Disney’s Kdrama, The Worst of Evil has probably left a narcotic-sized hole in your hearts, especially with that ending. Grandiose in its presentation, set in late 90s Seoul, The Worst of Evil is visually charming while also delivering a well-crafted story that is emotional and thrilling at the same time. Yeah, it’s nothing new, but the show goes beyond what is expected from it. The fantastic cast plays the biggest role in making this work, and the chemistry between all members is palpable. The Worst of Evil is directed with finesse; even the classic Korean beauty shot feels more raw and eerie with the setting of the late 90s. Some scenes are unforgettable, and we have to talk about the costume design, which is absolutely flawless. Did anybody else want all the suits for themselves? We’ve compiled a list that includes worldwide shows that cover similar themes but are vastly different from each other.
Peaky Blinders (England)
Let’s get over the big names first. It is likely that anyone reading this article has already watched this show, but it could be a good time to rewatch it. Period crime series check, ensemble cast check, slang you don’t understand check. Set in Birmingham post-World War I, it follows a gang named the Peaky Blinders (who knew), specifically their leader, Thomas Shelby. This show is all things great about a British period drama and transports you to the world of newsboy caps and swing dresses in an instant. In all seriousness, it’s a fantastic show that incorporates themes such as crime, family, gang dynamics, romance, and much more. Sounds familiar? Well, yes, The Worst of Evil does the same thing. If you’re in for a longer treat, put on your best suits and Midland accent hat (God knows it’s impossible to understand) and get ready for some fantastic television (and Cililan Murphy eyes).
Another popular series about drugs, this one based on the true cat-and-mouse chase to catch the most infamous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. When you think of gangs and drugs, all you expect is violence and dirt, but the common theme in these shows is that they’re all emotionally charged. What is happening in the mind of the police officer who is so stuck on capturing Escobar? How did it affect the people involved mentally? What did their families go through? This show gives much insight into drug syndicates and their inner workings, leaving one shocked at the lengths people will go to transport these drugs. If True Crime is more your thing, pick this one, and you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the Yakuza after seeing The Worst of Evil and Giri/Haji, thos BBC-Netflix series will be more up to your speed. About a detective from Tokyo who is in search of his younger brother caught up with the Yakuza and accused of murder, the series is a family drama masked as a crime series. There’s a lot of tension and drama, and this show employs unique methods in presenting its story, with watercolor paintings or screen aspect ratios that make it interesting to watch. Overall, the series is a bit far-reaching, and some might find the drama too much, but it’s a decent watch. “Duty/Shame” is the main theme of this show, and every character has an arc relating to the two subjects, big or small.
Guns & Gulaabs (India)
The Indian series follows a fictional town that is known for its production of opium. Similar to The Worst of Evil, this show is set in the 1990s and visually works fantastically. Guns & Gulaabs is slightly on the slow burn side though and might be a little confusing to many as it follows multiple subplots, only to answer our questions by the end. Again, similar themes of family, pride, generational trauma, romance, etc. are explored in this series. A fantastic cast helps this show culminate in a chaotic last act that is worth the wait. The show may feel a little bit chaotic, but stick around to find satisfaction.
Narco-Saints (South Korea)
We have to start with talking about the ensemble cast of this series, and if you’re a K-drama enthusiast, chances are you’ve come across at least one of the main cast members before this show. If you’re looking for the edge-of-your-seat drama, gore, and action that you loved in The Worst of Evil, then pick this as your next. Of course, we can’t forget to mention drugs. This is a Korean show set in Suriname based on real-life events; we don’t think there’s much more to say to pique your interest. This is a fish-out-water situation; quite literally, the protagonist is caught up in the world of drugs after trying to be a good family man and not follow the vicious cycle his own parents put him through. You could say this is Korea’s own Narcos.
Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo (India)
Before we finish off this list, we have to mention a woman-centric series that is just as gritty, action-packed, and entertaining. Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo is a new take on the female experience following a drug lord (lady) Savitri, who produces drugs in an interior part of Rajasthan, employing her daughter and daughter-in-laws to join her in the task. There’s a comic element to the series, mainly because her two sons are absolutely oblivious to what goes on in their house because they’ve been studying abroad. What’s most compelling about this series is the fact that even with the most absurd premise, it’s very real and evokes genuine heartbreak amidst the chaotic world of drugs, enemies, and background stories. This might be the most different from The Worst of Evil on this list, but it’s a fantastic series about a drug cartel that is a gripping watch.
Which of these series have you watched? Which shows would you have put on this list? Let us know in the comments down below!