“Business Proposal” is another success for Netflix’s drama list

Marbella Ramirez, Editor-in-Chief

This review contains spoilers.

“Business Proposal” is a live action adaptation of the manhwa “The Office Blind Date,” a romantic comedy following the bizarre love-story between protagonists Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong) and Kang Tae-mu (Ahn Hyo-seop), the CEO of the company Ha-ri works at.

The couple’s interaction begins when Ha-Ri is bribed by her best friend and conglomerate heir, Jin Young-seo (Seol In-ah) into attending a blind date set up by her father in her stead. The other party is a straightforward Tae-mu, a man only interested in business who is threatened by his grandfather into attending dates until he finds a significant other.

In order to divert any marriage potential off of Young-seo, Ha-ri decides to put on heavy makeup and a dyed wig to play a rich homewrecker persona, going as far as to claim false morals to give a horrible impression. Tae-mu on the other hand has no plans on wasting his time on blind dates, he decides to choose the first person he meets.

The first date begins a push and pull relationship between the two, Tae-mu is still unaware of the friends’ switch and Ha-ri becomes aware of his position within her workplace. Comedy is around every corner as Ha-ri struggles to avoid her new boss at work whilst also trying to convince him that she is not the one. Special effects are drawn in from time to time, a creative addition that adds to the fun of the drama.

Her first lie is brought down when Young-seo gets into a parking incident with Tae-mu’s secretary Cha Sung-hoon (Kim Min-kyu) exposing their real identities. Consequently, Ha-ri is tricked into entering a contract relationship with Tae-mu in order to trick Chairman Kang, Tae-mu’s grandfather. Yet, she still struggles in both worlds as she continues to hide her real face so that her job isn’t compromised.

“Business Proposal” is a perfect fit for a night in, there is nothing but fluff in the script allowing for audiences to let their guard down after a long day at work or school. With 12 episodes, each about an hour long, the drama is short in comparison to the standard 16 episode format for romance dramas.

This is a growing trend within Netflix produced Korean dramas; their acclaimed drama “Squid Games” is made up of only nine episodes and supernatural-based “Mystic Pop-up Bar” wrapped up within 12 episodes. These dramas differ from bite-sized Korean web dramas as they are full hour episodes rather than 5-20 minute episodes.

The short format was clever, allowing for the typical awkward period after the love resolution to be avoided. However, interesting additions were made to the script that weren’t present in the original story. At first, it added to the cheesiness of the story, however, as the story progressed it arguably stole from a good ending.

Several cliches were executed throughout the drama, all of which were not present in the original; an accidental fall into a kiss, car accident, and even a year-long separation between the couple. The addition of these scenes became unnecessary, instead the production crew should have opted to recreate more manhwa scenes.

The ending was cute in short, however for readers of the original, the new ending was disappointing. It robbed the audience of beautiful scenes and revelations which would have neatly ended the fairy tale.

Considering the major success that “Business Proposal” had, Netflix should at least grant epilogue episodes. Considering the author is currently releasing epilogue chapters, there is much content to start filming on.

Overall, the chemistry between the protagonists was naturally captivating. Not to mention the identical recreation of Young-seo and Sung-hoon’s relationship, for that one you may want to hold off on having young ones in the room.

All 12 episodes of “Business Proposal” are out now and available for streaming on Netflix, make sure to read the manhwa to decide on the superior version yourself.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos