I'VE WATCHED: My Favorite Office Dramas

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I have a list of my finished and ongoing Korean dramas found here, although I want to talk about office dramas in a more in-depth manner, and why I like them. Of course not everything we see in TV shows are automatically representative of what truly happens in real life, but watching comical scenes and makjang(1) instances are a nice break from what we have to deal with everyday.

Introverted Boss (2017)

The title speaks for itself. We are presented here with the struggles of an Introverted Boss whose intentions are always misunderstood, and whose silence is always interpreted as being snobbish, when in fact underneath all the stereotyping, he's a man with a big heart.

The story had so much potential, to be honest. But in the end it just became a mix of everything and did not blend as well as I hoped it would. But nonetheless, there were moments that I genuinely liked. For instance, I liked the office chemistry comprised of different personalities. Here we see the push and pull of the introverted boss and his extroverted colleagues. In the end, it's true that you cannot change the person, but you can encourage that person to become more confident about himself and what he is capable of, may he be an introvert or extrovert. It really doesn't matter at the end of the day, who you label yourself to be. Just don't let that label hinder you from reaching out to others and other important life opportunities.

King of High School (2014)

King of High School is about a high school guy who one day had to substitute for his twin brother in the office to save his twin brother's position within the company.

I especially enjoyed watching this drama, because Lee Min-Seok reminded me of my college self. He was the epitome of balancing both academics and work life. It was fun seeing him rush to the office, and then to his next class, then back to his office again. We also saw his struggle with ice hockey, and how his interests and passion were soon given up due to responsibilities he had to focus on. That aspect is pretty much representative of reality and how people mature in their decisions. But of course it depends on each individual, with whatever they truly want to pursue. Lee Min-Seok saw in himself and developed abilities he never knew he possessed when he started going to the office consistently. He also learned how to manage his temper and how to extend grace to those who seemed undeserving.

Radiant Office (2017)

These three were also dubbed as the 'Suicide Squad' wherein they all met with similar circumstances and were about to jump off the bridge to their deaths, but they didn't. Their similar circumstances being that they could not pass any interview that they went to. After a series of unfortunate events, they were fortunate enough after to meet a doctor who heard their plight and gave them jobs, albeit anonymously. Thus these three were given the chance to prove themselves as contractual workers for a prestigious furniture company.

I love their camaraderie. Although it may not have been visible at the start, what with them naturally aiming to become a permanent employee, they eventually saw that competing for it would be futile and would only destroy the very purpose why they chose to be there. The mere fact that they were accepted into the company was already pure joy for them, and it was nice to see that it made them hard workers, even though at times it was misunderstood, or bogged down heavily by office politics. They knew they were in this together, and that made all the difference.

Special mention to Ha Seok Jin. He's probably always the boss in every drama that he acts in, but I surprisingly don't mind?? He's really good at it. I think he should continue being boss.

Misaeng (2014)

Welcome to the life of fresh graduates and those new to the corporate life. Getting the job is only the first half of it; it's staying in the job that will prove to be most challenging.

Watching this makes you want to root for all the newbies! I think we can all see ourselves in the main character, Jang Geu-Rae. I still remember very much what he said to his boss, that what made him different was that his hard work was still unused unlike other experienced employees out there. Who would believe that answer? But he was given the chance anyway. He had the heart to learn, and he was ready to do whatever he could to learn and grow in his role.

Unlike other office dramas, I would say that this is the best, and the unparalleled. This one seems to be the most realistic of them all, so realistic that it made me sad for most parts. It deals with all the disappointments and frustrations you could ever encounter inside the office. But what I admired the most was how they chose to stay and fight, how they handled the situations even when it was tough, and how they chose to rise above their self-doubts and disillusionment.

To watch: Good Manager (2017)

This one is still on my to-watch list!

What are your favorite office dramas? Would you consider watching office dramas?
(1) Makjang is usually defined as placing in outrageous or uncommon twists to the plot which we all know is unlikely to happen in order to make the story more interesting.

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