Dokgo Rewind: A Review

Posted by Stephanie on January 8, 2019


Like mob dramas? Dig noir? One to root for the underdog? Have a thing for nonstop action? Want all of that in one drama but only have the time for a drama short?

Dokgo Rewind is the show for you.

Never heard of it? Well, you are not alone, my friend. Before Alix suggested we give it a try, I hadn’t heard of it either, but since it fit into Kate and my drama short theme for the day and Alix wanted to see EXO’s Sehun lead in a show, we settled in to give it a watch. Surprise? I was so transfixed that after Alix left after 2 episodes, we continued to watch.

Usually, I’m not a massive fan of the mob movie/drama….actually I say that but now that I think about it? Loved Cruel City, loved Lovers, Friend 2 was great, I even watch US mob dramas such as Casino, Godfather, and Sopranos. Revaluating? I love mob storylines! Weird. Guess you learn something new about yourself every day. Although… is there a difference between the mob and gangs? Technically the warring factions between the two schools are more gang than the mob, but when you think about it, there really isn’t much difference between the two.

I have digressed.

Essentially the plot revolves around this world where there are two large school gangs held together by a tenuous truce. Within each gang, you have bad people doing bad things to others on the say so of higher up bad people. In between these two factions — schools — there is a group of three high school dropouts, seemingly neer-do-wells who loaf about, fighting, and I’m sure…breaking their mother’s hearts.

The plot really begins when the trio saves a boy from being beaten up and taken in by one of the gangs. After they save him as — like most drama neer-do-wells — we find they are actually good guys who can’t stand injustice. First clue these guys were going to be the good guys of the drama? Their leader is played by Sehun.

Once they save the boy in question, he throws himself on their mercy, looking for help. His sister has been targeted by one of the gangs and was attacked. Though she survived, she and her brother have been marked to show as an example of the gang’s power. Though the gangs exist within the school’s properties, though the attack leaves his sister in the hospital, there are apparently no adults who will help, or even acknowledge that there is an issue. Which leaves our dropouts…

While our trio agrees to help the pair it’s not until something happens to brother dearest that the action really kicks in.

With everything that happened, with all of the layered plots, the interconnecting characters, and extended (seriously, how could anyone fight for that long?) fight scenes it’s amazing how they fit it all into four one hour episodes.

Once (the thing that shall remain undescribed happens) this is really when the show changes from straight up mob-plot to more of a film noir. It reminded me of a Joseph Gordon Levett movie I saw forever ago named Brick where they took a standard film noir/detective plot and placed into a high school setting. Our threesome, after realizing no real authority will listen to them, take it upon themselves to make things right…by taking down both gangs. Their plan, from what I understand? Destroy the truce and thereby destroy their unified power, and then step back while they destroy each other.

Along the way, they make enemies and pick up new and unexpected allies. My favorite? Pen guy. Hands down, he might be my favorite character in the entire drama, which is no real surprise considering my affinity for tiny anger muffins. I found his story the most compelling as a student who joins the gang in order to just keep his head down and make it through high school unnoticed and unscathed. Unfortunately for him, he IS an anger muffin with unbelievable fighting skills and an inability to look away in the face of injustice.

(Unlike the real authorities ie, the school heads who manage to explain away or blame the victims of crimes, even murder, in an effort to not make their school look bad.)

Oh, how this burned all of my collective buttons.

Since we’re on it? You know what else irritated me? The father of the siblings. Your kids are being bullied, your daughter ends up in the hospital, your son NO SPOILERS and yet you can’t be bothered to come back from America?? Sure you’re there “Getting ready for them,” but this crap happens to your kids, you come home. OR you send them a plane ticket ready or not — it’s officially a life or death situation.

While this was an edge of your seat drama where the entire last episode I may have watched with my mouth hanging open, it wasn’t perfect..please see the following.

Casting: Holy fudge, I know it’s a habit for high school dramas to be cast older, but in the case of almost all of the gang leaders we aren’t just talking older, we’re talking laughably older, a few steps away from married with kids older. It was weird, which makes you wonder why they went with such a direction. It had to be a discussed choice, right?

That Ending: This drama is based on a webtoon and when it ended the way it did, essentially ending one story and starting another in the last two minutes, then abruptly cutting off, it made me wonder if the webtoon is complete? Or did they decide it was just too long for a drama short? If that’s the case, cool, end it one scene before. The plot was complete, or people were happy, let them be for a hot second! Though maybe they didn’t want our guys to end happy, or perhaps they didn’t want the story to end at all? Set up for season two? We probably should have seen this coming considering our hero had a twin the story kept hinting at and yet didn’t do anything with. Maybe they plan on doing another season? Who knows? I just know I came out of those last moments going WTF? Not how I wanted to end after being blown away for 4 hours.

The Plot: How did they really think ruining the truce was going to do anything? It’s not like the gang didn’t know these guys were a thing, it’s not like they were attacking gang members and pinning it on the other gang. And? After being given the hit list, it’s not like they killed any of the people they attacked. Sure they beat increasingly higher ranked gang members but what were they achieving by fighting them? They didn’t stick around to learn any information. It struck me as a video game, where you beat an opponent and POOF they disappeared. Which just isn’t the case in this world. (Although I did like seeing pen guy try.)

AAll that being laid out to you, do I recommend this? Heck yeah, I do! Or I do if you like mob/gang plots, lots of action, idols doing a pretty good acting job, anger muffins using pens as weapons, then yes, you should definitely give this a go.


  • Reply humbledaisy1 January 8, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    The anger muffin part sounded tempting but I loathe “kids in danger” plots and with a second round load of “the adults are covering up” – I won’t be able to watch it. I think a lot of these kind of plots of “I’m so helpless in the face of danger” come from the really old-time tropes about Confucianism and how everyone has pre-ordained roles in society but – it’s time for some new tropes.

  • Reply Jamie February 13, 2019 at 11:24 am

    The ending is how the beginning of the webtoon starts, from his family situation to his new mission (like word for word). Rewind took place before it happened and ended with the incident of the original Dokgo webtoon beginning

    • Reply Stephanie February 17, 2019 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks for the info, totally clears that up for me~!

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