The power of true stories in recent dramas

Recently, dramas based on true stories such as “Through the Darkness”, “Military Prosecutor Doberman” and “Juvenile Justice” were broadcast one after another. 

“Through the Darkness” writer: “I was careful about the adaptation of true crime stories”

Seol Yi-na, who wrote the script, pointed out viewers’ favorable reviews of “Through the Darkness“, saying, “‘Through the Darkness’ had to deal with crimes based on true stories, so there were a lot of things to be careful about, but those points were well conveyed to viewers’ hearts.”

True stories in recent Kdramas

Writer Yoon Hyun-ho, who wrote the movie “The Attorney” and the drama “Lawless Lawyer”, reminded us of actual incidents through tvN’s Military Prosecutor Doberman. Cases familiar to the public, including controversy over the military service of the son of a politician in the past as well as drug and sex crimes in clubs, were re-examined through “Military Prosecutor Doberman”. In particular, the “Cartel” meeting in the drama reminded us of former BIGBANG member Seungri‘s “Burning Sun”. In addition, one of them is the scene where idol singer Allen (Park Sang-nam) was filming illegally with his mobile phone.

True stories in recent Kdramas

“Juvenile Justice”, which was adapted from the Incheon Elementary School Student Murder Case

Juvenile Justice, which recently topped the global rankings in Asia, also added reality by adapting a true story. One of the episodes of “Juvenile Justice” was based on the “Incheon Elementary School Student Murder Case”. On March 29th, 2017, Kim, who dropped out of high school in Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, kidnapped and killed victim A, who was in the second grade of elementary school at the time. It is similar that A asked Kim to lend her a cell phone and that Kim did not commit the crime alone. In addition, the court also claimed that Kim was suffering from Asperger syndrome, and allegations of accidental murder were all dismissed. A similar scene appeared in “Juvenile Justice”.

True stories in recent Kdramas

Re-examination of the case and respect for victims are required

When a drama deals with a true story, the positive impact is great. First, it is the re-examination of the case. In the case of “Through the Darkness”, it emphasized the awareness of criminal cases. In particular, “Juvenile Justice” conveyed concerns about the function of society while approaching juvenile crimes, which has been a hot topic for years. Expectations are also rising that it will lead to interest in amendments to the Juvenile Act and the Criminal Act in the future. Besides, the realism of the work based on a true story itself increases. The more familiar the event is to the public, the higher the level of immersion. When the public’s sympathy comes into contact with the subject, the topic of the drama can draw attention along with the incident.

True stories in recent Kdramas

However, it is clear that there is something to be aware of. It is respect for victims and cases. This is more important than simply turning the perpetrator into a “villain”. Authenticity, which is more important than attracting issues, must be accompanied. If you focus on drawing an uncommon killer, only a cruel picture is produced. It should always be stated that there are victims who actually exist.

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