Drama Casting & News
Kim Hye-soo juggles 124 talents for God of the Workplace
by | March 22, 2013 | 39 Comments

Only a couple weeks till KBS’s God of the Workplace lifts its curtain, and from all the promo materials we’ve seen thus far, it looks like we can anticipate a light, upbeat workplace rom-com. I understand that the Japanese drama on which this is based (Pride of the Temp) is slice-of-life and light on the romance, but you can bet a trip through the K-dramafication machine amps up that romance factor and heightens the conflict. That’s just the way we roll, for better or for worse. (And you know, sometimes it IS for better. Let’s hope this is one of those times.)

With Kim Hye-soo in the lead as the frighteningly competent Ms. Kim — possessor of a whopping 124 certificates and licenses — I think we can expect to see her in a number of unusual situations (and kicking butt in all of them, naturally). Some of those come from in expected fields like word processing and office work, but her background is a whole lot more diverse than clerking work. It also explains some of the seemingly random stills we’ve seen, whether it’s of Kim dancing the salsa, piloting a helicopter, or bull-fighting.

So with all her myriad accomplishments, the question I’m asking the show is why the venerated Ms. Kim is a mere contract employee, here on temporary terms. Why bother coming to work at this ordinary office when she could be out there with her more exciting pursuits? What is Ms. Kim’s baggage — or is she like a Mary Poppins for the salarymen set? Swoop in, fix things, swoop out with a song and a twirl?

Oh Ji-ho, meanwhile, takes the role opposite her as one of the higher-ups at the company, with a hot-headed temperament and rather childish mentality. I wonder how he’ll fare when his temp upstages him — because with this setup, how can she not?

God of the Workplace will be KBS’s new Monday-Tuesday drama after Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek wraps. That’s a show that’s gotten some faint praise, but hasn’t made much of a dent in the landscape with its dismal ratings in the 3% range. Ouch. Surely God of the Workplace can improve upon that, right? The drama premieres April 1.

Via Review Star, TV Report

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39 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mystisith

    “Why bother coming to work at this ordinary office when she could be out there with her more exciting pursuits? What is Ms. Kim’s baggage?”
    Who else has flash backs of The Pretender while reading this? I sense a trauma or a dark secret in her past. Maybe she’s a prepper/survivalist kind of girl? That premise not taken seriously can in fact be very comical.

  2. John

    Ad Genius … with its dismal ratings in the 3% range.

    That’s a shame, I like it. Copy Baek, fighting!

    • 2.1 pabo ceo reom

      I did catch a few episodes here and there and it’s not a bad drama. The leads are cute together and the underdog storyline tugs at me a little. The problems are… the second leads are painted so one-dimensional (especially Han Chae-young’s character). Also, the advertising world the story is set in is tolerable at best, down right boring most of the time. I can totally see why it has such low ratings, but it does have its winning moments, particularly when Jin Gu and Park Ha-sun are on screen.

      P.S. I am sad for Jo Hyun-jae and Han Chae-young though. I have a lot of residual love for them from previous works and hope they pick better projects next time!

    • 2.2 JAYDEE

      yes a total shame as it is way better than lots out there, of course its not perfect but still, its no MBC Dr. Jin at all… am gonna continue enjoying it … Tae Baek Fighthing !

    • 2.3 Gidget

      I like it too! The story and characters are really accessible for an American. The only thing that this show included that is kind of mystifying (again, from an American perspective) is the delivery of floral banners and a pallet of rice to a business opening, and the penchant of top stars for riding around in ghetto/hillbilly vans.

      Lately it seems like all the English subbers have flocked to other shows now. Been waiting for days for the most recent episode to be translated. :-(

      • 2.3.1 Lilian

        I know. I was waiting too but not that eagerly. It is definitely not a must – watch drama but I liked watching the couple together too especially when they are trying to get advertisement ideas too!

  3. Redskirt

    Okay, I was resisting but I think I’m going to add this to my to-watch list. At least it will be better than L7CS right?

    ….right?

    • 3.1 Quiet Thought

      L7CS is so bad I actually spent time on Dramacrazy checking out Jdramas.

      • 3.1.1 JAYDEE

        loved that comment… yes its so so bad… now compare this to LTB… oh viewers are so fickle…

      • 3.1.2 Mar

        I have learned never to base my viewing choice on weird drama hair. For me, weird drama hair often results in falling in love with an awesome character and usually a fun ride.

        • 3.1.2.1 Mar

          and wow just came back on this thread and saw that only part of my comment posted. random.

          Anyway, I THOUGHT I had also wrote @Quiet Thought-I cracked up when I saw your comment because I was thinking to myself I need something new to watch and I’m getting desperate I might have to check out a J Drama.

      • 3.1.3 nomad

        I’ve been in a slump after FBND that pretty much all I do is checking out Jdramas… But the sub takes SOOOO LONGGG…*sigh*

  4. Lisebeth

    lol another hate-love relationship…

    I’ll pass on that…

  5. Suzi Q

    I enjoyed The Pride of the Temp, so I’m hoping this one will be as good.

    In the Japanese version, the heroine danced flamenco, but it looks like Miss Kim is a doing a sexy tango.

    Going to be on my April watch…and see.

    • 5.1 coby

      I watched the first episode and I like it too! She is like a robot. haha!
      Dunno if it is a good idea to watch the original and then the remake.

      • 5.1.1 Sunshine

        LOL is like a robot in the jodrama too! i am bias but i always prefer original before remakes!! :D

  6. Gala

    The Japanese are really good with occupational drama (my favourite right now is Tokyo airport), but can’t really balance the romance department. Kdrama, though, suffers from focusing way too much on the romance. I really wanna get the best of both worlds, heh.

    • 6.1 Sunshine

      lol my same thought

    • 6.2 ravens_nest

      I…disagree. Japanese dramas do romance just fine. You just have to watch Jdramas about romance instead of the Jdramas about office work.

      Here are some…

      Adult (late 20s and up) Romance:
      Rondo (Has a huge action plot too. And is a joint Korean/Japanese drama.)
      Tokyo Wankei
      Love Shuffle
      Love Revolution
      Long Vacation
      Bara no Nai Hanaya
      Renai NEET
      Densha Otoko

      Early to Mid 20s Romance:
      Orange Days
      Tatta Hitotsu no Koi
      Kimi no Kioku wo Boku ni Kudasai ~Pygmalion no Koi~

      Teen Romance:
      Sprout
      Switch Girl!!

      Romance stories that also have dark themes:
      1 Litre of Tears (fatal illness)
      Crying Out Love, In the Center of the Earth (fatal illness)
      Last Friends (abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault)
      Deep Love (prostitution, violence, and sexual assault)
      Innocent Love (violence, suicide, sexual assault, mental trauma)
      Byakuyakou (murder, child molestation, sexual assault, violence)
      Koizora (fatal illness, sexual assault)

      Those are just some I’ve listed where romance is one of the central conflicts. There are plenty of others where romance is secondary but still well handled.

      • 6.2.1 Gala

        Lol, I meant occupational drama with romance. When they do romance alone, they’re quite good. And I’ve actually watched ALL those you listed.

        I want a dorama that centres on an occupation but can balance a good romance plot. I guess oishii kankei, oishii proposal, hotaru no hikaru… are some I can think of. but there’s never that balance I’m looking for.

  7. Nokcha

    I cringed when I saw the mic in OJH’s hand! Though he tries hard, he really can’t sing.

  8. latteholic

    I just realized that this is the remake of Haken no Hinkaku. I never remembered the English title :D.
    I LOVED the Japanese version, eventhough admittedly it’s very light on the romance, but again I never really pine for any Japanese drama which is categorized as drama/comedy to have any romance plotlines. But I can see how the Korean version will develop it :)

  9. a_diva

    i may watch solely to oogle kim hye soo’s hair. the donald trump-like combover/pompadour coupled with the shag in the back–not feeling so much, but perhaps if i watch long enough, the drama will reveal its reasons for the craptastic styling on such a cute leading lady . . . and don’t even get me started on P.H.A.T. oh ji ho’s ahjumma perm.

    why oh why do so many leads have bad hair!?!

  10. 10 all4movies

    In Pride of the Temp, the female lead was traumatized after being laid off when downsizing occurred at her workplace. She then preferred to avoid making
    any attachments to co-workers from job to job.

    It will be interesting to see how introducing more romance into the story will affect how this plays out.

    • 10.1 KimYoonmi

      After that, according to the drama, she just came to like temping and had some good number reasons for it.

      The whole drama was about her breaking her one “rule”, which was why it was very character focused, which made it excellent. So the easy way to bungle it up would be to forget about character change and then romance it 100%.

      The guy never got the girl in the original because he wasn’t particularly aggressive at all. And he didn’t seem like he could match her level either (In term of interests, etc). (plus she had a rule against attachments IIRC) They’d have to up the character chasing her in order to get that to work.

  11. 11 asianromance

    Something about these stills make me want to watch this, despite the funky hair.

  12. 12 Abbie

    Wow, I love this set-up. Really looking forward to it!

  13. 13 Makoto

    That horrible hair style of Oh Ji Ho. Oppa, what did they do to you? :(

  14. 14 snow_white

    definitely looking forward to it :)

  15. 15 junibacken

    Just realize this drama is based on Haken no Hinkaku (never know the translation is The Pride of the Temp). I love that dorama, and yeah really light on the romance :D
    I hope this version will be great too :) (and more romance of course)

  16. 16 Sajen

    “or is she like a Mary Poppins for the salarymen set?”

    she kind of was in the Japanese version, she’s travel in between jobs.

  17. 17 Enz

    I, for one, am really looking forward to this for the fact that the writer is the same one for FBRS. Plus I like oh ji ho’s looks here.

    Fighting!!

  18. 18 AnneAkemi

    I too just realized this was a remake of Haken’s Dignity – which I absolutely loved! I remember at first thinking it would be boring, but I was hooked after the first 15 minutes of watching the drama. I loved the interactions between Shinohara’s character and Oozumi’s character (how he hated temps, but then fell in love with her). His love / hate relationship with her was just too funny! Looking forward to the kdrama version and definitely making time to catch it. Hopefully they can top the original.

  19. 19 han toe

    kim hye soo and plagiarism … i wonder with this drama fate …

  20. 20 SP

    I also love the original Jdorama. It’s so funny and the lead actress is really awesome too. I hope K-version can add a litter more romance and still balance it out with work place plot.

  21. 21 Nzeeba

    I am really interested to see how making the romance angle a center point in this drama will result. I wat Pride of the Temp and loved the show! The lead actress in the Japanesse version was simply awesome!

    If I do remember correctly, there was a legitimate reason why she was a contractor only. I think that was one of the conditions she always gave employers who desperately need her in their company. And yes, there was a sad storyline about her…

  22. 22 Fasr

    ok so the jdrama was one of my absolute favourites. and i didn’t expect to love it so much (i was tired of workplace drama by then) when i started watching. shinohara ryoko was fabulous in it and made me tear up many times. but yes kdrama version, i’ll check this out.

  23. 23 antonia

    can’t wait for this, the trailers and stills looks fun and i love OJH, cross fingers it would be good :)
    if not i still have the eye candy…. ajuma perm or not

  24. 24 Toya

    Wait… remake of Haken no Hinkaku??? I am in. I loved that show.

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