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Busted!-The Korean Drama You Didn’t Know You Needed

As seen through their music, dramas, and movies, Korea is a pioneer in the entertainment industry with its unique concepts and original ideas. One such area where Korea has spearheaded a new form of entertainment is in the realm of reality TV. Korea has created a new kind of reality type show known as variety shows. The concept of these shows can be hard to describe as there is no American equivalent. The easiest way to understand variety shows is with examples and by watching them. I want to focus on one variety show in particular, Busted!. This variety show is unlike any American TV show and even stands out among Korean variety shows! After discovering this show two years ago, I’ve been hooked since and I am currently finishing up the third and final season which just released on January 22, 2021. So, what makes this show so unique and entertaining?

First, let’s look at the actors and characters in Busted!. The cast includes several main characters who appear in a majority of the episodes throughout the series including Yoo Jaesuk, Ahn Jaewook, Kim Jongmin, Lee Kwangsoo, Park Minyoung, Oh Sehun, Kim Sejeong, and Lee Seung-gi. Now, these names might not mean much to you, but this cast includes some very famous and popular Korean celebrities ranging from popular TV hosts, actors, actresses, and two members of popular K-pop groups (Sehun, member of boy group EXO and Sejeong, a former member of girl groups I.O.I and Gugudan). Such a line-up would never be imaginable in America, especially as a permanent cast throughout the series. Along with this star-studded line-up, the series also features various other celebrities as special guests. What’s interesting is the actors typically play characters many of whom have the same name as the actor themselves. The main line-up of the show play detectives who are part of an operation known as Project D and the characters discover they have been implanted with a chip that contains the DNA of famous detectives. Now, the celebrity sleuths must team together to solve mysteries. 

My favorite part of this show is the script and the plot. Although most of the big plot points are scripted, the show also adds in a combination of unscripted and improvised lines, making it much more care-free and entertaining. Within each episode, the team is given a case which they must work together and solve, giving the show a very much “murder mystery” aspect. The personality and improvisation of the celebrity cast help the audience to feel as though they are there with the characters, solving the mystery along with them. An additional aspect to the small case within each episode is major plot points for each season. Season 1 focuses on the detectives attempting to discover the secrets of Project D and their supposed leader, K. Season 2 centers on the Flower Killer, a notorious murderer who is going after some very important people. Finally, season 3 works towards wrapping up everything the detectives have experienced together, with the secrets of Project D, K, and the Flower Killer being revealed. 

With the completion of the series following the final season, now is a great time to dive into the world of Busted!. If comedy and mystery are some of your favorite genres, this variety show is the perfect combination of both and will keep you guessing and laughing until the end. The series is a Netflix original, so all three seasons are available on the streaming platform. Want a sneak peek of season 1? The trailer is linked below, so check it out! 


University of Indianapolis Professional Writing and Creative Writing Major
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