On the Verge of Insanity (2021) poster
8.1
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 865 users
# of Watchers: 3,658
Reviews: 11 users
Ranked #1873
Popularity #3492
Watchers 865

Veteran Engineer Choi Ban Seok is a developer with the consumer electronics division of Hanmyung Electronics. He is a calm, warm-hearted man with a good sense of humor who is now facing the biggest crisis of his 22-year career. To avoid being included in a round of dismissals, he transfers to the Personnel Department. Despite being unfamiliar with its function, he decides that it is better to endure being there than be without a job. Dang Ja Young, the recently promoted Head of the Personnel Department, is a workaholic who wants to become the company’s first female executive. When Ban Seok first transfers to her department, she doesn’t quite know what to make of him. But, once working together, she finds her life slowly changing. (Source: AsianWiki, MyDramaList) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • Русский
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Jun 23, 2021 - Aug 26, 2021
  • Aired On: Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: MBC
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 865 users)
  • Ranked: #1873
  • Popularity: #3492
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

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Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
the_sapio_nerd
41 people found this review helpful
Aug 26, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

Perfect reflection of Corporate Affairs; Quite unique as a drama.

Let's say that ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY is the office Kdrama of the year 2021 or probably the best Office drama out there? I mean you ain't gonna find another Kdrama with pure office affairs (95%) in the story, so yeah!

This drama is realistic enough for the audience working (or have worked) in corporate sectors to relate and reminisce their life as employees or employers. The drama touches various sides & shades of a regular corporate life such as: responsibilities, work pressure, competition among peers, colleague relationship, management techniques, job hunting, dismissal, resignation, worker layoffs, corruption, etc, etc.

STORY & PLOT:
There is no solid plot here to back the story. It's more of a slice of 'office' life Kdrama portraying the day-to-day life of people working in Electronics Industry at various positions and designations. But of course for the story's sake, the drama is set up in a time period during which the company is going through critical phases of financial downturn and rounds of laying off plus shutting down of branches.

Hanmyeong Electronics, famous for it's high-tech home appliances, is one of the top 3 Electronic Product Manufacturer in South Korea. The Company enters into a moderate financial crisis to tackle which the Head Quarter decides to shut down few of it's business departments and lay off more than half of the people working in those branches. So the major plot is all about the attempt to throw out the people and sell off a particular branch which also includes the competition to develop products and the efforts of survival in the company.

The story itself starts with these procedure in one of the semi-urban branches. Dang Ja Young, assigned to lead this is then transfered to another rural branch to reorganize and execute the selling off of another branch. Choi Ban Seok, an expert developer at the company is transferred from the previously vanished branch to this branch is forced to work with Dang Ja Young in the HR team. Han Se Kwon, a greedy and highly ambitious person always putting effort to climb the ladder, can go to any length get his work done.

The drama also portrays dirty sides of business and corporate sectors. People trying to drag each other down to save themselves, some others plotting tricks to humiliate others for personal grudges, some trying to gain from crisis, some committing corruption in the greed of money, etc are very well shown that implies the need of countermeasures to stop such deeds. OTVOI also emphasizes on hierarchy complexes in corporates as well as mistreatment and sexual harassment, which are some of the concerning issues in all kinds of workplaces.

Obviously, Dang Ja Young and Choi Ban Seok are the leads but there's no definite couple. There's no romance storyline which is totally fine but in the last 4 episodes there's a subtle portrayal of a developing closeness between the 2 leads.

The drama has few side minor storylines about office dating, personal and private lives of the main characters, friendship between adults, etc.

CAST & ACTING:
It's obvious that the drama isn't getting it's well deserving recognition internationally because of the cast but what matters are the acting skills of the actors and in this regard all the main and major characters are actually very good. It's sad that such a good and realistic story isn't getting the attention but I must say it's not everyone's cup of tea.

The story revolves around mainly 3 people though there are plenty of side and supporting characters with a fair share of screen-timing.

1. Dang Ja Young played by Moon So Ri is a workaholic long-term employee at Hanmyeong who aspires to become an executive director by the meana of her work. He has given her 100% to the company and has strived for its progress. She does whatever given to her as a responsibility and is very rationale. She's brave, competent and knows how to get her job done well. Despite the difficult road traveled, she never gives up. She finds herself in a tight spot after being appointed as the HR team leader of a branch soon to be sold off.

2. Choi Ban Seok (Jung Jae Young), a senior hardware developer with 20+ years experience has been successfully saving his spot in the company. He's very excellent at his job but mismanagement of company disgusts him. He gives up an international offer and after bring transferred to another branch he joins the TF team but soon after framed and shifted to HR, a dept he's no idea about. He still hangs onto the job and tries to learn. Fortunately, his skill gets him back to the R&D dept but he still faces issues from people who are jealous of his skills. His character and personality in this drama is something to love and respect. What a man!

3. Han Se Kwon (Lee Sang Yeob), the TF team leader and a prominent face of the company, is also the ex-husband of Dang Ja Young. As a person who's high ambitions he can literally do anything to stay at the top. He's very insecure of his skills yet clever enough to create opportunities for himself out of crisis and sly enough to escape out of downgrading situations created by him. Seeing Choi Ban Seok's skills and confidence he constantly tries to bring him down by playing cheap tricks. He keeps stopping lower shamelessly as the story progreses.

Choi Ban Seok is a family man with a daughter and both lives with his mother since his wife's demise. Dang Ja Young after divorce, lives with her friend Shin Jung Ah and has a mentally disable father at a nursing facility. She's divorced from Han Se Kwon who's currently dating a co-worker. Shin Jung Ah (Cha Chung Hwa) and Shin Han Soo (Kim Nam Hee) are siblings.

The drama has also some other good actors like Cha Chung Hwa, Ahn Nae Sang, Kim Nam Hee, Jo Bok Rae, Kim Joong Ki, Park
Won Sang, Park Sung Geun, etc. Other than these popular faces, there are also many young faces which are new & old as well as some known faces who did their roles well with the screentime provided. The character arc of all the major and minor character are very well-done.

DIRECTION & EDITING:
Given that this is the debut of the director, I think it's very good as well as suitable script for him. He's been able to do his job well hence creating good opportunities in furure. The screenplay editing also gives the vibe of perfect office environment with light comedy dominating intense moods. Background sound scores are very less giving it a urban drama vibes which I think is a good decision. In fact the OSTs are not utilized that much but that's very fine with me. One notable editing device is that for the later half of the drama, the episodes end with a prologue and in the next episode the story goes back to a day or two back that eventually leads to the scene where the previous episode had ended. I recall seeing this device in no other drama.

Many people might say it's boring because of the lack of a intense solid plot and urban editing but I'm very pleased for the fact that it is very realistic and throws light on real life events and issues in the corporate sector.

OSTs:
My only problem with the OST collection of this drama is that the production has unreasonably put Han Se Gwon in the poster of 4 tracks when he's an utter trash. Whereas Choi Ban Seok is featured in only one poater wtf. Also, Seo Na Ri, Han Se Kwon's girlfriend is got a place in one of the track posters as well as shown as one of the 4 main casts in the main drama poster z WHYYYY? She doesn't even share more screentime than side characters.

Okay, so OSTs are actually nice. The urban comedy drama doesn't use OSTs in the screenplay that much given the office environment to give off the perfect vibes. My favourite ones are "find me" by PL and "please" by The Daisy. The former is a jolly track creating moods for doing your work and the later is a softcore feel-good song. Other likeable ones are

"trace" by KLANG
"vacuity" by The Lime
"I dream of you" by Seo Sung Hyuk
"man's Love" by Kim Jin Woong

ENDING:
Last 2 episodes of the finale week are very good as well. One of the major twists that happened in ep 15th made me both sad and angry which also led me to expect something dramatic enough to turn the tables. Well, tables weren't turned as a countermeasure, rather the scenario led to a new beginning. I was sooo happy tbh watching the last 15mins of the 15th eps, it has quite a few time leaps, small or big. The 16th eps was even more dramatic (not so realistic) but I guess that was a reward from the writer for all the sad elements we had been witnessing throughout the last few episodes. Anyways, sooo glad it was a sorted, reasonable and happy sending.

CONCLUSION:
The best thing in "On the Verge of Insanity", for me, is Choi Ban Seok, a personality that I will aspire to be. He's confident, morally upright and is always focused. His way of talking and behaviour acc to person were so on point, I fell in love with him. Dang Ja Young is surely an inspiring character with a lots of traits to learn from, loved how strong she is. Han Se Kwon is a character that should be hated and openly shamed. It's unfortunate cheaper people exist in the corporate world for real.

Again, I am sad this drama isn't doing well internationally in real time but hopefully people will recognize later. The drama is definitely a very good work, if not excellent. The way it throws light upon harsh truth of corporate affairs and the measures to tackle it are very real.

Overally, this drama is nice and deserves a place in the top 20 Kdramas of the year 2021. PLEASE watch this and I am sure that'll be worth spending time on. I binged it in 2 phases but I am sure the episode by episode progression of this drama would have been quite interesting and anticipating for those who watched it ongoing. This will go down as one of the best Office Dramas that Korean Drama Industry has ever produced. That's all.

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Completed
Kyle Flower Award1
18 people found this review helpful
Aug 26, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 10

Pass The Verge of Excellent

On The Verge of Insanity is probably one of the best dramas of this year. From the beginning the audience is asked to settle in for a story with a gentler pace and eased into the world of the Hamyeong Electronics. Anchored by two interesting and very different leads in Mr Choi and Miss Dang ( wonderfully performed by Jung Jae Young and Moon So Ri respectively) the show transcends it's loose synopsis and becomes something more.
An engaging watch littered with characters you'll care about (one you'll particularly hate) and scenario's that seem real though
with consequences sometimes questionable. There's a lot to love in these 16 hours.

Writing wise this shows is aided will by the sense of movement within the story. Of character entering positions and exiting, climbing the corporate ladder and being dragged down. Where shows in a similar vein like Misaeng lean more into ironing out business jargon, OTVI while not dismissing those, puts it's character and interpersonal drama to the forefront. Which in a few instances might have been to the detriment of the other. Those instances are few however and hardly weigh this story down.

It goes without saying the cast delivered excellently on their performances. Firmly lead by seasoned veterans particularly personal favourite Jung Jae Young and established if not before certainly now younger talents.
Visually, the show is solid with a few particularly beautiful shots and nice colour grading that adds quite a bit more visual interest. Admittedly to a story that would not have realistically demanded much grand cinematography. It's all the more interesting then that this is the work of a first time director yet nothing feels amateur about it.
Musically the show was pretty inoffensive with quite a few but no standout insert tracks to me at least. The stand out track was the jazzy outro track which will most certainly get stuck in your head.

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Details

  • Drama: On the Verge of Insanity
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Jun 23, 2021 - Aug 26, 2021
  • Aired On: Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: MBC
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 865 users)
  • Ranked: #1873
  • Popularity: #3492
  • Watchers: 3,658

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