A brief recap after the jump because a recap of our characters and this story seems necessary. This drama is like an onion, there are many, many layers to peel.
(Yes, Wang Ji-hye is slamming an ice cream cone onto Choi Kang-hee’s butt. Don’t worry, Choi Kang-hee slams back.)
After spending a good majority of her adult being searching for a job, Eun-seol is fed up with being passed over for positions because of her less than stellar education and loses her cool about it…during an interview…in front of her potential employers. Not a hoot was given because she figures that she wasn’t going to get hired anyway, might as well make her thoughts heard loud and clear.
Except, lucky for her, Kim Jae-joong’s Cha Mu-won is one of the hiring employers and finds her little speech interesting and refreshingly frank. So he hires her, despite going against protocol. He figures she’s a good fit as secretary for someone as demanding as Cha Ji-heon.
Ji Sung’s Cha Ji-heon is the prickly cousin of Mu-won (their fathers are brothers). He is also the complete opposite of the successful and well-to-do Mu-won in every way that matters. Ji-heon is slightly OCD, slightly ADD, and also part whacko. (So clearly, I love him.) Ji-heon has a problem with crowded spaces and cannot give speeches in front of big groups of people, to the extent that both those activities are physically debilitating.
Ji-heon likes to avoid all his work duties as much as possible mostly because of his fear of meeting other people, being with other people, touching other people, and giving lots of talks, but doesn’t make that apparent to his father, who just thinks that he’s a regular ol’ slacker. Ji-heon doesn’t share many of his weaknesses with anybody, so it’s really only his secretaries who know about his lifestyle particularities. His father is consistently disappointed and angry with Ji-heon’s apathy and procrastination, which he misconstrues to be a product of lack of ambition, but the truth is that Ji-heon’s father doesn’t know too much about his son. We don’t yet, at the moment, but we’re told that something extremely significant happened during one of his relationships that really scarred Ji-heon and possibly is the reason why he doesn’t like being around other people, doesn’t like commitment, and finds the work environment extremely stressful.
There’s not much that actually happens in the four episodes, but we’re given a taste that the heart of the conflict will lie in the competition between Ji-heon and Mu-won to become the rightful heir of DN Group. Ji-heon is the heir by logic, since his father is the man in charge, but Mu-won is the heir by merit, which is something his mother argues for insistently because Ji-heon is not really leader material given his slacker tendencies. How nasty this rivalry will become, we shall see.
I think Ji Sung is doing a great job with Ji-heon. There are moments where Ji-heon is super childish and indefensibly irritating, but there are almost moments where he possesses extreme clarity about his own perceived shortcomings, which makes me think that his childish behavior is a side effect of his phobias and trauma. How he’s going to grapple with all of that with the help of Noh Eun-seol will make this drama worth watching to the very end.
I also love how three-dimensional of a character Ji-heon’s father is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a complex chaebol daddy. They’re usually so rigid, unforgiving, and prone to misunderstanding without really trying to understand at all. He also has the most hilarious relationship with his mom (Ji-heon’s grandmother) so I’m loving Ji-heon’s entire family.
Well, Noh Eun-seol doesn’t do that. She takes you to the rooftop and twists your arm and then kicks you in the shin and then tells you to back the fuck down.
MY DREAM GIRL.
But she’s also extremely accommodating and positive in a way that doesn’t exhaust you as a viewer. Eun-jo from Cinderella’s Sister is also kickass, but she was exhausting to watch because she was so bitter, uptight, and defensive about her weaknesses all the time. I bring up Eun-jo only because she’s the benchmark hardass girl to which I measure a lot of female leads in Kdramas, but Eun-seol is very much a happier alternative. Eun-seol’s not as hard and battered, and she acknowledges her weaknesses without making you feel bad for acknowledging them as well. Eun-jo is the kind of girl that knows her weaknesses but will slap you in the face if you found out about them too, and then make you suffer for discovering them. Eun-seol is much cuddlier. /tangent
As for Wang Ji-hye: I actually haven’t seen a drama where I’ve liked her character yet. She’s doing this WEIRD thing where she’s aegyo-ing the fuck out of her character, and I say weird in a panick-y all-caps way because even if she’s played bitchy characters in the past, there was some substance of seriousness, and I just have no idea what the hell her character is doing. Maybe that’ll be cleared up in the next few weeks.
Watch. This. Now.