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K-Drama Premiere: “Kkondae Intern” Concocts Humorous Experience With Its Rib-Tickling Office Tussle Story

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It’s payback time in Kkondae Intern and Park Hae Jin will give his best shot while he is at it.

Kkondae Intern whose literal translation means Old School Intern brings forth an interesting battle story in an office set-up. Kkondae are the people who would impose their opinions on others but would never change themselves.

Old School Intern

The drama divulges in the world of so-called kkondae and highlights on how their menacing presence can cause harm to people around them. Headlining the drama are Park Hae Jin and Kim Eung Soo, who draw a funny workplace scenario through their love-hate relationship.

Premiere Week Rating:


Premiere Week Recap

Ga Yeol Chan’s sad intern life

Ga Yeol Chan (Park Hae Jin) is an intern working at Ongol Foods, a prestigious organization dealing in food business. One of his biggest troubles is that his supervisor, Lee Man Sik (Kim Eung Soo) is making his life miserable.

A kkondae who believes in hierarchy rather than talents, Lee Man Sik consistently keeps undermining Ga Yeol Chan. Not giving any significant work to the intern, Lee Man Sik would make him do menial tasks and persistently nag him.

Kkondae Intern

On one particular day, he sends Ga Yeol Chan to talk to a restaurant owner who has been on legal dispute with the company. The man had claimed that Ongol had stolen his recipe however, he lost his case and is now, threatening to kill himself.

The shocking incident that changes Yeol Chan’s life

As Yeol Chan makes his way to the restaurant, he sees the owner attempting suicide by hanging himself. Yeol Chan manages to let the man loose before he ends his life. Alarmed at the man’s mental state, he also calls his boss but gets ignored.

After that, Yeol Chan has a heart to heart talk with the shop owner and before he leaves, he asks him again not to harm himself. But, unfortunately the man does commit suicide.

Meanwhile, at the company, a meeting takes place to assess the case. It turns out that Yeol Chan’s testimony contradicts with that of Lee Man Sik. At the end, the case got resolved by itself.

Thereafter, Lee Man Sik’s treatment towards Ga Yeol Chan gets even worse. He would humiliate the intern everywhere. Yeol Chan could not take it anymore and he lost his patience, when he was shamed infront of his mother. Finally, he hands in his resignation and quits the job.

Change of fates

Five years have passed, and now Ga Yeol Chan is a super sucessful General Manager at Junsoo Foods. Having made huge profits for the company, he is considered as a reliable asset by the top management.

He is also loved by his team members since his approach of managing his subordinates is completely different from his former boss and he is lenient towards them.

Park Hae Jin Old School Intern

Meanwhile, Lee Man Sik faces a disappointment at work. Expecting a promotion, he went to his office but he was offered a transfer to the warehouse department.

After having built Ongol throughout the years while making sacrifices, Lee Man Sik feels offended. He thinks that the new position is not worth it and therefore, demands to withdraw the transfer.

However, the management does not heed to his demands and Lee Man Sik quits the job. Hereupon, things only get worse as Lee Man Sik struggles to get a job at a similar position. Having no other options, he resorts to work as an apartment security guard.

Kkondae Intern

Enemies at Junsoo and their plans for sabotage

Ga Yeol Chan may have made a reversal with his fate. But that does not make him devoid of enemies or problems.

One of the biggest enemies trying to bring Ga Yeol Chan is Namgoong Joon Soo (Park Ki Woong), son of the company’s CEO. Seeing Ga Yeol Chan as a threat, Joon Soo tries various means to bring him down.

Kkondae Intern

Supporting him are some of his underlings who take action as directed by him. When Ga Yeol Chan was hiring interns for his team, Joon Soo and his minions gave low scores to the competent candidates and high scores to the poor performers.

As a result, Lee Tae Ri (Han Ji Sun) and Joo Yoon Soo (Noh Jong Hyun), who gave a poor impression to Ga Yeol Chan during the interview made the cut.

Kkondae Intern

Reunion of the former boss-subordinate but with reversed roles

As Joon Soo continues with his pursuit of ruining his nemesis, he gets to learn that Ga Yeol Chan used to work for Ongol Foods. Since, there was no mention of Ongol Foods in Yeol Chan’s resume when he applied for Joonsoo Foods, he suspects that there is something fishy.

Thereafter, he sends his henchman, An Sang Jong (Son Jong Hak) to hire Lee Man Sik. Lee Man Sik is initially skeptical about joining. But after he sees that his current job as a security guard has got more cons, he chooses to go.

On the first day of the job, he happily greets everyone only to realise that his current boss is his former intern. Ga Yeol Chan too, gets flustered on seeing the new senior intern.

Kkondae Intern

Beginning of revenge mission

Not wanting to work together, both the boss as well as the subordinate try to avoid the circumstance. But, unfortunately they are left with no choice but to work on the same team.

Things are not easy for the senior intern as Yeol Chan inflicts the same amount of torture that he had faced in the past. From making him run errands to disregarding his work – Yeol Chan continuously make the intern suffer.

The old man, however, is more thick-skinned than expected and surpasses the challenges laid by Yeol Chan.

New alliances and unexpected outcome

In an unlikely state of affairs, Jun Soo summons Lee Man Sik and asks him to do his bidding.

Now, there is a new deal prospect from China and it is important for Yeol Chan to secure the deal. To further humiliate Man Sik, he takes him along in the meeting. He also cancels the interpreter that was scheduled since only Man Sik cannot speak the language.

While in the meeting, Yeol Chan asks Man Sik to grill the meet. Nonetheless, Man Sik ends up making a mistake and splattered the oil towards their Chinese client, Binghao.

It is revealed that Sang Jong has asked Man Sik to ensure that the contract does not go through. Thus, Man Sik continues with his intentional mistakes.

Despite all that, Binghao does sign the contract. A flashback shows that after a having a lot of drinking, Binghao was choking. But Man Sik comes at the right time and saves him.

In a conversation that either of them could not comprehend, Binghao asks Man Sik to keep the incident a secret. Not understanding what Man Sik had said, Binghao thinks that he wants him to go ahead with the deal and promises to do so.

As a consequence, Lee Man Sik inadvertently ends out helping Ka Yeol Chan.


Premiere Week Afterthoughts

The premiere week episodes of Kkondae Intern triggers various emotions. In the first part of Episode 1, the drama sketches a realistic scene in the life of an intern. It was extremely painful to watch Park Hae Jin’s character endure so much just because he was assigned to the wrong boss.

Though, intern Park Hae Jin section in the story is short but it was definitely impactful and also relatable to all those people who had faced a kkondae-like boss at work. Moving ahead to the reversal of roles part, the mood gets enlivened by the introduction of unique characters as well as the comedic portrayal of certain scenarios.

The first two episodes mainly showed Ga Yeol Chan and Lee Man Sik’s confrontation as they try to get the better of each other. But, it seems like the other characters too will get more screen-time going ahead into the further episodes.

Old-School Intern

Park Ki Woong’s character Namgoong Joon Soo, draws attention. He is the bad guy who is insecure about competition but he is so hilarious with his comments and actions. Moving forward, he will again try to sabotage Yeol Chan and his future plans can definitely be anticipated.

Kkondae Intern airs on MBC every Wednesday and Thursday at the 9 PM KST time slot.

Park Hae Jin


Image Credit: MBC

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