Stealer: The Treasure Keeper Season 1 Review – A highly enjoyable heroic take on treasure hunting

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 -|Review Score – 5/5
Episode 10 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 12-|Review Score – 3/5


Stealer: The Treasure Keeper is an enjoyable action-comedy. The premise is simple, revolving around a couple of vigilantes teaming up with some policemen to create a cultural heritage team named Karma. Together, they set out on missions to recover ancient stolen property and deliver justice.

Given all of the treasure hunting content available, it is really hard for screenwriters to create treasure hunt series and movies without adding a ginormous amount of flamboyant, fictional, and far-fetched elements. Stealer: The Treasure Keeper only gives in to these schemes in one or two ways, and because of that, it is still a cut above the majority of treasure-related fiction out there.

The show maintains some realistic aspects with its use of Joseon Tongbo coins, other artifacts, and a key cultural location. The main thing that is highly fabricated and a bit cheesy comes from the inclusion of the Bead/Rock of Eternal Life, which is not even mentioned until episode 4.

Before then, Stealer gives the impression that the cultural heritage team are after things that don’t sound like the mythical stuff of legends. Though, in the show, the Rock of Eternal Life doesn’t actually do anything magical, it is still said and proved to have somehow caused the deaths of those near it.

With the exception of the magical rock and the occasional too coincidental plot-filler elements, the storyline is creative and compelling. And though it can be light hearted and comedic at times, there is a lot of complexity too.

There are three main villains, two of whom have a lot of backstory. There is Min-woo’s side story with Dr. Ko; Skunk’s secret identity and his teaming up with the police; and the main treasure hunt for the coins, which turns into a hunt for the Rock of Eternal Life.

Many people love a good heroes vs. villains story, and the combination of having Skunk’s superhero-like traits mix with the police force team is one of the best aspects of the storyline, for sure.

Skunk’s character seems straight out of a comic book. Hero by night, civilian by day, murdered parents, a super-suit, etc. Like Batman, he even has his own “Alfred” in the form of Ms. Lee, except she is the rich one, not him. Another thing is that Skunk doesn’t have any significant personal gains from recovering stolen artifacts. He does it for the satisfaction that delivering justice brings, and because he wants to finish what his father started.

One consistent drawback to this season is Choi Hwa-jung’s (Ms. Lee’s) acting. The rest of the cast do a terrific job, especially Jang Tae-In, who seems to just melt into his role as Captain. But unfortunately, nearly every time Choi Hwa-jung speaks, it sounds fake and unnatural. Sometimes it is complete overkill and really distracts from the scene.

Overall, it is a suspenseful, creative, and highly interesting Korean drama with a lot of action and a good helping of comedy. Stealer feels like a heady blend of National Treasure, comic book heroes, a kick-ass vigilante/cop team and a smidgen of Indiana Jones. And if that sounds like a good time, you can’t really go wrong with this one!

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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