[Review] Protect the Boss

13 Aug

As you could probably tell from our posts here, here, and here, Clarence and I are very much on board of the Protect the Boss bus. In fact, we drive that bus. Though only 4 episodes in, the Wednesday-Thursday drama has been garnering a lot of attention for the remarkable chemistry between all four corners of the love square.

The general premise of the show is that Noh Eun-Seol (played by Choi Kang-Hee), is a tough, job-seeking woman, looking for a credible job despite her pretty lousy resume. As the type of student who put morals before academics, she spent the majority of her time beating up the bullies and protesting the government.

While failing multiple interviews, she fills her time with waitress and sales attendants shifts. At one particular interview, she notices that out of all five candidates being questioned, she is the only one who hasn’t been asked anything. She boldly (and quite sadly actually) asks the interviewers why they are ignoring her. She goes on to give a motivational speech on how she is fully aware that she did not graduate from a prestigious university and did not receive stellar grades, but she was never told that such specifications were a prerequisite for this job.

Her sauciness catches the eye of one of the interviewers, Cha Mu-Won (played by JYJ’s Jaejoong). Nephew to the CEO of the DN Group (some high name corporation), Mu-Won is hardworking, knowledgeable in the business, and is obviously the most able-bodied successor to his uncle. We are led to believe that his father is/was the brother of the CEO and some previous event has led to strained relations between his mother and the CEO.

Cha Ji-Heon (played by Ji Sung), Mu-Won’s cousin, and heir to the DN Group is everything a potential CEO is not. He is childish, disrespectful, OCD (not in the good way) not hard-working, and also suffers from a phobia that incapacitates him in crowded areas, making it impossible for him to give a coherent presentation or speech. His father (a freakin’ hilarious character), is constantly abusing him, both verbally and physically, due to the shame he is perpetually bringing upon him. In most television dramas, the troubled character is not aware of his own shortcomings. It was a surprise seeing that Ji-Heon is aware of his, but uses immaturity to cover up his psychological illness. In one poignant scene, Ji-Heon walks into presentation room and foresees himself giving a speech, panicking and blundering like a child. He smiles sadly, calls himself a fool, and leaves. It is apparent that Ji-Heon does possess the skills to succeed, but the only thing that is holding him back is his phobia. I like that his isn’t an incompetent imbecile like he was made out to seem. He really does desire to please his family, but is unable to.


Seo Na-Yoon (played by Wang Ji-Hye), is a questionable previous love interest of Ji-Heon and shows up in the second episode. She is very ineptly attempting to seduce both Ji-Heon and Mu-Won so that she can rise to the top along with whoever becomes successor. It’s hilarious that all three players in the game are fully aware of her intentions and the two men humor her just to keep her pacified. Her last role as In-Hee in Personal Taste left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Not because she’s a bad actress, because she is not. It is more because her role was basically the incarnation of the devil. In Protect the Boss, she is more blundering and comical rather than spiteful and evil. For example, right after a scene where she coolly disses Ji-Heon, we cut to shot of her bawling her eyes out in a bathroom stall.

Normally, when people talk of chemistry between characters, they are normally referring to some loveline. However, I found in Protect the Boss, that all four main characters have chemistry with one another. Of course Eun-Seol and Ji-Heon have an amazing connection, with her acting as his secretary, caretaker, and (possibly) only friend. Unlike most people around him, she is crystal clear with her intentions (to get him into line), and he appreciates that openness about her.

As the man who initially offered Eun-Seol her job, Mu-Won is like a god to her. Towards both her, and others around him (we see him opening the door for his secretary), Mu-Won seems to have a generally good heart. Despite his mother constantly egging him on to take over, it appears as though he does not want to severely hurt his cousin.

Which leads me to my favorite pairing of the drama. Similar to the hilarious relationship between Joo-Won and Oska in Secret Garden, Ji-Heon and Mu-Won are constantly engaged in familial warfare. Though it is general knowledge that Mu-Won is far more skilled in the executive world, Ji-Heon always finds reason to shove, push, or kick Mu-Won to display that he actually has the upper hand.

In one of my favorite scenes so far, the two cousins shoulder each other with increasing violence while calmly walking down the hallway until Ji-Heon gives a flying shoulder (?) to which Mu-Won shoves him into another person and coolly walks away. I think that in circumstances outside of the competitive corporate world, the cousins would have been pretty close friends. Mu-Won has the ability to take Ji-Heon town a peg, while Ji-Heon makes clear the not-so-nice side of Mu-Won.

Every scene with Eun-Seol and Na-Yoon has me cracking up. They are both very vocal woman who lay bare their intentions. In a comedic scene where Eun-Seol unknowingly knocks ice-cream into Na-Yoon, Na-Yoon proceeds to shove her ice cream on Eun-Seol’s rear end. In retaliation, Eun-Seol “borrows” Mu-Won’s ice cream and does the same to Na-Yoon.

Na Yoon: What are you doing!

Eun-Seol: I am so sorry, I did that on purpose, because you also did that on purpose

Na-Yoon: Look here,

Eun-Seol: I’m looking at you

The two are hilariously straightforward. It is refreshing to see female leads who don’t take shit from anyone, including snobby coworkers.

All in all, I am really looking forward to seeing how the story plays out in Protect the Boss. The actors play their characters amazingly well. The tone is a little bit different from your stereotypical drama because it is devoid of  all the agent of secret plot lines and harbored feelings (for example, Ji-Heon overhears Eun-Seol say that she doesn’t see him as a man. Rather than stewing over it for the next couple of episodes, Ji-Heon confronts her in the very next scene). Protect the Boss is light, refreshing, and awesome, and I am taking it as a good sign that I’m dying waiting for episode 5.



One Response to “[Review] Protect the Boss”

  1. Bông-chan August 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Thx u for ur review. I’m just so in love with this drama and i love to read comm/recaps/review of it. :”) Have u watched ep 7 -8 yet? It’s so refreshing :”>

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