The rumor in Kdramaland was that TvN halted production of My Shy Boss, and even rewrote/reshot episodes 5 and 6 based on negative viewer comments.
So, did they really redeem themselves? Did they save this train wreck of painfully awkward characters and misunderstood plotlines?
Why yes. Yes, they did.
In order to understand why it was so unbearable to watch for the first 3-ish episodes, I needed to see these two well-written ones to see what their vision had been. It was after watching the good episodes that I understand what they were trying to do from the beginning, but failed to convey initially.
First of all, we NEEDED that backstory. They began this show with horribly flawed characters–to the point where it was just too awful to watch. They were so flawed that we as viewers couldn’t connect with them. It felt like a caricature. Based on that feedback, I think TvN took all that backstory they were parsing out to us in flashback bits, and just handed it to us in one episode.
Everything made sense all of a sudden.
The reason she’s a jerkwad to him, the reason he’s so painfully shy, the reason that his best friend (brother?) acts the way he does, and the reason the sister committed suicide and Hwan Ki feels responsible. All of that was revealed and I was like ohhhhhhhh.
So not only did I understand why the characters acted the way they did, the writers also guided the plot so these same characters could soften the harder edges of those flaws, and make it more watchable. Ro Woon goes from belligerent and obnoxious to…let’s say enthusiastically optimistic. I believe that’s what they had envisioned for her from the outset. And Hwan Ki is still so shy he makes me bury my face in frustration, but it’s in a cute way. And he’s finally showing progress and giving us glimpses of who he could be. We also saw how he used to be before the suicide incident, and that gave us a new dimension to his character we needed.
In episode six, there were some truly wonderful scenes that helped me fall for this show. In particular, I really appreciated the scene with Dang Yoo Hee, where they touched on mothers feeling like they can be real people, and not just matriarchal old ladies all the time. That resonated with me because, hey, I’m an ahjummah with 4 kids.
And then there was this scene with the charades and the eagle thing. I couldn’t stop laughing!
Throw in a sprinkle of skinship, and some overt romantic advances, and voila! You have a Kdrama worth saving.
I know that the ratings still weren’t stellar, but my hope is that the changes the writers and director made will help viewers tune in and give this romance a chance to develop. I think it could be something really special if given the chance.
So there you have it. They’ve made a believer out of me, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting episodes seven and eight next week!
What did you think of episodes five and six? Let me know!