The plight of the newbie worker continues as Ho-won, Ki-taek, and Kang-ho struggle through office life, illness, ex-girlfriends, and mountainous societal and family expectations. Not only are the newbs suffering, but those at the top claw and scrape to keep their positions and one up each other. As represented in the first couple of episodes, the work place is a battlefield and people fight to survive, only in suits rather than fatigues.
Ho-won struggles greatly with her diagnoses and the knowledge of her mortality. Her impending demise understandably affects every aspect of her life: her sleep patterns, her mood, her temper. She ends up daydreaming, being angry, and acting up quite a bit because of it. But at the same time, by the episode she seems to gain a new appreciation of life and re-joins the battle of the corporate world. My favorite relationships of hers are with Kang-ho and Ki-taek, both unsure young men who make loads of mistakes, just like her.
One issue I’m glad the episode touched on was the bribery that goes on in corporate culture. Although Ho-won and Kang-ho were put through the wringer and didn’t come out unscathed, it was a potent and effective portrayal of the unsavory practice that has a domino affect on employees. Hopefully this will be continually addressed. If issues are brought to light by television in effective ways, hopefully repeated exposure will inspire change. Hopefully.
More characters join the show and it is a little hard to keep them all straight. The doctor who saw the three suicidal workers has a larger role to play. A new manager appears and will probably pull another of the many strings attached to corporate life. It’s going to get complicated.
As for Woo-jin, he’s an interesting character, but I don’t quite have a firm grasp on him yet. He wants to do well and has difficulty navigating the murky waters of Korean societal levels and the corporate powers-that-be. He is doggedly persistent so I expect results from him, but they won’t come easily. Without a doubt, he is also interested in Ho-won, but it’s not an active interest yet. I’m glad for the slow development. K-dramas often throw us into intensely budding relationships and I’m glad for the slower pace.
Now the question is, how will Ho-won get her job back after outing an upper manager’s slimy action and getting fired for it?
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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