KDRAMA: Vincenzo Review! // a mafia lawyer action comedy series!

I know I said that I was trying to do some more reviews that aren’t just books but the last K-drama I watched was uh…Squid Game. But hey, I’m back with another K-drama review now! My fourth K-drama ever! And boy, was it INSANE.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT? Well, let’s just say that a Mafia consigliere* named Vincenzo Cassano has to return to his birth country, Korea, in order to retrieve a massive amount of gold that’s been hidden underneath a building that’s now occupied by tenants. Along the way, he gets caught up with helping a female lawyer named Hong Cha-Young take down a corrupt pharmaceutical company named Babel.

*that’s fancy speak for lawyer. you can also pronounce it “corn salad” if you so choose.

ALRIGHT FOLKS. We’re going to discuss important K-drama things so skip around depending on what you care about. In essence: I talk about some characters (and promptly give up bc there’s too many), the plot, the different elements like romance, and finally the OST. Let’s begin with the dream team:

Vincenzo and Cha-young are the dynamic duo of dynamic duos. Vincenzo is a ruthless mafia lawyer, and Cha-young is not. The reason I’m talking about them together is that the character arcs of both characters are so integral to each other. Cha-young starts off as being loud and annoying in the first couple of episodes, but then eventually mellows out and actually becomes one of my favorite characters! I love how her relationship with Vincenzo progresses: it’s slowburn, and they show their affection to one another through simple actions. When Vincenzo does something horrible (technically in the name of justice) Cha-young doesn’t try to redeem him, excuse him, or convince him to stop. She understands who he is and accepts every part of him completely. ANYWAYS WE’LL TALK MORE ABOUT THESE TWO LATER BECAUSE IT’S JANG JUN-WOO TIME.

I’ve seen a few episodes of Descendants of the Sun so I knew Song Joong-Ki already. This was my first time seeing Ok Taecyeon and I LOVE HIM*. He’s surprisingly good at communicating with his eyes, and he pulls off both dramatic and comedic scenes really well. I’ll admit that I spent more time staring at his perfect facial structure than I should have because honestly, who looks like that???? Who’s jawline is that perfect??? Uh anyways…I enjoyed his character whenever he was around for the most part. I especially loved when he would just randomly speak English because it was so cute and hilarious!

also i just found out he’s in kpop band 2pm??? mans can spit bars (of gold hehe)

I’m not spoiling anything but Jang Han-Seo…wow. His character arc is probably my favorite out of anyone in the entire show. I ain’t saying anything else though. AS FOR EVERYONE ELSE:

  • Our resident evil “genius”: Choi Myung-hee can go die in a fire. She is perfectly in control of her thoughts and emotions and is still a villainous piece of crap.
  • Our “Corn Salad” tenant fan club: OKAY BUT THE TENANTS. I went from finding them obnoxious and annoying filler characters to being some of my favorites. They are all so much fun and become so important to the plot!
  • Our favorite right-hand pigeon: Inzhagi wins best actor award and it’s not even close. That bird is hands-down the greatest character in the show.
  • EVERYONE ELSE: I loved many characters, like Cha-Young’s dad and Mr. An. I disliked other characters that I can’t talk about. There’s a lot of characters in this show and I’m TIRED I’M SORRY.

anyways, moving on from characters…

THE PLOT. This is why I freaking love K-dramas: they pull off the unexpected so well. Vincenzo is a drama that is part action. It can get surprisingly violent at times, and there’s a lot of dark moments. But it’s also 100% a comedy? Like, you’ll be watching Vincenzo in a shootout in one scene and 10 minutes later the tenants are doing a zombie reenactment. It really shouldn’t work…but it does. The tone somehow perfectly balances action and comedy, with the exception of the first couple of episodes and possibly the last.

The first few episodes are very slow and meh. The opening scene is EPIC with Vincenzo Cassano being a cool mafia man but then instantly becomes boring and the comedy doesn’t really hit. However, at the end of episode 3 and especially episode 4, you start realizing that you’re in for a RIDE. The last couple of episodes are darker than the rest, but that makes sense. My recommendation is to watch the first few episodes and then continue, because the show doesn’t really settle into its tone until later on.

Anyways, I loved the romance!!! It’s not very obvious and it’s super slowburn. But the chemistry between the two leads is just perfect. As I said before, Vincenzo is a complex character with a dark past. I think that the way his relationship develops with Cha-young is one of the most realistic I’ve seen.

I think that my major qualm with this K-drama (besides the terribly slow first 3 episodes) is that certain plotlines are stronger than others in the first half of the series. There were certain episodes where I was annoyed with the tenants, didn’t care about the gold plotline, and just wanted something exciting to happen. Later on, as Vincenzo got better about balancing out its different aspects, I enjoyed every episode. The average K-drama is 16 episodes; Vincenzo clocks in at a whopping 20. AND every episode is an hour and a half long. While I was invested most of the time, there are a few filler moments for sure.

Also it sometimes just…doesn’t make sense? Not in the “Haha this is such a comedic moment” type of way but in the “I know they’re trying to be serious right now but there’s absolutely no way that this is how it would go down in real life” way. There are limits to how and where I can suspend my disbelief. On that note, some might complain about the ending. Honestly? I think that the ending is perfectly in sync with the rest of the drama, and if it ended any other way it’d be a disservice to it.

The actual musical arrangments of the OST are very well-done, but I do wish that we had gotten more of a classic K-drama OST. It works well when you’re watching it, but you’re unable to recapture the magic of the drama when listening to the OST by itself. Like, I watched While You Were Sleeping (not to be confused with the Sandra Bullock movie) two years ago and remember almost nothing about it. However, whenever I listen to the OST, I’m suddenly hit by a bullet train of nostalgia and remembered feelings. K-dramas understand the importance of a good lyrical soundtrack, that’s for sure.

Overall, I enjoyed this one for the most part. It had a rough start, and some of the plotlines waver at times. But the more I watched Vincenzo, the more I enjoyed this wacky, funny, dark drama. I’m giving it:

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

8.5 stars!

Right now, it might be my favorite K-drama ever. I’m still not sure on my official ranking yet but yeah. Tell me: have you seen Vincenzo? Is it on your list?

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