2022,  Crime,  Thriller

A Model Family | Netflix Series Review

Supposedly a project of So Ji-Sub, Jung Woo has taken this Netflix series entitled ‘A Model Family’. A story about desperate times, drugs, and betrayal, A Model Family is a miniseries you can binge watch if you’re into thriller and crime!

Disclaimer: This post may contain SPOILERS since this is a review of the whole series.

Storyline of A Model Family

By mistake, a car with a huge amount of money and two dead bodies hit the rear end of our main character’s car. A desperate professor in the middle of a financial crisis named Dong-Ha (played by Jung Woo) took the money and buried the dead bodies on his backyard. Little did he know, the drug ring is now after him because of the money he unwittingly took.

Dong-Ha of A Model Family

Despite our main character’s clumsiness, Dong-Ha turned out to be a law-abiding citizen without any prior criminal/violation record. This made him the ‘perfect’ cover that the drug ring needed for their operation. Like a twisted fate, Dong-Ha ended up as a drug mule for them (drug ring).

Personal Review of A Model Family

A gripping exposition, the first episode shook my anxiety, in a good way. Our main character is dumb, clumsy and desperate but written well enough for us to look forward to the consequences of his actions. His shortcomings is what we clung on to.

The problem (or at least my problem) with the story was that, apart from Dong-Ha, everyone was written as just pawns of the story. The supporting characters were all playing fierce roles and played by known actors, yet we can’t grasp the depth of each roles. We have the self-righteous wife and the rebellious daughter, cops and their undercovers and spies, villains and head of the drug ring. In a blink of an eye, we were thrown with each characters’ dilemmas and sometimes a backstory. But very little impact and emotion was not enough to establish their dilemmas.

Instead, there were filler scenes that has zero contribution to the story. Remember the rated X scene in Episode 4? What the f*ck is the added value of this? Totally uncalled for and doesn’t have any significance to the drug cartel world.

Rated X Scene

Despite a little disappointed from Joo-Hyun’s storyline, her way of poking her nose about the whole drug ring is enough for me. Not so great but not so bad. While I can’t fully sympathize with her pain and thirst for revenge, I loved her final scene. When she shot Kim Shin-Rok (I forgot her role’s name), Joo-Hyun’s eyes are raging with anger. With overflowing emotion, it’s an ample way build the tension.

Joo-Hyun's Ending Scene in A Model Family

As much as I loved how the plot was initially set, the storyline and the sub-plot (Dong-Ha becoming a drug mule) went downhill after all the chasing in the beginning. The whole drug mule operation were nothing but half-baked scenes to me.

K-Drama Rating

Probably my lowest rating so far (out of the published reviews I posted before this), A Model Family has a good and potential plot for a mini series. However, it lacks a compelling setting for you to hate or fear the supporting characters. It could be the writer’s style or because it’s just a 10-episode series but I believed it could be better.

Rating: 4 out of 10.
  • Personal Rating Score: 4 out of 10
  • Target Audience: Thriller & Crime Fans
  • Will I recommend this: Probably not.
A Model Family Cinematography

Dark and desperate, A Model Family fell short of some elements but the series cinematography is to be applauded. If you just want to watch a miniseries without overthinking (or scrutinizing) what’s everything in between, you’ll probably like it. But if you want a top-notch thriller story, this one’s not for you.


  • BEST LIFE QATAR by Zeke Tunay

    I watched this series and i agree with your points. The ending was also quite “unfinished”… like calling for a sequel (ala SQUID GAME). I thought it was actually good at first… but i liked the message that the gangsters call themselves a family… more than a normal family would do (but i still do not condone their acts). I normally found myself a bit confused by some the supporting characters esp when they also appear on another series running at the same time (typical of kdramas lately). hehehe. *keep up the good work

    • Eonni

      Ahh, you’re right I remember that line! I think that’s one of the reason why I had expectations from gangsters as well. I wanted to feel more from their bond/journey. I can totally relate when you get confused on some of the characters. I was so confused between Kwang-Chul and and Kang-Jun, their body built and face shape is so similar. I thought it was a casting mistake to put them together into one project and similar world 🙁

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