Tuesday, June 09, 2009
This drama was broadcast in 20 parts with two episodes a week (Monday and Tuesday), and just finished up about two weeks ago or so. Korean TV is full of dramas but the vast majority of them are pretty dull - almost every one features a mom that doesn't want her son to marry some girl, and the efforts the couple puts into winning the mom's favour. It's actually pretty funny to see grown people in their 30s with real jobs moping about and beweeping their outcast state because the guy's mom doesn't approve of their relationship, but all in all there really isn't much to these dramas.
Enter 내조의 여왕. This drama was awesome and I watched every episode. It's a series about marriage, fidelity, infidelity, culture in the workforce, corruption, flattery, unrequited love, trying to get a job in the current economy...and it's also sidesplittingly hilarious at times too. Some of the best scenes come from the wives of lower-level employees who meet with the VP's wife (I think it was VP, maybe director or something else) and always try to get on her good side. She's a bit of an airhead and fancies herself as something of an artist, but makes some of the worst pieces imaginable to auction (which the other wives buy of course). One of her pieces looked just like The Scream, except that it was about the pain and annoyance you feel when you have to go back to the department store to get a refund when you don't like what you bought.
Take a look at one of the earlier episodes here:
1:20 into the video you see one of the main characters (온달수) threatening suicide, and he explains to the cop below that he went to a good university but just never made it in the workforce because he was too honest - then it goes to a scene of him at a former company where his boss tells everybody to be honest and open since they're all hanging out and drinking whereupon he gives his honest opinion of the boss, not knowing that "let's be honest and open" doesn't really mean that when it's your boss. After that there's a scene of him witnessing his boss copping a feel on a female coworker, but she and everybody else pretends it never happened (easier to sweep the problem under the rug than to confront it).
Not sure the best way to get hold of the drama, but if your Korean is at the level that you can understand a drama you likely have a large enough network of people to ask, or already know how to find it. It's really popular now so it's not hard.
My favourite characters: 온달수's wife( 천지애, played by 김남주), the company president (허태준/태봉씨, played by 윤상현), and the fortuneteller (정수영).