BADLY BEHAVING CHAEBOLS
After struggling with unemployment, No Eun Seol (Choi Kang Hee) finally gets hired as a secretary at a big company to the son of the chairman. That son, Cha Ji Hun (Ji Sung), is immature and eccentric perhaps resulting from some past trauma.
There are so many thing that I love about this drama. At first glance, the synopsis and trailer didn’t really grab my attention. However there is a reason why this is a real ratings winner even though it’s up against a sageuk.
Apink – 우리 그냥 사랑하게 해주세요 (Just Let Us Be in Love)https://chunkeemonkeeato.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/01-ec9ab0eba6ac-eab7b8eb83a5-ec82aceb9e91ed9598eab28c-ed95b4eca3bcec84b8ec9a94.mp3%20
The drama is really wacky and a lot of fun to watch. While some might be turned off by the over-the-top wackiness, I prefer it. Especially after an excruciatingly hard day at work, it just feels good to laugh at the absurd.
Eun Seol learns how to “protect” her boss throughout the drama. I love that she comes from a punk past.
Her toughness is refreshing for the k-drama heroin as she is not a pushover.
She literally had to fight her way through her hardships. Because of that she is able to work through his eccentricities and produce a change in him. At the end, while adorably still a bit childish, he becomes an upstanding citizen.
Similar to the Greatest Love, Ji Hun is an unusual hero. Well… he’s an unusual, badly behaved chaebol. You know who they are. He’s the mischievous Prince Harry while Moo Won’s Prince William. However there is an underlying reason to his bad manners and you realize why he needs to have Eun Seol in his life.
Not only is the chemistry great between the leads but the 2nd leads have a strong character write-ups and backstories. All of the four leads take their characters and make them three-dimensional adding to the comedy, difficulties and ambitions of their characters making them all likable and easy to root for.
Especially the 2nd lead female, Seo Na Yoon (Wang Ji Hye). At first glance, you think you’re gonna hate her, she’s gonna be a bitch and to some extent she is. Because she gets in the way of our OTP at first.
As you get to know her more, she becomes a truly endearing character. A character that is more endearing than Greatest Love’s Kang Seri. She’s been living in a cocoon and she doesn’t know how to live life on her own or even make friends. (Aww, sad puppy.) Her mother has never taught her how to be independent, even though she is this big-time lawyer. I love that scene when she’s eating lunch in her office and chokes on a piece of sushi. It’s like that episode of Sex and City involving Miranda.
She realizes that her life is too lonely and she doesn’t want to live, let alone die, alone. That was a real turning point for her and made me respect her as a person.
But when she’s on your side, she’ll be on your side for life. Even if it’s a bit embarrassing to watch her defend you.
I can’t say that about Scent of a Woman’s Im Se Kyung.
If Ji Hun is the slacker, then Moo Won (Jaejoong) is the hardworker but his efforts aren’t recognized as often as Ji Hun’s so they have this petty rivalry going on.
But Moo Won’s not perfect and his naiveté is similar to Na Yoon’s. He’s clueless to the world outside of the chaebol realm. It’s amusing to see how the women in his life need to show him how to have fun.
You know my feelings about idols in dramas but I found Jaejoong to be quite convincing as an actor. I’d love to see him in a vampire drama next. Vampire Prosecutor is coming out soon. Gotta put that Korean R.Patz face of his to good use. Plus, doesn’t it look like he could recycle some of his PTB wardrobe?
Adding to the chemistry, the supporting characters all play an important role here. There have been many chaebol dramas, including Ji Sung’s previous drama, Royal Family, but since it’s not a melo, it’s refreshing to see how it makes fun of the chaebol world in an honest way. It’s very much from a spectator’s view of that (weird) universe. The tactic Chairman Cha (Park Young Kyu) uses to look sad and helpless in front of reporters is used by many real-life chaebols after they’ve been prosecuted for breaking the law. It is said that Korea is a nation ruled by netizens and fearing backlash chaebols think that appearing pathetic before cameras is the only way to garner sympathy from people.
In private, his persona is very different. Lacking humility, he’s often seen bickering, throwing fits and acting childish with his secretary and family members. He’s not the only chaebol that’s childish here but he is one of the older ones and it’s hilarious to see how his elderly mother (Kim Young Ok) still needs to baby him.
When all the chaebols get together, it’s always gonna be petty and a bit of a circus. However, No Eun Seol, Myung Ran, Ji Hun’s grandmother and Secretary Kim always try to bring the chaebols off their high horse and down to reality.
I can partially add Secretary Jang to that list as well. While he does inflate Chairman Cha’s ego at times, he realizes that you can’t reason with an unreasonable child. You just need to defuse the situation as best you can and he’s the only one who can with Chairman Cha.
Greatest Love was a 10 in my book and I originally felt while this drama was excellent, the writing just wasn’t as poetic. However, I changed my mind when I saw everything come together in the finale. Protect the Boss did many things that were great; the 2nd leads were more fleshed out by the writers in Protect the Boss; our hero gains a new perspective and grows up as a result of it; the drama makes a humorous commentary about rich people thinking they are above the law.