D.P. season 1 review – the finest K-Drama mini-series this year

By Daniel Hart
Published: August 27, 2021 (Last updated: February 1, 2023)
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Netflix K-Drama series D.P. season 1


D.P. is dark, gritty, sobering, and indicative of the world today. It is one of the finest K-Drama mini-series released this year.

This review of Netflix K-Drama series D.P. season 1 does not contain spoilers.

When a story centers on bullying, there’s an assumed notion that some viewers will be traumatized by the experience of the characters. D.P. offers painful contradictions, which makes it increasingly intriguing. The Netflix K-Drama series is cruelly realistic — the world is not fair. It never will be. It never has been. It’s our human nature. With that reality alone, the trauma is felt.

Following An Jun-ho, D.P. presents a broken young man who enlists in the South Korean army to comply with the mandatory military service. The series magnifies the undesirable nature of the military. The bullying, and survival of the fittest are rife, with those presumed the “weakest” thrown to the bottom of the pile and served horrifying experiences at the hands of their superiors. The series is a political cry-out against bullying in military services. It’s flagrantly a message, written and woven into the script. And that is what makes D.P. uniquely powerful. Bullying is the plot device. It just exists. There’s no “good versus evil” in that type of environment.

And that’s where the series serves the powerful contradiction. Jun-ho experiences the bullying himself but he manages to land a unique role in the military as a D.P. officer. Teaming up with a colleague, Jun-ho is tasked to find deserters from the army; it’s illegal and punishable by law to abandon your service. However, the irony is that the reasons behind deserters is due to the intense bullying they face. They’ve become horrifically traumatized that fleeing, with the risk of being caught and imprisoned, is far better than suffering at the hands of their superiors.

There is no objective that D.P. proposes. It’s a chapter by chapter case study of the vicious cycle of bullying in a systematic organization. It demonstrates wonderfully how crimes against humanity can merely be accepted as long as the cogs decide it is acceptable. And with that, comes the sobering trickle-down effect, offering diseased participants in a contagious setting. Netflix’s D.P. is a sore eye opener and not one for the fainthearted.

Jung Hae-In plays the lead character with precision, toiling with a person that finds themselves embroiled in an internal battle. He’s a man with few words. It’s hard to see how a character like Jun-ho can lead a happy life, such is the depression in the performance. And of course, his supporting cast equally opposes the performance with equal grandstanding.

D.P. is dark, gritty, sobering, and indicative of the world today. It is one of the finest K-Drama mini-series released this year.

What did you think of the Netflix K-Drama series D.P. season 1? Comment below.

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