Watch Stranger

  • TV-14
  • 2017
  • 2 Seasons
  • 8.4  (10,026)

"Stranger" is a captivating South Korean crime drama series produced by Netflix that will keep viewers glued to their screens till the very end. The show, which premiered on June 10, 2017, boasts a seasoned cast of top-notch actors including Cho Seung-woo, Bae Doona, Yoo Jae-myung, Lee Joon-hyuk, and Shin Hae-sun.

Set in the fictional city of Incheon, the series follows the story of Hwang Shi-mok, a highly competent prosecutor with an unusual character. Shi-mok lacks emotions due to a brain surgery he had as a child, which makes him an enigma at the prosecutor's office. The character Cho Seung-woo plays this protagonist with such intensity, making him the central character of the series.

The story kicks off with the discovery of a dead body washed up on the riverbank. The prosecutor's office is assigned to investigate the case, and Shi-mok teams up with a competent and passionate cop, Han Yeo-jin (Bae Doona), to get to the bottom of the crime. The duo realizes that the murder case is just a tip of the iceberg, and there's a more extensive network of corruption and illegal activities going on beneath the surface.

The series gains intrigue when it's revealed that these societal vices go all the way to the top of the power ladder - the prosecutor's office, where Shi-mok works. This realization and slow unraveling of the investigation create a twisted and convoluted plot that will keep viewers guessing and second-guessing the storyline.

The show's strength lies in how it tackles the intricate web of politics, power, and corruption in South Korea. The series creators beautifully craft a complex narrative that highlights the relationship between the three entities, and how it affects ordinary people’s lives. The unique perspective from a protagonist that lacks emotions and has a keen attention to detail is a refreshing twist on how crime dramas are portrayed.

Shi-mok, the protagonist, is a one-of-a-kind character that drives the show tirelessly. Cho Seung-woo brings this character to life, portraying Shi-mok’s actions, demeanor, and approach to work masterfully. The chemistry between Shi-mok and Han Yeo-jin is also compelling, as the duo bounces off each other's attributes to solve the case. Bae Doona's performance as Han Yeo-jin adds a human touch to the plot, without which the show might have come off as too detached.

Another striking element of the series is how it delves into various themes like societal classism, corruption within societies, and how the government has its role and affects its citizen. It takes a deeper look at the harsh imbalance of power between the rich and the poor and reflects on how this affects individuals' behavior and actions.

As the story progresses, the show's pace picks up, and as the investigation deepens and uncovering the trail of corruption and cryptic secrets, the show still manages to maintain the suspense without lagging whatsoever. The series’ direction is exceptional, as even with a few sub-plots accompanying the central storyline, they never weigh down the story with any unnecessary fluff.

On the technical side, the cinematography and music score are well-executed. It features the beautiful exterior shots of the city at sunset and dawn, adding intimacy to the story's locations. Act of opening and closing soundtracks are also worth mentioning, always setting the mood for the upcoming scene.

In conclusion, "Stranger" is an impressive, well-acted, and written drama that takes a unique perspective of crime thrillers around politics and the law, with a crime and corruption backdrop that adds to complexities. The actors effortlessly immerse the audience into their characters' world with gripping performances, backed by a solid script, direction, and impressive technicality.

So, this series is highly recommended to those craving an intricate and suspenseful criminal thriller without any sensationalism.

Stranger is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (32 episodes). The series first aired on November 1, 2017.

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Episode 16
16. Episode 16
October 4, 2020
Details of the cover-up become public, but Si-mok isn't finished asking questions. The police-prosecutor council is called off.
Episode 15
15. Episode 15
October 3, 2020
While getting to the truth about the night of the attorney's death, Si-mok and Yeo-jin learn about the involvement of a mystery person.
Episode 14
14. Episode 14
September 27, 2020
A suspect is arrested, but Dong-jae remains nowhere to be found. In the interrogation room, Si-mok and Yeo-jin try to draw out a confession.
Episode 13
13. Episode 13
September 26, 2020
Kang Won-chul weighs a dilemma, and fields questions from Si-mok about the deceased attorney. A young prosecutor has something to show Si-mok.
Episode 12
12. Episode 12
September 20, 2020
Taken off the case, Si-mok and Yeo-jin return to their work on the police-prosecutor council. Tae-ha and Bit head to a sensitive meeting together.
Episode 11
11. Episode 11
September 19, 2020
A witness, who says he saw the kidnapping, steps forward to identify the perpetrator. His claims could mean serious trouble for the police.
Episode 10
10. Episode 10
September 13, 2020
Si-mok turns his attention to an unusual case involving the sudden death of a former prosecutor, and finds that nothing quite adds up.
Episode 9
9. Episode 9
September 12, 2020
A perplexing photo containing a disturbing message surfaces. The police consider the possibility of the culprit being one of their own.
Episode 8
8. Episode 8
September 6, 2020
Leading police efforts to locate Dong-jae, Yeo-jin connects the case to that of the dead policeman. Si-mok pays Yeon-jae a visit.
Episode 7
7. Episode 7
September 5, 2020
When Si-mok hears who’s gone missing, he starts gathering clues by going through phone records. Yeo-jin begins her own investigation.
Episode 6
6. Episode 6
August 30, 2020
Si-mok is ordered to find out what Yeo-jin knows about Bit's file. Ahead of a vote on the fate of her seat, Yeon-jae sets up an important meeting.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
August 29, 2020
At the prison to interrogate an inmate, Yeo-jin runs into Si-mok and Dong-jae. Choi Bit has Yeo-jin deliver a mysterious file to an assemblyman.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
August 23, 2020
In a heated first session with prosecutors, Geon makes a pointed argument. At Hanjo, Lee Yeon-jae faces an oncoming family power struggle.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
August 22, 2020
Yeo-jin recruits Geon. Digging into a policeman's death ruled as suicide, Si-mok and Dong-jae find signs that point toward a different story.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
August 16, 2020
Police and prosecutors each prepare members for joint discussions on investigative authority. Dong Jae brings Woo Tae Ha some cases of interest.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
August 15, 2020
On a foggy night, two college students drown at the beach. While Si-mok investigates, Yeo-jin tracks down a man who was at the scene of the incident.
Where to Watch Stranger
Stranger is available for streaming on the Netflix website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Stranger on demand at Apple TV Channels, Amazon Prime and Netflix.
  • Premiere Date
    November 1, 2017
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (10,026)