KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Super Rookie (2005)

Super Rookie
(Mar – May 2005)

who’s in it
Eric (Que Sera Sera, member of Shinhwa)
Han GaIn (Witch Yoo Hee)
Oh JiHo (Couple or Trouble, Queen of Housewives)
Lee SoYeon (Spring Waltz)

what’s it about
Eric is a floppy-haired, comic book readin,’ lovable loser who gets hired at a top tier suit and tie type of company that normally only hires the best talents in business…but how does he manage that, you ask? Well, gets his chance in a twist of fate, or more accurately, a technological glitch. In due course, he falls for Han GaIn, a mousy coworker who was recently taken to the relationship dumpster by ruthlessly hot, but also ruthlessly ambitious Oh JiHo. The drama follows Eric’s efforts to succeed at work using his affable personality and street cred despite the fact that he’s clearly in way over his unqualified head.

20 episodes


wildcard factor
Eric – floppy and dorky but totally watchable, suprisingly. There was something utterly charming about Eric’s useless everyman. I suppose there is a little bumble and stumble in all of us which makes his character an easy relate. If you like watching stuff about underdogs winning at the end of every hour, this one’s totally for you.

after the first episode
There’s a scene early on where Eric was moping on a bridge, mourning his failures…when out of nowhere he bursted out into song and started flapping around in singing abandon. I choked/laughed out loud. I thought, Oh, I can definitely watch Eric for 20 hours if it’s gonna be like this the whole time! And by that, I mean I hoped for lots more impulsively humorous scenes. The rest of the drama did not measure up to the expectations set by that scene…but it got me hooked enough to watch the whole thing.

gave up

snoozer moments
Well, what do you think? There’s a lot of office politics in this and as nice as it was to see Eric overcome adversity and prevail, let’s face it, we’re still following office politics here. What kind of uncontrollable mayhem and adventure could possibly be borne out of the coupling of words like office and politics? Limited, unfortunately.

Yeah…there was definitely some late-night drinking. Well, again, I reference the term office politics. Anything to do with office and politics would naturally require a massive consumption of alcohol.

what didn’t work
Oh JiHo is always lovely to look at, of course, but his character was a bit of a droning disaster…the writers wouldn’t commit to making him completely eeeeevil so he just floated along in a sort of purgatory hell...as a rather feckless villain.

what did
I liked Eric’s floppy hair, as I’ve already referenced several times.

what made me want to gouge my eyes out
Well, this is not directly related to the drama’s storyline, but the fact that job applicants have to supply a picture with their resume totally bugged me. I hate to push upon my western ideals onto another culture, as that is not proper practice and rarely fair or justified, but it totally stuck a craw up my...craw. Just as Brick found mendacity a stinky odor (in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof), I, too, am a hater of falsehoods and deceptions! Having a picture of a job applicant is a blatant lie against fairness, against the idea of judging candidates on purely their credentials alone. It opens the door for the opportunity for prejudice. Like I said, it just bugs me. But that’s neither here nor there, just something I noticed and stuck in my head.

what kept me going

It was an unoffensive watching.

Other factors:
predictability Yes
engrish Yes
originality Hm, I guess
eye-candy Oh JiHo usually leans toward studly. And Eric, I guess, if you’re into him. He was way hotter in Que Sera Sera though. He was just floppy in this one (I liked the floppy, but it wasn’t exactly sexy)
hair and fashion Suits, ties, and button-downs. A repressed chic, maybe?

is it worth trying to find?

total enjoyment factor 
8/10 initially while watching it…

…but upon later reflection, probably more closer to a 6/10

total disdain factor

why this review is completely biased
Rather smitten by the Oh JiHo hunky factor due to my fandom for Couple or Trouble, but think Eric is just okay

could a non-kdrama fan like this
Me thinks not

Fan of Eric? Not a fan of Eric? Do you even know who Eric is? These may be the main qualifying factors on the amount of love you will be able to give this drama because it’s truly all about the Eric. Generally speaking, however, I thought it was pretty entertaining. This one was ultimately about the lovable slacker; about the passive cruelty of the Korean corporate world and the perserverance needed to survive. Eric gets to showcase his acting skills in his more serious venture Que Sera Sera better, but he’s goofy and charming in this one and sometimes it’s way harder to play an easygoing bore of a nice guy that’s watchable than it is the play the charismatic complicated guy. Also, if Han GaIn’s dire, dire Witch Amusement has been your only relationship with her, you’ll be relieved to see how darling she can be when cast in a relatively decent role.

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