[K-DRAMA] Introverted Boss (2017)

warning: may contain spoilers

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A Boss who’s an introvert and has a shy personality…

Plot:

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Eun Hwan Gi is the CEO of a public relations company, but he rarely goes out to meet with his employees due to his introvert and shy personality. In fact, he has a co-CEO who is also his best friend, Kang Woo Il, who helps him sort out things publicly. There has been a lot of rumors going around with Hwan Gi, but he still stayed low key and shut himself inside his office. Meanwhile, Chae Ro Woon is a musical actress who quitted her job and began working at Hwan Gi’s company. Her sister died three years ago while working as a secretary of Hwan Gi. There’s no news or anything that led to her sister’s suicide, so she thought that Hwan Gi is the cause of her death. She promised to revenge for her sister and reveal Hwan Gi’s true colors. She didn’t know that there’s more to her sister’s incident and Hwan Gi was simply covering it up for his friend Woo Il. How can Hwan Gi survive being a CEO with his shy personality? And what will happen to Ro Woon if she learns the truth about her sister’s death?

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Opinions:

After watching Age of Youth earlier this year, I looked up on the actors’ other works and was curious with this Introverted Boss. It stars Park Hye Soo as the female lead along with Yoon Park as the supporting male lead. I instantly put this in my watch list. And just after watching Age of Youth 2, I really missed Hye Soo since she backed out from that drama, and I was craving for more of Yoon Park’s scenes in it, so I decided to watch this ASAP. Introverted Boss was also from the same team behind Another Oh Hae Young, so we could see many actors from that drama in here too. Coming from the same team behind that successful drama, I somehow had my hopes high. The first episode didn’t really grow on me and neither did the next few episodes. I’ve told myself several times to drop it, but I just can’t. I promised myself that once I start a show, I should continue to watch it until the end. I’m also curious on what’s going to happen, and I’m glad I didn’t drop it or else I could’ve misunderstood the characters forever!

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Like I said, I didn’t really have a good impression on the first few episodes. I was thinking maybe they started from the wrong foot, because there’s so much potential on this kind of plot, and not to only get stuck with the incident from three years ago. I mean, being an introvert has a lot of story to create and expand on, and that said incident had no relation to him being an introvert. If there is, it just made him even more worse. I wished they showed more of his past as a kid and his college days.

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I think one of the unique things that set this drama apart from others is that the male lead is an introvert. Being an introvert myself, I was looking forward on how they create a character and story out of this personality. It’s a topic hardly discussed, what more portrayed since introverts doesn’t really like to show their emotions and feelings easily. Although I felt that the character Hwan Gi isn’t the best example of how introverts are in real life (maybe too exaggerated for drama’s sake?), but I could somehow relate with him. Phone phobia? Well, normally one wouldn’t be scared because it’s just a damn phone. But yup, that exists! I never realized that I also had this phobia not until I got my official job by talking to strangers on the phone. (I did overcome it, by the way) I also totally understand the feeling of being in the center of attention and not being able to do public speaking. I also tend to overanalyze things, and usually think about other people’s ¬†thoughts. I think these parts when he was battling with his inner self were done perfectly well by Hwan Gi. I also like that they showed how people feel towards their boss. I think this part was also done realistically since introverts are usually misjudged and misunderstood every single time. And these people kept on forcing him to do stuff that he can’t do. I can totally understand how he feels since I also hate it when people force me to do stuff that I don’t want. It’s like the more you force me to do it, the more I won’t do it. Overall, it was a good interpretation of the life of an introvert boss. I wish they could dwell more into that and remove the annoying incident.

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Speaking about the incident, it was just so sad how one’s life is easily ended by some stupid mistakes. Woo Il is definitely in the wrong for two timing with another girl, and not telling his real feelings for Yi Soo. Yi Soo is not mentally stable and she doesn’t want to let go of Woo Il at all. She’s even willing to die for him. Hwan Gi is stuck between these two. He’s also covering up for the mistake of his best friend by letting the public know that he’s responsible for the death of his secretary. On the other hand, Ro Woon is innocently going to revenge for her sister. I mean, seriously they could make another drama out of this crappy plot. I thought that mixing it with the introvert plot kinda ruin it as a whole. I think it’s like trying to be a melodrama with the suicide plot, but the introvert plot makes it rom-com. I heard that the script was rewritten about 5 episodes after. It didn’t necessarily got better, but at least the characters were less irritating and annoying. I also thought that the Malaysia trip was sort of a waste since I didn’t really see the beauty of the filming site. There were many filler scenes and boring episodes. I even went to watch other variety shows while watching this. Honestly, it was so hard to watch it until the end. I could’ve appreciated this drama more if it was shorter.

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The 10 year gap between the leads is becoming a trend these days, no? Usually the guy is older and the female leads are getting younger and younger. Yeon Woo Jin’s last drama Marriage, Not Dating was also paired with Han Groo who’s a 92-liner. They had a 8 year gap, but it wasn’t noticeable since Han Groo’s character was mature. I simply loved their chemistry there. This time, it’s really 10 year gap with Park Hye Soo. Is it just me or there’s really no chemistry with the leads this time? The age gap is super obvious since Hye Soo forever looks like a little kid to me. I think that the second leads had better chemistry, and the bromance was more natural! I’m not really liking the chemistry and romance in this drama. It just seemed so forced. Even the kissing scenes were quite random and sudden. Although, I admit they did those scenes well. Also, can I do a special mention to the supporting characters such as Ye Ji Won, Heo Jung Min, and Secret’s Hyosung. We have the comeback of Isadora, but Ji Won’s role is more laid back this time as a mom of two sons, and also her husband is from her partner in Another Oh Hae Young! Heo Jung Min was also a good addition to the cast. Hyosung was a shocker though. I know that she’s quite familiar, but I’m surprised that she’s actually from the girl group Secret. She changed her face that I found her to be unrecognizable!

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Characters:

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Yeon Woo Jin as Eun Hwan Gi — I’m not really a fan of his, but I really enjoyed Yeon Woo Jin in Marriage, Not Dating. Eun Hwan Gi is really a hard and challenging role since he has a lot to deal inside his head, but he couldn’t explicitly show it through his facial expressions. I think Yeon Woo Jin pulled off the character pretty good, even though he didn’t really stood out in this drama. Well, introverts don’t like to be the center of attention! Even with his repetitive black outfits, scary and weird hobbies, boring personality, and just the most unappealing male lead character we can ever have in a K-drama, he managed to bring out the best in Hwan Gi. I just find him cute with the little things that he does for others, and I can totally empathize with the character. Woo Jin really did interpret and portrayed the character better than what I expected.

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Park Hye Soo as¬†Chae Ro Woon — Bring me back my innocent Eun Jae! lol Obviously, I still can’t move on from her character in Age Of Youth. I think that was her best role yet. This time, she’s portraying Chae Ro Woon, a musical actress turned marketing rookie with an outgoing personality and a desire to revenge. I must say that the character is quite annoying during the start, but I guessed she proved to be of great help to Hwan Gi. Nonetheless, Hye Soo improved since her last drama, but to be taking a lead role seemed too rushed for her. I wished she could start on supporting roles then slowly get recognized, than to immediately take on a lead role. I also thought that Ro Woon doesn’t really suit her innocent features, so I thought an actress with a bold personality could handle the role better. Still, seeing a new side of Hye Soo was fun to watch and even though she’s acting cute most of the time, it’s okay since she improved with her acting overall. I think she’s stuck between these mature roles or a coming of age drama. I think she’ll do well if she takes on youth roles or university student-like roles like AOY. Anyway, I heard she filmed a movie and it’s going to be released soon. Well, that movie better be a hit or else….. since she gave up Age of Youth for that movie.

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Yoon Bak as Kang Woo Il — I have seen Yoon Park in other minor roles like in Adolescence Medley and Good Doctor, but I didn’t really noticed him. It’s in Age of Youth that I found him to be so appealing and charming. Watching Age of Youth 2 and he appeared there only during the last episode was definitely a let down for us chef fans. So I decided to watch this, and simply no regrets if you like to see more of him! Portraying as an exact opposite of the main lead, Kang Woo Il is an extrovert and has good leadership skills. He has the characteristics of a perfect CEO. I just didn’t like how the character is also annoying during the start. He seemed to be taking advantage of Hwan Gi and it seemed like he was the bad guy. Good thing, I stayed and didn’t drop this since I realized that there’s more to his character. He’s actually an orphan and he’s adopted by Hwan Gi’s parents. From then on, he’s being paired with Hwan Gi’s sister even though he only thought of her as a little sister. He also needs to do well in their company even though he knows that Hwan Gi will inherit the company. In short, he needs to do well and please Hwan Gi’s parents or he can be kicked out any time. I feel sorry for the character at the same time. I think Yoon Bak did well on portraying the role. He also looks good in these long coats that match his height. I also think that he’s at his peak now, since his looks are more defined and slim. Yoon Bak is doing well with these kinds of supporting roles. Let’s hope he’ll land a leading role someday!

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Gong Seung Yeon as Eun Yi Soo — I first saw her in We Got Married when she was paired with CNBLUE’s Jong Hyun. I initially thought that what’s up with this new actress suddenly getting popular and getting all these casting offers? She’s not from a top agency too. I admit she’s pretty, but the sudden casting and appearances in shows is very doubtful. I’m seeing her act for the first time in here, and I thought she did well as Eun Yi Soo. Yi Soo’s quite challenging to portray because she’s not mentally stable and she’s quite impulsive. She may not be the best, but I found her acting natural and probably better than other rookie actresses. I also like how she has distinct features that are not lookalike from other actresses. I see that she’s slowly working her way up, and she’s now even a leading lady this 2017. Woah!

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Ending:

It does have a happy ending, but I’m not fully convinced. Of course, the truth that happened three years ago was finally revealed. It was actually Yi Soo’s fault that the secretary committed suicide, that she told her to disappear. She felt that she was a burden so she literally disappeared. I just found this to be totally unconvincing, since the secretary is such a cheerful and optimistic girl. I just found this storyline to be poorly expressed or explained. Woo Il also found out about it. He’s also guilty and he left the company and went back to his orphanage to reflect. Yi Soo visited him, and this time she showed her true self by wearing comfortable clothes. She isn’t trying too hard for him anymore. He also tried to work things out with her again and start again. I’m not fully convinced with this though. Since they grew up together for more than 10 years, why only try now? Meanwhile, Ro Woon and Hwan Gi ended up together. We see though that Hwan Gi, as an introvert, has the tendency to build up all his emotions to himself; and suddenly he’ll just explode and tell her everything. I’d say this couple wouldn’t last long because of too much differences and habits. lol Seeing Hwan Gi grow and improve his personality was so touching and I somewhat felt proud of him. He started to do it by small steps like doing meetings in little groups and talking to each staff one by one. I think that the staff are now seeing the good in him, and they now understand him. It was also a good sight to see that Hwan GI can finally do public speaking with Ro Woon’s help as a ‘light’. I think she served to be his inspiration to finally overcome his fears. In real life, it ain’t that easy. I wish it was really that easy to overcome it. Also, the last scene wherein we can see Hwan Gi dancing again was also quite unrealistic and so random. I think it’s really his way of proposing just like what he did in college. I think it’s only for entertainment purposes, and wonder if introverts can do this in real life. lol I wish they gave us realistic lessons for introverts to overcome this problem, not only by romance.

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Final Thoughts:

I really tried to like this drama, because the actors were so well loved in their previous works, and I have my personal favorites too, but sadly the casting didn’t work for this drama. The drama had a lot of potential too, with the unique introvert plot, but sadly they were too focused and stuck with a certain incident that just made the story unappealing and depressing. The writer couldn’t make up his mind whether he wants to go for a melodrama or a rom-com, or a mix of both. Mixing both was a bad idea though. I think I would appreciate this drama better if it’s shorter. Still, the introvert plot is worth a mention, and also quite interesting if you’re an introvert too. I don’t really recommend this unless you’re fans of the actors, and if you ran out of shows to watch.

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Rating: 6/10

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