Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Something Different Sunday, on which I talk about… well something different from books.
Today I’m talking about a kdrama that has recently dominated the Netflix charts and for good reason! Business Proposal is the funny, light-hearted, tropey rom-com we all need right now. I watched all 12 episodes in about a week and I laughed pretty much non-stop. So time for a quick review!
What it’s about:
Business Proposal is a kdrama rom-com based on the webtoon of the same title. It’s about Shin Ha-ri, a food researcher who has been known to go on blind dates to help her best friend, who does not want these blind dates and asks Ha-ri to pretend to be her and ruin the dates so badly that there will never be a second one. One day, Ha-ri dons her wig, make-up and outfits once more for another blind date. In a hilarious scene, Ha-ri acts so over the top that she’s convinced her date will never want to see her again.
But problem one: her date, Kang Tae-moo, is actually pressured by his grandfather to go on blind dates with potential marriage partners and, because he has no time for more blind dates, he ignores Ha-ri’s unhinged behavior and decides to just propose to her so he can avoid any more blind dates.
And problem two: it turns out that Kang Tae-moo is also the CEO of the company Ha-ri works for, so she needs to hide her real identity from him to not endanger her job.
Why I loved it :
The humor and use of tropes
Business Proposal is such a derpy, trope-filled comedy that it should feel ridiculous and over the top, but it’s not! It’s such a fun and fresh show to watch and I just dare you not to laugh at any of the episodes. From the very start, the blind date scene is such a hoot. Ha-ri acts so over the top, doing everything she can think of to make a guy not want to date her – one example is an already iconic scene in which she calls her boobs Rachel and Samantha – and it is comedy gold. Kudos to Kim Se-Jeong, the actress playing Ha-ri, because she has amazing comedic timing and really throws herself into the role.
I also loved the commitment this show has to tropes. It features so many tropes, like for example: fake dating, secret identity, rich guy/poor girl, accidental kissing, amusement park date, cinderella trope, evil relatives, found family, wrist grabs, elevator meetings, chase scenes,… And so on, and so on.
Again, it should feel ridiculous, but it works. It’s just such a great show to watch and escape for a little bit, and I had a lot of fun checking off the tropes as it went along. Also, this show moved so fast – you may think you have the entire plot figured out from the description (I know I did), but trust me when I say that’s probably only the first 3-4 episodes. The plot moves so quickly, it keeps you on your toes and keeps it unpredictable, despite the use of all the tropes.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a kdrama rom-com without the romance, and Business Proposal delivers! Naturally, even with the hilariously rocky start to their dating, Ha-ri and Tae-moo eventually start to fall for each other for real. Watching them navigate their obvious differences and issues that come with dating in the workplace was super enjoyable. Both Ha-ri and Tae-moo are super committed to their jobs and that added a great element to their relationship. Their dates, the shenanigans, it’s the perfect rom-com material. Also, this was actually quite steamy for a kdrama. I was prepared for some intense stares and hand holding (which we got plenty of, no worries), but we also got quite a few steamy make-out scenes and the chemistry was off-the-charts!
The secondary couple
Don’t worry about second lead syndrome here, instead we get an amazing secondary couple! Yeong-Seo is Ha-ri’s best friend (yes, the one who asked her to go on blind dates in her place). In the very first episode, she meets a stranger at a convenience store and falls in love at first sight but then doesn’t see him again. When she gets fed up with her father’s demands for her to go on all these blind dates, she moves out and turns out her new neighbor is the mysterious stranger! But the shocker is, he’s also Tae-moo’s secretary and loyal best friend! Just writing this, I know it comes across as super tropey and predictable, but somehow it works so well and I was just as invested in this couple as I was in the main one.
Though the romantic relationships are super entertaining and enjoyable, I just have to give a shout-out to the friendships too! The main friendship is the one between Ha-ri and Yeong-Seo and from the start it is clear that they have a very strong bond and would do anything for each other. I mean, Ha-ri goes on all these dates for Yeong-Seo! Despite their differences and Yeong-Seo being rich and Ha-ri coming from a poor family, their friendship is super strong. I also loved all the scenes of Yeong-Seo hanging out with Ha-Ri’s family.
And then there is the friendship between Tae-moo and Sung-Hoon. This one’s a bit weird at first as we figure out their relationship because Sung-Hoon is also Tae-moo’s secretary. But besides that, he’s also his best friend and is like a brother to Tae-moo. Their relationship is definitely a lot more complex, but it’s still pretty strong as they understand each other and would do anything for each other. I loved their scenes together and I adored whenever both couples were together – definite found family vibes here!
The one downside:
The tropes should have stopped at the end
I know, I know, I just said that the tropes were one of the things I loved the most about this show. And I do, I think their use of tropes is one of their biggest strengths. But I also think they should have toned down the tropes a bit more near the ending. I thought the ending was a bit disappointing, and that was mostly because the show stayed too committed to the tropes. Certain characters acted out-of-character just so they could stuff in a few more tropes near the end and that felt unnecessary to me. This was such a great show, and it could have been an all-time favorite if they had kept it simple and nailed the ending, but alas, that was where the show failed me a bit.
I definitely recommend Business Proposal if you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted rom-com to escape into for a little bit. If you love tropes (especially fake dating), and a fun balance between hilariously derpy scenes and a swoony romance, this is definitely worth the watch. It’s available on Netflix and only 12 episodes, so it’s great for binge-watching!
Watch the trailer
Have you watched Business Proposal already? If so, did you like it?
If you have not yet watched it, do you think you’d like it?