Incomplete Life/Misaeng (First Impression)

It’s like highschool all over again, except more clique-y and even more vicious.

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Characters:

  • Yim Si Wan as Jang Geu Rae
  • Lee Sung Min as Oh Sang Shik
  • Kang So Ra as Ahn Young Yi
  • Kang Ha Neul as Jang Baek Gi
  • Kim Dae Myung as Kim Dong Shik
  • Tae In Ho as Sung Dae Ri
  • Jo Hyun Shik as Kim Seok Ho
  • Byun Yo Han as Han Seok Ryul
  • Shin Eun Jung as Deputy department head Shin

Details:

  • Korean
  • 20 episodes
  • Original run: Oct 17, 2014 – ???

Quick Rundown:

When becoming a professional baduk (go) player does not work out for the unlucky Jan Geu Rae, he somehow lands an internship at Wonin International, a large trading corporation. With nothing but a high school degree (from an equivalency exam) on his resume, how will he survive in this scary world?

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Estelle’s Take

Like all fortunate events, I happened upon this drama completely accidentally, after Modern Farmers failed to load properly. I didn’t read the webtoon this is based on, so I had zero ideas of what this is about aside from the happy looking poster (so deceiving) posted online. I was expecting some sort of workplace romcom but boy was I in for a shock.

Down on his luck is being too kind in describing Geu Rae’s life. He is poor, friendless, shy, uneducated and has no skills whatsoever. All he knows is to work hard and to work harder. He is the complete opposite of every major male lead in kdrama history (even the “unlucky” non-chaebol ones). He wears an ill fitted suit (now I’m totally for well tailored suits) the majority of the two episodes, hesitates to speak his mind, gets bullied by his peers and cannot for the life of him stand up for himself. Not to mention, it seems as if they purposely casted a bunch of tall actors to stand next to Si Wan, because man he has never looked so puny!

Yet for some reason after an hour and half of “is this story going to be this gloomy for the rest of the way?” I clicked on episode two and began to discover that Geu Rae is starting to change. Now to catch you up, the first bit of episode one had some pretty exciting scenes where it looks as if he is a totally different person, so I am holding on to the hope that this is about Geu Rae’s journey and how he will grow despite the difficulties.

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Si Wan is really on point with his acting here, and I’m super impressed. He is totally believable as the introverted Jang Geu Rae who is so hopelessly thrown into a world nurtured by wolves. Kang So Ra is also very good as the capable superwoman intern who speaks like every language imaginable. As a side note, their English pronunciation were all pretty on point and did not have that “oh I just learnt these lines two seconds before going on camera but my character is supposed to be super fluent” accent. So props there.

The other supporting cast are great so far as well. Lee Sung Min, grumpy but lovable as always, Kang Ha Neul, mysterious man I cannot read is great eye candy at the very least, and Byun Yo Han totally makes my day because his smile is oh so very similar to Jang Geun Suk, whom I just adore. Episode two ends on a positive note and from the looks of it, the introduction of Byun Yo Han as Han Seok Hyul will kick things up a bit and bring some comedy to this drama.

Great job, tvN, you certainly do not disappoint.

This & That:

  • Yim Si Wan is of boyband ZE:A with Kim Dong Jun, who was recently in Boarding House No. 24. Si Wan also starred in the movie short version of Misaeng.
  • Kang So Ra was last seen in Doctor Stranger. She also starred in Dream High 2. In 2012, she was paired off with Leetuk of Super Junior for the third season of We Got Married.
  • Kang Ha Neul started off in musical theatre but has since transformed to the talking variety. He was part of the handsome cast of The Heirs as Lee Hyo Shin. He was in You’re My Pet with Jang Geun Suk and funnily enough, Kim Ha Neul.
  • This is the first Korean drama to film on location in Jordan.

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One thought on “Incomplete Life/Misaeng (First Impression)

  1. Pingback: MISAENG. TVN. |

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