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The Best Moment To Quit Your Job
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Oksusu / Lifetime (2017) 8 Episodes
Friendship Drama, Grade B+
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

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A lovely web drama from 2017 with a gentle feminist take on four female friends who struggle with their first jobs after graduating college, The Best Moment To Quit Your Job surprised me with its honesty on many topics that Korean television dramas often tend to avoid; for instance the script kept hinting that one of the girls was a lesbian -- you just do not see that on regular K-dramas that are not web dramas. I guess it's still too touchy a subject in Korea for television network shows.

It also dared to show all the men in the story as losers of varying degrees - clueless bosses, pushy or lying suitors, obnoxious co-workers, and weak male family members who turned on their own daughters. There really was not a single male character to root for here; a real departure from most K-dramas where even if a male lead is a scoundrel at the beginning of a story by the end he usually reforms in some way. So if you appreciate realistic dramas that depict with honesty what young women in their 20's are facing in Korea, with its quickly changing patriarchal societal norms, then don't waste a minute and tune into this unique drama as soon as possible. It's refreshing.

 

Lee Chung Ah

Most of the female actresses were not familiar to me, which actually was a nice change. I like getting to know new faces in K-dramaland. There was one secondary character, played by familiar Lee Chung Ah (Flower Boy Ramen Shop, Because This Is My First Life), and I was happy to see her again but honestly her prickly character was practically impossible to feel close to. The four main actresses playing the friends, Go Won Hee, Jung Yun Joo, Jei, and Kim Ji Eun, were a lot easier to feel close to: they all did excellent jobs in their roles. No doubt the main character we watched the most was played by Go Won Hee, who rarely smiled because of a tragic past, but when she did manage to smile the whole room lit up.



Go Won Hee

The Story:

Four friends since college days struggle with new jobs and wonder at various times if they should quit. The first girl we follow is Kim Yun Ji (Go Won Hee) who left home after high school because she blamed herself for her younger brother becoming disabled after a taxi cab crash, and worse than that her own father blames her too and refuses to spend money on college for her, so she is forced to take out a large student loan to complete her schooling. She tells her mother she will not return home until she earns a "regular position" in a company, her main goal in life. After several false starts she finds one as a computer assistant in a small company manufacturing handiwipes and often displeases her snippy female boss Sun Hee (Lee Chung Ah) and has to apologize a lot to her as she learns the ropes. Yun Ji had a boyfriend in the past (played as essentially a cameo role by well loved actor Go Kyung Pyo from Operation Proposal and Jealousy Incarnate) but he vacillates too much in committing to her.



Go Kyung Pyo

We also follow Nam Hee (Jei, my favorite character because she made me laugh the most) who quits her well paying job to start a web toon business and she finds inspiration in her dealings with her friends, while an older married man, who at first seems to just want to be friends with her, suddenly makes a bold move to get physical with her, which frightens and angers her. 



Jei

Hyun Yi (Kim Ji Eun) is a teacher in her first job who has to contend with the arrogant pushiness of a fellow teacher Dae Woon (Yoon Jong Hoon) who wants a physical relationship from her even though he is engaged to someone else. At first she seems to have wisdom to avoid his advances, but eventually she succumbs but tells him he must break it off with his fiance first. Will he really go through with it? Whenever those two were together in a scene I found myself talking to the screen, "Don't pay a bit of attention to him, he's a jerk!" I could see right through him. My advice played out ... but she obviously she didn't listen to me and gets hurt.



Yoon Jong Hoon, Kim Ji Eun

Hye Young (Jung Yun Joo) is a baker in a small shop and she is great at her job but her female boss never seems to be happy with her, constantly yelling at her. An assistant is hired and soon enough we begin to suspect that the quiet Hye Young just might be gay, for it's pretty obvious she quickly develops personal romantic feelings for the perky assistant. However the assistant has a boyfriend waiting in the wings and that puts a damper on Hye Young trying to confess her proclivities to the girl. In fact Hye Young has never even confided in her three best friends the fact about her sexuality.



Jung Yun Joo

Each of the girls faces multiple situations that might lead to their resigning from their jobs; the script interweaves all these details together so that often we see the same scenes twice, but each time from a different person's viewpoint. Always a challenging way to write a script! My hat's off to this writer.

I enjoyed this drama more than I expected to, it was different and fun. When it was over I decided that someday I will watch it all over again because I already miss all these girls. I hope to see all these actresses in future projects as well.

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