“A Business Proposal” rebrands K-drama cliches

Disclaimer: Minor spoilers are present in the article.

A picture taken of a side-by-side comparison of Shin Geum-Hui and 
Kang Tae-Moo in the K-drama versus the Webtoon. Image from Business Proposal on Netflix and SBS Drama Network on Instagram. 

SAN JOSE, CALIF. —First aired on Feb. 28, 2022, the Webtoon based K-drama “A Business Proposal” hits 10.8% Korean viewership as it takes a modern perspective on cliche romantic storylines.

Currently available to watch on Netflix, the show has only aired eight episodes since its release. It is extremely quick-paced as the protagonists are caught up in a major entanglement as the aftermath of a blind date gone wrong. This isn’t typical of K-dramas considering popular K-dramas like Start-Up, Itaewon Class and Twenty-Five Twenty-One have slow romance burns and purposely elongated plots. 

Audience rating company “Nielsen Korea” recorded a viewership rating of 10.8% nationwide in Korea for the eighth episode, the highest it has been yet. This viewership percentage definitely accounts for the suspense, cleverly incorporated humor and well-developed plot in every episode.

The K-drama centers its plot around main characters Shin Hari and Kang Tae-mu. Shin Hari is a typical food scientist at one of Korea’s leading food companies. Her best friend, Jin Young-seo, is a wealthy heiress whose father forces her to go on blind dates with men of similar status. Jin is obviously very reluctant and convinces Shin to go in replacement of her through faking a persona. Kang, who also happens to be Shin’s CEO, is also blackmailed by his grandfather to go on blind dates. The plot unfolds as Kang and Shin meet on a blind date followed up by several unexpected encounters. 

Shin Hari in disguise as Shin Geum-hui, her fake persona for Kang Tae-mu’s blind date. Image by A Business Proposal on Netflix.

Using episode three of “A Business Proposal” for instance, Shin proposes Kang a meal of the street food tteokbokki after a concert date. Assuming Kang is beyond eating street food as the president of a food company, she says “No way, you’re not going to say a line from a TV show where the rich guy says, ‘I’ve never tried tteokbokki.’” Kang responds by elaborating his trips trying different tteokbokki places nationwide in preparation for “Deliciously Spicy Tteokbokki,” a personally designed food product. 

Regardless of being in a cliche “rich guy, poor girl” relationship, the direct addressal of stereotypes in relationships like Shin and Kang’s is a fragment of dialogue that sets “A Business Proposal” apart from any other K-drama. 

Silver Creek freshman Lizzie Dinh gives an unsaturated perspective on the show, saying “I really love this K-drama because it’s different from cheesy romance shows and always gives you what you want. It’s a great drama if you’re into that, and if you’re not you can always read the manhwa (Webtoon) of it.”

“A Business Proposal” sets a standard for other upcoming K-dramas and introduces different takes on traditional story lines. Modernizing shows is the revelation and as the show continues to air episodes, viewers are surely to expect more from further episodes.

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