Commencing at a very strong note with hilarious situations and a lot of cutesiness, Level 7 Civil Servant hit a boulder midway as it got struck with trust issues that would have been easy to explain scenarios if not for the writer’s sticking to unreasonable judgment perception that he only understood. The happiness saved from its early episodes dropped fast as it went berserk and confused on the main conflict the show was talking about and even in the dying episodes it was acting like it was a more than 50-episode sageuk when it will be soon hitting the closure.
So there were two stories, the love story between rich-boy and poor-girl agent and NIS leaders being stalked out of revenge by the weak villains in the story. They put it together and they created chaos. Or we can just say there were two parts, the “happy” part and the “what happened?” part… they forced it together and left me disappointed… not Big-fashion-king-disappointment but it was a sad tv experience because I was so hooked in the first 10 episodes only to be left stranded when the drama writer switched to his Jekyll character.
There were a lot of inefficient and inconsistent characters who functioned as annoying conflict and regular fillers to the story and I disliked how the cast have all moments of decreased IQ and skills in moments when they were required to use either their intellect and muscles. The cluttered patriotic sense was really all over in the series that I felt like I was watching Paris Hilton in a Criminal Minds episode.
Rich, debonair-devil-may-care-I-have-rich-father’s-money to spend on dreamt of entering NIS (chief intelligence bureau in Korea) eversince he saw James Bond when he was young. Pampered by his mother and bribed by a new car he agreed to match-making sessions and met Kim Kyung-ja who was paid by her friend to pose as a daughter of a diplomat to attend the scheduled blind dates. After a not so pleasant first encounter, they met again at NIS training camp and slowly changed from bickering to understanding each other’s pain and dream.
Pil-hoon’s rich father covertly engaged in a deal with an NIS wanted person and his connection was being used by the bureau to track down the fugitive. The discipline officer faked Pil-hoon’s dismissal and gave him a secret mission to stay close to his father and Pil-hoon who has aboji issues was left no choice but to comply out of filial duties and his patriotic drive.
The villains in the story were composed of a 3-man crew who were children of then NIS accomplices who were also trading illegal weapons. After their families were wiped out, they vowed to avenge their families’ fate by killing the NIS leaders involved. They have managed to kill two already, but the second leader they killed also fatally wounded the leader leaving his girlfriend and younger brother to carry on their vile payback mission.
Pil-hoon/Gil-ro started working in his father’s company and after a year, he got a surprise when Kyung-ja/Seo-won applied in their company as a new employee, little did he know that she was on an NIS mission to get closer to him to obtain the documents they needed which was under Pil-hoon’s father’s care.
Seo-won knew that if her cover will be discovered, it will shatter Gil-ro and although she truly has genuine feelings for Gil-ro she has to accomplish her task. Then came the unveiling of his girlfriend’s intention which was also the turning point as the story turned hazy. Gil-ro was appeased by the betrayal he felt and his love for Seo-won overpowered the honesty issues he first can’t forgive.
Gil-ro joined the team in their chase to track down the remaining two villains but the internal movement in the agency where the NIS Director conspired with the villain girl to obtain valuable information in the expense of selling down the bureau’s river was really uncalled for I think. I just can’t understand why in their immense power they were actually laying cards with the baddies when they should just take actions. I mean the fiend-duo didn’t hold a detonator for the agency building so I can’t understand why they made it look so hard for the NIS people to close down the mission.
I was not caring anymore when it hit the finale episode, I just want it to end because I can’t comprehend what they were trying to chalk up or if they were really trying to. And then they pulled that “kidnap-the-lead-girl-thing” and discipline-officer’s hospital absolution of sin moment and I was sent to purgatory. If the revenge and romance plot will be divided, it would have stood alone and it would have been okay but it was really a fusion gone bad.
The love moments of Gil-ro and Seo-won and the breaking of those love moments were the only flicker of bliss that gasped every now and then in that 20-episode series. It was a disheartening thought because it has lot of potentials but it got perplexed and wasn’t able to get back to its footing.
Like a bubble gum it will be sweet in the beginning but it will turn tasteless as you chew it. Well, Joo Won will be there to drool with but this will be a forgettable project of his.
Level 7 Civil Servant was not badly thought but it was badly executed. So I won’t say that it was a bad drama as there were episodes that really showed promise but the more important ones were notched unsuccessfully. So I’ll be safe in saying “watch it at your own risk”. -jediprincess ^_^