Prison Playbook

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Prison Playbook
Wise Prison Life-poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known asSmart Prison Living
Hangul슬기로운 감빵생활
Hanja슬기로운 監房生活
GenreBlack comedy[1]
Created byLee Woo-jung
(for Egg Is Coming)[1]
Written byJung Bo-hoon
Directed byShin Won-ho
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes16
Executive producerPark Sung-jae
ProducerPark Soo-woo
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time90 minutes
Production companytvN
Original networktvN
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseNovember 22, 2017 (2017-11-22) –
January 18, 2018 (2018-01-18)
External links

Prison Playbook[2] (Korean슬기로운 감빵생활; Hanja슬기로운 監房生活; RRSeulgiroun Gamppangsaenghwal; lit. Wise Prison Life) is a 2017 South Korean television series directed by Shin Won-ho and starring Park Hae-soo and Jung Kyung-ho. The series marks Park Hae-soo's first-ever lead role. It aired on tvN from November 22, 2017 to January 18, 2018, on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:10 (KST) time slot for 16 episodes.[3][4]

The series was a commercial hit and became one of the highest rated Korean series on cable television history.[5]


A captivating series revolving around the lives of convicts behind bars, their families and duty officers working in the correctional facilities. It focuses on the story of a superstar baseball pitcher, Kim Je-hyuk who is convicted of assault after he saves his sister from a sexual attack.



A superstar baseball player who turns into a convict overnight.
An elite prison guard and Je-hyuk's best friend. He used to play baseball with Je-hyuk in high school but had to quit because of injuries sustained in a car accident.


People around Je-hyuk[edit]

Je-hyuk's girlfriend who is a traditional Korean medicine student.
Je-hyuk's younger sister.
Joon-ho's younger brother who is a reporter and an avid fan of Je-hyuk.

Seobu Detention Center[edit]

A veteran prison guard chief who is quick and flexible when it comes to resolving incidents that takes place inside the prison.[6]
  • Jung Jae-sung as "Professor Myung"
  • Lee Ho-chul [ko] as Gal Dae-bong (aka "Good-for-nothing Low-life")

Seobu Penitentiary[edit]

A gang member who was sentenced to twenty five years' imprisonment because of murder.
An engineer who was sentenced of imprisonment for three years and six months because of gambling scam.
A repeat offender for the wrongdoing of drugs. He constantly bickers with Kaist and Captain Yoo.
A commanding officer who allegedly assaulted his teammate mercilessly, which led to the latter's death. He initially found it hard to live with criminals but eventually fit in.
A manager who was imprisoned because of his company embezzling ten billion won and taking the fall purposely.
A repeat convict criminal who is unable to refrain from stealing.
A man who frequently goes in and out of prison. He considered Je-hyuk his brother because Je-hyuk secretly paid for his mother's surgery.
  • Ahn Chang-hwan as Dong-ho (aka "Croney")
A prisoner who stabbed Je-hyuk causing his left arm to be paralyzed and can't be used for baseball but eventually, Je-hyuk was able to convince him to be on his side and be his catcher while he trains for baseball in prison.
A fierce prison guard who likes swearing at prisoners but is actually very supportive and concerned about their well-beings and reform.


A prison guard who is very talkative. He is drawn to Captain Yoo because he was once saved by him.

Special appearance[edit]


  • Prison Playbook is directed by Shin Won-ho, the award-winning director of Reply franchise and written by one of the franchise's junior writers, Jung Bo-hoon.[7][8]
  • The first script reading of the cast was held on July 17, 2017, at CJ E&M Center in Sangam-dong, Seoul.[9]
  • The filming wrapped up on January 16, 2018.[10]

Original soundtrack[edit]

Prison Playbook
Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
LanguageKorean, English
ProducerKim Han-jo (executive)

Part 1[edit]

1."OK"BewhyGray, DAX, BewhyBewhy03:12
2."OK" (Inst.) Gray, DAX, Bewhy 03:12
Total length:06:24

Part 2[edit]

1."The Door (Prod. By Zico)" (문)Mino, ZicoZico, PoptimeKang Seung-yoon, Mino (Winner)03:21
2."The Door (Prod. By Zico)" (Inst.) Zico, Poptime 03:21
Total length:93:42

Part 3[edit]

1."Like A Dream" (꿈만 같아)DGGDGGPark Bo-ram03:02
2."Like A Dream" (Inst.) DGG 03:02
Total length:06:04

Part 4[edit]

1."Bravo, My Life!"Jong-jin KimJong-jin KimEric Nam04:05
2."Bravo, My Life!" (Inst.) Jong-jin Kim 04:05
Total length:08:10

Part 5[edit]

1."Would Be Better" (좋았을걸)HeizeHeize, DAVIIHeize03:40
2."Would Be Better" (Inst.) Heize, DAVII 03:40
Total length:07:20

Part 6[edit]

1."Nostalgia (Prod. by Woogie)" (향수)Woo Won-jaeWoogieWoo Won-jae03:21
2."Nostalgia (Prod. by Woogie)" (Inst.) Woogie 03:21
Total length:06:42

Part 7[edit]

1."No Problem" (괜찮아)Shim Jae-hee, PrimeboiPrimeboiCNU, Baro (B1A4)03:33
2."No Problem" (Inst.) Primeboi 03:33
Total length:07:06

Part 8[edit]

1."That's The Way It Goes (ft. Kim Min-jae (REAL.BE))" (다이런거지뭐)DAVIIDAVIIDAVII03:49
2."That's The Way It Goes" (Inst.) DAVII 03:49
Total length:07:38

Part 9[edit]

1."Those Days (Without You)" (하루일과)Zion.TZion.T, Slom, PeejayZion.T03:05
2."Those Days (Without You)" (Inst.) Zion.T, Slom, Peejay 03:05
Total length:06:10

Part 10[edit]

1."How Strange" (희한하네)Rhythm PowerTopic Of ChanganRhythm Power03:23
2."How Strange" (Inst.) Topic Of Changan 03:23
Total length:06:46

Commercial performance[edit]

Chart performance
Title Year Peak Sales Remarks
"The Door" () 2017 Part 2
"Would Be Better" (좋았을걸) 22 Part 5
"Nostalgia" (향수) 93 Part 6
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Prison Playbook : South Korea viewers per episode (millions)
SeasonEpisode numberAverage
Source: Audience measurement performed nationwide by Nielsen Media Research.[15][note 1]
Average TV viewership ratings
Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
AGB Nielsen[16] TNmS
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide
1 November 22, 2017 4.638% 4.816% 5.1%
2 November 23, 2017 5.381% 5.900% 5.1%
3 November 29, 2017 4.698% 5.336% 4.9%
4 November 30, 2017 5.468% 6.644% 5.3%
5 December 6, 2017 5.612% 6.518% 5.7%
6 December 7, 2017 5.847% 6.260% 6.2%
7 December 13, 2017 6.388% 6.942% 7.1%
8 December 14, 2017 6.774% 7.409% 7.0%
9 December 20, 2017 7.313% 8.376% 7.4%
10 December 21, 2017 7.910% 8.809% 7.7%
11 January 3, 2018 9.095% 10.139% 8.7%
12 January 4, 2018 9.393% 10.511% 9.6%
13 January 10, 2018 10.142% 11.077% 10.2%
14 January 11, 2018 10.615% 11.531% 11.3%
15 January 17, 2018 10.477% 11.620% 10.9%
16 January 18, 2018 11.195% 12.299% 10.9%
Average 7.559% 8.387% 7.7%
Special December 27, 2017 5.110% 5.658% 5.3%
  • In the table above, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • This drama aired on a cable channel/pay TV which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2018 22nd Asian Television Awards Best Drama Series Prison Playbook Nominated
12th Korean Cable TV Awards Best Drama Won [17]
54th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Director Shin Won-ho Nominated [18][19]
Best Supporting Actor Park Ho-san Won
Best New Actor Park Hae-soo Nominated
Best Screenplay Jung Bo-hoon Nominated
Most Popular Actor Jung Hae-in Won
6th APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Park Hae-soo Nominated [20]
Best Supporting Actor Park Ho-san Won
2nd The Seoul Awards Nominated [21]
Best New Actor Park Hae-soo Won


  1. ^ The number of viewers was released on Nielsen starting January 2018.


  1. ^ a b Kim, Yoon-ji. "신원호PD "'감옥', 이우정 작가 참여+블랙코미디 될것" (인터뷰)". Naver (in Korean). E Daily. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Prison Playbook '응답하라' 슬기로운 감빵생활! 171122 EP.0. YouTube (in Korean). tvN Drama. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Kim, Jin-seok. "[단독]정경호·박해수, tvN '슬기로운 감빵생활' 주인공". Naver (in Korean). Ilgan Sports. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Baek, Sol-mi. "tvN '슬기로운 감빵생활', 슬기롭지 않은 대본 보안". Naver (in Korean). Sports DongA. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "[M+TV시청률] 종영 '슬기로운 감빵생활', 11% 최고 시청률…유종의 미". Naver (in Korean). MBN. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  6. ^ Choi, Hye Won (November 8, 2017). <슬기로운 감빵생활> 압도적인 24人 캐릭터포스터 공개! (in Korean). iMBC.
  7. ^ Moon, Wan-sik. "신원호PD "'감옥' 드라마 가을 첫선..'응답' 내년 이후"(일문일답)". Naver (in Korean). Star News. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Jo, Hyeon-joo. "신원호 PD "감옥 소재 신작, 페이소스 있는 블랙코미디" (인터뷰)". Tenasia (in Korean). Korea Entertainment Media. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Kim, Ji-ho. 크리스탈, '감빵생활' 합류…17일 대본리딩 완료. Naver (in Korean). Dispatch. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Kim, Yoon-ji. "어떻게 헤어져"…'슬기로운 감빵생활', 촬영 종료. Naver (in Korean). E Daily. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Gaon Digital Chart:
  12. ^ Cumulative sales for "The Door":
  13. ^ Cumulative sales for "Would Be Better":
  14. ^ Cumulative sales for "Nostalgia":
  15. ^ "Nielsen Korea". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  16. ^ "Nielsen Korea". AGB Nielsen Media Research. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  17. ^ "Winners Of The 2018 Korea Cable TV Awards". Soompi. 16 April 2018.
  18. ^ "[2018 백상예술대상 종합] tvN '비밀의 숲'·영화 '1987' 대상 영예+3·4관왕". Osen (in Korean). May 4, 2018.
  19. ^ "제54회 백상예술대상, TV·영화 각 부문별 수상 후보자 공개". JTBC (in Korean). April 6, 2018.
  20. ^ "이병헌·손예진·아이유 APAN스타어워즈 노미네이트". Star News (in Korean). September 27, 2018.
  21. ^ ‘제2회 더 서울어워즈’ 10월27일 개최, 드라마-영화 각 부문별 후보공개. iMBC (in Korean). September 28, 2018.

External links[edit]