January is the best month for K-dramas. Yeah, I said it. Show writers are not shoehorning in Christmas or New Year's episodes filled with tree trimming and couples sweaters. Recap writers are not droning on about that one drama back in August that was the best of the year, and dramas that begin in January have a few weeks to build up to juicy kisses for Valentine's Day.

Enter Neighborhood Hero. In this 16-episode drama, ex-spy buys neighborhood watering hole patronized by current and former spies in order to discover the dark secret of his last failed mission.  To quote the immortal TV Guide, hilarity ensues.  OK, maybe not hilarity, but enough humor and mystery to keep you intrigued. If that is not enough to whet your appetite, I will give you five more reasons.

5) Lee Soo Hyuk plays the young naïf, a wannabe cop making ends meet while studying for his written exams. Maybe it is his perpetual bed head, study-induced narcolepsy, or pitiful trailing skills (seriously, doesn't he know black painter's hats give the wearer invisibility?), but he just makes you want to feed him soup and pat his head. He endeared himself right off, and they hinted at just enough backstory turmoil to hope the K-drama gods are nice when they write him.


4) Jo Sung Ha and Ahn Suk Hwan are two chums from high school days walking a fine line. The depth of experience brought by these two actors means that these characters could be anything. Are they government agents or nefarious malefactors or nefarious government agents bent on malefactory? Will they turn on each other or watch each other's backs? We just don't know.


3) Kwon Yu Ri is a writer/waitress and was the one who brought most of the humor to the episodes.  Her screenplay of a slinky spy— who looks remarkably like her — using her wiles on a target — who looks remarkably like her cute new boss — was a thing of cliched beauty. Sexy tango? Check. Quick dissolving knockout drugs? Check. Unexpected thugs, Purse as a Weapon, Waif-Fu, and USB disguised as a pen? Check, check, check and CHECK! 


2) Park Si Hoo's ex-spy insists he's just trying to settle down and tend a bar. None of the other spies believe him, and, given how quickly his mission gone bad has intersected with neighborhood business, even if really had wanted to settle down quietly it would have ended pretty darn quickly. Also, shirtless pull ups as a means of fighting demons from the past will go over well for a certain demographic.


1) Horse Lamp. You have to watch a drama that has such bold set styling. I did not know Horse Lamp existed and now my life will never be the same. Look how it creeps up on them.


What do you think, drama fans? Will you be watching Neighborhood Hero? Do you feel the urge to put a lampshade on a horse? Let me know in the comments!

Watch the premiere of Neighborhood Hero: