Sunday, June 1, 2014

First Impressions:// Flower Grandpa Investigation Team

Flower Grandpa Investigative Team 꽃할배 수사대 poster.

tvN's 12 episode comedy, Flower Grandpa Investigation Team, is light-hearted and a little cheesy... okay, a lot cheesy, but it's the good kind of cheese. Yummy and cute.

Park Doo Shik 박두식 as Jun Kang Suk, Kim Hee Chul 희철 as Park Jung Woo, Choi Jin Hyuk 최진혁 as Lee Joon Hyuk and Park Min Woo 박민우 as Han Won Bin are taken aback when they stumble upon two men being held in a tank of water.

The team of detectives come across a particular scene in their investigation. Old men being held prisoner in a tank, yet their posted laboratory charts identify much younger men. They jump in to free the captives, only to suffer the same fate - instantly aging about 50 years. Well, three of them did. It's a mystery as to why Park Jung Woo was not affected.

Choi Jin Hyuk and Lee Soon Jae 이순재 as Lee Joon Hyuk.

Lee Joon Hyuk (Choi Jin Hyuk/Lee Soon Jae) is the cool headed ace Chief Inspector with a photographic memory and high IQ.

Park Min Woo and Byun Hee Bong 변희봉 as Han Won Bin.

Han Won Bin (Park Min Woo/Byun Hee Bong) is the Chief Inspector renown for his intuition and charm with women. His weakness is that his obsession with cleanliness can ruin an investigation.

Park Doo Shik and Jang Kwang 장광 as Jun Kang Suk.

Jun Kang Suk (Park Doo Shik/Jang Kwang) is an Olympic boxing gold medalist. He's in the top 1% of Korea's policemen in terms of endurance and speed. His flaw is that he's easily deceived.

Lee Cho Hee 이초희 as Jung Eun Ji and Kim Hee Chul as Park Jung Woo.

The token female on the team is Jung Eun ji (Lee Cho Hee). She has the best sense of smell in Korea's police force, including the dogs. The problem is that she has an unreasonable love of eating and will munch on evidence without realizing what she's doing.

Park Jung Woo (Kim Hee Chul) is the chief's son, and also a top investigator. He attended the Police Academy with Lee Joon Hyuk and they took turns being in the top spot. He's personable and a bit lazy, though, while Joon Hyuk is cold and motivated.

Joon Hyuk laughs as the boys get into a scuffle on the subway.

The team convinces their superiors to let them continue to work, while trying to find a cure for their sudden aging. Since two of the grandpas are actually younger than Jung Woo, the use of honorifics or lack thereof seems odd to onlookers and co-workers alike.

Won Bin takes a photo of his young self to a plastic surgeon for help. / Kang Suk cries in his pink Hello Kitty bed after finding a part of himself unresponsive.

The elders are a perfect match for their younger counterparts. They adjust to their new bodies, but continue to express their young personalities and the results are quite entertaining. Although it does prompt the audience to wonder how it would feel to be in that predicament.

Lee Cho Hee 박은지 as Jung Eun Ji freaks out when she sees the older Joon Hyuk enter the apartment.

Joon Hyuk has the additional problem of not being able to stay at his apartment due to his fiance, the affluent Han Yoo Ra (Park Eun Ji). As a result, he spends more time with his dysfunctional family and may end up having a closer bond with them in the end.

The team takes statements for a missing person case.

In the meantime, the team is reassigned to take the cases that no one else wants. It seems the series will be episodic in that sense, while an ongoing search for answers will ultimately culminate in a happy ending.

Jung Woo is supportive of the grandpas and they all work well together, even as Won Bin and Kang Suk stumble after losing their greatest attributes. Eun Ji is foolish, but talented, and a good counterpart to Joon Hyuk's seriousness. Her crush on him has not diminished with his transformation, and you have to wonder if anything will come of it.

Kang Suk strikes an aegyo pose while pink hearts spring up around him.

Flower Grandpa Investigative Team's cuteness is accentuated with special effects. We see Lee Soon Jae, Byun Hee Bong and Jang Kwang so often in supporting roles that it's nice to see them frolicking about as the leads. Kim Hee Chul's acting has improved dramatically since I saw him in Bad Family, and Lee Cho Hee rounds out the team nicely.

Hee Chul selfie that he posted, with Park Doo Shik, Lee Cho Hee, Park Min Woo and Choi Jin Hyuk.
If all goes well, we'll be seeing these youngsters again in the last episode.

This series is the perfect lighthearted escape, and a good alternative for those who may be getting bogged down or burnt out on melodramas. It's a nice cheesy treat for summer!

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