Good Job (2022)


Drama: Good Job (굿잡)
Network: ENA, Olleh TV, Seezn
Episodes: 12
Release Date: August 24 – September 29, 2022
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00
Country: South Korea

Plot: A young CEO of the Eun Kang Group sidelines as a detective to investigate who killed his mother years ago. He runs a small detective agency with his best friend lawyer Jinmo. He meets Don Sera during one of his cases and the two decide to work together to solve Sunwoo’s mother’s death.

Main Cast
Jung Il Woo – Eun Sunwoo
Kwon Yuri – Don Sera
Eum Mun Suk – Yang Jinmo
Song Sang Eun – Sa Nahee
Yoon Sun Woo – Kang Tae Joon
Lee Joon Hyuk – Director Hong
Hong Woo Jin – Kim Jae Ha

This was so light and fun and easy to watch! The plot is simple but I like their silly disguises and solving cases. This drama reminds me a lot like Bruce Wayne (Sunwoo) and his secret batcave and alterego as Batman (Sunwoo as a detective), with his sidekick Robin (Jinmo), Batgirl (Sera — ok Batgirl is not Batman’s love interest but you get what I mean) and Alfred (Director Hong).

The show was mostly carried by the great chemistry between the main leads Sera and Sunwoo and the second leads Jinmo and Nahee. They were funny, sweet, romantic. Esp Sera and Sunwoo — whew!! I wish they get together in real life! (Time to watch Bossam!). I also loved the bromance between Sunwoo and his best friend Jin Mo — they know each other so well that they also have a Plan B.

I also liked all the OST songs. Too bad they didn’t release an album.

On the other hand, the villain is predictable (well, at least to me), I felt like he tried too hard to be like Joo Dan Tae (if you watch Penthouse lol) and I still really don’t really get his motive (it sounds shallow — boohoo daddy didn’t love him).

The other “bad guy” was just too angry from episode 1 without really saying why he is that way to Sunwoo. I don’t know if it’s the actor or the way the character was written. But I like that in the end, he got a little redemption — he was able to get out of his father’s shadow and accepted the consequences of his actions (and hopefully mature a bit).

Detective Han was largely useless as a character except for the last episode. Which was too bad coz he would have been a great part of the team, had he actually had better detective instincts. And as a detective, he should know better than stop Sera from knowing the truth behind what happened when she was younger. She deserved to know to be able to take care of herself.

Rating: 8.5/10 (8 for the story + 0.5 for the leads)

Oh My Baby (2020)

Drama: Oh My Baby (오 마이 베이비)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 13 – July 2, 2020
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:50

Jang Hari is a 39-year old single woman who wants to get married and have a baby. Unfortunately, she has not dated in 10 years and the doctor told her she has endometriosis and needs to get surgery. Running out of time with no prospects, she is thinking of ways to have a baby without getting married. Suddenly 3 potential men come into her life. Who will she choose to love and marry? Will she decide to have a baby or not? Can she have it all?

Main Cast
Jang Nara – Jang Hari
Go Joon – Han Yi Sang
Park Byung Eun – Yoon Jae Young
Jung Gun Joo – Choi Kang Ee Ddeum

It’s been a long time since i’ve watched a Jang Nara drama. Mostly because when i tried her more recent dramas, i find it cringey that they are trying so hard to make her look cute and young when she is not. Yes, she is baby faced and looks young for her age, but not enough to pass for a 20s lady. But once i saw the promo, I got so excited. I mean, look at the 3 main leads – Go Joon (who i super loved in The Fiery Priest), Park Byung Eun (who I liked in Because This is My First Life) and Jung Gun Joo (who was super adorable in Extraordinary You). So it was a no-brainer that I will watch this drama.

And it was such a good decision because this drama was a little gem! The first 2 episodes were a bit weird – it wobbled between comedy and drama and the transition from one side to the other was a bit jarring. But it slowly balanced itself in the next couple of episodes.

On the surface, I can see myself in Hari. I’m just like her, single, almost 40, not married. the difference is I’m not desperate to have a kid and knock on wood i dont have a reproductive issue. However, I have friends in similar situations so I can totally understand her issue. The only thing I didn’t like was that her dream was to be a “mother”. That she will only be happy if she was a “mom”. I thought that was not a good reason to be a mother and to live a life. I think first and foremost, you need to be happy by yourself to be able to be happy for your family. That the possibility to just get pregnant and raise a child as a single parent (without the getting married or having to deal with the father/husband) is something me and my single friends have also discussed in the last few years. So i can really relate to her. That’s why I was interested to see how this drama will unfold. I already have an idea how this will go – she will end up realizing that she doesn’t need to be happy to be a mom and she will be pregnant by the end of the drama. (Of course, i was right haha!)

And i know that because that’s the same thing me and my friends have realized in the last few years. It’s great to be married and have a child, but it’s also great to be single and living a happy life. That having a kid on our own is a bit selfish – it may fulfill your dream to be a mom and not to be lonely when you’re older, but the child may suffer from unintentional hardships and hurt because the child doesn’t have a regular family and might get bullied for it. Thinking about that, i realized that having a child is really a gift and a very big decision to make because it will impact not only your life but the child’s.

I applaud Hari for remaining true to herself during the course of the drama. That she didn’t give up on her principles and she learned to be happy – with her family, her partner, her colleagues and her friends beside her.

As for the 3 baby daddies – while i was rooting for Go Joon, i didnt expect that the show will single him out so early in the drama. I thought there will be a big love triangle between Yisang, Hari and Jaeyoung, and i will have a hard time choosing which guy Hari should end up with — the hot single photographer or the childhood friend divorced guy with a kid. Good thing the show made it clear that Yisang is the end game and i loved it!

Yisang is like one of the best kdrama boyfriends this year. What’s not to like? He’s handsome, sweet, sensitive, good at his job and sexy! The only problem – he has reproductive issues too, just like Hari! OMO OMO! This was the storyline i totally didn’t expect but loved because it brought a whole new issue to the story. Would you choose love or baby? Would you still choose to love and marry someone even when you know there’s a high chance you wont have a child together? For someone like Hari who dreams of having a child, that is one tough decision to make!

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It really depends on the person on what the person values more. Just need to be sure of your decision and stick with it. You dont choose love then start blaming your partner when you can’t have children. Likewise, you dont choose a child and neglect him/her.

I also felt bad for Yisang. He just wants to be with his girlfriend and have a family of his own, but his girlfriend left him! and now Hari almost left him too! I guess that’s what made him so gunshy of relationships and have crushed his dreams of ever having his own family to love. I was super happy that Yisang and Hari were both able to talk through and overcome the hardships as one. They are right. There will always be ups and downs in any relationship. And what’s important is that they are working and solving it together.

While i loved how the story between Yisang and Hari was developed and resolved, i thought Jae Young’s character and story was such a lost opportunity! I mean, Park Byung Eun is such an amazing actor and he can totally give Yisang a run for his money. We also saw his character growth, from being so down after his divorce and being a single dad, why can’t they just make him as sweet as he was from the start? Did he really have to be such an a$$ to Hari and Yisang? i disliked it every time he tried to come between the couple. C’mon, if you want to win Hari’s heart, you do so at your own merit, not at the expense of your rival. And he didn’t have the right (at all) to interfere. He is a family friend, not a family. I mean, even Hari’s mom let Hari decide on her own, so why make Jae Young’s character so bad? Ugh! Too bad really!

I loved his story line of moving forward and growing to be a better dad to his daughter, and to making peace with the ex-wife. I just think his loveline with Hari could have been handled better – and it shouldn’t have been the focus of his story. He can continue to be the nice silent supporter/friend of Hari while realizing that his bad decisions have cost him his chance to be with Hari and he can never have it back. (on a side note, i still dont think he really loved Hari – i think he loved the idea of it – instant mom and friend. i mean he was such a jerk to her when he fell in love with his ex-wife, that i dont think he really loved her. maybe a crush, maybe a what-could-have-been).

On the other hand, the young guy, i think from the very start he was not a contender. I dont know if he was just brought to the story because of the other alternative – have yourself a younger guy who is the “king of sp*rm” and have a kid. We know it definitely wouldn’t work and it is so-not Hari’s personality to do it. but still he gave us plenty of laughs. His story arc is a bit different – although he started as clueless guy (i mean if a younger guy kept calling me auntie in the office, i would probably do the same thing that Hari did to him!), he ended up becoming mature as he learns how to work in the office and dealing with clients and coworkers. I honestly didn’t like the story between him and the selfish girl. I thought he deserved a way better girl than her and i’m glad they didn’t end up as a couple. Likewise, the selfish girl also learned a lot during the drama which was nice.

I honestly didn’t care much about the The Baby closing down as a storyline, mostly because i can’t really relate as I’m not a mom, but i thought the storyline was very real – I’ve seen local publishing houses stopping the print releases and going digital. and it impacts a lot of people. but while one opportunity closes, there will also be plenty of new opportunities that will open up. As long as we keep our heads up and think of what we want and like to do, then anything can happen. I loved that Hari opened her new company (Oh My Baby) although it’s not very clear what it supposed to be. (It is like her own webzine?) It still stayed true to her character since she loves kids so much and knows so much about them. She was able to give her best friend work and give Jae Young a site to continue reaching out to potential patients/clients.

Lastly, what i loved about this drama is that it not just focused on Hari’s story about a single woman wanting to have a family. We see so many other characters that are relatable — Her former boss who had to quit her job because she is struggling on working while taking care of her child, while her best friend wants to go back to working after taking care of her twins but is not having luck because she was out of the job market for years, taking care of her kids. We see a couple struggling to have a child, but we also see a childless couple happy without having any kids but being pressured by family members to have one.

I also realized that it’s not just the females who have it hard. Yisang is single but wants to have a family. Jae Young is a divorced single dad trying to work and manage his daughter at the same time. We see Yisang’s best friend working on various jobs to provide for his family and we see Ee Ddeum’s boss trying to create a loving relationship with his teenager by getting into the kpop groups that his daughter loves. These are all so well written and makes me realize that everyone has their own problems. We all have different issues in life and we should all try to understand and accept each other without judgements.

Overall, i loved this drama so much. The OST was beautiful and the cinematic visuals were stunning! I recommend to anyone because i think everyone can relate to at least one of the characters.

Rating: 9.5/10

Old School Intern (2020)

Drama: Kkondae Intern (꼰대인턴)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 24
Release Date: May 20 – June 25, 2020
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:00

Ga Yeol Chan used to be an intern at Ongol Foods and his boss is Lee Mansic. A tragic event forces Yeol Chan to resign from Ongol. Now a successful manager at Joonsu Foods, he was surprised to discover Lee Mansic joining Joonsu as a senior intern. Yeol Chan vows to seek revenge on Mansic.

Main Cast
Park Hae Jin – Ga Yeol Chan
Kim Eung Soo – Lee Man Sic
Park Ki Woong – Namgoong Joonsu
Han Ji Eun – Lee Tae Ri

I started watching this drama as it was promoted to an office comedy type of drama. I imagined kind of like “The Intern” movie. But the first 4 episodes were actually hard to watch. This is because the show started with showing the dark past between Lee Mansic and Ga Yeol Chan. The way Lee Mansic treated Ga Yeol Chan was really terrible that you would root for Yeol Chan to seek his revenge on Mansic. But when they finally met at Joonsu foods, I was surprised how much I sympathized with Mansic instead of Yeol Chan! Which is weird because Yeol Chan was supposed to be the victim and Mansic the bully. I think this is partly because Kim Eung Soo did an amazing job playing Lee Mansic. Second because I thought, “Ga Yeol Chan should know better than this!”

I’ve been in the workforce for almost 20 years and I’ve seen different personalities in the work place. And considering that my job sometimes makes me at odds with my stakeholders, I always thought of myself that, I should always try to understand them and think of how i would feel if i were in their shoes. That way, i can anticipate how they react and also think of how to make the relationship better. Likewise, me and my friends have always said that when you’ve been treated badly at work and you get to be on the other side, there are 2 things people usually do: (1) to seek revenge and be as awful as how you treated previously or (2) be the better person and make sure the other people wont feel the way you did before.

And i put this same principle to Ga Yeol Chan. and that’s why I was mostly disappointed in him for the first half of the show. He knows what it felt like to be bullied, to not be respected and to treat others unkindly. Yet that is what he was doing to his team. On the outside, he comes off as super nice, great boss, compassionate but when no one is looking, he puts them down, thinks that they are all stupid and he’s the magnanimous boss. Grr! Irritated me a lot!

And i compare him to Lee Mansic. He’s so experienced in dealing with people, even when he knows Ga Yeol Chan is treating him like trash, he stood up for himself and treated work as work. Yes, he has done so many bad things in his work life, but as he said during the last few episodes to the board of directors when he was trying to defend Ga Yeol Chan — who hasn’t done things because the boss told them too? It is hard to do it but someone’s got to do it and they become the “bad guys”. And what’s good with Lee Mansic is that he actually reflects on his actions. He knows when he’s done bad things, and he knows when he needs to back down and apologize. He tries hard to grit his teeth and move forward even when things are terrible.

To be honest, i almost dropped the show around episode 5 because I didn’t like Ga Yeol Chan and i didn’t like his team — i thought they were so incompetent – the 2 permanent employees were slackers, the lady contractual had b*tch face everyday, the girl intern was so weird, and the guy intern was creepy and vindictive. The only person I liked was Lee Mansic. And it was enough for me to continue watching, because I couldn’t wait for the day when Ga Yeol Chan wakes up and he and Lee Mansic teams up to take down the bad guys. At this point, i thought the “bad guy” was Namgoong Joonsu, who i can’t understand why he is so intent on pulling Yeol Chan down when he spends the whole day just talking and plotting inane things with the manager. I dont think i even saw him work once!

But i’m glad i stuck it out with the show. I loved all the office drama where they have to fix various issues that happens, like angry consumers, developing new ramen product. And i liked the slow growth and maturity of the team. Well, mostly the gradual realization of Yeol chan of how he judges too easily and puts down people so much (although i thought this should have happened early on).

I especially loved when he said, “That’s when i realized that I had been too quick to judge based on my own standards, without remembering how clumsy I had been in the beginning. I looked down on them just like the people who had looked down on me. You shouldn’t judge a person that easily. They were never useless from the get-go.” I agree with him. Everyone brings something to the table, and sometimes, it is the diversity that makes life interesting because that’s when you learn so much more and you appreciate the people around you.

Likewise, this drama also showed the maturity of Mansic too. He has spent most of his life thinking he’s the older one, but it’s also nice to listen to the young people too. They have new creative ideas that older people dont think of, partly because we are stuck to our ways or we never thought of it. I loved the scene between his daughter when she said, not in an angry tone, but in a loving way, “That’s why you need to stop saying things like ‘back in my days’. You should humble yourself when you approach younger people. And hear them out on their ideas instead of asserting only yours.” I do note that this should go both ways. Younger people also should listen and respect the older generation too.

I still didn’t like the guy intern that much and i didn’t really care for his romance with the lady contractual, but the story wasn’t bad. I also still didn’t like the two slackers.

I did like the girl intern – like i said before, she started really weird and i thought she is immature, but she eventually grew on me. I wished they showed how nice and smart she is early on. and I’m happy they didn’t pursue the loveline between her and Yeol Chan because it felt off from the very start. And the unexpected surprise, learning that she is Mansic’s daughter was so funny, and somehow they earlier episodes finally started making sense. and I loved the father-daughter team/relationship. Again, i wish this happened earlier on.

As for the “bad guy”, I’ve always had some niggling feeling that Joonsu wasn’t the villain of the drama, and I was right. It was the lady! Ugh! *Side note: she seems to be all over kdramaland nowadays, she needs to be careful not to be “too much” out there or people might get fed up with her

Oh, and i want to give a shout out to the 2 other senior interns – they were both kickass! (Especially Anastacia – wow she is so beautiful and elegant!)

Overall, this drama was not bad, it had comedy, action (the warehouse gang fight scene was one of the funniest i’ve seen in a while), drama, lots of food (mostly ramen), lots of lessons learned about life and about work. And of course, the bromance between Yeol Chan and Mansic!! It felt like Mansic became part mentor, part father to Yeol Chan, which i loved.

Rating: 7.5/10