[Best Friends Forever] When your department is one big buddy gang
by Guest Beanie
When this month’s theme came out, I knew I wanted to write about Chief Kim, but I didn’t know what to write. Having seen this show almost a year ago, I just remembered it very broadly. Should I rewatch it or read the recaps again? But then I realized, I just need to write what I felt and how I remembered the show: as a mix of triumph and satisfaction every time the underdogs pulled one over on the big old baddies, laughing out loud at the hilarious antics and contemplating all the poignant moments equally.
The thing that has stayed with me till this day are the relationships. The accounting department was basically one big extended family. While the entire department was initially hostile towards Sung-ryong (Namgoong Min), the entire process of watching them warm up to him and him in turn starting to lean on them and trust them was so good that I forgot that this drama was about a big corporation’s corruption and the hero initially was in fact an anti-hero.
Everyone, including the hero, was so accustomed to the idea that the rich get away with everything while others suffer that they just turned a blind eye to everything in the hopes that they will somehow survive. Which is what made it so much more entertaining when they finally decided to stand up and fight back. Plus, they had each other’s backs, which is an added bonus, because while they may not agree on everything, they came through when it counted. After all, who can forget the EPIC hospital takedown in Episode 19?
Then there were Sung-ryong’s individual relationships: Director Chu (Kim Won-hae) giving Sung-ryong a home when he had nowhere to go, becoming a quiet pillar of support both in the office and outside. While exasperated with Sung-ryong’s antics, he also learned how to start living his life from Sung-ryong while the latter got a father figure, something he was missing and desperately needed.
There’s also his relationship with his hometown assistant Kwang-sook (Im Hwa-young) and the cleaning lady Ms. Uhm (Hwang Young-hee). They happily orchestrated the entire “framing Yul to be a perv” scene just so he could get his revenge (seriously watch that scene—it’s in Episode 13).
Then of course Ha-kyung (Nam Sang-mi) and Sung-ryong—while they didn’t have the best first impression of each other (obviously), she took a leap of faith and covered for him despite her initial misgivings, and he repaid that trust so many times over. I never thought I would be satisfied with two people being in a platonic relationship throughout the show but here it didn’t matter. They were perfect just as they were.
Same goes for him and Ga-eun (Jung Hye-sung)—both were weird and quirky and it was a riot watching them together. And why wouldn’t it be? Their first meeting was her “accidentally” hitting him where it hurts, so you can expect more shenanigans whenever these two were together. What I loved about their relationship was their trust in each other—while she initially was sent to spy on him, she quickly realized what a good person he is, probably before he even realized it himself, and pulled out all the stops to help him whenever he asked for it. And while he knew about her real identity, he just waited for her to tell him eventually.
Who can forget Myung-suk (Dongha) and Sung-ryong? The spoiled, entitled, bratty son of a chaebol humbled by a small town accountant. While all their encounters were fun, it was such a pleasure to watch his personality take a complete turn, becoming a responsible and kind son and employer who wouldn’t sacrifice the lives of thousands of people just so he could live a life of luxury.
Saving the best for last: One of the best bromances I’ve seen is Yul (Lee Jun-ho) and Sung-ryong. While I was spoiled and knew Yul would come through, I feel that even if I didn’t know, my feelings would’ve been the same. I never was able to convince myself that he was bad even though he did pretty much everything that a typical antagonist does—threatening, blackmailing, and even beating up people. Probably because everything was done with a humorous touch or as Sung-ryong said, he never crossed a limit.
When Yul saved his life, I thought it was pretty much a done deal. Their love-hate relationship gave me equal excitement as any normal romantic pairing would have done. Their dynamic didn’t change even when they joined forces. The trust that he showed in Yul was ultimately the reason that brought him back from the dark side when Yul himself was not convinced he could change. Meanwhile he got a powerful and formidable ally and now had an actual chance of taking down the big bad.
I admit that this show was not on my radar when it aired, probably because of the genre. And the reason why I started watching it is pretty shallow. (I came across Namgoong Min in Youtube videos and couldn’t stop thinking about him, so of course I looked up his entire filmography.) While it took me some time to get used to the show, once the relationships started developing I was hooked.
Each relationship had its own arc and none of them overshadowed the others or were compromised for the sake of others. I’m just glad that I gave this show a chance because it was totally worth it. My field of work is different but I hope that I will gain equally good friends and allies to share the burden with, or to just enact the favorite scenes from our makjang dramas like Sung-ryong’s department did.
- [Theme of the Month] Best friends forever
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Tags: Theme of the Month