No Saving Face
First off, happy 3-day weekend Americans! Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to travel, see family, catch up on hobbies, and if you’re like me, binge watch a new TV show as I continue to indulge workaholic-ism. My wife has been bugging me to watch a Korean drama for once (I’ve been making her suffer through Orange is the New Black and 13 Reasons Why) and we thought we’d dive into one we were both curious about - Miseng.
Miseng is a life-action adaptation of a hit manhwa comic, turned full production Korean drama. It depicts the journey of Geure Park from his humble background as a high school dropout and his attempt to join a reputable corporation. The drama follows him and his fellow aspiring interns through their ups and downs in a stereotypical corporate workplace.
It’s a bit hard to describe the scenarios woven together in the show. It isn’t the same type of dry and cringe humor we see in The Office. Miseng is much more honest, more heart wrenching, and more brutal in depicting the agony and small victories of working in a Korean corporate environment, everything from the irrational drinking culture, hierarchical hurdles, and overall pain of being a salary man or woman.
As an avid reader of manga and manhwa, it’s fascinating to see a direct translation from toon narratives into an actual drama. The show has a very different feel than traditional K-dramas with much more intricate character development.
It’s also fascinating for me to gain insight into something so commonplace in Korea but I have absolutely no experience in. Both my parents never worked in this type of setting, though there are some crossover experiences that all Koreans experience (like the hierarchy aspect). Still, many of my school friends and acquaintances went through similar journeys and many told me of their tears watching the show. I’d imagine even non-Koreans would appreciate the raw nature of the show, which can be watched on Netflix btw.
There’s so much packed into this show that I’ll likely be doing several posts on the terms, situations, and overall quality of the narrative in near-future posts. Be sure to check back for more!