The strangest job interviews for Cheap Cheollima Mart
If these teasers are anything to go by, Cheap Cheollima Mart looks like it’ll be a riot! In the lead up to its first air date in September, Cheap Cheollima Mart has released several teasers introducing the market’s motto: “The employee is king.” Already, the members of the motley crew who will make up this underdog company seem like a lot of fun.
The first teaser shows the building as copy reads, “tvN’s hot Friday night series.” Various office items are shown, and a red stripe presents the “next customer.” We see Lee Soon-jae’s (Legal High) framed picture on the wall. A series of characters with their backs turned to camera flash onscreen including one dressed as a Joseon king, hinting at the “Employee is king” motto. Finally, Lee Dong-hwi (Designated Survivor: 60 Days) and Kim Byung-chul (Doctor Prisoner) stride out into the empty market, as the narrator says the motto.
The next teaser gives us a little bit more information about Kim Byung-chul’s character and his motivations. His narration reveals that he’s bitter that he gave his youth all to Daema Group, only to be demoted by the chairman, played by Lee Soon-jae, and then sent to run the failing store that is Cheollima Mart as the store’s president. He vows to get his revenge while cackling maniacally, and judging by the next poster shown, the first step in his revenge seems to hiring new employees.
In contrast, Lee Dong-hwi, who plays the manager at Cheollima Mart, seems to want to actually revive the run-down store. In the teasers of the new employee interviews, he’s continually confused as to why Kim seems to accept anyone who walks through the doors.
First up is Jung Hye-sung (Mysterious Il-seung). She just mentions Daema HQ, and immediately, Kim Byung-chul accepts her saying “Pass for originality!” Lee Dong-hwi stares with his mouth agape, not understanding what just happened. His voiceover says: “Our mart is strange,” and the teaser ends with the “Employee is king” motto.
Next, Kim Ho-young (Voice) walks in wearing a T-shirt and an electric guitar. Out of nowhere, he begins to scream off-pitch like a rocker in a rock band, and Kim Byung-chul wipes away a tear as he accepts this new employee for his soulful quality. Lee Dong-hwi’s head whips to his president, and he thinks again that this mart is weird.
When Kang Ho-suk (Hotel Del Luna) enters the interview room, he throws his jacket along with his entire body toward the panel. He rages with eyes bursting and typical ganger-gold bling swinging from his neck and wrist. In him, Kim Byung-chul sees good communication skills, and accepts him as well. Lee Dong-hwi’s eyes turn round, as if scared for his life, and his voiceover says “Our mart is strange.”
A timid-looking Jung Min-sung (Watcher) with curly hair comes in, not even for the job interview. He asks where he can plug in his flattening iron. Kim Byung-chul sees the tool in his hand, and accepts him for preparedness, and Lee Dong-hwi gasps in surprise. Finally, we see a mysterious man wearing a cone-type horn on his head and a poncho over his shoulders. When he points toward the table, Lee Dong-hwi ducks behind his papers. But Kim Byun-chul is not cowed, and he accepts this man for his “global” quality.
At the end of all the interviews, Lee Dong-hwi asks his boss privately why he automatically accepted all of the interview candidates. Kim Byung-chul begins by saying, “An exceptionally capable man like you…”, and that’s all Lee Dong-hwi hears. “Exceptionally capable” rings in his head, while Kim Byung-chul merely evades his question by asking another question: “An exceptionally capable man like yourself, don’t you already know the answer?” Lee Dong-hwi leaves that encounter, mistakenly believing that there’s a great strategy behind the president’s actions.
tvN’s Friday drama Cheap Cheollima Mart, directed by Baek Seung-ryong and written by Kim Sol-ji, will begin airing on September 20.