‘Radiant Office’ hopes to swipe ‘Good Manager’ viewers

March 13, 2017

SEOUL, March 13 (Yonhap) — It’s only March, but 2017 has already seen its share of pop culture upsets: notably the runaway success of KBS 2TV’s “Good Manager,” an unassuming TV series pitted against the supposed behemoth “Saimdang, Memoir of Colors” with “hallyu” actress Lee Young-ae.

With postmortems of the two on-going shows still pending, one thing seems certain: the office satire-comedy series in today’s Korean societal capitalistic landscape is apparently as relatable as ever. And with the success of “Good Manger,” MBC TV is belatedly jumping into the competition with “Radiant Office.”

“I enjoy ‘Good Manager’ from time to time. Since we overlap about two weeks of broadcast with ‘Good Manager,” I believe we can absorb the fans of the show,” Ha Seok-jin, male lead of “Radiant Office,” MBC TV’s new Wednesday-Thursday late night series, told reporters at a media event at the network’s headquarters in northern Seoul on Monday.

Ha predicted that his new show, given its different tone from “Good Manager,” will win over fans from “Good Manager” during the overlapping broadcast period.

Go Ah-sung (L) and Ha Seok-jin (R) pose for the camera at a media event for MBC TV's upcoming drama "Radiant Office."

Go Ah-sung (L) and Ha Seok-jin (R) pose for the camera at a media event for MBC TV’s upcoming drama “Radiant Office.”

Ha’s counterpart is Go Ah-sung. While she is a relatively new face in Korean TV, the actress is well known in her supporting roles in Korea director Bong Joon-ho’s films “The Host” and “Snowpiercer.”

Go plays Eun-hong, a long-time office temp worker. The crux of the show revolves around Eun-hong, who later on has an epiphany and decides to live her life to the fullest.

“It’s been hard acting out (fictional) future roles in ‘Snowpiercer’ and other films, but it wasn’t also easy performing roles of office workers that may be, in terms of my life experience, more relatable,” Go said.

Go, the main lead of the show, said that she received a lot of advice from her very own sister and fellow non-showbiz friends who actually started working recently.

“My own sister recently started a new job. I learned a lot from her about office work while driving her to work,” Go said.

Director Chung Ji-eun acknowledged that her show may somewhat overlap in themes with “Good Manager,” but also expressed confidence on standing out from the KBS 2TV show.

“We did think about the difference (from ‘Good Manager’) a lot. We talk a lot about power struggle as well as problems for female temp workers, as opposed to male temp workers (in other shows.)”

“Radiant Office” is set to premiere on Wednesday on MBC TV.