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Introverted Boss: Episode 1

The creators of tvN’s hilarious hit rom-com Marriage Not Dating are back with their sophomore project Introverted Boss, but don’t expect a pilot that’s light and fluffy from start to finish. While there’s hilarity to be had when a painfully shy guy has to deal with his polar opposite (and quite possibly his worst nightmare), there’s also a dark mystery propelling the story forward. Introverted and extroverted K-drama watchers, get ready for plenty of hijinks with a side of secrets.

 
EPISODE 1: “Phantom of the Opera”

The camera sweeps through bustling Seoul and onto the rooftop of a skyscraper where a woman gingerly steps out of her heels before standing on the ledge. Down below, people are out and about for Christmas.

Back to the woman (cameo by Han Chae-ah) up top. Tears fall as she leans forward and plunges onto a car below. The festive mood turns to fright as the crowds witness her bloody and gasping for air.

Cut to: KIM KYO-RI (Jeon Hyo-sung) frantically dashing up a series of dark steps. After removing her heels, she tiptoes toward a looming gate where she knocks and timidly calls for her boss. Downstairs, the office of PR agency, Brain, is abuzz with frenzied activity because it’s D-Day, aka the presentation/competition day for a grand-scale opera, Turandot.

Back upstairs, Kyo-ri peeks through a crack and spots EUN HWAN-KI (Yeon Woo-jin), a dark, hooded figure seated at his desk where he fastidiously sharpens a pencil using a boxcutter. Kyo-ri trembles, but raps on the gate once more and suggests he attend the last rehearsal for the presentation, since it’s for a major competition.

She’s just about given up when he wordlessly emerges. Back at the Brain office, co-CEO KANG WOO-IL (Yoon Park) arrives to cheery greetings; a colleague hands him the final presentation deck and informs him that their competitor hired a performance planner as their executive, but Woo-il is unfazed.

She says all PR agencies are sticking their necks out for this contest, which Woo-il finds obvious, since they’re the ones to beat. Cut to Woo-il confidently presenting Brain’s PR rollout plan for Turandot — the largest scale opera production to date — in front of his entire team for one last rehearsal. He declares that in three days, they need to generate an audience of 160,000, which they’ll achieve through TV ads, web banners, email, text messages, and celebrity endorsements.

Cut to a cameo of JYJ’s Junsu plugging the opera, leading to his sponsored selfie going viral. Another idea is to partner with cafes and create limited edition, opera-themed menus, along with hosting mini-guerilla concerts. In a booming voice, Woo-il concludes that their strategy will dispel the preconceived notion that operas are boring and unbearable.

The room erupts into cheers for their beloved CEO, but the hooded figure in the back merely shakes his head and beckons him over. Later, Woo-il waits his turn to present while rival agency YM Marketing pitches their plan. He finds out that YM’s plan is nearly identical to Brain’s, and YM’s cocky presenter snubs a handshake just to intimidate him.

It’s Woo-il’s turn to present Brain’s plan, but he stalls and shocks everyone by skipping through the presentation and tearing the deck apart. He says, “I have a very stubborn friend. He watches musicals, but never operas. But he saw ads for this opera everywhere. A lot of money was spent to advertise on various media outlets. But will he ultimately come to watch the opera?” Meanwhile, Hwan-ki arrives and watches closely from the side.

Woo-il flings his deck into the air as he answers, “No way. He’ll never come.” Referring to the opera-themed cafe idea, he asks the audience if a five dollar cup of coffee will convince someone to buy a two hundred dollar opera ticket. The answer is obvious to the captivated audience, and Woo-il continues saying that they shouldn’t expect the public to suddenly fall in love with a medium that has been stagnant for hundreds of years. Bottom line? The world can’t change, so there’s no use trying.

“Save [your money] for someone who’s seen operas before… Forget those lofty strategies.” Woo-il picks up what’s left of his deck and declares that only 20% of their marketing budget will suffice. He gets a standing ovation for his fervent spiel, but an audience member inquires about the mysterious person living on the top floor of Brain’s office, giving Woo-il pause as he spots Hwan-ki in the back.

A voice narrates, “He’s not a human being. He’s a ghost.” Cut to the boat scene from the Phantom of the Opera musical, followed by Hwan-ki ascending the steps to his penthouse. The narration warns against locking eyes with the co-CEO who hides like a ghost, unseen by his employees. The phantom removes his mask as Hwan-ki drops his hood, finally revealing his face.

But it turns out he hasn’t been hiding because of a horrible facial scar like the phantom. The narration continues: “Thanks to his father, he took over the best PR agency in the country. And luckily, he had a very capable friend. While the ‘dirt spoon’ slaved away, the ‘golden spoon’ counted money.” (Obviously, Woo-il is the dirt spoon, and Hwan-ki is the golden one.)

Flashback to one hour prior to the competition: Woo-il entered Hwan-ki’s office, frustrated that Hwan-ki didn’t approve of any of the ideas. Hwan-ki muttered that they shouldn’t be too ambitious with this, but Woo-il disagreed.

Hwan-ki said their employees were already overworked while Woo-il accused him of dismissing his employees’ efforts. Just as Woo-il was about to leave, Hwan-ki stated that they can’t change the world. We cut back to Woo-il’s presentation where he said the same thing; so it turns out those weren’t his words, but Hwan-ki’s.

Hwan-ki scribbles some calculations and determines that opera lovers will flock to Turandot even if there’s no promotion and that the marketing should focus on the cultured and opera-appreciating demographic.

Cut to CHAE RO-WOON (Park Hye-soo) in a sparkly dress and mask. We see her performing on stage as part of the chorus in a musical. Hwan-ki is in the audience in his usual dark getup as the narration continues: “There’s only one fact: He’s wearing a mask, and someone must remove it.”

After the show, Hwan-ki nervously enters the dressing room to give Ro-woon a bouquet, but an actor interrupts him. He notices all the actors eyeing him so he swiftly exits. Hwan-ki walks away dejectedly after failing to give Ro-woon flowers and shrouds himself from the people around him.

Meanwhile, Ro-woon wonders why her “Mr. Smith” didn’t come today. Her costar scoffs that Mr. Smith is a perverted stalker who always gives her flowers anonymously, which is even weirder due to the fact that she’s in a bit part. Just then, a deliveryman arrives and hands Ro-woon a basket of flowers sans name or number. She acknowledges the suspicious nature of the gifts, but since it’s the last gift she’ll receive from him, she happily accepts; it’s her last show before starting a new job.

Outside, Hwan-ki stares at the business card of the flower delivery service he just used. He crouches against a wall, and a woman nearby expresses disbelief that he failed yet again to do the simple task of handing the no-name actress flowers and saying four simple words: “I am your fan.” Hwan-ki sullenly hangs his head, and the woman advises that once he’s able to speak up, he’ll get a confidence boost that’ll impact all social interactions thereafter.

She likens the act of expressing one’s emotions to riding a bike; once you start pedaling, the bike keeps going without a hitch. But Hwan-ki mutters that he doesn’t ride bikes, so she tries a different comparison using constipation (lol): “Releasing that first drop is so hard, but once you get going, you can empty out your bowels with ease!”

Hwan-ki replies that he’s on the healthy side, heh, and the woman sighs that they’ve been having this same conversation for over three years now and that it’s about time they see some results. She wonders how long they have to converse like this, and we see that she and Hwan-ki are on opposite sides of the wall. Haha.

Hwan-ki plays a solitary game of racquetball, repeating the phrase “I am your fan” with every thwack. He proceeds to the pool and swims laps, saying “I am your fan” every time he comes up for air. But when he reaches the other end, bikini-clad ladies ask if he was talking about them, so he frantically swims away.

The next day, he enters the elevator shrouded in his cap and hoodie. Woo-il joins him and brings up the fact that he missed yesterday’s company dinner again, even though he had promised to be there. But a flashback reveals that Hwan-ki was present.

He stood outside the restaurant and watched his employees feasting through the window, heh. He removed his hood and was about to join them when an employee drunkenly wondered what he’d ever done for his company. “Nothing!” the others answered, and they agreed that the company stayed afloat all because of Woo-il. Hwan-ki overheard the whole exchange while hiding behind a post, and Woo-il stood up to ask that they not talk about his friend behind his back. And with that, Hwan-ki had left.

Back in the present, Hwan-ki mentions none of this and merely apologizes to Woo-il, who says he took the credit for the presentation concept since Hwan-ki never attended any of their meetings; he thought the employees wouldn’t appreciate their original plan getting scrapped at the last minute.

The two find Kyo-ri standing outside Hwan-ki’s door holding out her resignation letter like a terrified bunny. Hwan-ki asks her why she wants to leave, but she’s so frightened by him that Woo-il decides to handle this instead. Hwan-ki heads inside, and Kyo-ri divulges that she feels like a gatekeeper instead of a secretary and that she can barely breathe at work. Woo-il comforts her and asks that she hang in there just for him.

Hwan-ki thinks of his mentor’s advice about speaking up and gaining the confidence to socialize. He faces a mirror and utters “I’m your fan” before arriving at a hair salon, where he’s greeted by an arsenal of overly friendly workers. They happily prep him for his perm, and though he’s clearly uncomfortable, he thinks of his mentor’s words: “Anxiety stems from the unfamiliar.”

With his hair freshly styled and a bouquet on the seat next to him, Hwan-ki drives while practicing “I am your fan” over and over again, since his mentor advised him to familiarize himself with the words until they rolled out naturally. He fantasizes about giving Ro-woon the bouquet on stage as flower petals flutter around them, but he’s so distracted that he crashes into the car in front of him.

The driver steps out, and it’s Ro-woon! She approaches him, and he recalls his mentor’s advice about avoiding unexpected mishaps, so he locks his car and pulls his hood over his head. She asks him to step out in a sympathetic tone, and he panics, wondering if now is the time to say those four words. He tries to calm his nerves, but she grows impatient and yells at him to stop hiding behind the bouquet, because the accident is entirely his fault.

She bangs on his windows and his anxiety rises. He rolls down the window a crack to pay her off, but this only stirs her up more, because he didn’t apologize yet. Ro-woon orders him to get out of his car and smacks the bills out of his hand. Unable to take this situation any longer, Hwan-ki hightails it out of there, but Ro-woon hops inside her car to follow him after collecting the fallen bills on the ground.

As Hwan-ki’s driving, he spots her tailing him and accelerates, but she follows suit and doesn’t ease up until she hits a red light at an intersection. She’s bummed that she lost him, but looks up and sees Brain headquarters up ahead. She finds his car parked outside, and a guard warns her not to touch the CEO’s car. It happens to be her first day of work, and she’s surprised to learn that the guy she was tailing is a higher-up at her new workplace.

Hwan-ki’s safely inside his office, but his coiffed hair is now drenched in sweat, and he failed his mission again. Meanwhile, Kyo-ri gets the runs and leaves her desk just as Ro-woon arrives on the floor. She glares at the sign denoting the CEO’s office and enters, surprised by what she sees.

Frumpy employee DANG YOO-HEE (Yeh Ji-won) takes attendance for the new recruits, and she takes note of Ro-woon’s absence/tardiness. She orders the new employees to never press the top floor button in the elevator before pulling her turtleneck over her face and making strangling noises to illustrate what’ll happen if they do.

Ro-woon explores Hwan-ki’s luxurious penthouse while Hwan-ki’s showering and unaware of the intruder. She comes across a locked desk drawer and is about to leave when she runs into Hwan-ki, who’s half-naked post-shower. They both freeze, and Hwan-ki frantically dresses himself while Ro-woon’s turned away. She explains that he gave her too much money for the car damage, but he barely listens as he tries desperately to avoid her.

But she merely follows him wherever he runs, even to his bedroom. She identifies him as Brain CEO Eun Hwan-ki and tries to yank the hood concealing his face away. Kyo-ri spots the two grappling and immediately drags Ro-woon out, though she doesn’t get what the big deal is about entering the CEO’s place. Meanwhile, Hwan-ki wonders why she came all the way here.

Cut to a bar, where Ro-woon and the new recruits perform in front of their new coworkers. Ro-woon’s the life of the party, and her coworkers are loving her outfit changes, dance moves, and vocal skills. Woo-il watches her with amusement; he requested an extroverted employee, and she fits the bill.

He strikes up a conversation with tipsy Ro-woon and asks about her musical theater background and her most famous work. She answers that she doesn’t have any since she’s only played minor roles, and adds that she was attracted to Brain because the company welcomes minor characters.

Ro-woon points out that even Woo-il plays a supporting role, calling him the Alfred to Batman/the main character living upstairs. Woo-il laughs at her boldness, and Ro-woon continues, saying that they’re both playing the same roles and standing outside the door; they’re the ones that have to knock in order to get inside while the haves on the other side guard their goods. “You never know whether it’s a prince or monster waiting behind the door, but I can’t afford to be afraid because that’s the only way to survive,” she says.

She asks Woo-il if he’ll open the door for her like he did for himself, and he says yes, remembering that he saw her ten years ago in the mirror — in other words, he sees himself in her. Meanwhile, Hwan-ki drinks by himself at home, reassuring himself that the car accident and home intrusion were purely accidental and that Ro-woon will never reappear again.

The next morning, Ro-woon offers coffee to the guard at work in exchange for intel regarding Hwan-ki. He recounts a story wherein a package came for him, and out slipped a sharp knife. The cleaning lady tells her that Hwan-ki’s obsessed with keeping things tidy and clean. Based on her findings (all of which she recorded on her phone), Ro-woon diagnoses Hwan-ki as an obsessive compulsive neat freak.

She visits Kyo-ri on the top floor and properly introduces herself as a new hire while handing Kyo-ri a cup of tea. Kyo-ri admits that she feels on edge working here because she has no idea what goes on inside the CEO’s office, adding that whatever goes inside never leaves. She once saw him drag a large bundle inside, and even suitcases large enough to hold bodies.

With this new information, Ro-woon frightfully wonders if he’s a psychopath. Cut to Hwan-ki hacking away at whatever was in the sack using a scary-looking cleaver. Thin white slices soar through the air, and we learn that he’s finely chopping radishes and not bodies. He thinks back to Kyo-ri’s statement about feeling stifled at work and asks her to hold off on lunch for a bit. Aw, he’s cooking for her! But Kyo-ri thinks he’s trying to starve her.

Hwan-ki sets the table with his homemade radish dishes and makes sure each plate is arranged perfectly. Just as he’s about to invite Kyo-ri in, he balks, wondering if she even likes radish; he went all the way to Dangjin early in the morning to buy fresh autumn radish.

He tells himself that she’ll fall in love with the fresh radish flavor and goes to open the door when another concern strikes: “But what makes a good meal is not decided by what you eat, but whom you eat with.” Oy, here we go again. And that thought leads to another, and he figures she’ll get indigestion from eating with him and will regret having dined with him until her indigestion clears.

While he’s waffling inside, Kyo-ri’s stomach’s growling. He finally pokes his head out and asks if she’s had lunch, but Kyo-ri answers that she has no appetite because she’s not feeling well. Hwan-ki ends up eating his delicious radish meal by himself, and Kyo-ri moans about how hungry she is. Ugh.

Ro-woon can’t believe Kyo-ri starved just so she could guard the CEO’s door. Kyo-ri assumes that he wants her glued to his desk ever since Ro-woon entered his space, and Ro-woon is surprised to hear that he doesn’t like people staring at him, which is why Kyo-ri looks at the floor. She’s about to recount an incident that took place three years ago when she suddenly drops to the floor from excruciating stomach pain. Ro-woon’s phone died (presumably from all the secret recordings), so she bangs on Hwan-ki’s door and shouts for him to call 911, but he’s not inside.

He’s at his parents’ place, and it’s his first visit in two months. Dad admonishes him for still being so timid around his own parents and for making his employees feel uncomfortable. “That’s why that incident took place three years ago,” he starts to say, until his wife cuts him off.

Dad warns him to stay out of trouble since the Seoul mayoral election is just around the corner. He’s embarrassed that an accomplished and influential man like him has a son like Hwan-ki, but Mom is quick to remind him that he achieved everything through his network, and will continue to succeed based on that same network.

Little sister EUN YI-SOO (Gong Seung-yeon) is so happy to see Hwan-ki, and it’s clear the feeling’s mutual. He’s at ease while she trims his hair, since she understands that salons with eager ladies are probably his worst nightmare. He apologizes for the hassle and gets up to leave, but Yi-soo doesn’t let him until she’s finished.

She’s surprised that he’s been seeing a therapist regularly since he was averse to counseling the last time Dad forced it on him, and asks if he’s had a change of heart because there’s someone he’s interested in. Hwan-ki denies it and answers a call from Woo-il, who updates him on Kyo-ri. Woo-il’s at the hospital where Kyo-ri’s hospitalized, and he assures Hwan-ki that he’ll sort everything out.

Ro-woon grows emotional at the sight of Kyo-ri’s pale face, and we flash back to three years ago. Ro-woon had bawled beside the dead body of her older sister, the woman who jumped off the building at the opening. Ooh. At her wake, Ro-woon angrily wondered why there were no reports on her sister’s suicide, since all articles seemed to focus on her supposed depression.

That night, Ro-woon grabs drinks with her friend, REPORTER WOO (Lee Kyu-han), and tells him about how Kyo-ri had chronic enteritis accompanied by acid reflux and stomach cramps, and that Hwan-ki goes through secretaries like tissues, much like he did three years ago. Ro-woon insists they expose the rumors about Hwan-ki, but Reporter Woo shuts off the “evidence” she recorded and instructs her not to jump the gun. But Ro-woon is convinced Hwan-ki is more dangerous than they thought — even as someone was dying outside his door, he didn’t blink an eye.

She thinks back to her sister’s suicide and is certain the psychopath killed her sister. Meanwhile, Hwan-ki unlocks a drawer, revealing a pair of high heels. Flashback: Hwan-ki sprinted to his office and found his windows ajar and those heels on the ledge. In the present, he thinks to himself, “I never knew her face or name. I kept my distance because of my selfishness.”

After drinks, Ro-woon talks to her actor friend on the phone and drunkenly laments that Mr. Smith doesn’t know she quit. She asks him to keep the flowers for her in case he sends them again.

Meanwhile, Hwan-ki’s back at the theater with a bouquet in his hands. He thinks to himself, “I wanted to comfort her, but I’m the one who was comforted.”

Worried that Mr. Smith will think she rejected him, Ro-woon hops into a cab and heads for the theater to see him one last time. Hwan-ki enters the dressing room and locates the actress in the familiar mask and costume, hoping to finally give her the bouquet in person, but he doesn’t yet realize that she’s not Ro-woon. He removes his hood and extends the bouquet to her, and the actress accepts it after removing her mask. Upon seeing that she’s not Ro-woon, Hwan-ki takes the flowers back and wonders where she is.

Ro-woon’s actor friend informs him that she quit because she found a job, and he tells him to relay a message to the sender of the flowers that the perverted stalking ends now. Hwan-ki’s at a loss for words and feels all eyes on him as he scrambles to leave. He walks away from another failed mission and regrets not having mustered the courage sooner, since he lost his chance.

Ro-woon runs right past him, and neither notice each other. She asks her friend if Mr. Smith came, and he tells her that she just missed him. Hwan-ki’s about to throw out the bouquet when Ro-woon suddenly grabs it and asks, “Mr. Smith?” Hwan-ki can only desperately hide behind the bouquet as Ro-woon tells him her name.

 
COMMENTS

I certainly wasn’t expecting this romantic comedy to open with a chilling suicide, but it did, and I think it’ll serve as an unexpectedly dark undercurrent throughout this otherwise light-hearted series. Perhaps it’ll ground the show with a sensitive depiction of mental health issues? Even if I’m wrong, I do think there’s a perceptible intention to not make Introverted Boss a rom-com of the fluff variety, which I can appreciate. Fluff is fine and fun, but it’s not exactly the most resonant.

This was a long pilot with a runtime of seventy-five minutes, and while it wasn’t a plodding watch by any means, I did feel the extended duration and occasionally stole glances at the clock. Notwithstanding tvN’s inability to adhere to sixty minutes of programming, I thought this episode was plenty watchable, mainly due to Yeon Woo-jin’s portrayal of the brilliant, albeit awkwardly shy Hwan-ki. I already feel for and empathize with him as a fellow introvert, but I think everyone can identify with how frustrating it is when you’re dying to get something off your chest, but you just can’t for one reason or another. Or when someone steals your thunder and takes credit for something that originated from you, in addition to the knowledge that others perceive you in an inaccurate and unflattering light. When is it ever fun to be misunderstood?

Even though Hwan-ki’s introverted nature is severe and keeps him from showing his full potential as a person and as a CEO, he’s completely relatable, and that’s what I love about him as a character. He may come across as cold and aloof, but he’s actually very considerate; he just has trouble expressing that side of himself, and it doesn’t help that he overthinks and second-guesses himself. He cares too much! I get it though — people are so tricky and complex. It’s great that Yeon Woo-jin’s facial expressions and body language aren’t too over the top, because the point isn’t to make Hwan-ki the butt of the joke. Sure, there’s humor to be found in his flaws, but social anxiety is quite serious.

Admittedly, I’m struggling with the casting of Park Hye-soo in the role of Ro-woon. I think she looks far too young to be the female lead opposite Yeon Woo-jin. So far, she comes across as a pesky little sister instead of the ultimate love interest, so I’m not entirely sold on her, but I hope that changes. I know she can act, but she strikes me as slightly green in her first lead role. Hopefully, this show will be an opportunity for her to grow and change.

I don’t know what to make of Ro-woon yet, and I was alarmed that she’d be so quick to blame the “psychopath” for her sister’s suicide, which is a serious accusation that’s based on random clues she’s strung together. At this stage, I don’t believe Hwan-ki had anything to do with her suicide, but I think he became more focused on the welfare of his employees after her tragic death.

Woo-il strikes me as the guy who claims to have his best friend’s interests at heart, but is instead confusing assistance with using his friend and is reaping all the benefits of their relationship. I’m sure he could’ve dispelled the silly rumors about Hwan-ki much sooner, but then everyone would find out that his brilliant ideas aren’t his own. Hwan-ki’s extreme introverted nature is probably the best thing to have ever happened to Woo-il’s career, so he’d want the silent monster to stay cooped up in his penthouse for as long as possible.

The pilot was promising, but if they were going to make it a longer affair, I wish that they would have used all that extra time to introduce the rest of the characters, specifically the other Brain employees that we’ve seen in the teasers and posters. They really doubled down on how weird and mysterious Hwan-ki is, comparing him to the phantom in Phantom of the Opera, including exaggerated rumors that would only ring true for supernatural beings, like, “Look into his eyes and your heart will freeze.” But all in all, I’m ready to see more, and for the silent monster’s shell to start crackin’.

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Maybe it just me but too many familiar faces and places from Another Miss Oh distracted me. It just makes me can't focus that this is brand new drama.

The girl is pretty but somehow I feel she's lack of screen presence.

This come from Another Miss Oh's director, right? I suspect we'll get hot skinships ala OHYA.

By the way, first episode I didn't get any feels yet but in second episode is better.

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1st episode was pretty bad. Reminded me of Cinderella and the 4 knights.
The previous project of director wasn't his fault alone. Characterisation wasn't strong in that one too.

well, Its 1st week so i give 7/10. I hope it gets better later.

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Gaaahh!! Frustrating!

I was so looking forward to Introverted Boss and I love both shows: Marriage, not dating & Another Oh Hae young but this drama is not even 10% of those dramas.

1.The camera filter seems so old. I feel like they have shot this in korea some 4/5 years back.
2. The heroine is overacting in each scene.
3. They try to force the suspense. In the scene where the employees made it look like he was some murderer, we all knew he ordered a knife for cooking.
4. The office scenes and the employees were so disconnected with the each other. I couldn't see any rapport between them.
5. No humour. I din't laugh once during the entire episode duration. The slap stick comedy where Hwan Ki tries to wear clothes in front of Ro woon.
6. The total length of the drama is a huge minus.

I don't mind that there is a dark theme underlying the surface but this 1st episode is uninteresting. Giving this show 4 more episodes to get me interested.

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On your point 3 - The old man was messing with her which was clearly evident, so I don't thin the viewer was meant to be fooled into thinking the guy was a murderer. I do find that annoying but in MND and AOHY weren't the heroines the point of view characters, whereas this is clearly showing that we the audience don't see things through her lens.

I agree the vibe is not what I thought it was going to be. It's much darker than I expected. I agree about the main actresses acting too. It's weird there are shots of her when I think 'oh you're catching on to sneaky CEO and you've worked out who the CEO is' and in the next scene. Nope.

I'm hoping she calms down as their relationship improves.

Argh I hate the sneaky CEO! He's so good at undermining our hero and taking all the credit but he just repulses me.

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(#2)
Yes, exactly! I am on episode 2 and part of me is wishing that Yun Hyo-seong could have been the heroin OR even Han Chae-ah! I also don't like the overlooking of older talented actresses to cast younger actresses. That's what lakorns are for! Yes, she's 21, but has a face of a 15 year old! I just cannot see Yeon Woojin and her together for skinshipping!

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Yay! I've been waiting since last night! Off to read! Thanks, dramabeans :)

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I like the use of Phantom of the Opera - one of my favorite musicals!

Enjoying it so far.

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Love the use of the themes from the story, but the musical they're using songs and clips from is actually just called Phantom (it's the Yeston Kopit version, not the Andrew Lloyd Webber version called Phantom of the Opera)

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I feel like Woo-il is going to turn out to be the bad guy in this series. O.O I can't wait to see how it all plays out. I am loving the awkwardly shy Hwan-ki though! <3

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I thought so too. Anyways, he doesn't seem like that good of a friend or even that considerate of Hwan-gi anyways.

I was also kind of put off my Hwan-gi's father, but we'll see where things go.

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I actually went "Aww, poor guy" whenever Hwan-ki was twarted by his "friend" Woo-il. And his failed attempt at having lunch with his secretary squeezed my heart. Though not in that extreme, I can understand his fears, as they're also mine (but on a much smaller scale). I'm already cheering him on.

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I knew that Hwan-ki would be the brains behind Brain PR, but he needs Woo-il's help to get his points out to the public, so I appreciated the fact that he can be his professional self with Woo-il. I was surprised when Woo-il admitted to taking credit for Hwan-ki's idea, though. Not cool. I can TOTALLY see Woo-il going rogue, but I hope not because I don't need/want them to be rivals. It already looks like they could possibly be romantic rivals (no!), so I don't need anymore unnecessary angst. Side note: another reason I'd rather Woo-il not be romantically interested in Ro-woon is because Yoon Park liked Park Hye-soo's sunbae/roomate/friend in Youth and I think it's so weird seeing him showing interest (or whatever he's thinking) in her in this show. Ha.

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I am not liking the overall feel of the drama especially the nosy and ridiculous female lead character but Woo-il is so relatable (coming from a somewhat introverted person) that I just can't drop this. Hoping character development comes fast on the characters I hate.

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*Sorry, Hwan-ki is relatable not Woo-il ;)

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Agreed, totally felt sneakey-snakey vibe coming off him. When he defended Hwan-ki to his employees without telling the presentation idea was originally from Hwan-Ki, he is basically just make himself look good while subtly slandering Hwan-ki. Also, that identical thick presentation that the competitor have, he might as well be the snitch there!

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This is a great drama worth watching and worth the wait! The writer really knows how to make a seemingly simple and cliched plot into something that has depth, just like Marriage, Not Dating.

Hm, regarding how the pilot could have been used to introduce the supporting characters, I so-so agree with you because their roles are not yet quite defined given the first two episodes, but knowing the writer and director's style (based on MND and AOHY), they do make the supporting characters flourish throughout the run of the drama. I think in this case, they just needed to establish the plot and the depth behind this rom-com.

Actually, the first two episodes weren't draggy at all, especially the second one. It was actually pretty fast paced given that they were already revealing some hints regarding the controversial suicide from three years ago and the existing relationship between Woo-il & the deceased secretary, and Hwan-ki & Ro-woon.

Maybe I am slight biased because of my favorable fondness of the director, writer, crew, lead actor and supporting characters, but this is a must watch! It may not be as intriguing as AOHY, but it delivers the right amount of impact and relatability - a definite light, yet full of depth romantic comedy! Hoping that it at least hits 5% in the succeeding weeks!

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I dont like this one much. I think they overdone things

Missing 9 and Voice are much better new shows

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I cannot disagree more about Missing 9. I can understand being turned off by the dark undertone of Introverted Boss (I rather like the idea of two very broken people helping each other heal through love), but the writing on Missing 9 is terrible. I will grant that the first 10-15 minutes were awesome and I would love to see that show, but the last 50 or so minutes have no dramatic meaning, push or pull because we already know what happened. Why am I having to sit through 50 minutes of exposition when I got all the information I need to proceed with the story in the first 10 minutes? The writers/producers don't trust their own story and/or the audience. Therefore, I can't trust them to tell a good story.

In contrast, this writer trusts the story and the audience to walk us slowly through all the information that exists as a backstory as to why these two are broken. That brokenness is something that will take time to appreciate and understand so that we can believe (and cheer) when the brokenness is overcome. This is really good writing.

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I have no idea what you are talking about.

If you only like the first 10 minutes, the 90% of the show is gonna be like the last 50 minutes. How they live in the island is the main focus. I believe the one surviver gonna be a twist. I like the directing. I like the characters. I have no comment on the writing yet because its too soon to judge.

With introverted boss, i dont like the directing, its more like a play than a drama. The characters are too much. They are all overdoing it. Again its too soon to tell about the storyline.

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If Missing 9 was going to be about life on the island, then why was the introduction a set-up for a mystery? Why was the POV character set up so beautifully to be the one survivor with a memory loss? That show would have been about we the audience discovering with her all her memories as all of the various forces around her try to find out as well. Excellent set up for a show. But then we go back in time to the day of the crash for 50 minutes.

If the show is about what happens on the island, why the first 10 minutes? All of the drama and suspense of the plane crash is destroyed because we already know that it happened. Imagine if you edit out those first 10 minutes and how much better the show would be without them.

The writers don't seem to know what they want kind of story they want to tell. They've presented me with two different shows, either one would have been good on their own. Together, they weaken the whole. That is what I mean by bad writing.

In terms of Introverted Boss, I think the choice of making it like a play was deliberate due to all of the references to the Phantom of the Opera. When they deviated from the fundamental premise of the Phantom, the contrast helps not only emphasize the differences between the characters of the Opera and this show, but it helps us understand the characters themselves by showing us not only who they are, but what they are not by shattering our own preconceptions based on Phantom of the Opera. I see the beginning of a long-term plan here and that is a quality of good writing.

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Have you watched LOST? The US show that was graded as one of the best tv show of all time. They go back and forth every single episode because things are connected.

Of course there are reasons why only one back, and we gonna find out in the next episodes. We have a question first then we will be on the journey to find answer.

I dont think she lost her memory but that memory is so important so she doesnt know who to trust or how to tell it yet.

The first 10 minutes is perfect where its needed to be. Its a big mystery that everyone wants to know the answer. If not we just watching without knowing where its going.

Ive seen many good comments in korea about missing 9. And you can read here how many frustrated comment here about introverted boss. Maybe because of the trailer, we were expected something else and we get this.

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I completely disagree with you about the writing in Introverted Boss. I think it's stale and see through. It's at least not terrible. I actually think the real flaws of introverted are in it's directing. The show is paced badly, and editing is deeply flawed. It doesn't help that the characterd themselves don't feel like they have much depth. With Missing 9, there's a clear story to be told. You know that this one person survives, and she's the only way to discover what went down on the island. The focus of the show never was about whether this one character survived. It was about the mystery that this character was hiding, and what happened on the island. I think you went into the show with a misunderstanding of what the plot was. It's also far superior in direction, dialogue, tone, and cinematography than introverted is. Missing feels very modern and fresh, while introverted feels like a show I've seem a million times. Of course, it's just my opinion. I would suggest watching the first two eps of missing and re read the description of missing so you know what you're watchi and watch it for what it is.

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"Missing 9 and Voice are much better new shows"

I don't know about Voices, but I agree on Missing nine's part. Even if their genre is totally different, I get why you made this example-Missing nine has the thing that Introverted boss lacks-the human drama and character's which feel real.

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I am an introvert and Hwan Ki character felt real to me. I admit that he is a bit extreme, but his struggles are real. The scenes where Woo Il took the credit, Hwan Ki's conflicted emotion when he wanted to invite the secretary to lunch, Hwan Ki's less than understanding father, the negative misconception by others as well as his inability to even do the simple task to deliver the flower; are all too similar to what I have experienced in life.

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Admittedly I don't go around in all black assemble, I, like Hwan Ki, noticed the misconceptions by others and real life Woo Ils, and again, like Hwan Ki, felt the same emotion.

So yeah, the writer apparently did her homework.

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I agree with you so much on this. I am super introverted myself and there were so many things I related to:
-The baseball hat/hood in super busy places in an attempt to not draw attention
- Avoiding get togethers with coworkers

- Giving pep talks to yourself to be more social

- Enjoys sitting alone your office 

- Anxious at a salon

I am going to keep watching this one just because I found that portion so relatable

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Finally its getting reviewed. I unintentionally watched the 1st episode and got hooked. The first 2 episodes were really good. I loved the mix of quirkiness and darkness of the show

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I forgot to mention some other things. I have not seen Yeon Woo-jin's earlier works but he seemed like quite a solid actor and I am already loving the timid and shy Hwang Ki and though the lead girl is a lacking a bit but she doesn't make me cringe so I guess I can bear with her.

Being a introvert myself I can totally relate to the show. When Hwang Ki was overthinking what to do or say I was like thats totally me. I hope by the end of this show it will be able to boost a lil bit some confidence into all the introverts out there. Cheers!!

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Same here on the over-thinking! I wonder how they're planning on getting him to deal with his world more easily. Looking forward to the rest of the show at the end of both episodes.

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I agree with your first impressions of the two leads and the actors' portrayals of. Ro Woon is a girl on a mission. One who isn't going to let propriety, embarrassment or work duties distract her from it. I like how she totally goes for it. Her youth and her feeling of justice denied are the battery that powers this Energizer Bunny.
Personally, I identify more with Hwa Ki and his feeling of being an outsider peeking out at the "normal" world he is too anxious to join.
This show is has moved to the top of my most looked forward to all week list.

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Just like Oh Hae Young, it's a mess. Director need to quit out. And why they always add makjang story into a romcom?

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I also thought 'Oh Hae-young Again' was a train-wreck, but I feel like it's being handled better this time. So far, at least.

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Overall I'm enjoying the show so far, but something feels off. I feel like it's being edited strangely or something. It's keeping me from truly enjoying an interesting premise.

Thanks Chickachunga for your recaps and spot on character analysis.

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Me too! I actually confused who is the girl who jumps from the top of the building and the girl (not shown but implied from the high heels left) who jumped from the window of Hwan-ki's window. Are they the same or not?

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So pleased that you will be recapping this!

I watched the first two episodes and feel connected to both the main leads. (Minor aside: I quite like the actor playing the heroine's friend. It's good to see him in a drama again,)

The plots seems a bit over-dramatised, but I reckon I am in this for the long haul - look forward to seeing more of feisty Ro-Woon, and the coming-into-his-own of Hwan Ki. Ah, and I dislike Woo-Il already (bad, bad friend AND colleague). The office peeps are annoying, but hopefully we won't see a whole lot of them.

That I get to follow this on DB is the most-perfect icing on the cake! (This is the kind of show that can go off-rails quite easily. In that case too, it would be good to have the company of fellow beanies.)

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About the heroine's friend: I also was excited to see him again (me: hey, it's that guy again! Yaaay, I've missed you!)! So far so good for me!

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His physicality reminds me of the girl in heart to heart (even though she wasn't really all that shy). Not sure I can stick with this unless the girl can calm down some and the main lead can have more people on his side soon. Otherwise it's too frustrating for me. All that misunderstanding is infuriating when everyone just makes up reasons to be mad at someone they never had a conversation with even though he's near them, and no positive reasons -- or neutral -- even crossed their mind??? Like she's his secretary and she didn't even know he left the office. Ugh, I'm getting worked up

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I watched both episodes. I am rooting for the boss and mad at his misunderstanding. The girl is too out there. call the police if you are in an accident not stalk them. Right now she is on revenge mission and she does not even know him. I wish he really had someone on his side

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The lead gal in My Shy Boss actually kinda puts me off. She's overly exaggerated, loud n something just makes me dislike her (overly extroverted maybe , haha)...

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Couldn't stand her once the car accident happened. And knowing that they're going to end up together anyway just makes me even sadder.

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I'm an extrovert and her characterization as one doesn't jive for me, not at this stage. Now, some of that is just trying establish how diametrically opposed the leads' personality types are. But it felt too hard to me.

That said, I'm looking forward to how the story will unfold!

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Same! I don't know because of the character or the actress herself, she's getting on my nerve with the shouting and accusing. And what's with the company? If a new employee makes a mess on her first day, should she get a warning or firing? (moreover, she sneaked into the CEO's office and even tried to check his belongings! That's a big No to me.) I kept skipping her part. That's not a good sign because I'm really looking forward to YWJ drama. Gotta watches a couple of episodes before deciding to watch or dropping this drama.

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Once she sat on his bed, touched his clothes, started rifling through his drawers etc, that was it for me - her character totally turned me off (and I don't think the overacting helped). She has no sense of personal space or respect for others. Granted, her actions could be because of her suspicions abt the CEO's role in her sister's death, but that just pushed another wrong button for me - she'd righteously labeled the guy guilty, without knowing anything abt him.

Am feeling for the introverted, misunderstood boss. But not sure I have the patience or tolerance for the female lead to continue on frankly. May just read recaps of a few more episodes before deciding whether to jump back in.

Thanks DB for the recapping!

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The lead gal in Heart To Heart was actually suffering from social phobia (quite similar to the lead guy in My Shy/Introverted Boss) ....

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Yeah, I know I was mostly just saying they had it different ways. She wasn't shy but she feared people and he's shy and he fears people. But they way they scramble and flail is really similar lol

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One more similarity: Heart to heart was also starting w/ a suicide scene.

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i was wayyyy too excited about this one. but after 2 episodes, i'm not sure. i guess i'll stick around for another week bec it is the MND team so hopefully it will get better.

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i really loved park hye soo in age of youth but watching her in this drama is just kinda............... i don't know. maybe it's because of how nosy her character is but i can't stand her. i absolutely love yeon woojin though and will continue watching.

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So agree with it. In my eyes, she looks like teen and better to take role in school drama. But well, lets she how she could fit her role... must be hard for the actress..

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Honestly, I expected way too much that i ended up disappointed. sigh, my fault though. Hoping next week will be better. I have a feeling a female lead character will not be likeable until next few episodes, just like Park So Dam's role in Beautiful Mind.

Ok speaking of Park Hye Soo, she is not bad for her first lead fole. This girl can act, with experiences she can polish her skill. I loved her as Joo Won's sister in Yong Pal and in Age of Youth, and already looking forward to see her as young Lee Young Ae in Saimdang. However, i cannot help to think that if this role is given to someone who has more experiences, maybe the result will be much much better. I keep picturing what if Kim Sul Gi, Kim Ji Won or Eun Ji play this role.

Anyway, looking forward to see next week episode. Be good, show.

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I honestly don't know if I'll continue watching. Introverted Boss was painful to watch because it was too relatable. As I saw Eun Hwan-ki struggle with every day social interaction, my heart reached out to him. Though my anxieties and fears are not as strong as his, to some degree I know how he feels. The paranoia that creeps in you. The inner struggle to tell what you really feel. The frustrating way you want to say things. It wasn't funny to watch. It was hell.

I do want to know how he overcomes it but to see him struggle with his anxiety with people I find frustrating/aggravating (Ro-woon, his father, Woo-il, and maybe some others) will be such a painful journey.

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My thoughts exactly. Maybe I sympathised with Hwan-ki too much. It was painful to watch the female lead forcing her way into his personal space. Watching it brought up the same emotions I feel when men try to get too close, right into my personal space. Of course, she didn't have the same intentions, but it reminded me of such moments nonetheless.

It was also painful to watch his 'friend' take credit for everything. To be fair, it does seem like the guy puts in more of an effort than Hwan-ki. As any working person will tell you, great ideas abound, but not everyone has the capacity and ability to execute them successfully. BUT that's precisely why I think the credit should be given where it's due, and Mr. Co-CEO has no justifiable reason to hound all of it.

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I agree. I think it is not a rom-com anymore cos it is kinda painful to watch with a rude/loud/exaggerated lead gal with an overly shy lead guy with all the misunderstanding becos he can't express himself (not even to his own Secretary!!) Furthermore lead gal thinks that lead guy is responsible for her older sister's suicide etc. And pls....they keep bumping into each other n lead gal don't even recognise him ??! I don't think a bouquet of flowers can hide his face so much right.

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It feels like the drama can't find a balance. The whole premise could have work: an introvert and extrovert fall in love but the angst filled story line and it's execution don't scream rom-com.

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i felt exactly the same as you. i wasn't sure if i was being way too over-emotional because dramas don't usually bother me in such a way... but watching the scenes of him struggling with his inner thoughts & everyone around him either enable his avoidance (like woo-il) or push him further into his head (like his father) made me upset.

i also found the ro-woon character strange & "extrovert" is not the word for someone who walks into a person's office & starts looking through their things. that's really crossing lines, even in drama-land. i'll see what others say & follow this drama through the recaps, but i also am not sure i'll continue watching.

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If only Park Eun Bin was the lead :(

Still this drama is worth watching, I love the snippets of HK's thought process it's like watching a Japanese anime lol.

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When I started reading the recap I thought it said, "Phantom of the Oppa."

Which wouldn't be a bad episode title.

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Hahahaha!!!!!

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The musical Brain should've pitched for instead XD

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I saw first episode and it was complete disappointment. It was boring to watch cast is average esp actress she is miscast.

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Eh not the best.......PHS's charac. is too annoying for my liking but I'm gonna stick around for YWJ's charac he's too cute!!!

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Is that house actually owned by yeon woon jin or what? They don't ever bother to alter the interior after marriage not dating, and let YWJ's character to live there again? Are those Nemos like his real-life pet that should follow him shooting?

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Ahaha, I thought it was just me that had Marriage Not Dating flashbacks when I saw the interior of his officetel. It DOES look a lot like the same house he had in Marriage.

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Recycle, reduce, reuse?
When it comes to dramas, it's usually plot and character tropes, so I don't mind the reuse of interior.
But that wall from OHYA was a bit jarring.

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I loved Marriage Not Dating and was looking forward to this show, but I was disappointed. I like Hwan-ki but don't particularly like the other characters. I don't mind the darker tone, but when they went wacky, they went really wacky, and it felt off to me. I'll give it four episodes and hope it grows on me.

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I imagine that my high expectations were the cause of much of my suffering during the viewing.

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I was put off by Ro-woon’s nosy character as well. I get that she was upset at the "hit and run" incident ( he didn't acknowledge it but he offered her money, so I don't know it's technically considered a hit and run). But I felt she was rather just nosy checking out his place than finding him to get an apology.

I couldn't sympathize much with the secretary. Although I get how it could be stressful (and thus, hurting her health), she can't really blame her boss for starving her (did they say it happened before?). Wasnt she able to keep some snacks around in case needed ? She doesn't seem too busy and it's not like he's keeping an eye on her.

Anyway, I am going to check out the second episode and see if it gets better.

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I'm a bit put off by the female lead as well, but I disagree on the secretary.
I feel like her extreme anxiety matches his introversion quite well. We could have entire episodes of shy glances and wacky misunderstandings while they try to arrange a single lunch date. I'd ship it.

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This was so frustrating to watch! I mean that in a good/bad way because I'm already rooting for Hwan-ki to come out of the dark and be able to be comfortable in public. On the other hand, it irks me how impatient Ro-woon is with Hwan-ki! Let the man talk! But then again, TALK, MAN! Gah, it's all so infuriatingly frustrating to watch him STRUGGLE. That said, I am OH SO GLAD that he has such an endearing relationship with his sister! I love that he's got at least ONE person he can be comfortable with/around. I also appreciate that she treats him as a respected oppa and doesn't look down on him like their father or baby him like their mother.

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Omg, I didn't realized the latter part of my comment could be a spoiler!? If it is, I'm sorry and this is what happens when I've watched more than one episode of a show and my thoughts have no separation between episodes! Feel free to remove the spoilery parts in my comment, Mary (I feel like you're the designated Spoiler Police around here, so take it away~!)!

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It should be okay? This is a recap page, after all. It's all one big spoiler.

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He's not an introvert...more like he's having some serious personality disorder...

Introvert is a normal personality trait and it's not delibitating thing that makes a person behave as outrageous as Hwan-Ki.

The title is quite misleading imho.

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Introversion itself is a spectrum. A person can both be an introvert and have a personality disorder. Hwan-ki can be both.

Afaik, Hwan-gi's social circle is small. He's awkward and doesn't seem to enjoy small talks with strangers and opens up his thoughts to only a few. Guy likes to be enveloped in his own world and shy away from crowds. Those are very much like an introvert's characteristics to me.

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Yeah he has social anxiety, I get they were trying to be cute calling it introverted boss...but that's misleading.

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"The title is quite misleading imho."
YES, I can't agree more, he might be an introvert but his social phobia overshadows nearly everything about him. It is same as calling drama dark haired guy, simply because the main lead has dark hair.
I also don't get how people can connect to him, I AM introvert but I CAN live in normal world-I can wear colorful clothes, make eye contact and say a whole sentence without stuttering. Yes, introverts tend to over-analyze things and confuse people with their action, but this trait doesn't define us or how we live.
In this case, because of title, being introvert looks like some sort of decease.
I would call it a lazy writing, writer didn't seem to bother making a research-she might have read the very basics and decide-oh well it sounds like a Social anxiety disorder, but it can't be the same right? whatever, I'll make Hwan-Ki be/have both of them.

Same can be said about extroverts in this show, yes they are social and a little insensitive, but the best thing they know is where the boundaries are, that's what makes people like them-their talent to make others feel comfortable. In this case, female lead nearly ate poor guy who was CLEARLY scared of her

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+1 to this

Like others, I was excited about this show because of the MND team's involvement. But I really dislike the implication that introverts as black hood-wearing misanthropes who squirrel away in creepy offices. (I, too, am an introvert who has no problem appearing in public or giving presentations at work). Of course, "My Boss with Social Anxiety Disorder" doesn't sound as cute and quirky as a title. But with the exception of a few rare gems, I've never been happy with the way psychological disorders are portrayed in Kdramas.

I've been in a drama slump for a while and was hoping this would help, but it hasn't. On to Voice and Missing 9.

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Can I ask which were the few rare gems?

From FBND to Heart to Heart kdramas NEVER portray this kind of disorder with proper respect.

I'm liking this because I imagine everyone knows he is not only an introvert and it's such a difference that nobody would really imagine show is trying to say all introverts behave like that.

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Hmm, I don't know if I find "My Introverted Boss" particularly cute and quirky – or really any better than "My Boss with Social Anxiety Disorder" (or perhaps "My Socially Anxious Boss"). I'm sure they could have come up with some other, snappier and more accurate title ––– but at the moment I'm leaning towards the writers just lazily lumping introversion and social anxiety together.

I'm not sure I really understand right now why Hwan-ki is CEO. He's so socially incapable, I can't really buy that his father would actually want him as CEO (business-wise it's such a huge risk), plus, why Hwan-ki hasn't run off and gone into hiding??? Maybe there's something he loves with the business and they'll explain it later, but his father making him CEO still doesn't make any sense.

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"I’m not sure I really understand right now why Hwan-ki is CEO."

I think he has good ideas, is hard working and is good on paperwork but can't really do anything else.
Maybe that's why I don't really get everyones hate about his friend, not that he is a good guy but he seems to do all the talking/presentations/interviews and in their job it IS important. He probably also does Hwan-ki's share of job in this part, also losing trust of his listeners would not do any good, it's not like Hwan-Ki would suddenly become all communicative. So what could does everyone expect? For him to admit that great leader isn't exactly trusted and that the trusted one is the guy who they can't even communicate with?
People here act like Woo-il is that awful opportunitist while in reality Hwan-Ki in his current condition wouldn't survive a day on his position without his friend. At the moment Hwan-Ki might have a bad name, but at least he isn't fired. Those two need each other

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To be fair, his sister is described (in character introductions) as an introvert also and she seems to not have the same issues he does. So the show actually isn't depicting introverts as just "black hood-wearing misanthropes". It's aware that not all introverted people are like this, which earns it some respect, imo. I feel like naming it "Introverted Boss" is a problem because it gives off the idea that his introversion is the issue he needs to solve. But, still, his introversion does play a huge part in why his character is the way he is.

The reason why this story resonates with me is because I'm an introvert (well, mostly, as I look at introversion/extroversion as a spectrum) who dealt with moderate social anxiety after a difficult time in my life. It wasn't generalized, so I only experienced it in very certain situations, but it wore me out and my natural tendency towards introversion became a sort of crutch for me. It played a huge part in why it took me a while to address my problem. Even though I consider myself more of an introvert, I do have some extroverted behaviors and generally enjoy social settings with those I'm comfortable around. But, when I started having anxiety & couldn't find people I was connecting with, my more introverted tendencies kept me content and were generally more reliable so I briefly lost the sort of healthy human connection I needed to truly be happy.

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I have never related to a post this much. May I ask how you managed to overcome this issue? Because I'm in this right now.

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Well, I'm glad I was curious about the reactions before I started. Really good to know there's a suicide rather than it blindsiding me.

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It was the first scene, too! I thought I had accidentally started a different show. :(

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I completely forgot this drama premiered this week! What with all these new shows coming up, I want to watch everything (voice, tomorrow with you, defendant) and then you guys also put posts like why you should watch ( i downloaded all the episodes of biscuit teacher and have watched four episodes) and top ten (of which I wouldn't have watched most because I am only few months old in dramaland), its feel like I am spoiled for choice and I would decide that this is the drama I would watch next, only to see a new post here and immediately decide on another one. If only, each day had more than twenty four hours. :P Going to check this one out now and decide whether I am in for the long haul.

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I tried the first two episodes of this (mostly because the actors seemed promising) but... ughhhhh... the lead girl is obnoxious as hell. She has like zero boundaries or respect for anyone and just seems to be yelling so loudly so that everything is drowned out by the noise she is making. Sorry, but even if your sister died, you don't get to bulldoze over everyone and everything. Currently Roo-won has no consideration for anyone but herself and very little brain (no spoilers – but see episode 2). Very, very grating.

Other than that, I thought the whole story was just all over the place. The two leads keep running into each other and somehow we're supposed to buy that they (or at least she) don't recognise each other? This works once or twice, but by the end of two episodes it just doesn't make sense, not when the hero is dressed exactly the same way all the time. There were other times too when it just seemed like the show expected its viewers to stupidly believe anything. But it's poor writing, which this early on is disconcerting.

The premise had promise and I feel for Hwan-ki, but I'm not sure I'm going to give this any more of my time. I didn't like Marriage Not Dating either, so it may just be that this writer/director combo are just not my thing.

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I agree. They keep running into each other and the lead gal don't recognize him? What absurdness is this ? And the lead gal is kinda over-exaggerated and I hate the misunderstanding that arise from all the miscommunication. So the plot mean that an extreme introverted person can caused stress and even someone to commit suicide ?? And I dislike his so-called only friend who took credit for his idea that caused his subordinates/employees to further look down on him becos they thought he doesn't do any contribution to the company but only cooped up hidden in his penthouse. Not really my cup of tea so I'm considering to drop it.

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Yeah, I realize it's a drama and that she's out for revenge, but extroversion does not make you act like a crazy person.

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She IS a bit crazy. I thought they were going for crazy not extroverted. They don't have to tell us that. :)

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I'm surprised how many people are disliking her. I was surprised at her actions but when her sister's story was a bit explained I thought it all made sense.

I thought she was only disrespectful to him, invading his house, but this was just after he had fled the accident and she is a person who appears to go crazy when she thinks powerful people are trying to cover up their faults, because of her sister.

I do agree that she should recognize him by now, it's not like he had a mask.

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I felt the opposite. The more I learned about the sister, the more grating Roo-won's behaviour felt – because we also learn that sister had a pretty different personality to Roo-won (in other words, I'd expect Roo-won to have some clue that other people tick really differently than her. If she loved her sister so much, surely she would have had some understanding of her?).

No, she wasn't just disrespectful to Hwan-ki. (And I'm not sure what you'd call the toilet scene, other than disrespectful.) She was also incredibly disrespectful to the secretary (see episode 2). It's like she's the only one who has a right to her feelings – other people's feelings and situations be damned.

Also, it's not that she goes crazy. It's that she's at point A and sees point Z and draws instant conclusions. Have a revenge plot because that's good fun, but make it intriguing and make it actually make some sense – the girl has had three years to dig into this, but it's like all she knows is a) my sister died b) that's my sister's boss and then she concludes 'hence he killed her'. Her craziness could be thrilling, but it's just insufferable right now.

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I get what you 're saying, she should or could, be able to imagine how other kinds of people might feel, but she seems so young, and not everyone who deeply loves someone is really able to understand the loved one's personality. I felt she would be that kind of person. Not very imaginative and very impulsive. If you take that and add some kind of trauma, that could turn into a person that has crazy fits, or fits of craziness, when her trauma gets triggered. Now that I talk like that, it's a bit like she is that cold chaebol with a trauma that we have in so many dramas. She is arrogant on that level.

The secretary issue was another thing that only confirmed her suspicions, she thought she was getting her justice, doing what the other was unable to do. Granted, again, she didn't think ahead, it was dumb but she had good intentions.

About the revenge plot, I'm waiting until the story develops that more and explains why she thinks it's the boss fault. I hope they will have an explanation. :)

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I did like Marriage Not Dating - not top-10 ever, but better than average. I think they have the female lead going for the same vibe Han Groo gave in MND; haven't decided yet if they're succeeding.

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Other than that, I thought the whole story was just all over the place. The two leads keep running into each other and somehow we’re supposed to buy that they (or at least she) don’t recognise each other? This works once or twice, but by the end of two episodes it just doesn’t make sense, not when the hero is dressed exactly the same way all the time. There were other times too when it just seemed like the show expected its viewers to stupidly believe anything. But it’s poor writing, which this early on is disconcerting.
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This. Yeah I had the exact
same thoughts, so it has to be sloppy writing. Also rather than blaming the actress, I think the biggest problem here is the script which is all over the place. My palpitation keeps rising each time they cut from one scene to another so abruptly...And for a girl who just got hired, how does she have the guts to enter the ceo's office, even if this is a kdrama lol.
And maybe it's only me, but I found more chemistry in the secretary and the boss, rather than the lead actress.

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"And maybe it’s only me, but I found more chemistry in the secretary and the boss, rather than the lead actress."

lol I agree

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Me agree, too! After the 2nd episode, I ship him with the secretary. Even though, I know that's a non-existent ship, lol.

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Thanks for the recap!
I agree with you on how quickly sis blamed the “psychopath” for causing the suicide. It was a little too fast. Though I guess Ro-woon sees what she wants to see, just as we all do. Let's hope this misunderstanding doesn't drag out for too long. It feels grossly unfair after one episode, it will be unbearable for much longer if we keep seeing how boss HK suffers.

I got the impression right away that every scene comes from the POV of an unreliable narrator. Just as they tried to trick us in MND with their opening scenes. RW's recording and then replaying snippets of conversations shows how easy it is to take anything out of context to prove your point.

I agree with everyone that Show better calm dafuk down. OK with coming in hot with the THEMES and CHARACTERIZATIONS! LOOK! It's just like THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PEOPLE!!! but we're pretty smart, we catch on quickly.

Overall, I'll keep watching. More than one show that I have watched has had virtually unbearable moments at the start.
Let's hope they mostly go away or I will.

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i watched the 1st episode and i had to say this, i am not impress with the female lead. i lurveee her in age of youth. but i dont think this character is for her.

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Uh-oh. Like many, I was clearly too excited for this due to my love for Marriage, Not Dating. And, yet, when I found that I wasn't completely falling for this show, all my excitement was channeled into love for Yeon Woo-jin in this adorable character (and frustration on his behalf). I feel like we almost never get heroes like him. So, in some ways, this drama was more successful than others in getting me invested right from the get-go. But it saddens me that I only feel connected to one character here. I'm rooting for his growth, but I'm not sure whether that can sustain me for 20 episodes, unless the show really steps it up.

Now on to the main problem: Park Hye-soo in this role. The character itself is a difficult one to play, one that I personally think rides on the charisma of the actress portraying her. And PHS simply doesn't have enough of that yet. She looks too young & doesn't quite have the screen presence to pull this off.

That doesn't change that the character was kind of introduced in a really weird way. We didn't really have any moments from her perspective before the hit-in-run craziness. Unfortunately, all we can do is wait for the writer to take the character to a more palatable place, which I do think she's capable of doing if MnD is any indication. She seemed more charming in the 7-minute preview so I'm going to wait until more of those moments play out.

Luckily, I think if PHS were to ever have chemistry with YWJ, it would be when he's playing a character like this one. So if PHS and her character improve, this one could be salvageable. Still, I'm lamenting not having an actress that could rival Han Groo in the chemistry-department.

I strangely really don't want to give up on this one, so I sincerely hope it improves next week. There's some potential here, just needs to hone in on the good stuff.

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Agree with you, that PHS's role is difficult to play. If potrayed without enough emotional layers/depth and charisma, the character itself could easily be really annoying and unrelatable.

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It' a "Marriage Not Dating" reunion - not just the writer & PD, but at least 4 cast members (per Asianwiki) including the male lead.
So,
Working Not Dating ?
Stalking Not Dating ?
Well, Not Dating Yet ?

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I thought this would be some down-to-earth rom-com dealing with the introversion vs extraversion in workplace. Maybe, I was wrong. I really wish they wouldn't have added the revenge thingie, though.

I could understand when the lead girl yelled at him after the accident because he wouldn't get out of the car to settle things down. But, when she barged in his room, I sighed in disbelief. Who in the right mind would walk in the boss' room like its her own house, to rudely confront him and yank his hood just to see his face, on the first day of her new job? That person surely want to lose the job ASAP, huh?

If she want revenge by sneaking in to the company, shouldn't she at least have little common sense or brain to avoid getting fired before the deed is done?

I'm gonna watch next week's episode for YWJ. Hopefully, it'll get better.

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This show requires too much suspension of disbelief. The girl barging into the penthouse/office, LOOKING THROUGH THE FRIDGE(!!!)Ugh. And opening drawers and stuff. sfjrhezhgkzdng!!!!

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I'll buy her barging in thinking it was just an office. She should have walked in and immediately met an out-of-the-shower CEO. It would have been funnier, more believable, and also not resulted in an immediate firing.

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I watched the first two episodes, and I am very disappointed. I expected hijinks and light-hearted storytelling w/great physical humor and a sweet core.

What I got was a hot mess wherein Yeon Woo-Jin's expressive face is mostly hidden, the female lead swings inconsistently from one pole to another, and the employees are making me nervous as hell as they don't appear to actually DO anything.

That whole sequence in the penthouse could have been cut by at least 75% and been a hell of a lot funnier. The Turandot gag could have been cut considerably & it would have been funnier.

And speaking of funny, maybe employee suicide isn't a good match for what's supposed to be a rom-com? Maybe it should have been introduced half-way through the series instead of leading with it?

And you know, watching someone have panic attacks and second-guess themself w/an internal dialog that sounds very familiar is not that funny, either.

I'll give it at least one more episode, but so far I am not impressed.

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>And you know, watching someone have panic attacks and second-guess themself w/an internal dialog that sounds very familiar is not that funny, either.

It's not supposed to be. It's a good thing they didn't take it lightly and used it as a joke, they got it right. It's just a bit too realistic if people were expecting the guy to be funny.

I do agree the sister's past should have been something different, it feels too heavy for the story. She could have just disappeared and they would have the same motivation for Roo Won.

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It’s a good thing they didn’t take it lightly and used it as a joke, they got it right.

Mmm. We'll just have to disagree.

Of course, my expectations were high because I loved "Marriage, not Dating", and I was hoping for another romantic comedy that was actually funny. Alas!

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Reading the comments is so odd to me when the actual style of the episode is criticized. I thought it was fresh and clever. I loved the Phantom of the Opera parallels. As to the characters, the female lead is aggressive well beyond extroversion, and the male lead is reclusive well beyond introversion. I imagine their character evolutions will soften out these rough edges by the end of the drama. So I'm looking forward to that journey because character development and change is often all too lacking in dramas. All in all, for myself, I found the first two episodes very promising.

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I have watched both episodes and liked them. Sure Ro-woon is a little bit over the top, but I already new that after watching pretty much all the trailers and what not before the show started, so I wasn't that surprised. She speaks her mind and is very impulsive, but I'm pretty sure that she might mellow down a bit through the show at the same rate as Hwan-ki opens up more.

I'm really looking forward to when we will have more interaction whit all the employees, they haven't been introduced much yet. And baised on the teaser images and trailers Hwan-ki sister is also going to work at the comapany, so he will have someone he is comfortable to work whit at least. I'm hoping for cute siblings interactions :D

And also I'm actually very pleased with the tone of the drama, I have watched some Marriage not Dating epsiodes and that drama is very happy and colorful. So I was a bit scared that this drama would have the same tone and that Hwan-ki's "condition" would be treated as a joke. So I'm happy they are treating it with a serious tone and such.

So far I'm really enjoying it, but let's see what happends in the coming epsiodes, since there are going to be 20 epsiodes! right!? so many.

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After watched a high-quality dramas like Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim & Goblin then I choose this drama instead the other two of Missing 9 or Voice. I guess I need something odd & quirky like Introverted boss.

I'm looking forward Eun Hwan-Ki & Chae Ro-Woon lovey-dovey. One is introvert-weird and the other one is so lively. We saw a lot of this kind couple in K-Drama but Yeon Woo-jin & Park Hye-soo look cute together. Quirky cute XD

Oh, I saw a lot of OHYA cast.. Personally I like Ye Ji-Won & Heo Jeong-Min in OHYA. Wish to see another breakable acting from them.

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Was excitedly waiting for this show, and am loving it much. Didn't expect the dark thread of the sister's suicide, but so far it adds more depth. Have to admit watch both episodes back to back, so not sure how it feels only watching the first one coz I think the second episode make all the criss-crossing perceptions clearer. What amazed me is finding out that there is no big coincidence on how the two OTP meet tho! There's little-little coincidence here and there, but there's logic in how these two people get tangled in each other lives, which all started with the suicide.
As always, loving Yeon Woo-jin in all his comedic and serious acting, and loving Park Hye-sun too, her acting here totally the opposite of Age of Young but she's working it for me. They are cute together, can't wait to see how they impact and change each other for the better. I like the characters too, it just makes sense that for someone who is painfully shy, Hwan-ki needs someone who is the extreme opposite to pull them both to the middle meeting ground.
Have feeling that Yoon-park will be the two-faced guy who pulls all the string from behind the scene. I can just see he is hiding a scary manipulative guy underneath that sweet face...
Also, spent the episode wondering when the heroine will ever see the hero's face, ahahah, those are a lot of ways to hide you face.
Am excited for this weeks episode, yayy!

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lol omg i wanted to like this drama so much (hUGE FAN OF MARRIAGE NOT DATING!) but i was getting so annoyed when she's a new employee and just barged right into the penthouse and literally trespassed and went into someone's apartment..and not only that but went through all their stuff?? like what?! who does that?! ESPECIALLY TO YOUR OWN CEO?

and how does he not have a friggen LOCK on his door! its like his apartment! i dont get it!

and i understand this is called "introverted boss" but i hate how he's literally so introverted and socially awkward and unconfident that like...he cant even confront natural situations, like i'm an introvert but come on if someone is barging thorugh MY apartment, i wont be the one friggen running away......

lol ok sorry my rant is done. i'm still going to watch it but i was just annoyed at the aboves^ lol

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"he’s a new employee and just barged right into the penthouse and literally trespassed and went into someone’s apartment."

watch episode 2 and you will understand why she did that. I was annoyed with her too when I saw this scene, thinking that the drama went too far with the extrovertness, but that was not actually the case. While her extrovert nature made her do it, her motivation was something else.

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kk! thanks for the heads up :D

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I watched episode 1 and 2 last night. While this drama did not make me fell instantly in love with it like what Marriage Not Dating and Oh Hae Young Again did to me, I was somehow attracted to it.

I highly appreciate the dark underlying theme since I thought this drama will be a fluffy, on-your-face rom com like Marriage Not Dating. To be honest, I was rather skeptical when I read the synopsis a while back thinking that the plot seemed so shallow and the extreme introvertness was nothing but a tool for the rom com vehicle. The reason that made me watch this was because it was from Oh Hae Young Again PD, Marriage Not Dating writer and Yeon Woo Jin. So I was pleasantly surprised when this drama decided to properly highlight the real life struggle of people with introvert nature. The underlying dark theme gives us relatable real life insight on introvert people where it not all that funny to be misunderstood and that the struggle for introverts to express themselves is real. Hwan Ki might be on the extreme side of it, but his character is still real, especially his facial expression when Woo Il took credit for his works and surreptitiously try to usurp the CEO position. Based on all these, I am liking the show.

I predict that we won't get something fluffy like Marriage Not Dating, but something more like Oh Hae Young Again with its dark theme of Do Kyung's past misdeed. This should not have come as such a surprise if I had remembered that the PD is the same as the one in Oh Hae Young Again, but oh well...

Acting wise, so far I applaud Yeon Woo Jin's facial expression because they clearly convey the conflicts at Hwan Ki felt as he face the others with his introvert nature.

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ugh i loved marriage not dating and oh hae young again too!!! so we all have high expectations for this drama now haha

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I was waiting for you to recap this to see if it was just me feeling like this and Im not alone! I do not like the lead girl. I just cant. She doesnt fit the role, her acting is as you said green and idk if its the writing of the character or her acting, i find her annoying. Spoiler: she gets more annoying in the next episode- the character. And i really wanted to love this cause I love the actor, he was brilliant in Marriage not Dating. Hopefully, this drama fixes itself a little bit

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Based solely on episode 1 because I am still trying to force myself to watch 2.

I love YWJ as Hwan Ki. He brings his character to life and potrays his insecurities and characteristics in a beautifully nuanced performance. There's immediate relateability.

Now - Ro Woon. Sigh.
Speaking as an extrovert, I think the character is written gratingly overboard. And I'm being nice.

I get that you may be a frank, in your face, talk it out now kind of person, but not everyone is like that.
I get that she chased after Hwan Ki thinking he was avoiding responsibility - BUT she found out at the door that he was the CEO of the company she works for.

There was no necessity to visit his Penthouse - I'd figure there was a reception at a company as big as that and they'd have directed her to the main offices. But No! Up to the penthouse (which in itself suggests an accommodation).

Then she crosses all manner and form of civilised boundaries and privacy, even bouncing on his bed!
OK - the show seems to suggest that she was looking for "evidence" of her sister's death - but in his fridge? On his bed? Really.
And that yanking on his hoodie - He's your freaking BOSS!!! You don't get fired?

Not even going to analyse her ridiculous thought process where 1+1 seems to equal 4

Right now, rather than appearing determined and strong willed and focused on finding out about her sister's death, she just appears crass and rude and top it all off prejudiced.

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While I like the main lead's character, I can't stand the girl's. I was thinking she'll be that bubbly extrovert who tries to bring the boss out into the world. In reality, she's just a jerk. I hate how she overreacts and is so hotheaded. She obviously joined the company with a vendetta already in mind. I figured that by how's she so fearless and has such a lack of respect. I hope they tone her character down because I really don't like how it's written.

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this drama surprisingly hooked me in from the very start. I dropped Cinderella and the Four Knights and dramas alike so I didn't bother to watch this. The teaser actually grabbed my attention and apparently I have a soft spot for Park Hye soo so I gave the pilot a try. This is my first time to watch Yeon Woo Jin's drama (didn't realize he was in Ojakgyo, well ok that counts) and oh boy did I fall in love at first sight lol... he can act too!!

I thought I am hard to please when it comes to drama, but this is such a pleasant treat. Can't wait for next week!

P.S. yes I'm glad Yeon Woo Jin is on board but if only Yoon Doo Joon agreed to do this :(

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I'm left wondering why anyone takes off their shoes before they leap off a building. If they're going to leap, it can't be a concern about balance or for safety.

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Also. Why are roofs still so accessible in S.Korea? I can't recall any stories of suicide jumpers in the States and roof top access still seems to be far more restricted here than S. Korea... I guess the same argument could be made about guns and pharmaceuticals in the States, but at the same time I don't understand why they don't just lock the doors to the roof. It's not like there's a Roof-Access Lobby in S. Korea actively working to make roofs accessible.

That'd actually be high-key hilarious if there was.

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Because the shoes are too purrty to ruin..? ^_^

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My bet is that there's some story behind those shoes.

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its kinda funny how everyone is saying the main girl looks too young and lacks screen presence becuz of her young age when han groo was also just 22 when she filmed marriage not dating..

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I got intrigued because I love Phantom of the Opera, and while I love all the references, the musical theatre geek in me feels the need to point out that the actual musical he sees and that they are using clips from is just called Phantom. It's the Yeston and Kopit version. It's very different from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. And as a fan, I'm not sure I love all the lurking and such. The Phantom is a creepy character for a reason haha, it's not something I'd like to see emulated as part of a romance, glad some of her castmates pointed it out as creepy. Gonna have to see if they can make it less so.

I know it's a kdrama so extremes are kind of the norm, but I guess I was hoping for a more realistic portrayal of extroversion vs introversion, but I wasn't really paying attention to the teasers, just checked it out on a whim (a friend mentioned to me that I had to see it cause of the Phantom references), so maybe that's why I missed the memo?

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Not related to this but just asking, why we don get the 'song of the day' thing anymore? I miss it :(

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Thanks for the recap Chickachanga. It's what turned me onto this drama.

I really enjoyed this episode helped probably by not having much knowledge of the actors and therefore no biases. I personally find the actress playing Ro Woon fine in her role.

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