History of a Salaryman
South Korea - Winter 2012
One night Yoo Bang (Lee Bum Soo) enters a dark, mysterious villa with nothing but a flashlight, only to find an executive of the Chunha Medical Group, Ho Hae slouched in a chair, dead and Jin Ho Hae's niece, Yeo Chi (Jung Ryu Won) hiding behind a curtain. At Ho Hae's funeral, Yoo Bang and Yeo Chi are suddenly taken into custody for his murder. We're taken three months into the past to reveal what led to this murder and exactly who was responsible. During this flashback we meet Choi Hang Woo (Jung Gyu Woon), a director from Ho Hae's rival pharmaceutical company, who is undercover to steal the formula for their new drug and the Chief Researcher from Chunha Group, Cha Woo-Hee (Hong Soo Hyun). The lives of these individuals will all be intertwined within these three months to reveal exactly just who murdered Ho Hae, and why.
History of a Salaryman is definitely one of the good ones. You get 22 episodes of the most convoluted plot ever of business crime, treachery, murder, forged wills, crazy secetary ladies and more. You are on the edge of your seat as you hold your breath to see if the traitorous bastards get caught or not and the victims get revenge. It was fasciniating.
If you've been following my blog, then you should know that for both dramas and books, it's the characters that either make or break a work of art for me. I am a firm believer that it is the characters that are at the center of any storyline. In History of a Salaryman, the characters get 5/5 points hands down! I have never, in any korean drama, seen such a mix of highly developed characters with such depth. There were NO flat, one-dimensional characters in this scene. There were also no traditional caricatures of character. Yoo Bang and Yeo CHi are NOT your traditional/typical lead characters and provided tons of comic relief. God, the two of them were absolute riots! Director Mo is not your typical antagonist and her acting was absolutely superb (and creepy as hell). All of the other secondary characters were just as well done. The first sign of great characterization and acting? When you can't decide whether or not you like or hate a particular character!
Meh. Soundtrack was pretty good, but nothing extraordinary. Each track was well suited to the scene, but I'm not feeling a compulsion to go download the OST.
History of a Salaryman is a one-of-kind drama. It's not like your typical corrupt business dramas, becasue the characters are too ridiculously funny for that level of seriousness. It's also not your typical romantic comedy, becasue the romance isn't in the forefront and again atypical characters that stray away from the norm. Though I wish that Yoo Bang and Yeo Chi's romance had a bit more air time, This is a drama series you DO NOT want to miss. I mean, how can you resist giving a drama with a lead character named "Breasts" a try?
Looney Express awards History of a Salaryman a 4/5.