If I were to be in regular employment now, chances are very high I would be called a kkondae – Korean word for a condescending old man, mostly stubborn and always telling stories about his past conquests.
A kkondae is also one who tells people off at hawker centers for not observing social distancing rules.
But a kkondae is not all bad. Under the right circumstances, his past experiences can save the day. If he puts his mind to it, he can always become an useful team member.
Loosely inspired by the Rober De Niro character in The Intern, this series is much more nuanced, although it is missing an Anne Hathaway and a retro bicycle.
Kkondae Lee Man Sic was Ka Yeol-Chan’s abusive boss until the fortunes reversed years later. Now in a superior position, Ka’s reaction when Lee reappears in his life is revenge.
But like most workplace K-dramas, people change and adversity at work and common enemies always bring a happy ending.
Other than detective thrillers, work place drama is my second most favorite K genre.
I assume Koreans, being a hardworking lot, love seeing themselves in dramatized versions so they can laugh at themselves over a bottle of makgeolli. Maybe that makes real-life sufferings more tolerable.