Have you ever seen a Kdrama, classified as a romantic comedy, that you didn’t really laugh at? I have. In fact, I’ve seen tons of them. But that’s definitely not the case with this show. It’s quite worthy of being in the comedy genre. I smiled, giggled and laughed through the whole thing and isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you watch a romantic comedy? Protect the Boss is right in the same league as Secret Garden, The Greatest Love, and Fated to Love You.
Cha Ji-Hun and Cha Moo-Won are cousins who work for a huge family owned company. Cha Ji-Hun isn’t really interested in being a big businessman, mainly because of the anxiety disorder he suffers from. He can’t handle crowds and being the center of attention so he wants as little to do with the company as possible. That infuriates his father who is the CEO and intends for Ji-Hun to take over his position someday. He has no idea Ji-Hun suffers from panic attacks and just sees his son as a lazy, selfish kid who doesn’t care about the family business. Cha Moo-Won, on the other hand, would love to run the company and would be very competent doing so.
Ji-Hun has a bad attitude and a feisty temper, and the fact that he really doesn’t care about his job makes it almost impossible for anyone to work for him. But when Moo-Won hires No Eun-Sol to be Ji-Hun’s secretary, things slowly begin to change. Eun-Sol is a tough character who speaks her mind, doesn’t let anyone take advantage of her, has no problem using her fists to get her point across, and is in desperate need of money. Will Eun-Sol have the strength and patience needed to tolerate Ji-Hun, help him overcome his disorder, and teach him to be the type of businessman his father wants him to be?
Ji-Hun is played by Ji Sung. He’s an amazing actor whose talent goes way beyond the lines he says. He uses his face almost as much as his words to convey what his character is thinking. Confused, angry, in love, sad, frustrated, jealous, hurt, happy, afraid, serious, silly… We know exactly what’s on Ji-Hun’s mind by looking at Ji Sung’s face. I actually felt nervous watching him have anxiety attacks. With Ji-Hun’s panic disorder, and his demanding, selfish, abusive father to deal with, you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He’s a darling character that is very easy to love. (I want some great guy to love me the way he loves Eun-Sol.)
Kim Jae-Joong is Cha Moo-Wo. He started his celebrity career as a member of the boy group TVXQ and then went on to be one of the three members of JYJ. This is Jae-Joong’s first co-staring roll in a Kdrama and he did a superb job as the no nonsense, aspiring CEO of the DN Group. He’s hard working, conscientious, charismatic, and intelligent – perfect CEO material.
Choi Gang-Hee plays the part of Eun-Sol. She’s poor, tough, street-smart, and practical. She’s definitely NOT a pushover and she is willing to stand up to others when she believes in something. She has no trouble defending herself and she has a kind heart.
Wang Ji-Hye is Seo Na-Yoon. I never really liked her until I saw her in this. She’s played selfish, horrible women in several different Kdramas but she’s darling in this roll. Na-Yoon is a combination of sophisticated, spoiled, sheltered, and shallow -with a lot of cute mixed in. Sadly, she’s short on friends and, even though she’s a beautiful career woman, Na-Yoon is given a clear “no thank you” from the two men she’s interested in.
Ji-Hun and Moo-Wo are rivals in business and rivals in love. Both of them have had a romantic relationship with Na-Yoon in the past and both like Eun-Sol in the present. Cousins who’s personalities are so drastically different but have both liked, and been liked, by the same girls. Sounds very Kdrama, doesn’t it?
One of the most enjoyable things in this drama is the relationships the characters have with each other. Observing how they’re all laced together and how they get along, or don’t get along, makes things quite fun. Three cheers for the writer, Kwon Ki-Young!
I was going to give the soundtrack a B- but it ended up getting a B+ instead. I happily awarded it some extra credit points because both Ji Sung and Kim Jae-Joong sing for us! Considering the fact that Jae-Joong is a singer, we kind of expected/hoped he’d sing, but when Ji Sung grabbed a microphone it was a wonderful surprise.
There are a couple short scenes on a beach but that’s about it for charming location shots. The drama deals with business and since the show focuses on helping Ji-Hun deal with his panic attacks and fear of crowds you pretty much have to film in the big city and in office buildings. No problem.
Protect the Boss is entertaining enough to be put on my top 20 Favorite Korean Dramas list and that’s quite an accomplishment, especially considering the fact that I’ve seen over 150 of them! You’re going to love this show!
Ji Sung’s acting
The lovable characters Ji-Hun and Seo Na-Yoon
A comedy that’s actually funny
No really evil bad guys