[Kdrama review] 보스를 지켜라 Protect the Boss

Genre: Romance, comedy

Synopsis: No Eun Seol (Choi Kang Hee), a down-and-out woman with a unique talent for fighting, longs for a decent job as a salary-woman, but is unable to find one due to her poor educational qualifications. Her determination pays off and she ends up being the personal secretary for Cha Ji Heon (Ji Sung), a third-generation chaebol notorious for his bad attitude. She is tasked with correcting his behaviour, but both end up falling for each other…

Comments:
Lots of cute scenes and great characters, but these were not enough to save this train wreck. It started off promising, with lots of laughs and endearing characters, but the story eventually veered off course, though I wonder if it even had a proper direction in the first place.

First off, what I liked most about this drama were the character relationships. Unlike most dramas, I can’t really pinpoint a villain in this show. Yes, there were characters who were up to no good, but all there was no real malice from any of the characters, and most of the conflicts were borne out of immature jealousy. There was the constant tussle for ownership of the company between Ji Heon’s dad and aunt, and also some backstabbing and betrayals at the office, but ultimately, they were like immature kids who cared for one another but just couldn’t stop themselves from fighting and bickering.

Yummy bromance

Yummy bromance

I really liked the bromance between Ji Heon and his cousin Cha Moo Won (Kim Jaejoong). They initially disliked each other and constantly fought to outdo each other, but they eventually grew to like and support each other like true brothers. Even Seo Na Yoon (Wang Ji Hye), whose character would have been the typical bitchy third-wheel in a typical Kdrama, turned out to be likeable and became good sisters with No Eun Seol. Ji Heon’s dad and grandmother were a joy to watch, not only because they were supportive of Ji Heon’s relationship with Eun Seol, their childish mother-and-grown-up-son bickering were adorable.

The drama also did well in providing lots of laughs and cuteness. Almost all the characters were childish to a certain extent. In fact, the younger ones seemed to exercise more maturity than their parents at times.

The actors also did a good job at the comedic scenes. Veteran actors Park Young Kyu and Kim Young Ok were awesome in their respective roles as Ji Heon’s father and grandmother. I usually find the older characters in Kdramas to be annoying and stubborn, but the two of them were actually quite funny, especially how they kept yelling at each other and getting startled over the slightest yell from the other. This is my first time seeing Choi Kang Hee and I liked her performance here as a gutsy girl who has no qualms at using violence on her boss. Ji Sung also did a good job acting wimpy and arrogant without being too much of an ass. Jaejoong was watchable, but nothing fantastic. I was surprised by Wang Ji Hye though, because I’ve seen her acting as the bitchy third-wheel, but never knew she could do comedy. Most importantly, the lead couple had great chemistry, and I could tell that there was good rapport among the rest of the cast.

Now, for the bad.

The story was…terrible. Honestly, I started to get progressively bored from episode 3 onwards. There were still plenty of funny moments, but I just felt that the story did not seem to be heading anywhere. It was as though the writers got increasingly lost in the woods, always trying to figure a way out but end up circling around the same spot. No Eun Seol’s indecisiveness, Ji Heon’s unthinkable decision to break up with her…all these were dragged on for too long and were unnecessary conflicts meant to prolong the show. The real conflicts, such as the fights to take over the company, were too simplistic and glossed over instead.

Great chemistry among the cast

Great chemistry among the cast

The rich, arrogant, pain-in-the-ass character has also been played to death in many Kdramas, and seems like such characters ALWAYS have some form of illness. Hyun Bin had claustrophobia in Secret Garden, Cha Seung Won had heart problems in The Greatest Love, Jang Geun Suk had night blindness in You’re Beautiful, Lee Min Ho had hair problems in Boys Over Flowers, and now Ji Sung’s character has panic disorder here. What I liked about Cha Ji Heon is that he did not seem as big of a jerk as compared to those I just listed. Although there are still several things that I disliked about him, I appreciated it that he did show genuine concern for No Eun Seol and changed for the better for the most part of the show. Yet, I was also disappointed that Ji Heon’s efforts to become a better man were not very convincing because he only seemed to make real progress in his work towards the last few episodes.

Verdict:

Overall: 4.5/10
Enjoyment level: 6/10

Great chemistry between the actors and childish humour were barely enough to compensate for the poorly written script, but if not for these, I would have given up watching halfway. The show does provide a refreshing departure from the usual Kdrama blueprint though, by doing without the unreasonable old folks and the jealous/bitchy love rival.

Protect-the-Boss

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