21 May 2022

K Drama Review: The Killer's Shopping List (2022) 4.5 || 4

Oppa had a Running Man phase. So naturally, he's quite updated with the cast's shows. He added The Killer's Shopping List to our to-watch list because it sounded interesting. And he's right. Although this 8-episode drama was short, it was entertaining enough and it offered something different. 


The Killer's Shopping List tells the story of Ahn Dae Sung (Lee Kwang Soo who had a cameo in Descendants of the Sun), the son of a grocery owner, Jeong Myeong Sook (Jin Hee Kyung of Suits and Fight for My Way). Dae Sung was known as a kid genius. As a young boy, he helped catch and put to jail a money counterfeiter, Oh Cheon Won (Jang Won Young). Fast forward to a few years later, Cheon Won is out of jail and plots to get his revenge against Dae Sung and his mom. Dae Sung witnessed Cheon Won hurting his mom and he hits him with a can of peaches. All along, Dae Sung thought that he killed Cheon Won. The genius and confident boy became aloof and unsure of himself because of the incident. Dae Sung failed the civil service exam after several tries. He now finds himself working in his mom's shopping mart. And that's when a series of murders involving the grocery's customers takes place. Dae Sung's nosiness/curiosity comes back as he tries to find out who the murderer is. The drama takes us through Dae Sung's quest, together with his friends, in solving the serial murder problem in his neighborhood. 

Lee Kwang Soo as Ahn Dae Sung

I've seen some of Kwang Soo in Live whenever it's shown on TV. I've been indifferent towards him, probably because I was more focused on Jung Yu Mi (Train to Busan, Reply 1994, and Youn's Stay). But after watching Kwang Soo in this drama, I'm proud to say that I'm now a fan. 

I loved how Kwang Soo was able to hack both the serious and the funny parts of Dae Sung. I love his poker face whenever he's pretending to act stupid or innocent. And he's great too when he's acting all intense and passionate in catching the bad guy. 

Yes, this drama might have been short but it was enough for me to see that Kwang Soo's a great actor and I would definitely watch out for his future shows. 

The Strong Women

I super love how there were a lot of strong and empowered women in this show. Now that I think about it, apart from Dae Sung, the guys in this show were mostly perceived as weak, with the women stronger and helping them get out of trouble. 

My favorite would of course be Dae Sung's mom. She was always there for him, even if they tended to bicker a lot. I loved how brave she was in fighting off Cheon Won while Dae Sung called the police and the second time when this bad guy came back after going out of jail. I love how she's strong and still motherly at the same time. 

My other favorite character would have to be Ah Hee. It's amazing to see someone as feminine as Seol Hyun play the role of a tough policeman. And I loved how she got into that profession because she wanted to protect Dae Sung. They look so cute together especially when they're plotting about how to catch the bad guy. 

I also loved the Auntie (Kim Mi Hwa of Strong Woman Do Bong Soon) who was a hustler, doing a lot of side rackets apart from her grocery job. And of course there's Part-Timer (Jo A Ram) who can lift heavy boxes and even the grocery's steel/metal door all by herself. Even Veggie (Oh Hye Won of The Last Princess) deserves to be mentioned here. She was strong to have withstood her ex-husband's beating and stalking. 

And of course, there's our little girl, Yul (Ahn Se Bin of One Spring Night, Crash Landing on You, Jirisan, and The Silent Sea). I can just imagine how torn she must have been knowing that her father (Ryu Yeon Seok of Hospital Playlist 2) was the criminal. Should she remain quiet to protect him or report him to keep her neighbors and friends safe? She's so cute yet tough. I hope to see more of her in the future. 

And since she identifies as a transwoman, I have to include Fish (Park Ji Bin) in this category. Fish was both handsome and pretty. She's just so good looking. And I love how she didn't resent that people were suspicious of her for her previous criminal records (which were after all related to her transition). And despite the suspicions, she still helped her colleagues when they were in need. Such an awesome person. 


I loved how the show got me hooked right away. The initial mystery surrounding Cheon Won was very interesting that you'd think he was going to be the bad guy all the way (but then again that would have been very easy and convenient). 

I liked how this drama kept us on our toes and left us guessing who the real bad guy was. All the people Dae Sung suspected were really probably suspects, which made things confusing in an interesting and entertaining way. Each episode ended in a very suspenseful manner that would make you look forward to the next episode. 

I also loved the transgender storyline. It was nice to see Dae Sung and Ah Hee accept Fish for who she was, without judgments. Although we heard a bit of Fish's difficulties, like how she had to steal stuff to fund her transition, I felt though that the show simplified the struggles that people like Fish face. 

I loved how the show built up the murder storyline, which finally ended up with Yul's dad being the bad guy. He was always there in the background so we can't complain that this revelation was a total surprise. Yet, he was never that prominent that you would suspect him right away. My only issue with him was how his motive was not clearly established. Yes, there was some mention of how he wanted to control his victims. But I think it's equally important to know what led him to be a control freak. I'm quite sure he didn't just wake up one day and decided that he'd control and kill women. 

I liked how Yul was central to the story. Initially, she just seemed like someone who was there to help weave the story together. But she ended up very essential to how the story progressed. 

This show's not perfect. There were some inconsistencies and illogical stuff. Like I found it unbelievable that Dae Sung, who's known for being a very keen observer, didn't notice that the old guy in the neighborhood looked so much like Cheon Won. I felt that was a bit too obvious, especially considering how the grandpa harassed him. 

I also found that the show's desire to deliver an exciting and thrilling finale made some things unreasonable in the ending. The police back up arrived too late despite numerous calls for them to come. The detective (Bae Myung Jin of Forecasting Love and Weather and Snowdrop) handcuffed Yul's dad from the front and not from behind. Auntie, who got a tip about where Yul's dad was, reported it to Dae Sung's mom instead of the police. Dae Sung leaving Fish by himself to open the unit that he suspected had the same digital lock as the office of Yul's dad. It felt as if they all forgot how dangerous the man they were pursuing was. And of course, how was Fish, who was just stabbed by Yul's dad and was loaded to an ambulance, able to go back to the supermarket to help rescue Dae Sung? 

But because the show delivered something suspenseful in a funny and fun way, I still enjoyed it a lot. And of course, it helped that none of the characters I loved died. 

Oppa says...4.5.

Noona says...4.