Special Affairs Team TEN (2011-2013) A Review

TEN is an all-time favourite for many reasons. It’s a well-written, stylish police procedural that delves into complex, puzzling cases working from the template laid down by the likes of Criminal Minds and Wire in the Blood. The atmosphere is often bleak and moody reflecting the deathly content. The action revolves around a criminal investigation team that handles the most violent crimes occurring domestically. The “ten” comes from the fact that these violent crimes usually have less than 10% arrest rate. This elite team comprises of 4 members (rookie in tow) with a variety of detection and profiling skills as well as policing experiences. The main reason why this show has a special place in my heart is because it is the first Korean police drama that I came across in my early days watching K dramas that I didn’t have to urge to throw things at. It became a great comfort to me that South Koreans are capable of producing good crime shows and OCN is where it’s at. From then on I’ve been an avid follower of the cable network’s offerings… for better or worse.

Like with many other OCN shows, it is pre-requisite that the viewer come with a strong stomach. Violent crimes does mean violence… the whole bloody ball of wax. The team is spearheaded by Yeo Ji-hoon (Joo Sang-wook) a renowned criminologist-profiler (after the manner of Gideon and Hotchner) whose motto is “become a monster to catch a monster”. He has a tragedy in his past that drives him to extremes. Back Do-sik (Kim Sang-ho) is the veteran cop who has a couple of decades of field work under his belt. The other talented profiler in this team is the outwardly cheerful Nam Yi-re (Jo-An), psychology honours graduate who has an uncanny ability to read people accurately. Team Ten’s rookie is Choi Woo-shik’s Park Min-ho who doubles as Ji-hoon’s apprentice.

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