Drama without Romance: Fan Favorite Couples of “Misaeng”
tvN’s hit drama “Misaeng” was successful even without any love lines. Rather than portraying romances, the show depicted complicated relationships between people, including bromances. One of the factors of the show’s success was its focus on the life of the office worker without unnecessary romances. In fact, some viewers complained about the recent emotional scenes between Jang Baek Ki (Kang Ha Neul) and Ahn Young Yi (Kang So Ra), saying it was a sudden change in character for Ahn Young Yi, who previously fiercely hid her inner thoughts and past.
The show came to a close this past weekend, so let’s take a look back at the characters we love so much. Here are four non-romantic pairs of “Misaeng” that viewers supported as the show’s “official” couples.
Jang Geu Rae and Manager Oh: The Ideal Boss and Newbie
When Manager Oh (Lee Sung Min) asked Jang Geu Rae (Im Siwan) if he wanted to go have a drink, Jang Geu Rae’s eyes started shooting hearts towards his boss. Jang Geu Rae is a loyal employee, taking a blanket off his sleeping colleague Han Suk Yool (Byun Yo Han) to cover up Manager Oh instead.
These are just two examples of how the two care for each other. But they were not on good terms from the start. Knowing that Jang Geu Rae had entered the company through personal connections, Manager Oh was prejudiced against him in the beginning. However, Manager Oh saw Jang Geu Rae’s extraordinary efforts and accepted him.
Manager Oh undertakes various risks for Jang Geu Rae, because he has affection for him. Jang Geu Rae lacks experience and knowledge, but has innate skills and insight. He has a romantic temperament paired evenly with sober judgment and through their time together Manager Oh discovers Jang Geu Rae’s value. Because of the support of Sales Team 3, Jang Geu Rae was able to make small and large contributions to the company, even as a new employee.
Assistant Manager Kang and Jang Baek Ki: Could There Be Another Boss Like This?
As part of the Steel Team, Jang Baek Ki wanted to use his impressive education and skills. His boss, Assistant Manager Kang (Oh Min Suk), instead gave him nothing to do. For the new employee, the most important lesson was learning to be a seamless part of the organization. The point of this relationship was to portray that it’s important to teach and learn the system. Though there were no displays of affection, Assistant Manager Kang always watched over Jang Baek Ki and taught him. Assistant Manager Kang also sent Jang Baek Ki on Jang Geu Rae’s $100 sales mission and it was through that exercise that he accepted Jang Geu Rae.
Jang Baek Ki once thought of leaving the company due, in large part, to Assistant Manager Kang. Now their relationship has developed to the point that Jang Baek Ki completely accepts Assistant Manager Kang as his boss. Theirs is not the friendliest relationship, but Jang Baek Ki has progressed to the point of giving gifts and showing aegyo as he explains, “I’m not good at multi-tasking.” He is even jealous when Assistant Manager Kang gives Jang Geu Rae’s a compliment.
Ahn Young Yi and Assistant Manager Ha: Wacky Romantic Comedy
Contrary to developments in the drama, this is a couple with a lot of fans. In the drama, Ahn Young Yi and her boss Assistant Manager Ha (Jeon Suk Ho) have had a disproportionately large amount of tension for the small amount of contact they have, but in a drama full of bromances, this coupling has turned out to be popular.
Assistant Manager Ha started off as a villain who put down Ahn Young Yi, but dramatically transformed character into a helper. In the beginning, his past bad experiences with women bosses biased him against his charge, Ahn Young Yi. He interpreted her silently accepting commands to clean out trash cans as rebellion and he continually gave her menial tasks to do. But since the incident where she drove all night to deliver freight for an order, he started accepting her.
Assistant Manager Ha has a prickly personality, shouting first when angry. But he started thanking Ahn Young Yi, even worrying about her when she was in trouble with Director Ma. In his own method he consoles her, saying “I’m not saying this because I’m worrying about you.” When Ahn Young Yi gets duped into buying fake honey, his smile expressed that he thinks she’s cute. Fans of the couple rejoiced.
Han Suk Yool and Jang Geu Rae: Became Close While Bickering
Their first impressions of each other were not good. Han Suk Yool found Jang Geu Rae to be frustrating and a pushover. Jang Geu Rae thought Han Suk Yool fooled around too much. They even got into a fist fight. But eventually they formed a friendship. Han Suk Yool is the leader of the four new employees and is the catalyst that brings them together.
Jang Geu Rae’s behavior to Han Suk Yool is not affectionate. It may even be viewed as a one-sided friendship. He often ignores Han Suk Yool and corresponds stiffly. While he is uncomfortable with Han Suk Yool’s skinship, Han Suk Yool expresses his affection for Jang Geu Rae as much as he wants without concern about his reaction. In front of his superiors on Sales Team 3, Jang Geu Rae appears meek, but in front of Han Suk Yool he always has a chic expression. But when Han Suk Yool has a difficult time because of his boss, Assistant Manager Sung (Tae In Ho), Jang Geu Rae greets Han Suk Yool first and shows that he cares for his friend.
Who is your favorite couple?