Some of us miss the cold war and all of those terrific spy thrillers from LeCarre , Deighton, Adam Hall and Brian Freemantle. Of course in Korea, the cold war never ended, so if you’re missing your spy vs. spy fix, it’s a great culture to dig into.
A number of years ago Roger Ebert was plugging a great Korean technothriller called Shiri or Swiri, that had as one of its stars Yunjin Kim, who later went on to star as Sun in TV’s Lost. The Korean TY drama Iris is very like that movie, but it bears the most resemblance to the American series 24.
Iris follows the typical Asian drama formula, so if you’re not familiar with it, be warned, it can get kinda soapy. There are lots of dreamy montages set to Korean pop music and long meaningful glances. Even so, there’s no stopping the action or the plot twists. The producers spent an unusually large sum of money for this 20 hour show, so the production values are first rate. There’s great chemistry between the stars and the male lead is Lee Byugn Hun, one of Koreas biggest stars.
I f you’d like to take a peak, you can watch a licensed , subtitled stream of the whole series over at Drama Fever. Amazon has region-free DVDs as well.