In all honesty I began this show 100% ready to compare it to one of my top 20 Kdramas, Protect the Boss. However, the two are only alike in so much that the main character has a type of social disorder. So, if you decided to skip My Shy Boss thinking, “I’ve already seen Protect the Boss so I don’t need to spend valuable Kdrama time on a remake,” please reconsider. The shows are very, very different.
Because Eun Hwan-Ki is such an extreme introvert people mistake him for being menacing and scary. His father started a public relations firm called Brain which was given over to Hwan-Ki when his dad went into politics. He’s very intelligent and is good at P.R. work but even though he is the CEO his shy personality keeps him from running the company out in the open. His best friend, Kang Woo-Il, is the charismatic co-CEO, the face of Brain. He deals with the employees, clients, and the public. Chae Ro-Woon, a rookie recruit at Brain, finds herself on a brand new team called “Silent Monster” headed by CEO Eun. The team is put together with one main goal in mind – transfer Eun Hwan-Ki’s personality into the type of person who can lead a company without hiding in someone else’s shadow. But Chae Ro-Woon has a different agenda. Three years earlier her big sister, personal secretary to CEO Eun, committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the company building. Ro-Woon believes it was CEO Eun’s fault and the whole reason she joined the company was to expose her sister’s boss for the evil man she knows he is and ruin him personally while destroying his company.
A cockroach. That’s how Ro-Woon describes Eun Hwan-Ki. He wears black and is usually active only at night or early in the morning. He is a methodical man who carefully sharpens pencils with a utility knife while he thinks. He doesn’t speak much but when he does it’s barely above a whisper. Eye contact with him is out of the question and even small groups of people just serve to raise his anxiety level. He enjoys cooking, dancing, and playing squash -all alone, of course. He is a loving brother, always looking out for his younger sister. Sadly, Hwan-Ki knows his father has always been disappointed in his character.
Chae Ro-Woon is friendly, outgoing, and enjoys being around others. She was an extra in stage plays and musicals until she secured a job at Brain P.R. Although she loved acting her goal is now to take revenge on the person and company she thinks is to blame for her sister’s suicide. But what will happen when she discovers her idea of what transpired is all wrong and the “silent monster” isn’t really a monster after all?
Kang Woo-Il is more than just Hwan-Ki’s best friend. He lived in an orphanage until, at the age of 10, Hwan-Ki’s father brought him home to live with the family. They are like brothers and have always looked out for one another. Woo-Il is loved and respected by the Brain employees and enjoys being the leader in the spotlight. Although he doesn’t share in the romantic feelings Hwan-Ki’s younger sister, Eun Yi-Soo, has for him he realizes her parents want them to marry and tries to follow the path they have set out for him.
Although I’ll admit he’s handsome, I’ve never really thought of Yeon Woo-Jin as a great actor until I saw him play CEO Eun Hwan-Ki. In order to play the part convincingly, there’s a lot of excellent acting that goes into playing a character with emotional disorders, and Woo-Jin came through with flying colors. The panic attacks and extreme introverted behavior were superbly executed. Who is Yeon Woo-Jin? Well he was born Kim Bong-Hoe, made his acting debut as Seo Ji-Hoo and then his management company changed his name to what we now know and love him as. I want to encourage you you watch a short drama he’s in entitled Just an Ordinary Love Story. It’s very good.
Park Hae-Soo, who plays the bubbly Chae Ro-Woon, is a singer as well as an actress. Her career began when she was a contestant on K-pop Star 4 and from there she went on to act in four Kdramas (including My Shy Boss) – Yong Pal, Age of Youth, and Saimdang, Light’s Diary. Her singing voice has graced the soundtracks of Who Are You: School 2015, Yong Pal, and Lucky Romance.
Yoon Park began his entertainment career as the drummer in the band Can’t Play Well (don’t you just love that clever name?) which won the Bronze Prize at the 34th MBC campus song festival in 2010. Kang Woo-Il has appeared in all three major acting venues – film, television, and theater. He does a great job as co-CEO Kang Woo-Il. At the beginning of the drama I thought of him as the “bad guy” but changed my mind fairly quickly. I think you will too.
My Shy Boss is one of those Kdramas built on bad communication. Absolutely everything that transpires in the storyline is because of misunderstandings. Literally everything. In fact, the writer even has one of the characters point that out – “Not one of us truly told anyone how we really felt.” I believe that’s the real take-away from this drama. Tell people what you think. Ask people how they feel. Talk to, communicate with, and understand others.
We hear, off and on, bits and pieces about things that happened three years earlier (Ro-Woon’s sister’s suicide) until episode five. That particular hour takes us back in time and shows us lots more details about what lead to the decision to kill herself. We don’t find out everything in that episode but enough to clear up most of the questions we have. Some pieces of the puzzle come near the end of the drama.
I love it when one drama couple shows up in another drama (different characters but still together). Remember how Jung Kyung-Ho and Kim So-Yeon play the main characters/lovers in Falling in Love with Soon-Jung and then team up again in the webdrama High End Crush as co-anchor people for a tabloid magazine type TV show? Well, Ye Ji-Won and Kim Ji-Seok played unlikely lovers in Another Oh Hae-Young and they’re back together in My Shy Boss as husband and wife. It’s just a brief couple seconds but I loved it!
The kisses in this show are yummy but then I wouldn’t expect anything less from Yeon Woo-Jin. The man knows how to kiss and thank heavens My Shy Boss‘s director let him do what he does so very well. There’s a kiss in this show that, I think, will be considered an iconic Kdrama kiss scene over time, like the cola kiss from Lie to Me. We get to see a delicious bunch of kisses as water from a shower head is pouring down on Hwan-Ki and Ro-Woon (fully clothed, of course). It’s amazingly romantic on screen, however, when I watched a clip on YouTube of them making that particular scene it wasn’t as “dreamy” as it looks. They ended up accidentally swallowing some water while coughing and laughing.
The soundtrack is pretty good-sized with several nice songs throughout, including the instrumental ones. The show’s fast paced, fun theme song is called Is It Love? The ballad Because of You is a pretty song sung by Kim EZ. Memory is performed by Ben of the group Bebe Mignon. It’s a really lovely song and her voice is just beautiful. She has graced the soundtracks of several Kdramas – Healer, Oh My Ghostess, Another Oh Hae-Young, Oh, My Venus, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, and I Remember You. The song entitled One More Step is sung by Sandeul from the group B1A4. It’s my favorite male vocal on the soundtrack.
The focal point of the scenery is CEO Eun’s penthouse apartment/office. It’s big and fancy but, until things are changed around for the Silent Monster team, dark and uninviting. There’s a trip to Malaysia with pretty outdoors scenes, a company team outing to a nice area, a getaway trip at the end of the show, an the quaint, old barbershop where Ro-Woon’s father works (they live in the back of the barbershop).
I appreciate all the character growth in this show. That is one very appealing aspect of the drama. The people learn valuable lessons about themselves, others, and life in general and make the necessary adjustments that ultimately bring them more peace and happiness. My Shy Boss – it’s more than what it seems.
Good character growth
Unique setting (P.R. Firm)
Horrible communication (but that’s what propels the storyline)