One of the better offerings in Dramaland this first half of 2016, Ms Temper and Nam Jung-gi is not your usual workplace drama. Show focused primarily on the unfair treatment smaller companies face in order to receive business dealings from bigger competitors, and the notorious practices of bribery and sexual harrassment female part-timers have to endure if they want to be promoted to full-time employees.
I totally appreciate dramas that do not attempt to develop lovelines between characters, leaving things ambiguous is more realistic imo. There’s no resolution betweeen our titular characters about their love lives, but rather they’ve learnt to appreciate each others’ working ethics, which is what Show is truly about. Ms Temper, or rather Ok Da-jung (Lee Yo Won), is a no-nonsense, cool as ice Marketing Director at Lovely Cosmetics, the company where Show takes place mostly. She quitted her previous company because the Vice President is an ass and a jerk, who has no qualms belittling and sexually harrassing his staff verbally.
Lovely Comestics is run by a rather mentally weak businessman, with a team of staff who’re too used to being at the receiving end of bad treatment from the bigger companies, before the arrival of Da-jung. The team of four is headed by Nam Jung-gi (Yoon Sang Hyun), a yes-man who passively accepts any rubbish coming his way, be it at workplace or at home. Da-jung’s apperance causes ripples of changes to Jung-gi bit by bit, who eventually grew a backbone for himself and learnt that being a doormat doesn’t guarantee a peaceful life. I especially like the interactions between Jung-gi’s son and Da-jung, and it was hilarious to watch the little boy mistake Da-jung’s concern for him as romantic love.
Another issue Show addressed was how if a female was divorced thrice, it doesn’t mean that she’s the one with problem. Da-jung’s thrice divorce earned her a nickname of “Ms Temper”, and rumors about her having a terrible temper fly rampantly. That’s not true, because she doesn’t lose her cool easily, but rather she’s not afraid to stand up to bullying, thus making her a popular target of vicious rumors in the patriarchal society. Her first husband chose to believe the rumors than her, her second husband has an insufferable mother, her third husband is a scheming investor who has no qualms causing deaths so long he earns money. It’s all none of Da-jung’s fault but she had to endure the endless whisperings behind her back.
Given the dearth of light-hearted and entertaining dramas these days, Show is worth the time and does not feel too heavy in its execution despite some of the darker issues it dealt with. It’s a little of everything and gives a feel-good vibe at the end.