Drama: Misaeng (미생)
Release Date: October 17 – December 20, 2014
Runtime: Fri & Sat 20:30
Jang Geu-Rae played the board game Go since he was a child but he failed to become a professional go player and had to look for a real job. He had a chance to work on One International as an intern. The story revolves around Jang Gu Rae’s life inside a company and dealing with his team, his fellow interns and his work.
Siwan: Jang Gu Rae
Lee Sung Min: Oh Sang-Sik
Kang Sora: An Young Yi
Kang Haneul: Jang Baek Ki
Byun Yo Han: Han Suk Yool
Kim Dae Myung: Kim Dong Sik
Heard so many good reviews and awards for this show, even my friend kept telling me to watch this show. I’ve been wanting to, but the name of the drama alone gave me an impression this is a depressing show. and i’m right. i started watching the show as early as May but i was only able to finish all the episodes in September. Yes, took me 5 months to finish because:
1. it is depressing. and so damn boring. i dont know if it was intentional but i keep seeing the 4 interns go to work with no zest, no lively background music, that it feels like they didn’t even like working for the company. The entire mood of the show was dark and gloomy. If i were a college student watchingthis i will probably dread the day i graduate and start working. especially if it’s a company like One International.
2. One international, as a company is a really bad company. I dont know if this is entirely fictional or is based on actual korean company culture, but wow, i wouldn’t want to work in this company, even if it paid me a million dollars an on expat status. the management culture is terrible. Too much discrimination, sexual harrassment, managers being violent and rude to the interns and corruption.
3. the storylines started out great. the interns, we have the smart Young Yi, tech whiz Baekki, smoothtalking Suk Yool and meek Gu Rae. they had so much potential when they were interns but as soon as they entered the company, they just got swallowed by the system. Felt like the writers put the worst managers and created the worst situations for the interns that the story fell flat. i didnt feel like they grew up and matured in the company after 2 years, they became average.
Suk Yool had to tolerate a credit grabbing lazy boss who kept putting him down and not recognizing his worth. Young Yi was being praised as an intern but when she joined the all male team, instead of utilizing her skills, they just ignored her and put her down just because they feel threatened by her. in the end, she got accepted by her team but she wasn’t the same strong fighting Young Yi. felt sad seeing her light dim a little. Baekki had a tough no nonsense boss, which i appreciated and he was the perfect manager to teach Baekki to stop being so confident and arrogant when he hasn’t even proven himself. In the end, he just learned to be less of a show off and more of a team player.
4. Sales team three just kept getting the worse deals. i’m not sure why they are being ridiculed by the rest of the teams. it seems like they were hardworking and results oriented, while the rest are lazy, and yet they are being hassled and called the worse team that gets stuck in front of the smelly toilet. i love Manager Oh and Kim Dong Shik – they were the perfect mentors for a rookie-does not know anything about life and work- Gu Rae. Of the 4 interns, Gu rae had the best team and great coworkers, and i think that’s also why he was able to shine.
The company was too messy that until episode 12 or 13 i kept thinking, why the hell are they still trying their best in that company and why the heck does Gu Ree want to become a regular employee that such a company that treated its employees so bad? I also thought Manager Oh should go say f*ck you all i’m leaving”” and put up his own company. Holy cr*p! that’s what happened! like they just read my mind! (i didn’t read any spoilers fyi so i really did not know the ending) they were such misfits in that company – which is ironic since the team had integrity but were considered rulebreakers in the company — who was not so good in the controls department in the first place. The company needs these guys to inspire and set an example to the rest of the people, yet they were just too good for One International. I’m so glad they formed a new company and happy to see Dong sik resigning and joining them as well.
Overall, this drama, as a drama is well written and deserving its raves and awards, but if you think about the characters, the story and situations, it didn’t feel right for me. And i say so because i’ve been working for 14+ years now for different companies, cultures and meeting different people and this is not a company i would want to be in. and it also made me appreciate the company i work with a whole lot more.