You can only pick one: Office romance
by DB Staff
Welcome to our new feature! You can only pick one, and boy the pressure is on. The DB team will answer a new prompt in each post, and you’re invited to do the same in the comments. Ready to play?
You can only pick one: Office romance
missvictrix: This is hard, because I love office romances… but I think I’m picking Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick. Something about this romance just got to me — and it’s not only because it also had the noona romance vibes — there was just a special something in Ro-woon’s adoring gaze. There wasn’t a shred of a fraction of a chance that he would never not love our leading lady. Also, the drama used its cosmetics company backdrop to the fullest. And by that I mean they did everything they should have to bring out the squee: product testing in the office, late night prep for showcase events, last-minute fill in models (*ahem* Ro-woon), and the like. But most interesting to me, they also used the physical space of the office quite well, which is something I love to see in dramas — from the awkward conference room doorway, to the secret glances over their desk pod, to the stairwell where sunbae puts on her eponymous lipstick.
mistyisles: I’d have to pick Reach of Sincerity (a.k.a. Touch Your Heart). Not only is it (apparently) one of the only office romance K-dramas I’ve watched to completion, but it’s also just a K-drama that I really enjoyed in general. It’s sweet, cute, and heartfelt, with a fun ensemble cast and tons of chemistry to go around — plus the Sunny/Reaper reunion I’m still a bit amazed we actually got!
DaebakGrits: Office romance is one of my favorite K-drama sub-genres, so it’s really hard to only pick one! This is cruel! But, if I must, I’m going to say The Secret Life of My Secretary is my favorite. The leading couple is fun and cute, and as far as office romances go, there’s a heavy emphasis on the “office.” I like how the story plays on the boss-secretary dynamic by giving Min-ik a personal reason to rely on Gal-hee in much the same way he’s always relied on her professionally. Plus, this drama has the always delightful Veronica Parrrk-i-e-yo.
solstices: Considering I rarely watch romance dramas, much less office romances, my pool of options isn’t very big. So I guess I’ll go with the first one that comes to mind — Business Proposal, because I couldn’t stop laughing at the over-the-top office hijinks. I loved how unique the office setting was, since it’s not every day you get a peek into the life of a food researcher. Hari’s genuine enthusiasm for food was so endearing to watch, and it was sweet how Tae-moo gained respect for her by witnessing first-hand the sheer amount of passion and effort she pours into her work. Plus, Hari’s coworkers were absolutely hilarious! There was never a dull moment in the office scenes, and it elevated my enjoyment of the romance even more.
Unit: What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim! This is a typical boss/secretary love story that does a great job of balancing both the “rom” and the “com” aspects of the genre. There were no high stakes, or outright villains — it was just a simple office romance with electrifying chemistry between the leads. And while the drama revolved around them, for obvious reasons, I liked that the other team members at work – each of them colorful in their own way – also got their time in the spotlight. We were able to enjoy team bonding moments, relatable office drama, office gossip, office fashion inspiration, and of course, more romance. Because in the end, what’s better than one office couple? Three office couples!
Dramaddictally: Only one!? Now I understand why this game is so hard. After days of internal dilemma, I’ve settled on Sunbae, Don’t Put on that Lipstick. Ro-woon is a beautiful creature but in this role he’s so impossibly good-looking it doesn’t make sense. This drama might not qualify as a noona romance, but with the female sunbae/male hoobae dynamic it’s close enough for my happiness. There’s also something about the slow pace and wintery setting — I could sit around all day watching these two cuddle up in their fall coats and cozy sweaters. Add to all that the fun secrecy of office romances and it’s just too good.
alathe: Romance is a Bonus Book! If there’s one thing I love about office dramas, it’s the part where I get to revel in the fantasy of working in an entirely different world. As a dyed-in-the-wool literature nerd, Romance is a Bonus Book gets me where I live. This drama gives a stunning portrayal of a slow-growing intimacy between two people learning to see one another in a different light. We see Dan-yi and Eun-ho striving to fit together as housemates and colleagues, whilst dealing with the fact that Eun-ho is both Dan-yi’s junior — and boss. It’s a beautiful, believable slow-burn that unfolds with so much care. Plus? It all revolves around books! Dan-yi is hard-working and satisfyingly good at her job: she’s a marketing wizard who loves stories more than anything. I got just as much joy from watching her prove herself in publishing as I did from watching our protagonists work through their history together. That said? The main relationship is gold. There’s so much respect between our heroes, and so much delight in watching them figure out how to redefine their relationship. Love, in this drama, develops organically rather than all at once — it’s something you learn, together — and it’s all the more exciting for it.
- You can only pick one: Namgoong Min performance
- What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: Episode 1
- Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 1-2 Open Thread
- Romance Is a Bonus Book: Episode 1
- Reach of Sincerity: Episode 1
- Business Proposal: Episodes 1-2 Open Thread
- The Secret Life of My Secretary: Episodes 1-2
Tags: Business Proposal, Drama recommendations, featured2, Reach of Sincerity, Romance Is a Bonus Book, Sunbae Don't Put on That Lipstick, The Secret Life of My Secretary, What's Wrong With Secretary Kim, You can only pick one