Ha Suk-jin, Go Ah-sung, you did not disappoint me one minute of this drama! Nor did the plot (penned by a newbie too) or production, for that matter.
They mess with our emotions by setting the stage (and is it a spoiler if it’s in all the promotional materials for the drama?) by telling us that one of the characters is faced with a fatal illness and must make the most of life after realizing a goal, of finding a job – albeit as temporary contractors – at an important furniture (think Crate and Barrel meets Ikea) company. But that’s almost a plot sidebar when you get to spend time with the 3 hapless contractor employees, played by Go Ah-sung (Heard it thru the Grapevine), Lee Dong-hwi (Answer Me 1988), and Hoya (Answer Me 1997). Maybe it’s because I’m currently job hunting, but the travails of the interview process, the insults they face as lowly contract workers, and the support and encouragement they give each other is really some of the best stuff in the drama.
I loved how grumpy Ha Suk-jin reveals himself to just be a fair guy with high standards who’s willing to be a mentor to the people on his small work team – particularly Go Ah-sung’s funny/brave/meek/bold Eun Ho-won. I felt that the progression of his involvement in the lives of the people he’s responsible for as a manager to people he cares for had a natural, organic flow. Things don’t always happen in a hurry in this show, but it has a pace that feels realistic – as realistic as the office politics.
It was also fun to see Kim Dong-wook in this drama too, as the maybe antagonist/maybe benefactor as it’s been a while since I’ve seen him onscreen. Who can forget him in Coffee Prince as he’d call out for “his Eun-chan-ah”?
I look forward to the next project from this writer; she shows a lot of promise.