The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Protect the Boss

보스를 지켜라 / Boseureul Jikyeora

보스가 달라졌어요 (The Boss Has Changed)

마지막 여비서 (The Last Secretary)

18-episode, 2011 SBS KDo about rich guy/poor girl, wimpy guy/tough girl, and good friend/bad relative who converge on Corporate Seoul to unwind a twisted tale of back-stabbing, conniving, and familial intrigue until it all comes together in episode 18.

This is another 

Cinderella story.

The writers didn't, even bother to mask the fact when they had Choi Kang hee as No Eun seol (Cinderella) get into a fight with a potential gangpae boss at one of those Korean separate-room drinking places. 

The wrong word aside (wreaked, not wrecked) She gets a glass of dark liquor tossed in her face, she kicks the guys ass in the men's room, and then she tries to leave when Ji Sung as Cha Ji heon (Prince Charming) walks by and they bump shoulders.

I guess she got the insult right away, but that didn't stop her from keeping the hairstyle afterward.

Anyhow, she walks up to the Prince and demands that he apologize as well, and as they're arguing, the gangpae gang arrive to kick Cinderella's ass. She's tough, though, and our Prince is a wimp, so while he hides in a corner, she proceeds to take down every, last thug before walking out in a tearful huff.

The gangpae thugs think Prince Charming is with Cinderella, and since he's a wimp, he ends up getting HIS royal ass kicked, too.

This represents the 'hate' start to their relationship. You know, the way it always starts out with these types of dramas. Opposites attract, true love begins with hate, etc.

It also has the expected element of hater/traitor cousin of the crown prince

Kim Jae joong as Cha Moo won is the cousin out to destroy the prince and his position as heir to the corporation his gangpae father started from scratch.

Or, as Moo won's omanee would put it, was stolen out from under them after her husband died - mysteriously - and she blames the prince' appah for the death, too.

Cha Ji heon also had a brother that died - mysteriously - and that, along with the fact that his mafia appah is rather heavy-handed in the discipline department, have left the prince with this Monk-ish, phobic disorder that makes him fear a lot of things, including public speaking, public gatherings, and dealing with people in general. 
He even does the sanitizing thing after having to shake anyone's hand.

Actually, Moo won is one of those characters who starts out acting one way, and then he performs a 180 and shows us just how wrong WE were to make any assumptions at all. It's his conniving omanee who has a vendetta against her brother-in-law and not Moo won who wants to usurp power, take over the empire, and destroy the enemy.

Moo won kept getting teased about his make-up applications, but I showed this for both the reference, and the bad subs. They're both funny.

Anyway, Cinerella is trying to find gainful, meaningful employment again and is asked to report for an interview with the above-mentioned empire

Moo won likes No Eun seol despite the fact that she is ignored during the four-persons at a time interview process. After she makes a profound statement meant to give pride and hope to all the other useless, not-so-fancy people out there who are overlooked for whatever reason, Moo won smirks at the 'about me' portion of her resume. He then hires her to be his cousin's new (newest) secretary.

Cha Ji heon's latest secretary made a mess of things when he got drunk at a pojangmacha and spilled his guts over the phone about the gangpae king of the DN Corporation, and about his son, the prince, behaving in a similar fashion - all within earshot of a reporter who then plasters the slander online for all of Seoul to read within hours of it being spewed to a whomever over the phone.

That secretary, who is timid and didn't like Ji heon to begin with, is terrified of retribution from the prince' father, so he tells Ji heon he is quitting, but not before giving the prince a piece of his mind, calling him selfish, insecure, useless, and hateful.

He's not, of course, but again, we're meant to be led to believe because it's just the beginning, and there are 17 more episodes to go.

Eun seol is really hired not for her skills with a keyboard but for her tenacity. Moo won knows she'll be able to stand up to Ji heon, beat him into submission, and eventually turn him into the guy he's supposed to be - the guy Moo won really wants his cousin to become.

Instead of wanting to make a new friend and get to know Eun seol better, the secretary pool treat her like shit, stick up their noses, and remain unhelpful because ... because that's what women DO. We're catty, evil, malicious, and hateful, and we especially hate it when anyone ... prettier? better? more deserving? ... I'm not sure because Eun seol wasn't any of those things - but, we're supposed to believe that women are like this in general because of those things - and more.

It doesn't matter, though, because lucky Eun seol has this awesome friend! A drinking buddy, a roommate, and a BFF from her high school days who is like-minded, tough, and supportive. We ALL have one of those, don't we? I had lots of friends, but none of them ever behaved the way BFF's in these shows do. They weren't helpful, insightful, consoling, or wise beyond their years - no help whatsoever with every bad decision I ever made.

I liked her, though, and what she said up there is REALLY, totally true and why I will never, EVER work in an office ever again. I have that phobia thanks to office bitches.

Maybe I would if I had Ha Jae sook as Lee Myung ran for a best bud.

Whatever, she's there to offer Cinderella support in the face of adversity (at every, single turn) because she ends up taking the Protect the Prince position, puts up with the nasty-ass bitches in the office, and Prince Charming's snake-like charms for awhile.

Ganbatte stuff.

Eun seol falls right into place, though, with the tough-guy persona against the prince while also offering a steady stream of bodyguard-like protection for him against such things as the media, nosy office workers, and his appah.

The dad has no idea about the inner demons that plague his son and therefore treats him this way thinking it'll snap him out of it and get him in line with reality, adulthood, and corporate idealism.

The prince doesn't want any part of it, though, and while he's terrified of his appah, he has that Korean mentality where, even at age 35, we do what we're told because ... because we just do, that's all.

It was actually pretty funny, these scenes, as convoluted and wrong as it may sound.
The old man did a great job of acting like a boob playing video games in his mother's house, letting the old lady kick his ass around on occasion, and putting up with his snarky sister-in-law once in awhile yet somehow running a major corporation while having to do community service to avoid jail time.

The community service bit is done to help the old man learn a dose of reality himself while dealing with the public and coming to terms with his son's affliction.

The wheelchair jab was funny, too.

Now, I really, REALLY liked Ji Sung. Everyone who commented at said they didn't like his hair, and that's stupid. What's not to like? The fact that it's curly when everyone in Korea still believes that perms are the way to go? Well, they keep telling everyone they got a perm, but their hair is always straight, and if anyone shows off curly hair, THEN it's stupid. Yet another of those shake-my-head moments in Korean time, but whatever.

I loved his hair, his face, his eyes, his personality, his body ... he's perfect Korean pop star goodness if you ask me. It was an eye-opener, and now I want to see more of what he can do.

I saw his wife in I Hear Your Voice, and I watched Delicious Proposal, but I think I mentioned before that he must a been the guy who was a friend or something. The good-looking buddy who hung out with So's character once in awhile.

I like him, and I like everything about him, even his acting.

but ESP his hair, so don't go messing with it just because a bunch of goofy online twits say it isn't so.

Ken doll goodness I can live with.

Back to the show ...

It wasn't a bad drama, let me say that much. Because of Ji Sung and Kim Jae joong, their acting skills, the -drama- that sprang up between them, and the action.

The second-string female arrived to make me cringe, thinking she would take up the bitch-hag role and spew her venom for 16 of the 18 episodes, but that wasn't the case. Yes, she got all whiny for awhile and tried to come between the two leads on occasion, but it was great that she got to know Eun seol better, understood that it was her wicked mother pulling all the awful strings, and that she wasn't all that to be induced to act it out in private or public.

She ended up moving in with Eun seol and Myung ran, and they created some memorable scenes. She kept up the snotty rich girl persona, which clashed beautifully with Myung ran's homespun ways, and they were funny together.

Myung ran was funny

It was great that Eun seol took the time (in a manner of speaking) to get to know Ji heon and his quirky ways. He was a tough one to warm up to, though, from a realistic standpoint anyway. Anyone talked to me the way he did, and I'd have just walked. Paycheck be damned. No fortitude or stamina, I guess. But then our Eun seol was a tough guy tomboy and could take it ... I suppose.

For a majority of this show, she wavered between paycheck/love, Ji heon/Moo won, power/respect, etc.

There were dozens and DOZENS of dead fish kissing scenes, and she always kept her eyes opened, even when she was the one giving the affection. To me, this spells distrust and unfaithfulness on her part. 

I suppose over there, though, it is ladylike or ... whatever.

And, the go-to meeting place

She got rid of the poophead hairstyle, but for whatever reason, I kept being reminded of Tracey Ullman every time I saw Choi Kang hee.

they could pass for mother/daughter
in a strange, East/West sort of way

and whether I'm right or not doesn't matter cause it was just a feeling, or a thought that kept occurring every time I saw Eun seol's face.

There was a scene toward the end, too, that made me think about something else that bugs me about Korea and their sense of 'style' or whatever. It must be the opposite of America in that over here women dress up, wear make-up, do their hair, fake their face, body, etc., and the guys are becoming more slovenly by the hour. Jeans, t-shirts, not shaving, Clark Kent glasses, greasy hair, etc.

In Korea, it seems that the guys do all the plastic surgery, make-up, wardrobe stuffing, accessories obsessing, skincare anal stuff while the women do basically the same thing, just not in the dramas?

Here's the scene, which was supposed to be romantic

sorry it's blurry, but I think you can see the simple yet disturbing fact that he's rented out a fancy restaurant, he's wearing sharp attire, and she is dressed for Sunday brunch at home, Thursday night grocery shopping, or Saturday morning laundry. This I don't get. I don't get it when a woman gets dolled up, too, and then ties her hair back with a rubber band. Maybe all these Korean actresses have babies at home and are just in the habit of pulling it back subconsciously? It looks lazy, sloppy, and out-of-tune with the surroundings AND the event's intentions.

Here are the rest of the pictures


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