A Model Family review: Addictive crime thriller with an interesting premise

A Model Family is a South Korean show that follows Dong Ha, a professor on the brink of financial ruin, and how he gets entangled in a drug cartel. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


The title for the show is quite ironic, as Dong Ha’s family is far from being the perfect, idealised version one would expect them to be.

His wife is about to divorce him, he has a younger son whose heart problems are causing concern, and a rebellious teenage daughter. His absent father also shows up in between, taking the family further away from this idea of a “model family”.

He goes through severe financial concerns but finds a desperate way out. However, it proves to be a disastrous decision as he gets sucked into the world of crime and drugs.

He finds an empty van with a stack of cash and two dead bodies, and takes this as a sign from the universe as the answer to all his problems. 

He is naive, with no skills to aid him in the path he is going to follow as he gets sucked into a life of drug trading.

The narrative is well structured and the pace of the story is perfect, building up anticipation for all the twists that are going to follow.


Jung Woo delivers an engaging performance as Dong Ha. He accurately portrays the helplessness his character faces as he goes through multiple trials in life.

The character of Eunju, played by Yoon Jin Seo is also portrayed very well. She brings forth a morally grey character in a way that does not seem overbearing in the way it was showcased.

A special mention must go to the characters played by Park Heesoon and Park Jihyeon. They both also brilliantly portray the range of emotions their characters go through.


The plotline is interesting throughout, without any pacing issues. It is a unique take on a fairly common set of narratives and raises anticipation with each passing episode.

The series uses its characters and plot points well. Each detail is laid out and can be analysed in a way that will lend to the overall narrative. It is precise, without ever being repetitive.

The characters are portrayed very well by the individual actors, and this works well together on screen and delivers a fresh, engaging take into the underbelly of crime and drug trade.


Certain parts can be opened up for discussion for plausible inaccuracies, such as the scene where Dong-Ha’s father dug up the graves of the people Dong-Ha had buried.

The fresh dirt should have provided some clues to the police force, but there is no mention of it.


A thrilling watch that does not have any lags in the narrative, each and every scene holds purpose, and this makes it an enjoyable watch.

A Model Family
A Model Family review: Addictive crime thriller with an interesting premise 1

Director: Kim Jin-woo

Date Created: 2022-08-12 12:00

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: A Model Family ending explained: Does Dong Ha save his family?

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