History of the Salaryman: Episodes 9-10

Episode 10 was the first time I felt frustrated with the show. It went from humorous, light fare to cumbersome corporate crap, badly staged fights, and rise of the angst beast. I absolutely hated how 10 ended, with Yeo Chi being pathetically quiet (and completely out of character) plus the workers making me lose any shred of sympathy I held for them before.

The whole stakeout aspect is written in such lofty, idealistic terms that it felt fake and forced to begin with. We get that these workers have families they're supporting, but the scene with the gathered spouses was dragged out and filled with cheesy lines and poor directing. I didn't need to be hit in the head with how much the manager is giving up through the conveniently-positioned woman's speech. Sick mother, poor spouse, and a kid too? Blegh, way to load it all in, as if the audience can't get it that he has a life outside the factory otherwise.

They also didn't need to keep repeating the idea, over and over. As if the spouse scene wasn't enough, we get the discussion of kids/motives with the workers, and montages of bathroom walls stuck with family pictures (umm...and just where and when did these people get these?) It just felt like they were trying too hard to manipulate the audience's feelings. Pitiful, love-hungry workers vs. evil corporate management. Yeah, I get it.

Yeo Chi has been the greatest joy of my viewing experience so far, and it angered me to no end to see those idiot factory workers converge on her like rabid dogs. And also, I thought these people were dying of hunger? Yet they hold no qualms about throwing a shitload of eggs (probably enough to last them days) at the poor girl. Even more infuriating is that Yeo Chi doesn't say anything back. I get that she's become a redeemed character, but certain situations still call for some backbone and self-defense, not merely passive standing around. She couldn't have mentioned that she doesn't agree with her grandpa? SAY SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF!

I remember hating I Am Legend's ahjumma attack scene, when the people they were trying to save naively turn into angered animals out of a misunderstanding. This is almost exactly the same, only played out with a group of dumbass men against a girl. It made me sick and I ended the episode feeling only burning hatred for the people that they wasted so much time on trying to get me to feel sorry for. Seriously, I couldn't care less now if the factory was burned down with the men all inside. Ignorant, brutish asswipes.

Luckily episode 9 was quite a bit better, owing largely to Hang Woo and Yeo Chi scenes. It's official, my favor has completely swayed over to this ship. Yoo Bang is so boring now, all goody two shoes all the time. Hang Woo's got a complex, mean streak that I like. Not to mention he's gorgeous. He and Yeo Chi look awesome together, far better than either look with their other respective matches.

I'm ok with Woo Hee, but truthfully she's the one I like the least out of our main four. Hong Soo Hyun has had better roles. Woo Hee's a bit of a wash, in that she's occasionally interesting but mostly boring and cliche. I get annoyed whenever Hang Woo shows jealousy about her, because frankly I don't understand it. The girl's been nothing but a spiteful witch to you, yet you somehow like her? Why? Because she strutted around in a sports bra? Their entire relationship feels shallow and unbelievable to me, cause I don't buy into the bitches-win-them types of relationships. I'm alright with Yoo Bang and Woo Hee though, because they seem to be two very compatible people, and around him, she's actually pretty nice and caring.

I'll be settling in for next weeks episodes, nonetheless, and hopeful of seeing something that won't cause my blood pressure to rise. If the frustration trend continues though, I may need to drop, which isn't something I want to do, but will if push comes to shove. The only way this drama can win me back is to return Yeo Chi's backbone, cut the corporate battle crap, and raise the humor. There's much better corporate battle-fests if that's what I want to watch. I'm here for the characters, not this shitty plot. Oh, and I really hope to see less of bald turtle man.


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