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Military Drama Based on a True story: D.P
  • By Jo Soo-bin, editor-in-chief
  • 승인 2021.09.26 21:10
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▲Netflix Original Series, a scene from D.P. (Source: Netflix)

Netflix's original series, ‘D.P,’ which deals with Korean military violence, was released on August 27. ‘D.P,’ is a word that means the arrest of the military police. The drama is based on a webtoon by writer Kim Bo-tong released in 2015, and shows various military life irregularities, centering on Private Ahn Joon-ho (Jeong Hae-in) and Corporal Han Ho-yeol (Gu Gyo-hwan), who chase deserters in the military police force with the year 2014 in the background. "D.P," has gained huge popularity since its release, drawing a lot of viewers from around the world. In particular, it received favorable reviews from 20-30 male viewers for its fierce portrayal of military culture along with the story of deserters.

"D.P," shocked society by revealing barracks absurdity, beating, assault, verbal violence, bullying, and sexual harassment occurring in the military. The drama depicts, wearing a gas mask and water torture on a sleeping junior soldier, injuring his successor by pushing him against the nailed wall, reading aloud a letter from the mother of his successor in difficult circumstances, and saying, ‘Are you a beggar?’, forcing a successor to masturbate during night shift, gathering and beating a group of successors at night, taking off successor's pants and underwear, and burning body hair with a lighter without filtering.

The background of the drama, 2014, was the year of the death of Private Yoon and the shooting of the 22nd Division in Goseong, Gangwon-do. With the backdrop of the year 2014, when undisciplined behavior in the military reached its peak, it clarifies what the drama aims for. Most of the deserters in the drama fled due to harsh behavior. In addition, a decisive event encompassing the entire season also stems from harsh behavior. Most of the deserters in the drama fled due to harsh treatment.

Those who watched the drama shared their military experiences through various communities. Regarding "D.P," military officials argue, "Considering the background of 2014, there is a somewhat exaggerated description," adding, "These days, it is not this much." However, the experiences posted on the community by those who have served in the military, prove that there are still harsh acts in the military until recently. Not only did some of them sympathize with the harsh behavior in the military reflected by ‘D.P’, but also responded, "I saw it and turned it off because it was the same as I was in the military," and "I'm about to have PTSD."

The reaction to this drama is passionate, not only in Korea but also abroad. Overseas netizens have various opinions, such as "does this actually happen?," "Putting them in a cage like the animals and giving them that money?," "If this drama reflects the reality of the Korean military, I would be disappointed in South Korea," and "Is it okay to hit people like that in the military?” Their common response can be explained by the word: 'shock'. In addition, among the opinions of overseas netizens, the opinion that, "the fact that the Korean military is a conscription system compared to other countries makes a big difference" and that, "the extreme of absurdity is the conscription system," are a little grounded. This is because ‘D.P,' has gained greater popularity in Thailand and Vietnam, where the conscription system exists. These countries are either mandatory military service countries, such as Korea, or are widely known for their military irregularities.

In addition, issues related to "D.P" do not exist only in the military. Even the tragic ending of school violence and bullying in companies, which has been controversial thus far. Harsh behavior and absurdity within a group exist not only in the military, but also in schools and companies. Therefore, many viewers who have experienced an absurd group, as well as male soldiers, sympathize with the drama.

At a time when the influence of a drama is spreading widely inside and outside Korea, Deputy spokesman Moon said, "So far, the Ministry of National Defense and each branch of the military, have been making continuous efforts to eradicate barracks irregularities, such as assault and harsh acts. As you know well, the barracks environment is currently changing towards an environment where malicious accidents cannot be concealed due to the use of mobile phones after work. An official from the military said, "The background of the drama and the current barracks living environment have changed a lot. Now, there are more channels to report immediately, as well as personal mobile phones of soldiers, in case of assault or abuse." The fact that the drama is so popular, is proof that society has been indifferent to the immoral things that have happened in the military. In the future, if efforts at the level of the Ministry of National Defense and the Government continue to be made and the public's steady interest is achieved, it will be able to overcome the current controversy to create a safe and healthy military culture.

▲ Ministry of National Defense Insignia (the Dong-A Daily News)

By Jo Soo-bin, editor-in-chief  hyun185415@naver.com

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