How many Emmys does this show deserve? As many as possible!
- 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
- 20 episodes
- Original run: Oct 17, 2014 – Dec. 20, 2014
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?
If this series can be summed up in one word, then it’s “amazing.” Two words, “freaking amazing.” Three words, “absolutely freaking amazing!” This show is a MUST watch. Whatever the Korean equivalent of Emmys is, Misaeng deserves ten of them for the acting, directing, casting, screenwriting and anything else imaginable. I have been waiting for a great series for a long time coming after It’s Okay, That’s Love, and this certainly fit the bill. My mysterious enthusiasm for it during the beginning evolved into clear and obvious love for the show pretty quickly and I started recommending it to people left and right. If you haven’t seen it yet, then please, drop everything you are doing right now and go watch it. 2014 should not end without watching this series.
The script was FABULOUS. Its so well written that I just fell easily in love with all the characters, their flaws and all. Even the pitiful supporting characters had their shining moments and helped to make the Misaeng world real and complete. Perhaps that’s what made it for me – the fact that everyone is so incredibly relatable and believable to top it off – I loved that I can see them as real living people, not just fictional characters out of a book or a movie. Over 20 episodes the friendship and camaraderie the characters shared and forged together was so precious and natural, growing over time, made me nostalgic for times of teamwork and cohort-building. It’s that feeling of soft and yet strangely tough love that gelled the cast and made the show mesmerizing.
Siwan was super convincing as the lead, Jang Geu Rae, and I did not, even for a moment, typecast him as a boy band idol. If he is trying to switch to acting, he certainly picked a great project to start off with. His acting chops is top notch here and I look forward to seeing more from him. Of course, his character would not have been half as good if not for veteran Lee Sung Min. Man, a true genius as Manager Oh, a man that is every inch a symbol of honor and righteousness. Manager Oh is the perfect role model who goes through his own challenges and doubts, but never strays far from what is just. He demanded respect from those around him, not because he felt deservant – no, not the least – but because it is what’s rightly due to him and we give it to him willingly.
Whatever words left that need to be said in order to convince you to watch it, just imagine I have said them. You just need to give it a shot because it seriously is not to be missed. Misaeng is a great piece to end the year on, and I hope there’s a sequel in 2015!
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.