All male citizens of South Korea between the ages of 18-28 have to perform compulsory military service, something which has been around since 1957. D.P., a Korean show about the military on Netflix, would probably be very relatable to those who have served in the military before. And for the rest of us, it offers a glimpse into what military enlistment is like–we were told that sets were super realistic, and main cast Jung Hae-in actually identified as his actual name while filming, because he was reminded strongly of his time in the military. But that’s not all. Have you ever wondered if people leave, without official reason? And what happens to them? Well, D.P. gives you the answers to these questions.
What is D.P.?
First things first, let’s learn what exactly is D.P.
Jung Jae-in (playing An Jun-ho): D.P. is short for deserter pursuit and it is the name of the military police who have to go after soldiers who have gone AWOL. They may not seem like military soldiers since they’re undercover and they’re outside the military base and in the civilian world searching for army deserters.
Han Jun-hee (director): D.P. is a story about the unit who arrests military deserters, who are undercover. It’s the story of their pursuit of military deserters. You’ll be able to see personal stories of those who have deserted the army and you’ll be able to see the growth of the two main characters, Jun-ho and Ho-yeol.
Apparently, D.P. is not a term widely known. Some people have heard of the military police, but few are aware of the D.P. unit. However, writer Kim Bo-tong served in the D.P. unit and he was able to share his experience being part of it.
From Webtoon to Screen
D.P. is actually adapted from popular webtoon D.P Dog Day, which has amassed 10 million views. Director Han Jun-hee has wanted to tell this story for a long time, and I thought about what kind of stories could be portrayed through this series. It’s quite a relatable type of story as young lads in their early 20s go serve in the military, and hopefully people will be able to resonate with the story. There are also some societal issues highlighted in this series, making it a humanistic drama. There are also two new characters in this adaptation:
- Captain Lim Ji-seop played by Son Suk-ku
- Corporal Han Ho-Yeol played by Koo Kyo-hwan
Webtoon Jun-ho vs. Series Jun-ho
If you’re familiar with the webtoon, the first thing you might notice is that the rank of Jun-ho is different. In the webtoon, Jun-ho is a corporal, but in this series, he’s an enlistee who just started his military service. It’s more approachable, and director Han wants people to consider Jun-ho as a friend. Jung Hae-in who plays Jun-ho adds that audience will be able t learn more about Jun-ho here, which is like a prequel to the webtoon. Jun-ho also has some boxing skills going on, so keep an eye out for that!
As it’s a humanistic drama that touches on different societal issues and personal stories of characters, it can get dark at times. But the cast enjoys good camaraderie while shooting, and they all have a good time on set.
Kim Sung-kyun (playing Sergeant Park Beom-Goo): It felt like hanging out with elementary school friends. When you’re young, and you just laugh and crack jokes at everything.
Koo Kyo-hwan: We also had camaraderie with the production staff and became really good friends with them. They’re the first viewers of the series since they’re on the set and they gave us a lot of feedback.
Jung Hae-in: The cast were like big brothers to me and as if I had known them for a long time. Even after we were done filming the series, I wanted to see them again and meet them again.
Son Suk-ku reiterates that the set is extremely realistic, and there was like a double build up of camaraderie as he acted out being a soldier.
There’s also a pair of characters constantly at odds with each other, but you’ll have to watch to find out what goes down!
“I Recommend Binge Watching”
That’s what Koo Kyo-hwan had to say about D.P. It’s an ordinary yet extraordinary story, where people aren’t trying to be perfect. It shows you a different side of the military soldiers, and you learn about people being people. Check out this BTS featurette: