Theme Depth: ★★★★
Uniqueness of Plot: ★★
Technical Elements: ★★★★
Angst / Drama
The basic mystery was well designed and well-written. The introduction leads you down one path and then small, believable red herrings keep you on your toes with the guessing-game.There were a few less-than-believable parts, and some remarkable coincidences, but with the suspension of disbelief you have a well-drafted little crime. The smaller episodic mysteries were pretty good too.
The character set-up was fairly stereotypical ~ older, gruff leader who has a sweet heart; stupid fool who is smarter and more loyal than he appears; arrogant main character who actually has a heart; tomboy girl who really wants "true love"; geeky sidekick that makes everyone happy. . . A little variation in the group line-up would go a long way to add originality to the storyline.
On the other hand, I have enjoyed watching almost all of the cast in other dramas through the years, and they did not disappoint. I will say that the girl got on my nerves quite a bit. Her self-absorption and arrogance was more or less passed off as being "quaint" and "adorable." To me, it was rude and thoughtless. The male cast played their parts well, but it was all the same parts they have played in other shows. Lee Seung-gi always plays an arrogant, thoughtless character that has a hidden tender side underneath. Cha Seung-won always plays a gruff, bull-headed lead that plows through life while occasionally showing his sweeter nature. It's all the same thing they have done in a thousand roles before. They are good at those roles, but it would be nice to see them change things up a bit.
The conclusion to this show was surprisingly pretty good. I was a little worried that they wouldn't be able to resolve everything to my satisfaction, especially as so much was left unanswered when we came upon the last episode. While they did drop a couple of the storylines, for the most part they actually managed to conclude most of the story.
All in All, I really enjoyed this show. Most of the complaints I have are truthfully not that important, and certainly did not detract from the show itself. The storyline was well made and planned, and for once it had a pretty good conclusion (rare for Kdramas). The cast was excellent and played their parts to perfection. I wouldn't call it a particularly deep drama, but it was a really fun watch.