Naked Fireman

알몸 소방관
KBS 2 (2017) 4 Episodes
Mystery, Romance
Grade: B
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA
Some Spoilers

Looking for another short K-drama to watch, while I was waiting for new episodes of two longer K-dramas to come in, I stumbled on Naked Fireman (2017), at only four episodes, but which kept me moderately interested, if only for the unusual title and the physical attractiveness of the main actor Lee Joon Hyuk, whom I had really liked in the classic City Hunter way back when in 2011. (I have a long memory for the most attractive Korean male actors, that's for sure). I was even more impressed with him when I learned he donated his entire salary for this drama to firefighter organizations in Korea. He wanted his donation to be secret, but of course it leaked out anyway, such is the way of the gossip mill in the Korean entertainment world. In any case, way to go, Joon Hyuk!

Female lead Jung In Sun I had only seen before with So Jisub in Terius Behind Me (2018) and I had only been moderately impressed with her in that drama. Here in this drama she appeared more elegant, dignified, sophisticated, yet subdued in character, and I warmed to her far more easily, though I did yearn to see her character smile more (and she rewarded me with a huge grin in the very last scene!).


The Story:

Dedicated firefighter Kang Chul Soo (Lee Joon Hyuk) is a man of principle, but when his long time firefighter senior chief and personal friend Jang Gwang Ho (Lee Won Jung) is diagnosed with late stage cancer and has to retire early he is distraught to learn from his friend's wife that without a down payment of 10,000 dollars he can't even be admitted into the hospital for life saving chemo treatments. Chul Soo becomes determined to raise that amount of money pronto in an attempt to save his friend's life.

He hears of a well known artist named Han Jin Ah (Jung In Sun), an heiress whose rich parents had died in a suspicious fire ten years earlier, who is offering 10,000 dollars for male models to pose nude for her canvases, and that she is particularly interested in hiring firefighters boasting good muscular bodies as her models.

Without stopping to think that this is an odd request, he volunteers himself as a model, but under a fake name (since he is a civil servant it might result in him being fired if it was discovered). However, when he gets to her fancy home and starts to undress she tells him to stop before he takes his pants off, which surprises him (and the audience!) mightily. She has seen something on his back which shocks her, a rather large scar, which, as it turns out, is the only thing she remembers so far about the man whom she saw as a child lighting fire to her parents' home and trying to escape. She had successfully hidden away from him, and her life was saved, but her parents succumbed, and ever since then she has undergone hypnosis and mental health treatments to try and remember more about the killer.

When she sees the scar on Chul Soo's back she is so shocked she has an asthma attack, and Chul Soo frantically tries to help her, calling her aunt Hang Soon Ja (Seo Jung Yeon), whom she lives with, for assistance.

Because of his kindness and chivalry toward her, Jin Ah doubts that Chul Soo could be the man she saw as a child setting fire to her parents' home, but she knows of no one else who has a scar on the back so similar to his scar. Chul Soo is then targeted as the criminal of the arson-murder case of her parents, even though we know he is innocent. Chul Soo and the mysterious heiress Jin Ah eventually join forces to try to find the real culprit who killed her parents. Might it just be someone they both know, who has been living a double life for years?

Despite the seriousness of this story, there are some lighthearted moments in this drama that break the tension of a murder mystery, a few come from our main couple as they inevitably fall in love, but the bulk of them come from the aunt character and her clandestine romances which she tries to hide from her niece. So there is a pretty good mix here of melodrama, mystery, comedy moments, and romance to please the majority of K-drama fans out there. Currently you can watch this entertaining short drama on Viki. Who knows how long it will be available, though, so if you are curious, don't wait. Enjoy.