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Voice 4: Judgment Hour -- Series Review

To think that this season is based on a true event is mind-boggling; that a Dong Bang Min existed in this lifetime is horrific. To imagine that what happened to Dong Bang Min in the drama may have happened to a child to the extent that the child needed to create personality to escape it is unimaginable; the fact remains, though that abuse does not excuse the horrendous acts the child/man goes on to commit no matter the cause.

While watching this drama, I read many comments on Song Seung Heon's performance and how he didn't measure up to detectives of seasons past, but I beg to differ. He was probably one of the most balanced. I am one who strongly believes the first season of this series remains the best. But of all the detectives, I found Derek Jo to be the most rational and composed, particularly since he, the same as the rest, struggles with his own demons while fighting to bring some of the most horrific crimes and criminals to justice.

I loved this season's cases and stories despite some of them being hard to watch at times. I liked the message each story left behind even more. I commend the writer for depicting such heartwrenching true event stories and the director for bringing them to life. Still, the actor that shone the brightest without a doubt is Lee Kyu Hyung a villain tormented by self-hate but more by the need to survive in a world devoid of love or appreciation. A job well done all around. I liked the drama's choices and the awareness it tries to bring on the importance of the family unit, the damage of abuse and neglect, and the devastating and long-lasting detrimental effects it has on children and society alike. Just as a family can be everything for some, they can be hell on earth for others.

I wasn't ready for Voice 4's end; it felt more personal than the other seasons; I enjoyed it greatly for what it was and came out from it with more appreciation for all the actors but especially for Lee Ha Na in her continued calm, supportive and balanced depiction of the Golden Team and Emergency Center Director for the run of the seasons, Song Seung Heon as the calm, clever, and extremely focused Derek Jo, Baek Sung Hyun as the tormented Shim Dae Shik with a second chance at redeeming himself, which he more than does and very bravely. But mainly, I admired how the show depicted all of Bang Min's personalities and the way he came to realize what he had become in his desperate bid to survive his nightmare.

The message I am left with here is that although the physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences of child abuse and neglect weigh more heavily on the shoulders of the children who experience it, the impact of it does not end with them. Society pays the price both directly and indirectly; covering up the issues under the guise of protecting the family harms more than helps, especially when the family is the root of the problem. It is in the best interest of the families in particular and the communities as a whole to act to stem the effects of such abuses and, rather than find fault with the abused, support them and provide families and communities with the tools to stop maltreatment before it occurs and mitigate intergenerational impacts. To this, I say thank you to the production team.

Now that the Circus Man's journey has come to an end, I look forward to a new journey into Kang Kwon Joo's superhuman hearing abilities. I can't wait to see what else the Voice series has in store. I loved all the OSTs but especially Coming to you 그래쓰(GRASS).


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