The power of Lee Je Hoon is undeniable, especially when it comes to the appeal of his Taxi Driver character, Kim Do Gi. Paired with the Rainbow Taxi found family headed by CEO Jang (played by a very capable Kim Eui Sung), Taxi Driver 2 took the Korean ratings system by storm, earning a 21% viewership by its finale and becoming the most-watched drama of 2023 so far. Come see if I agree with those ratings, and if this compelling drama should be on your radar.
How It All Started
To understand Taxi Driver, one must understand CEO Jang, the owner of a taxi company and the founder of the Bluebird Foundation, a charitable organization that is…charitable. Honestly, I never fully understood what Bluebird Foundation did, just that it kept CEO Jang in contact with police and prosecutors in his area. He’s often commended for his good work.
But CEO Jang has seen the dark side of justice, where criminals go free and victims have no recourse through the law. He recruits Kim Do Gi, a former Special Forces officer and current taxi driver, to form a vigilante team. Together with expert hacker Ahn Go Eun (Pyo Ye Jin) and mechanical engineers Choi Kyung Goo (Jang Hyuk Jin) and Park Jin Eon (Bae Yoo Ram), CEO Jang and Kim Do Gi right wrongs the law can’t touch.
In the first season of Taxi Driver, the Rainbow Taxi team resolved their personal grudges while taking down criminals who exploited developmentally delayed workers, illegal gambling rings, pervasive purveyors of smut, and many, many more. It was a heavy season, capped with Kim Do Gi finally uncovering who murdered his mother AND the Rainbow Taxi team evading the law despite the dogged efforts of Prosecutor Kang Ha Na (Esom).
How It’s Going
The second season starts off strong, with the Rainbow Taxi team coming back together and traveling abroad to search for a kidnapped young man and ending with them taking down a criminal organization like no other. The stories during this second season were skillfully woven together, building a house of cards that came down beautifully in one fell swoop. Shin Jae Ha played a vital role throughout the season, showing off his incredible acting ability once more.
I’ve referred to The A-Team more than once when describing Taxi Driver to my friends. The team keeps adding fantastic features to the Premium Taxi–Kim Do Gi’s weapon of choice–and they often use elaborate role-playing schemes to undermine the bad guys’ devious plots. Do Gi has been a gangster, a shaman, a computer programmer, a rural mechanic (with a bonnet!), and so, so much more. Lee Je Hoon’s versatility shines through as he pulls off caper after caper with the support of Go Eun, Kyung Goo, and Jin Eon. CEO Jang is often running his own scheme off to the side – he’s the emotional con man, getting people to open up to the “elderly ahjussi” and spill all their secrets.
I wasn’t sure about watching the second season because the first season was so heavy and filled with angst. But I’m glad I did, because the connection between the ensemble is stronger, the music is FANTASTIC, and the writing hangs together so very well. Writer Oh Sang Ho penned an amazing story, and first-time director Lee Dan did an incredible job.
Should You Watch?
Watching both seasons of Taxi Driver was time well-spent, and I highly recommend them. There are some great inside jokes at the beginning of Taxi Driver 2 that related to my favorite parts of Taxi Driver 1, and I may have laughed until I cried. So go watch Taxi Driver on Viki today and get your vigilante found family fix. You’ll be glad you did.
Taxi Driver: https://www.viki.com/tv/37770c-taxi-driver
Taxi Driver 2: https://www.viki.com/tv/39450c-taxi-driver-2
Until Taxi 5283’s next call, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi