k-drama · Review

The Fiery Priest Is Worth All Of Its Hype And More

As The Fiery Priest is gearing up for its second season, what better time to bring you our review of its first one! Today we will be diving deeper into this beloved crime comedy drama starring Kim Namgil, Lee Hanee and Kim Sungkyun.

This is my second drama by the legendary South Korean screen-writer Park Jae Bum who has some incredible gems in his screenwriting portfolio including Good Doctor, Vincenzo and Good Manager (which I’m watching currently actually to finish the famous trilogy of his work) and who really knows the way to my heart is by mixing crime, comedy and team-led plot. Another thing he keeps pursuing is 20 episode long dramas and you know what, he really makes it work. You’d think the plot would get dragged on but it doesn’t and instead gives us enough time to see character development and get used to the setting and plot. Let’s see what The Fiery Priest is all about in the review below.

From MyDramaList: Following the mysterious death of an elderly priest, an NIS agent turned priest (Kim Nam-gil) attempts to bring the culprits involved before law. The hilarious journey in taking down the gangsters and corrupt officials in the city is what follows. The journey is not so smooth when the corrupt prosecutor of the city (Lee Hanee) refuses to cooperate.

Spoiler free review ahead:

Source: alihi on Tumblr

The Fiery Priest has a much quicker plot beginning that Vincenzo which was very much enjoyable for me and I appreciate it very much. The story gets straight to the point just a few episodes in and it’s easy to root for our main character – the hotblooded priest Hae Il (Kim Namgil) – from the very beginning. While the summary might seem short, it actually covers the fundamental plot of the drama well and tells you everything you need to know when diving into it. Screenwriter Park Jae Bum really loves tackling the issues of corruption among police, politicians, prosecution and this time around even the church itself so be prepared for all of that. Of course, if this is not your thing, I doubt that The Fiery Priest will change your mind because Lord, does it have some truly insufferable characters. I think it’s a unique thing to make two out of the three main characters somewhat villains in the beginning because that sweet character development hit the spot even better as the story progressed.

Kim Namgil as Hae Il was incredible and did everything he needed to and more. While he’s undoubtedly morally ambiguous, he’s a traumatized bad-ass (which is my goal in life as I have the first part already covered) and kicks ass way too well. I loved following his adventures and him dealing with every scumbag one by one. Kim Namgil is such a versatile actor and watching this drama after finishing 2022’s undoubtedly best crime show Through The Darkness was really something special. He plays with humour, reality and pain in The Fiery Priest so well and leaves a massively positive impression by the end of the drama. Another acting gem in the series is Lee Hanee and her prosecutor character Kyung Sun who will have you smacking your head against the wall for the half of it. Morally ambiguous? She is giving Hae Il run for his money. I really liked the way it took a bit more time for her to start realizing certain things and not running after prestige and power – but still being the leading character in the drama the entire time. Their chemistry was amazing too.

Source: alihi on Tumblr

The rest of the cast was just as amazing. Kim Sung Kyun embodies these comedic but serious roles perfectly and there was no surprise here. My biggest pleasant surprise was the police and church squad – Geum Sae Rok as the detective Seung Ah, Jeon Sung Woo as priest Han Sung Kyu and Baek Ji Won as chief nun Kim In Kyung. I loved these three so much and it was so nice seeing them become the bigger part of the whole story although some of their plot did end up being anxiety inducing, let’s just say. On the other hand, the villain squad was pretty incredible too. Whoever decided to cast Go Jun as the main gangster slash businessman was seeing directly into universe’s eyes because he was so, so good in this role. It’s interesting how much the writer played with his moral ambiguity until the very end because he makes you think well, is he really the bad guy here? Or it could be just that Go Jun was incredibly hot in his various suits which means that my moral compass left my body five episodes in. Joking… or am I?

The plot is straightforward but with several plot twists which made it more exciting and suspenseful. The story flowed really well and with the combination of serious and comedic plotline, it really never felt like it was dragging on or rushing into things. Similar to Vincenzo, it introduces you to a major number of characters and slowly builds a community out of them which you’ll get attached to. The only thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was how the NIS plot was dealt with and how the idiots from there finished their story – they deserved hell and they didn’t really get that. Either way, I truly enjoyed every second of The Fiery Priest and I’m so looking forward to the second season and the reunion of our favourite messy trio! 9.5/10 in the end, what can I say – I am truly a sucker for these kind of stories.

Header Image Source: SBS

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