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Series / Heartless City

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These streets...let's swallow them all.

Heartless City (무정도시, Cruel City) is a 20 episode noir-style Korean Drama which aired on the cable network jTBC in the summer of 2013.

Baksa Adeul/Jung Shi-hyun has spent the last eight years rising through the ranks of the drug trade between Seoul and Busan. Detective Ji Hyung-min is the head of a police Special Investigation Team tasked with finding and destroying the the lines of manufacturing and distribution. These two will go head to head as the ethics of those on both the 'good' side and the 'bad' side come into question.


This series provides examples of:

  • Bash Brothers: Hyun-soo and Shi-hyun, who first became friends fighting bullies in prison, and still have the most fun fighting together.
  • Being Good Sucks: Baksa on many levels; he doesn't kill the thugs sent after him, thus insuring they will be back to try again. Also, trying to maintain his moral side while being a cold-blooded drug dealer is a little tough on his psyche.
  • Becoming the Mask
  • Black and Gray Morality
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Almost to ridiculous proportions as the Police Special Team always arrives after the fighting is over, and all they have to do is clean up.
  • Clark Kenting: The visual difference between Baksa Adeul and Shi-hyun is the hairstyle and business suit versus black leather and jeans.
  • Dirty Cop: Superintendent Min Hong-ki
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Namsam Tower flashes in the background as the two young gangsters decide to wage war on the established drug cartel.
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  • Enemy Mine: Baksa Adeul teams up with Detective Ji to help get the leaders of the drug cartel.
  • I Got You Covered: Used by various characters to get various other characters out of trouble.
  • The Ingenue: Soo-min, who doesn't realize what she's getting into when she helps a stranger at the convenience store she works at.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Hyung-min deliberately shoots his own agent in the leg while interrogating her.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Especially when you are undercover.
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage: Soo-min preparing to seduce Hyung-min.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Most of the fighting between drug factions is done with knives and pipes until the second half of the show when guns became more prevalent.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Kyung Mi
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Almost always the sniper's target.
  • Recycled INSPACE: The plot is basically Infernal Affairs as a Korean Drama.
  • The Power of Hate: Soo-min goes undercover without a speck of training, just to get revenge against the alleged killer of her sister.
  • Say My Name: Soon-min does this to show her growing attachment to Shi-hyun, moving from "Mister" to "Boyfriend".
    • "Ahjusshi, Gangster Ahjusshi, Jung Shi-hyun, Shi-hyun-a, Shi-hyun oppa".
  • Sniper Rifle: Used in several instances for remote assasination. But also used as a MacGuffin when looking for the killer of Kyung-mi.
  • Wham Line: Many.

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