The gumption that Ho-won found when she thought she was terminally ill continues to show itself, protecting her from the twisted workings of selfish people at the work place. That quality earns her the respect of Woo-jin, her friends, and most of her co-workers. In Korean society her behavior is unusual and I’m proud of her despite the fact that she’s a fictional character. We need women like her standing up for women’s rights, company worker rights, and people’s rights in general.
Ho-won’s outspoken nature wins her the admiration and respect of her boss, Woo-jin. He admires her honestly and her ability to learn from her mistakes. His strengths in talking straight don’t earn him friends on the management level, but Ho-won very much respects not having to read into everything he says. The two have a mutual understanding of one another, and it’s a beautiful start to a slow blooming romance. Woo-jin’s understanding goes farther than his romantic interest — he also takes care of Gi-taek and Kang-ho, two hard working young men. He works with integrity unlike many of the people in the company. His fellow manager, Park Sang-man, sucks up to earn points with the higher ups and just as quickly betrays to ensure his place in the company power rankings. He drags Jo Seok-kyeong, the hard-working female team lead, into his antics because he convinces her there is no other way for her to move up than to work in shady dealings. It is sad because her strength early on was her key point. But it is reflective of what women have to do to stay in the game in a money, power, and male driven society.
Ji-na, the character I’ve been enjoying immensely the past few episodes, is similar to Woo-jin in that she is starting to really see Gi-taek (and the others) for who they really are. She sees what she had with Gi-taek: a solid, supportive man who respected her intelligence rather than be intimidated by it. Like Seok-kyeong, she suffers as a woman in the work place, especially at the hands of loudmouth Lee Yong-jae, but she is a fighter and doesn’t take any of his flack. Kang-ho, however, is timid as ever and takes the brunt of Yong-jae’s nasty bullying. This character is necessary as an office stereotype, but he’s hard to relate to in his curelty.
The scariest person is Hyeon and he is described as such by many people. He uses the friendship he’s built with Ho-won to try and manipulate her on top of writing a book about the trio and publicly exposing them as the topics of his book. He also exposed that he got them into his father’s company (which he aims to make his own to prove his worthiness as a son.) Despite the fact that he does genuinely seem to care for Ho-won, he will quash that feeling in order to get what he wants. Ho-won is disgusted by him and the higher-ups at the company rightly fear him. Luckily, Ho-won is who she is and decides not to take any of his excuses — she decides to sue him for defamation. I’m not sure how far this will go, but the fact that she approached with him says a lot about her.
“Radiant Office” has surprised me in a good way — I usually don’t enjoy office dramas. It’s enjoyable and not too grating with the office politics because each person is humanized and easy to understand. Let’s venture on to see what happens!
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Rainefrom ‘Raine’s Dichotomy’
“Radiant Office” is directed by Jeong Ji-in and Park Sang-hoon-III, written by Jeong Hee-hyeon, and features Go Ah-seong, Ha Seok-jin, Lee Dong-hwi, and Hoya.
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