• Drama: Awl
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct 24, 2015 - Nov 29, 2015
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Network: jTBC
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older


  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 415 users)
  • Ranked: #765
  • Popularity: #1412
  • Watchers: 1,918

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Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 415 users
# of Watchers: 1,918
Reviews: 3 users
Ranked #765
Popularity #1412
Watchers 415

Soo In has a timid personality and is easily frightened, but he stands up for justice and does not cower in fear when he feels that he has been wronged. Early on in his military career, he becomes disillusioned with the falling standards and poor morale in an institution that supposedly practices strict discipline. This leads him to leave the military. In his new civilian life, he gets hired by a foreignretail distribution company and becomes the head manager of a large retail store. The retailer he works for slashes labor costs by firing part-time workers before they can qualify for benefits and higher wages. He cannot tolerate the company's poor and immoral treatment, so he decides to fight against the management. However, as he faces pressure from the company, he is forced to seek help from a labor counseling center and meets Go Shin, the center's manager. His only way to win the case is to utilize the Labor Act like a sword in his mission to fight against corruption and illegal corporate behavior. He boldly 'pierces into' the society that suppresses individual people with tyranny, just like an awl that bores a hole into the stiff wall... Soo In's lone fight to reclaim the labor rights workers have forgotten is about to begin!

  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct 24, 2015 - Nov 29, 2015
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Network: jTBC
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 415 users)
  • Ranked: #765
  • Popularity: #1412
  • Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Cast & Credits


18 people found this review helpful
Dec 18, 2015
12 of 12 episodes seen
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
I didn't expect to get excited, laugh and cry over—labor, of all things. I'm not sure how much appeal this will have for younger viewers who aren't in the workforce, but quite a few scenes resonated with me. Don't be scared off by the plot. Even though Awl covers unions, labor law and workplace issues, it's not a lecture (except when it is, but even then it's fun!). Despite delving into the ugliness of reality, you never lose sight of the fact that the workplace is ultimately populated by people—and that we are equally capable of cruelty and kindness. A key theme is that there are no good guys in a fight; unions defend the mean and poor against the cruel and rich. Despite all that, we get our escapist fun with a dash of faith in the basic good of humanity.

The MC is an uptight manager at a supermarket. He refuses an order to illegally fire employees and quickly ends up organizing a union with the help of a wizened labor lawyer. Per the title, he is the spike that drives a wedge into this closed society. But soon the show moves past him to feature other's stories and motivations. It might be one righteous individual that drives the first swing, but it's the actions and support of many others that widens the crack. The show also explores how he withstands the pressure—you have to hit an awl, it's not a sledgehammer.

The plot started out slow, with a big emphasis on exposition. I ended up sitting at the edge of my seat pretty quickly. There are some comedic moments that felt forced, but overall the cast gave great performances. For fans of Ji Hyun Woo and Ahn Nae Sang, this is a must see. They acted out rich, mutidimensional characters with finesse. If you came for a supporting character, I still suggest you watch—sub-plots are brief, but develop over time, and show off each actor's strength.

This is a show that easily deserves 16+ episodes. The ending wrapped up far too quickly, with huge leaps. The writing wasn't exactly slipshod, but needed saving by the actors. But when do we ever get a great ending? Still, it got pretty good ratings (almost 2% average on cable), so I'm hoping this will be the "awl" for similar works—there are only so much high schoolers and makjang that one can take.

If you watched the movie Cart, which is based on the same true story, the plot is quite different.

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4 people found this review helpful
Jan 11, 2016
12 of 12 episodes seen
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
This is probably a huge matter in every country. It is even a very big problem in wealthy countries. Still. I don't know if it changed much from 2003 to the present of Korean laws and rules for work and unions, but is sure to give you an idea of how things work in the big world, cuz my mother had a similar thing like this. Unions do differ from each other but eventually help you big time. And I had a little problem too, but this drama lit a small fire in me and I think I'm charged enough to go on just bare a little more, before losing my mind.

But let's have a moment for Ji Hyun Woohuhuuuu that damn fine fit full muscle body as always. Oh, how to concentrate at the main stories problem with him in it.
And my since 2009 number one husband Yesung. Love to hear his husky voice over and over. He looks still so good even after his discharge from the army.

Story 8/10
Because it is a big problem that most of the people struggle with day in out. We are just too clueless about these important matters. These problems will occur and knock on your door sooner or later. We have to deal with them smoothly and also with a great patient.

Acting/Cast 8/10
Ahn Nae Sang is one of my fav actors, I have seen so many films/dramas of him. The way he acts, so natural and convincingly and sure is a funny guy. The way he bobs his head and stares at the person in front of him is so unique and funny. :)
Ji Hyun Woo he has something special. His way of acting is so different compared to Ahn Nae Sang. The way he is so serious and a smile that pops out makes me, a big rock of ice turn into a flowing river.
Really love their funny moments XD

Music 7/10
I don't really pay attention to music. Never did. Maybe the main song, that's about it.

Rewatch Value 8/10
You can see it as a documentary and in my opinion, it is an instructive topic. It's short, so it won't take up much of your time.

Overall 8.5/10
I think that they should make more of this kind of short dramas. They make some dramas so long that it eventually strays away from its topic. Such as unnecessary love scenes and other male-female moments. useless and sudden "comedy" they put in to make if seem funny to the viewers.

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