Misaeng

How odd. That is how I describe this addiction to Misaeng. I finally caved after hearing such raving reviews about how good it is. I even watched 6 episodes before pulling myself away long enough to write this review. What is weird, is that even though the drama hits none of my favorite drama tropes, it grabs me in another way. What had put me off from watching it earlier was the theme of the drama, office-life, which of course did not spark any interest and to be honest, sounded really boring. I was much more used to the regular drama fare, the dramatic story lines, the angsty chaebols, the birth secrets, the whirlwind romances or longing first loves. However, Misaeng is one of the most realistic and truest pieces I’ve ever watched. It portrays regular, ordinary life, but delivers such powerful messages at the same time. It really shows character growth and the power of human relationships.

Misaeng is a story that follows Geu Rae, a young man who discovers what it really means to live life. Previously, he had tried becoming a professional baduk (Go!) player, which requires a brilliant mind and intensive problem solving. However, failing to make it into the big leagues, he is dropped into the office-life as a nakasan intern (parachute or a higher up pulling the strings). After suffering bullying, being looked down left and right, he manages to pull himself up and adapt to his new environment. Not only does he survive his internship, but he manages to also get hired as an employee on his own merit and have his new manager in his corner even though his qualifications are only up to a GED.

Another huge reason that I am watching this drama is because of Im Si Wan and Lee Sung Min’s brilliant acting. Im Si Wan of ZE:A comes from idol stock which of course made me wary. However, I am really touched by his performance in this drama. He portrays his character with a certain type of delicateness and naiveness that is so endearing to watch. He seems so fragile as an underdog that you just want to hug him and protect him from the chaos of office politics. However, his perseverance more than makes up for his lack of qualifications. He is not stupid, he’s just learning the ropes of life later than everyone else. Lee Sung Min as Geu Rae’s boss is also fantastic to watch. The boss acts like a second father to Geu Rae and it’s as if his praise is lifeblood to Geu Rae. His boss protects his team fiercely and teaches Geu Rae about the office and life.

I also enjoy that the drama places such emphasis on the inner workings of office life that one usually just overlooks because they think it’s boring. The drama addresses the issue of the glass ceiling for female workers. It comments on the bullying and looking down upon women even though the women handle so much more than can be seen on the surface. For example, women in the workforce must balance children, pregnancies, housework, and marriage while still trying to ascend the work ladder. The drama also comments a lot on hierarchy and office politics. How sometimes, one’s pride must be bent so many different ways just to achieve a simple deal.

Anyways, what I thought was going to be simply a filler between Healer and Pinocchio (two amazing dramas I am in love with), has my full attention to the point where I am passing the newly aired episodes of the other two to watch Misaeng. It completes my life right now!

-phoenix

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4 thoughts on “Misaeng

  1. IKR… with no love-line but i still love it, its doesn’t feel dull at all.
    everyone, i mean everyone.. each of the characters delivered really2 well, the actors n actress are jjang!! its a brilliant work..

    i pick up this drama because i heard that its a really2 good manhwa, to the point the seoul mayor recommend to sanggeuk (human condition) to read, he said every salary-man read this manhwa.. instead of recommending a book, he recommended a manhwa, so i thought it must have a very powerful story!! indeed it is.

    hope the sequel will be even better 🙂

    • I agree that the acting is fantastic in here! it really reminds me when i started my own internship at a hospital. The lost feeling, the feeling that you can’t do anything and seem to be in the way most of the time. Where you can’t even find the simplest of materials. It is so realistic.

      Oh, I did not know that the mayor even recommended it! and that there is a sequel!

      • agree… during my internship i was just like geurae in ep1.. its really bring back all the painful memories.. T.T the nervousness was jinjja… as much as water in the sea…

        if you watch human condition in reading episode, you’ll find that scene (kbs variety show, its really good, highly recommended)

        heard that due to positive feedback and high rating they already confirm for sequel… (yay!!!)

        ps: but… the 3musketeers which suppose to have 3 season already confirm to be cancel. i am sad about this. 😦

  2. Pingback: MISAENG. TVN. | IKurate

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