Korean Drama Review: “Business Proposal”

From K-Pop to the Korean culture, the Hallyu Wave – a term that comes from the Chinese language meaning Korean Wave and depicts the global popularity of Korea’s cultural economy – is going around by storm. 

The show that’s recently been taking the top spot would be the rendition of the Webtoon novel, “Business Proposal”. The plot centers in on Shin Ha-ri, the main protagonist, as she agrees to go on a blind date in the place of her friend, but she realizes that the person she’s going on a date with is her boss at the company she works for. As a common trope for dramas, “Business Proposal” is targeted towards people that enjoy seeing two main characters gradually fall in love even through unconventional methods.

For someone that likes a good rom-com, “Business Proposal” does well in terms of sticking to the plot. By following close to the webcomic, viewers are actively able to track where they are in the series as well as see the onscreen chemistry come alive through the main characters.

The new Korean drama garnered an 11.4% viewer rating in Korea seeing a 0.8% increase in ratings from the second to last episode. Ranking as the top non-English series on Netflix for the third week in a row, “Business Proposal” has caught the attention of many viewers with its uncanny resemblance to the Webtoon. 

For those that are unfamiliar with Webtoon, the app is produced by Naver Corporation that publishes compact digital comics. Specifically under the Korean market, Webtoon draws in their audience through their vast amount of art styles in the webcomic field. From romance genres to fantasy, the limits are endless with Webtoon.

Korean dramas like “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”, “Twenty-Five Twenty-One”, and “Military Prosecutor Drama” are being released back to back as the craze for Korean entertainment spikes up.  It’s not a surprise that Korean dramas have topped the charts after the success of Squid Game. Immediately after the finale of Squid Game, the Korean zombie thriller, All of Us Are Dead, began promotions and aired in January 2022 causing Netflix to invest KRW 5 billion in South Korea for more exclusive and original shows to be aired on their platform.

By keeping the elements of the Webtoon inside the K-Drama, “Business Proposal” enhances the overall plot of the comic. Instead of making big changes, every element from the casting of the actors to the setting of each scene is nearly identical to the Webtoon. In addition to that, there are times when the K-Drama incorporates the comic feel by inserting certain panels into the episodes. 

Especially to the creator of the “Business Proposal” Webtoon, the artist believed that the incorporation of the comical style into the drama drew viewers in as it gave a different flare compared to the other dramas that got released this year. 

Compared to a regular drama, “Business Proposal” is relatively shorter. K-Dramas normally fall between the range of 16 to 20 episodes each ranging from 50 to 60 minutes long. However, “Business Proposal” is only 12 episodes long.

One of the main factors that determine if viewers want to watch a K-Drama is the length of the drama itself. Normally, 16 to 20 episodes is very doable, but because “Business Proposal” is only 12 episodes long, the audience feels more inclined to watch. Especially as someone that’s busy most of the time and doesn’t have lots of leisurely time, “Business Proposal” was easy to start and could be inserted into any hectic schedule. Additionally, the plot was still able to develop at a fair pace without rushing over any of the major details shown in the Webtoon.

As someone that used to be very interested in K-Dramas, “Business Proposal” does hit close to home and makes everyone feel lighthearted and welcome through the romantic comedy genre. It is clear to see why it has topped the charts for so long even after the end of the drama in early April.