K-Drama Review: ‘Radiant Office’ More than the Usual Romantic Comedy

Radiant Office Drama
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An Underrated Korean Drama?

Korean dramas usually gain more popularity due to their cast members who have already made a name for themselves and they have been acclaimed for their successful acting in many dramas and films, such as Descendants of the Sun, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Goblin, etc. All these are examples of the most widely known drama titles in society, not only because of the interesting story, but also the big names from the main cast who are starring in it. Actually, there are many Korean dramas that have qualities that are no less good than the dramas mentioned above, but only high-quality dramas are well-known and underrated are not well-known, especially in the eyes of the International K-Drama fans. Such an underrated drama with good quality is Radiant Office. 

Suicide, Depression, Corruption, and Gender Inequality at Work in an Optimistic Way

Radiant Office
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This drama feels real and very successfully portrays life in the world of honest work. Starting from the difficulty of finding a job, the difficulty of being a new employee, seniority in the workplace, having a co-worker who is a sycophant, having a cunning coworker who likes to use other people and a boss who sucks.

This drama tells the story of a woman whose name is Eun Ho-won. She has applied for a job in a big company more than 100 times, and she has failed each and every time. Three years after she has graduated from University, in the midst of applying for a job, she just works part-time in various places, such as mini-markets, restaurants, etc. Then, there’s a man named Do Ki-taek, who has tried many times to take the test for becoming a civil servant and failed miserably every time. In addition to failing to become a civil servant, he also loses his girlfriend because he hasn’t managed to get a job yet. Kang Ho, on the other hand, is a graduate from a university abroad, but he doesn’t have good skills in communication which ultimately results in him always failing at his job interviews.

Radiant Office
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The three of them suffer the same fate and feel worse because of the situation, and as fate would have it, they finally end up meeting each other. The first time the three of them meet is also unusual as they meet in the emergency room, where all of them have ended up in an attempt to end their own lives because they had failed to get a job.

The conflict in Radiant Office revolves around the difficulties that continue to afflict the three people who become co-workers in the same company. Every new employee is always troubled by his cunning senior who can often be found in the world of work. The conflict in this drama isn’t an artificial one because it is based on existing problems, so the audience can easily relate. The way each character faces a problem also makes the role that they play seem naturally fitting. Sometimes they face it by crying, pretending to be strong, trying and struggling, and laughing at their own destiny.

Radiant Office
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Even though the romance in this drama is a little too much, but every scene between Eun Ho-won and Seo Woo-jin also makes a lot of people touched. The two of them sometimes come home together after work and talk outside sitting on a swing or they simply do other romantic things.

In the final episode, there is a lot of sadness, like Ho-won being nice to Dr. Seo when Dr. Seo is moving to the US. Because at that time, Ho-won realizes that the Doctor is really good to her, and Ho-won also tries to convince Dr. Seo that she is a good person even though according to him she isn’t that good. Ho-won encourages Dr. Seo, who wants to go to the US, the departure of Dr. Seo is also forced.

Radiant Office
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Besides the story between Ho-won and Dr. Seo, there is the sad story of Ki-taek’s love and Ha Ji-na. Actually, this can be said to be a happy ending for them because Ha Ji-na strongly believes in Ki-taek. She doesn’t care about Ki-taek’s work and for her, the only important thing is that Ki-taek is always there for her. And eventually, the two of them get together and become closer, although, the drama doesn’t give an explanation as to how their story began to develop, or how they end up in the future, namely are they getting married, having children, etc. However, at the end of the episode, there is an explanation of Ki-taek’s illness and the reason for his attempt at suicide in the first episode, but not everything is explained.

Then, another love story, that of Ho-won and Seo Woo-jin, has a happy ending, although at the end of the episode they are only shown dating. They’re very adorable, even though Seo Woo-jin isn’t the boss anymore, but he still asks Ho-won to give him a report.

Radiant Office
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In the picture above there are Ki-taek, Kang-ho, and Ho-woon, it’s the first scene when they cry over their own destiny, a fate in which they always have bad luck, the three of them even tried to commit suicide.

Radiant Office
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The scene above shows Ho-won and Woo-jin getting closer, Ho-won starts worrying about him in a much more personal way, and it comes to be increasingly difficult for her to hide what she knows. At that time, they were sitting in the park while having lunch.

Radiant Office
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The scene above is in episode 9 when Ho-won gets home and finds Hyo-ri fallen asleep with a book on her face, and she starts to read it.

Radiant Office
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Ki-taek spies on Yong-jae in the bathroom and learns that he had a blind date last Saturday, which removes him as a suspect for answering Ho-won’s phone. Ki-taek is sick of knowing they went to the same school, and when Yong-jae asks for some toilet paper, Ki-tae passes him one tiny box, this scene is very disgusting and funny!

The Cast

Go Ah-sung (as Eun Ho-won)

Radiant Office
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Go Ah-sung played the role of Eun Ho-won. She has graduated from the university where she studied for three years, she is also said to be a smart and diligent student with good grades. However, she often gets rejected when applying for a job, because she doesn’t have any experience and has also never joined any organization before.

Ha Seok-jin (as Seo Woo-jin)

Radiant Office
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Ha Seok-jin played the role of Seo Woo-jin. He is a typical office person who doesn’t easily accept bribes and hates nepotism. He is a hardline, hard-working and very focused on his profession. If the company where he works doesn’t fit his vision and mission, he won’t hesitate to move without thinking about the future. And he is the person that falls in love with Eun Ho-won.

Lee Dong-hwi (as Do Ki-taek)

Radiant Office
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Dong Ki-taek is played by actor Lee Dong-hwi. At the age of 32, he should’ve had a permanent job and he should have been able to take care of his girlfriend. In fact, he was only able to treat his girlfriend to a meal bought with coins at the side of the road. His girlfriend, Ha Ji-na, who is really beautiful, feels that it is all in vain and she has wasted all this time going out with Dong Ki-taek because he can’t offer certainty. Which is why she decides to break up with him.

Kim Dong-wook (as Seo-hyun)

Radiant Office
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Seo-hyun is a doctor who targets the company owned by his father. He secretly uses his position in the eyes of his subordinates. He is a typical person who uses his parents’ name for everything that he does. He plays smoothly, but actually, he is very cunning. The strategy is for other people to follow his orders because he feels that he has the power.

Hoya (as Jang Kang-ho)

Radiant Office
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Jang Kang-ho is a rich man’s child. His mother had expectations of him after graduating from college. However, his mother realizes that she has spent a lot of money and effort on him and his education, thinking about his future, but despite it, he always fails his job interviews. The actual reason he fails is that he always feels insecure and doesn’t have any confidence.

The Soundtrack

Other than the well-thought script of the drama, the soundtrack also nicely supports the emotions and movement of the drama. In Radiant Office, one of the soundtrack songs that has an MV is a song from Junggigo with the title “Stunning.” The song tells the story of people in love, such as Ho-won and Woo-jin. In the video, they get closer to each other and start falling in love with each other.

9 Reasons Why You Should Watch Radiant Office

  • Radiant Office tells how difficult it is to find a permanent job. It’s very hard to get a permanent job because you don’t meet the company’s criteria. This is in accordance with the occurrences in real life.
  • Will trigger you to work hard. Radiant Official shows that nothing is free in this world. If we want something, we must work hard to reach it.
  • Learn to be brave to take a high risk despite a lot of pressure.
  • Although this story draws a lot from conflicts in life, there’s still a comedic side to it.
  • It can teach you the meaning of friendship, even though the main characters compete against each other at work.
  • It can teach you the meaning of forgiveness and to always smile, even when you are in trouble.
  • Learn to survive in any situation.
  • The story is light and easy to understand.