There was a time when one could lament how conservative Korean creatives are when it came to covering LGBT+ themed stories in their movies and series.. but not so much anymore. There has been a surge in the number of gay and lesbian romances, particularly because the ‘BL’ (short for ‘boys love’) genre has gained immense popularity in Asia and worldwide. As a result, viewers now have a plethora of options to choose from, and some series just don’t seem to have that spark anymore. For instance, the Korean mini-series ‘The New Employee’ starring Kwon Hyuk and Moon Ji Yong was quite mediocre. In fact, I have been putting off writing this review for weeks because of it.
I was actually surprised to learn that this series was directed by Kim Jho Kwang, because he was also behind the lens for the 2012 rom-com ‘Two Weddings and a Funeral’, which was an entertaining movie focusing on the lives of a gay and lesbian couple. Spread over seven episodes, ‘The New Employee’ follows Seung Hyun (Moon Ji Yong), who is in his late twenties and finally lands the internship of his dreams. But on his first day, he comes face to face with the one and only Kim Jong Chan, a total hottie but a bit of a cold fish. And guess what? He’s Seung Hyun’s new boss! Can you say “awkward”? A mildly fun romance follows.
The actors in the show look great, but that’s not even worth commenting on in Korean shows anymore since everyone in K-dramas seems to look like a model. The romance between bosses and their underlings is a common theme, and ‘The New Employee’ fails to bring anything new to the table. The chemistry between the lead actors was okay, although Moon Ju Yong is absolutely adorable as the gullible/sweet Seung Hyun. But the plot isn’t interesting enough and didn’t feel like finishing the series, even though I eventually did. If you’re a fan of the actors, you can still give it a try and stream it.
It’s a 5 on 10 from me.