Wednesday, June 14, 2023


"Agency" (2023) is in some ways a typical Korean drama series, but a uniqueness comes from being set in an advertising agency.  Lots of drama pitting a young woman with a desperate poor background against an often arrogant dynasty.  Lots of characters in between.

I've sold ads and been inside an ad agency.  Creativity counts, but there are other factors such as teamwork, taking the time to understand what the consumer really wants (they often do not know) and management of the team.  Creativity is not so much looking outside the box as re arranging what is already known with the only boxes you could know about (stretch your awareness, you know more than you think).

The main battle is between a brother and sister to take over the conglomerate.  Other executives and family members participate in for their own greedy reasons.   

At one point a receptionist is only a contract worker, but has agreed to be a spy for a corporate manipulator.  Our heroine uncovers her and switches her loyalty, but eventually she is let go.  She is brought back and made part of a team.

 One scene shows there can be morality.  Nobody likes to lie and advertisers are often accused, if not a lie, then misleading.  The protagonist refused to take business from loan company remembering how they took advantage of her family. 

One strategy I noticed was that the protagonist was often very anxious and appeared to be smoking, but in fact she was putting unlit cigarettes to her mouth.  I hoped it might be an alternative to smoking, but a few of the characters were seen smoking.  Thoughts on the matter:

Here are some of the people who make this series so enjoyable.

Shim Na-yeon is a director

Bae Se-Young is the writer.  This film has some really good dialogue from a variety of roles.

Kim Hyun-jong and Ahn So-yeong are credited with music.

Lee Bo-young plays Go Ah In who appears very self confident, but has psychological issues.  She was Miss Korea in 2000,  She has 23 film credits that I hope to explore more.

Na-Eun Son played Kang Han-na, the spoiled feisty grand daughter who is a power figure.  She was a key member of girl band, Apink and was noted as a lyric writer.  She had the nickname of "Sold-Out girl" as she sold out concert venues.  She has 50 film credits.

Han Joon-Woo plays Park Young-woo, secretary to Kang Han-na.  A clear thinker from a middle class background who sees himself as a servant.  He has appeared in "Hyena" (2019).

Jo Sung-ha played Choi Chang Soo, brother and rival to Kang Han-na.   His film credits include "The Suspect" (2013) and "Navillera" (2021).  Check  

Park Ji-Il played Cho Moon-ho, an executive with little apparent power.  From a supporting role he gets some interesting dialogue often while playing the game Go against himself.   His film credits include "The Suspect" (2013), "Live Up to Your Name" (2017) and "Thirty-Nine" (2022).   Check:

Jang Hyung-sung plays Yoo Jung-seok, as an former executive, now a mentor to Go Ah in under much reduced circumstances, but with good lines.  His film credits include "Signal" (2012) and "Under the Queen's Umbrella" (2023).  Check

Jeon Gook-hwan plays the elderly patriarch who is still manipulating events and is very clever.  He played the father of the male protagonist in "Crash Landing on You" (2019).  Another quality film he was in was "Silenced" (2011) about abuse in an institute for the deaf.  Other films include: "A Company Man" (2012), "The Chaser" (2012), "Misty" (2018) and "My Mister" (2018)

Kim Mi-Kyung plays her mother.  She has 71 film credits including  "It is Okay Not to Be Okay" (2020), another of my favorites and she was a big factor although only a supporting role, "Trolley" (2022-2023) and "Doctor Cha" (2023).  See 

The good guys against the bad guys with lots of twists.

As usual I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.

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