If you know anything about me by now, you know that crime dramas are my favorite genre. I might mention it a bit ALL OVER MY BLOG! It was a bit surprising to people to learn I was not watching Under the Skin as it aired. I finally did watch it once it had ended. So, HERE IS MY REVIEW OF IT NOW!
*Now as per usual with any review I write, I will not be including any spoilers in this review.*
A QUICK SYNOPSIS OF UNDER THE SKIN - Due to an incident five years ago, Shen Yi, a young painter, caused the death of a detective unknowingly. In the present day, he joins the police as a sketch artist to solve the case. He was partnered with Du Cheng who despises him for what happened 5 years prior. Over time, they work together on various cases and Shen Yi starts to impress Du Cheng and the others at the station due to his results. They all become closer. Can they work together and finally crack the case that has haunted them for the past five years together?
Overall, I liked this drama. If you like crime dramas like I do, you will not be disappointed with this one. It is a solid and entertaining drama with some unique aspects that I have not seen in any other crime drama I have watched. There were a couple of things that didn't work for me though. Will you agree with my review?
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS DRAMA
THE LEADS - A highlight of this drama is the 2 male leads. They have great chemistry. I love the dynamic their characters have throughout the drama. They have their own talents that they bring to their partnership and work well together. I loved that even though their relationship started out rocky due to their past encounter, Du Cheng really respected Shen Yi for his talent and what he brought to cases. Du Cheng could put aside his personal problems to appreciate what Shen Yi brought to the team and eventually trusted him, allowing their relationship/partnership to grow into mutual trust and understanding. I liked that Du Cheng didn't hold a grudge with Shen Yi to long and this progression seemed natural and not forced. Their characters and personalities are complete opposites but I think that is why they work so well together. They are each one side of a coin.
ART - A unique aspect of this drama is art. Shen Yi is an art professor and a forensic artist. I think the drama wanted to highlight the profession of a forensic artist and how the production did that was SO COOL! It is a profession that you don't see a lot in crime drama so I appreciate the unique angle this drama took with showing this profession. I liked that every lecture that Shen Yi had in an episode correlated in some way with the case that was going to be featured in that episode. I loved trying to figure out how the art in his lectures related to the case. Also, all the art was beautiful to look at throughout the drama.
CINEMATOGRAPHY - I think because art was a major theme for this drama, that allowed the cinematography to stand out. There were 2 reasons why I noticed and appreciated the cinematography in this drama. One reason was you had a character that was drawing all the time. Creating pieces to either help the police or just for his own pleasure. The production had to shoot these scenes to highlight the art being made and also come up with creative ways to shoot these scenes so the scenes aren't just the same thing over and over again. I think that led to a lot of creative and interesting choices being made to show off the art and Shen Yi's talents. Another reason is I think art was a major theme of this drama, the production took to opportunity to make their own drama a little artsy. Their lighting and camera angles were interesting and stood out. Some of the choices the production made highlighted the cases they were talking or even highlighted certain characters who were in the scene itself. There were a lot of creative choices made with this drama and it paid off.
THE CASES - We love when dramas use their platform to talk about real life issues and societal issues. Under the Skin did just that with the cases they incorporated into their drama. We saw everything from sexual assault to plastic surgery to fraud. The cases did not shy away from these issue that I am sure you can find in society right now. I think the drama showed the cases in a light that highlighted the issue but also with a caring voice. Some of the cases were quite interesting and had some nice twists on them.
THE ACTING - What was great about the acting in this drama is that it drew you in. You felt that the actors cared about their characters and wanted to portray them well. That caused the audience to become attached to the characters and care about their character arch from the beginning to the end of the drama. Both of the leads portrayed their characters so well. I loved the subtle acting of Tan Jian Ci as Shen Yi and the louder portrayal of Du Cheng that Jin Shi Jia gave in the drama. I think both actors found their strengths within these characters and ran with it. The supporting cast including the people portraying the criminals were fantastic as well.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
THE CASES - I will say not all the cases were great. I think some were better than others. That is more of personal things because maybe I loved a case that others may not have liked. There are still some great cases and great twists with this drama.
THE LAST CASE - I found the solving of the overall case in this drama to be quite boring. I don't quite know why. Maybe because it was the last case in the season, I was expecting something more bombastic or exciting. Maybe because it was the case that was taken throughout the drama and they were revealing clues throughout the drama, once it got to the end, I wasn't surprised by anything which is why I was bored.
SEASON 2 - For people who don't like endings that point to a second season, you won't like this ending. The drama definitely sets itself up for a season 2. I will totally watch it! Just a warning for people who might not like when dramas do this.
Rating: 8.5/10 (Streaming on VIKI/iQIYI now)
If you are curious about my reaction to the drama IN REAL TIME - here is my tweets/watch thread for the drama
AND THAT IS MY REVIEW OF UNDER THE SKIN!!
Did you watch Under the Skin?
What did you think of the drama?
Is it on your list to watch?
Will you watch this drama now after reading my review?
Do you agree with my review?