With the airing of the last episode of Protect the Boss, bringing the much-beloved series to an end, I found myself laughing, sighing over its continued cuteness, and appreciating the character developments all the way to the end. *Sigh* The way the drama lightly poked fun at the usual conventions of Korean drama motifs and plot developments signified for me a masterful hand at storytelling. In short, I LOVED it! I treasured all the humor and poignant moments in the series.
But more than anything else, the series really shined when it developed its many relationship stories: father-son, grandmother-father, cousin-cousin, friend-friend, sister-in-law and brother-in-law rivalry, etc. Yes, the relationship between Noh Eun Seol and Cha Ji Heon was adorable and hilarious; for that matter, so was the Cha Mu Won and Yoon Na Hee story. However, the side stories of friendship and cousinship are what had me returning episode after episode to once again immerse myself in the world of Protect the Boss. To be able to see on screen the slow but definite transformations of each of the characters and also of their troubled relationships was sheer pleasure.
As great as the storytelling may have been, though, the subtle and oftentimes not-so-subtle acting of the characters Cha Ji Heon (Ji Sung) and Cha Bong Man really stood out for me. Without those two experienced actors, the story wouldn’t have been as compelling. For instance, when Ji Heon has a serious conversation with his father outside their yard about Noh Eun Seol and the dad fakes chest pains, I laughed out loud as Ji Heon hovered over his father in apparent concern, only to upturn the viewers’ expectations by gently taking his father’s hand away from the chest and chiding him not to fake chest pains. LOL. Superb comedic timing! The rich actings of these two, who can deftly do both drama and comedy, had me swinging among multiple ranges of emotions.
I’ve never seen a Ji Sung drama, mainly because he’s been in mostly serious dramas, which I tend to avoid like the plague. However, the man knows how to do comedy! But it’s not just straight-up comedy. He does it with a nuanced touch of drama that subtlely points to the human state. For instance, how many of you loved how as Ji Heon and Eun Seol are strolling down that picturesque lane of trees at the end, he’s holding the umbrella more to her side to show his concern that she doesn’t get wet in the rain? Ack! L-O-V-E-D little moments like that, many of which simply pass by as part of his ever-attentive care for his love.
So many things I could put down in words to chronicle my journey through this precious drama, but I’ll conclude simply with these words: Thank you, Protect the Boss, for a wonderfully memorable few months of laughter, reflection, and sheer, unadulterated enjoyment in dramaland. You’re the prototype of why I keep coming back for more Korean dramas. I shall miss you!