator in the gambling hub revived concerns ... Read more »

In China and Europe, the work of policy super stimulus is not over yet

The global economy still has a lot of catching up to do as the world bounces back from the Covid-19 pandemic. The first phase of recovery has been spectacular, with ... Read more »

JYP's new boy band Xdinary Heroes to debut next week

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — Xdinary Heroes, the first rookie boy group from the K-pop agency JYP Entertainment in six years, will debut next week, the agency said Monday. “Xdinary ... Read more »

7 Korean celebrity couples who overcame tough times, from K-pop idols Hyuna and Dawn, and Shin Min-ah and Kim Woo-bin, to Hallyu legend Rain and Kim Tae-hee

Dating in K-biz is never easy – stars are constantly in the spotlight and the fate of their careers is at the mercy of public perception. It’s even more difficult ... Read more »

Weibo, NetEase's Cloud Village set to raise nearly US$1 billion between them in Hong Kong IPOs

Two Chinese internet companies are set to raise close to US$1 billion between them in Hong Kong initial public offerings. Microblogging platform Weibo, and NetEase-backed music streaming site Cloud Village ... Read more »

POST EDIT: Cartier's 13-metre-high Christmas tree at the K11 Musea in Hong Kong will make the perfect backdrop for your Instagram selfies

French jeweller and watchmaker Cartier is ushering in the holidays this year with a 13-metre-high (43 feet) Christmas tree, set against the panoramic backdrop of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, at ... Read more »

5 Hottest K-Drama Stars Who Started Out As Fashion Models

© Provided by Augustman K-dramas are celebrated for having beautiful leading characters who get viewers hooked immediately on their beauty and charm. With good looks, compelling personalities, and great talent, ... Read more »

(LEAD) BTS looks to win Grammy after second consecutive nomination

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with more remarks from press conference; CHANGES headline, lead para) SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — K-pop sensation BTS has expressed confidence it can win a Grammy award ... Read more »

Hong Kong stocks slide on Omicron, Meituan woes while Macau casino operators slump on crackdown

Hong Kong stocks slipped on concerns the spread of Omicron coronavirus strain will prompt more lockdowns and hurt economic recovery. Meituan slumped on weak earnings while a gambling crackdown hit ... Read more »

[FULL TRANSCRIPT] BTS hopes LA concerts mark the start to their new chapter

BTS poses for pictures at the photo wall during the “Permission to Dance on Stage” global press conference held at SoFi Stadium in, Los Angeles, Sunday. (BigHit Music) K-pop sensation ... Read more »

When Chinese didn't value eggs, a foreigner saw opportunity and launched a roaring trade from Shanghai in tinned eggs to the UK

Industrial production of chickens evolved globally over the past 70 years, with chicken only becoming a staple in much of Asia in recent decades. Armies fight to victory on their ... Read more »

EV battery: China powers Asia in race to ramp up recycling capacity as industry tests new method to overcome pollution problems

China is powering Asian countries in the race to ramp up capacity to recycle retired electric-vehicle (EV) batteries, with new technologies being deployed to tackle environmental shortcomings, according to industry ... Read more »

BTS leader says he feels 'invisible wall' for Korean artists

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — RM, leader of the K-pop sensation BTS, said Sunday (U.S. time) he felt there is an “invisible wall” for Korean artists despite the group’s back-to-back ... Read more »

Omicron, Meituan and Macau gambling crackdown offer new threats to Hong Kong stock optimists

Like their global peers, Hong Kong’s stock investors are facing a new headwind in Omicron, a new Covid-19 strain that global health officials designated as a “variant of concern.” Markets ... Read more »

Vegetarian pizza, vegan kebabs and other Asian recipes with a meat-free twist – why this sauce-maker encourages freestyle cooking in the kitchen

I was a bit worried that Simran Savlani’s book A Spark of Madness – an Amalgamation of 116 Vegetarian and Vegan Asian Staples (2021) would be just a way for ... Read more »

[From the Scene] Fans paint LA purple and orange ahead of BTS concert

A “Permission to Dance” cup-sleeve event takes place at Dragon Boba in Koreatown, Los Angeles, Friday.LOS ANGELES – With locals having flushed out of the city for the Thanksgiving holiday, ... Read more »

Sutradara Hellbound Siap Bahas Musim Kedua dan Sekuel Film Train To Busan

© Copyright (c) 2016 TEMPO.CO foto TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Sutradara Hellbound, Yeon Sang Ho mengungkapkan masih belum membahas soal musim kedua. Kalaupun ada, menurutnya, ia harus membahas lebih lanjut dengan ... Read more »

Rare Whisky mulls auction hub for market-beating spirits investments as Hong Kong buyers drive regional sales

Rare Whisky Holdings, a Hong Kong-based investment group that focuses on rare and exclusive bottles and cask investment, is considering setting up an auction hub in Asia to help owners ... Read more »

What is epilepsy? Its causes, treatment, triggers and seizures, how it affects the body, and the story of one mother who had no warning signals

One in 10 people have at least one seizure in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Around 50 million people globally are estimated to live with epilepsy, ... Read more »

China fines Caifutong, Tencent's WeChat Pay operator, for breaking foreign exchange rules

China has fined Tenpay, an online-payment unit of Tencent Holdings, 2.8 million yuan (US$438,000) for violating foreign exchange rules amid growing regulatory scrutiny of the nation’s fintech industry. The unit ... Read more »

From CBD oils that do nothing to getting high, myths and reality explained by Hong Kong cannabidiol advocates CBD Peoples

After discovering and falling in love with CBD (cannabidiol) brand Hemptuary Hawaii, Hong Kong-based Christina Ko and Loretta Chen decided to bring the label to Hong Kong. As they started ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Meet Daniel Park, creative mind behind JTBC series 'IDOL: The Coup'

Daniel DPD Park, who developed the JTBC series “IDOL: The Coup” / Photo by Johnny Tran By Dong Sun-hwa Dramas about K-pop stars are not a rarity these days, but ... Read more »

KOCCA, KBS team up for immersive K-pop show for global fans

Mamamoo’s Hwasa performs “I’m a B” on KBS music program “Music Bank” on Friday. (KBS Kpop YouTube channel)The Korea Creative Content Agency and state-run broadcaster KBS are joining hands to ... Read more »

The best Chinese, Japanese, Indian and English teas, an exceptional tea-drinking experience – from a French company? The story of Mariage Frères

The serious and dapper clerk approached the checkerboard wooden cubicles that line the walls, creaking the floorboards while reaching for a trio of large black tea tins. Removing the lid ... Read more »

China's ‘dual-credit' policy that spurred the EV sector will be revised in bid to ensure high quality growth

China’s decision to revise a “dual-credit” policy on carbon emissions that helped electric vehicle (EV) makers boost production is likely to hurt the industry leaders in a trade-off for long-term ... Read more »

Capitalism rethink: innovation needn't come at the expense of worker protection

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted major weaknesses in both the US and European capitalism models. In the United States, the crisis has shown the limits of an economic system that ... Read more »

A landmark of Hong Kong's dining scene, Yung Kee restaurant looks to the future by celebrating the past

Most Hongkongers are familiar with Yung Kee, the three-storey restaurant on Wellington Street, in Central, where myth has always had it that the higher the floor, the more expensive the ... Read more »

Itaewon Class soundtrack singer Gaho talks K-dramas, his first LP, Fireworks, and sharing his emotions and stories

While Squid Game and Hellbound are the biggest K-drama hits of 2021, in 2020, everyone was talking about Itaewon Class. And everyone who had watched that show was listening to ... Read more »

Music therapy for better sleep and stress relief … in a Canto-pop song? Jocelyn Chan explains her use of tuning forks in Sound of Silence and the theory behind it

Do tuning forks have any place in a pop song? Yes, says Hong Kong singer-songwriter Jocelyn Chan Ming-hei – her song Sound of Silence, which recently topped city public broadcaster ... Read more »

Xiaomi to build its first electric vehicle factory in Beijing suburb

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is building its first electric vehicle factory in the outskirts of Beijing, according to a local government announcement, marking an important step for the firm as ... Read more »

China Evergrande's electric-vehicle unit gets US$200 million from returning undeveloped land

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group returned several undeveloped land plots to the Chinese government in exchange for 1.28 billion yuan (US$200 million) to alleviate its cash crunch and keep ... Read more »

Victoria's Secret lingerie challenged by Parade, a start-up selling underwear for all body shapes, founded by 24-year-old Cami Téllez

Cami Téllez never liked buying underwear, but maybe that’s why the 24-year-old is suited to take on Victoria’s Secret. As a teen in Princeton, in the US state of New ... Read more »

Rekomendasi Tontonan Netflix untuk Akhir Pekan, Mulai dari Berdurasi Sangat Pendek hingga yang Lagi Trending! Cek yang Paling Disuka

© Disediakan oleh Beautynesia Akhir pekan dan beberapa waktu ini daerah di tempatmu lagi turun hujan? Biasanya kalau sudah begitu, rebahan di kamar jadi salah satu kegiatan yang akan dilakukan. ... Read more »

Hong Kong nightlife veteran Richard Feldman on why Lan Kwai Fong is ‘a magical place' and opening his new gay bar, Petticoat Lane

I was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1965. Back then, Montreal was much more anglophone, an English city in a French province. My mother is from France and I grew ... Read more »

10 Things You Need to Know About "Squid Game" Star Wi Ha Joon

© Provided by Preview.ph Korean Actor Wi Ha Joon made huge waves upon the global success of his Netflix series Squid Game, where he portrayed the role of a police ... Read more »

How Song Hye-kyo took the fashion and beauty world by storm, from Fendi to Bottega Veneta – but which products are in her new K-drama Now, We Are Breaking Up?

After a two-year sabbatical, legendary Korean actress and fashion icon Song Hye-kyo makes her return in 2021’s long-awaited SBS K-drama Now, We Are Breaking Up opposite heartthrob Jang Ki-yong. Fans ... Read more »

Why Chinese electric cars are causing a buzz in Thailand

Veteran Thai journalist Nithi Thuamprathom has covered the automotive industry for two decades but it was only recently, at an exhibition in Shanghai a few years ago, that Chinese electric ... Read more »

China Overseas Land sells stake in Kai Tak land plot for HK$1.35bn amid gloomy mainland market outlook

Leading Chinese developer China Overseas Land & Investment (COLI) has sold part of its stake in a plot in Kai Tak, site of the city’s old airport, as the mainland ... Read more »

The world needs more Elon Musks to turn zero-emission planes and ships into commercial reality to help reverse climate change

When Tesla beat expectations in 2017 and delivered 102,000 electric cars to customers, the feat inspired an entrepreneur born in the former Soviet Union to think big: one day, battery ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic