Oh my! First, I have to say that LOVE spy shows so of course this show attracted my interest. Plus it has BIGBANG’s T.O.P. in it, which is another way it was brought to my attention. And while I knew it was very popular when it aired, it was even better than expected. I finished the 20 episodes in about a week.
It’s hard to say much about it without giving something away, but IRIS really seemed to have everything. Terrorist, betrayal, love, secrets, friendship. The plot centers around the National Security Service, which is a black-ops anti-terrorism group in South Korea, and another group called IRIS, which is trying to prevent talks between North Korea and South Korea. The series covers two years and involves several twists and turns.
One thing I really liked about this series is that some of North Korean characters turn out to be “good guys” and I found myself rooting for them. Few characters in this one were cut-and-dry. There were lots of questions left unanswered and I wasn’t crazy about the ending, although I thought it was realistic given the plot line of the show.
I have to say that after this one, I think I have a new favorite male character. Kim Hyun Joon (played by actor Lee Byung Hun) is one of the main characters and I just loved him. He was loyal, loved deeply, truly believed in those he loved, smart, and sexy. He just might be my favorite K-drama male character of all time (and we’ve watched a lot of dramas over the last three years), but Kang Ji Hwan still remains my favorite actor.
From what I’ve read, they are planning a second season of IRIS. A spin-off titled “Athena: Goddess of War” aired from December 2010 to February 2011, but I have seen mention that a true season two of IRIS will begin airing in October 2011. So I’ll have to keep following this news and hopefully enjoy another season, one in which some of those questions get answered.