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Special Labor Inspector Jo: If you like The Fiery Priest and My Fellow Citizens!, you should check out this K-Drama!

Special Labor Inspector Jo -- Vertical Poster Edited
Special Labor Inspector Jo is the newest crime satire comedy airing on Korean television. Pic credit: Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

There are some really interesting K-dramas currently airing on television this season.

Choi Siwon of Super Junior is making a splash in the political comedy My Fellow Citizens! Kim Nam-Gil is showing off a different demeanor for a Catholic priest in The Fiery Priest. Finally, Park Min-Young is enjoying her role in her second comedy, Her Private Life.

However, there is one that surprisingly is flying under K-drama fans’ radars. That K-drama is Special Labor Inspector Jo.

There are many reasons why fans of this series are surprised it isn’t as popular as other K-dramas — especially if those fans like both My Fellow Citizens! and The Fiery Priest. Special Labor Inspector Jo takes the best from both of those to make a show worth watching.

What is this K-drama about and how popular is it?

Special Labor Inspector Jo — also known as Special Labor Inspector Mr. Jo, Special Labor Inspector, and Special Labor Inspection Team — is a social satire action-comedy.

It stars Kim Dong-Wook (Coffee Prince, Happy Killers) and Park Se-Young (Faith, Sincerity Moves Heaven).

Jo Jin-Gap (Kim Dong-Wook) is a pure-hearted, hardworking, honest person with a strong sense of justice.

Once a promising judo athlete, he worked as a fitness teacher. However, his quick temper and emotions get the best of him when he comes face-to-face with a chairman’s son.

His actions get him terminated from his position and he pursues a career as a post office worker before ending up as a labor inspector.

Even though he never wanted to work in the Ministry of Employment and Labor, Jo Jin-Gap’s sense of justice takes over as he fights for “the working man.”

Along the way, he develops a “team” at the Ministry of Employment and Labor, former students under his wing, and even old enemies to fight for workers.

As of now, 12 of 36 episodes have aired and Special Labor Inspector Jo is doing below average domestically and internationally. Pertaining to domestic viewership, the highest rating any episode has earned was 6.8 percent for the nation and 7.9 percent for Seoul, as recorded by AGB Nielsen Korea.

Internationally, or at least in the Americas, only a little over 5,000 viewers follow the show. It earned a rating of 9.3 stars out of 10 out of 76 ratings.

Special Labor Inspector Jo -- Vertical Poster
Special Labor Inspector Jo poster. Pic credit: Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

Why should K-drama fans watch Special Labor Inspector Jo?

Anyone who’s seen Special Labor Inspector Jo will tell you the series is worth watching. This is especially true for those who enjoy watching My Fellow Citizens! and The Fiery Priest.

Special Labor Inspector Jo takes the comedy from My Fellow Citizens! and the fighting from The Fiery Priest and places them in a very unique story centered on labor laws and rights.

It is possible people may be overlooking Special Labor Inspector Jo for a couple of reasons. The first is that Kim Dong-Wook does not live up to the same visual standards as Choi Siwon (K-pop idol) and Kim Nam-Gil.

Second, the K-drama airs on Mondays and Tuesdays which may or may not be a reason people are watching it. Ultimately, such minuscule things add up and either make or break a K-drama.

There are more minute details and reasons to add to why Special Labor Inspector Jo is not getting good ratings, but the aforementioned explains a lot.

For those who want to see what the K-drama is all about, it airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. KST, two episodes per day, on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation.

For international viewers especially in the Americas, Special Labor Inspector Jo is available to watch free, with ads, on Rakuten Viki.

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War Omega is an entertainment news writer and painter that specializes in Asian entertainment. On Monsters & Critics, he writes about K-pop, K-dramas, and Chinese... read more
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