The MBC drama “On The Verge Of Insanity” is one that probably flew under the radar of many kdrama fans but it is so good that it deserves to be highlighted.
“On The Verge Of Insanity” doesn’t boast a hallyu actor, it doesn’t have a flashy plot or any of the things that made some of the biggest kdramas for 2021, but it is so well-made.
So here are my thoughts on “On The Verge Of Insanity.” this is a spoiler-free review.
Note: This is a subjective review.
The plot and characters
“On The Verge Of Insanity” kdrama is one of those gems that you might have missed. It tells the story of a veteran engineer who must navigate a wave of dismissals at his job, he’s transferred into the HR department and must do his best to survive.
“On The Verge Of Insanity” is led by veteran actors who are better known for playing the supporting characters in some of your favorite kdramas.
On paper, the idea behind the drama doesn’t sound much fun or that interesting. Office dramas are okay but they’re also prone to becoming rather dull quickly.
This is why such a setting is often avoided. But when done well, you get something like “On The Verge Of Insanity.” The screenwriter behind this drama Jung Do-Yoon has other credits to her name, but they’re kdramas I haven’t personally seen before so I had no expectations going in.
I was rather surprised by how carefully planned the entire script felt, it wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t stuffed, it wasn’t boring and it was well-paced, this is difficult to achieve with such a setting even for the most skilled screenwriters.
“On The Verge Of Insanity” focuses on layoffs and what goes on when a company wants to dismiss hundreds of employees at once, it stays grounded in its approach by focusing on the people who rather have to do all the dirty work for the higher-ups.
The cool thing about the drama is how it doesn’t attempt to force you to form an opinion for or against HR personals, it shows you all sides of the conflict and leaves you to decide for yourself whether it is okay or not. This leaves room for an open discussion and so many kdrama fans had interesting takes you can read online.
The concept itself is refreshing, it transitions well from one major plot point to the other, and doesn’t feel rushed or boring. The drama is 16 episodes, it makes full use of the time given to it and ties up all loose ends well, something not many kdramas can say this year.
However, the concept of the drama is catered towards the older audience so to speak. This means that a teenager will likely find this drama boring or uninteresting. Anyone who has ever worked in a company or has been working in one for a while will probably relate to this a lot and appreciate it.
It is a grown up drama, very few cliches exist and even when they’re inserted, they’re tackled with realism and with the maturity you expect from the characters who are in their late 30s to early 50s. It doesn’t mean childish characters don’t exist but the way they’re written mirrors real life, they don’t feel stereotypical. Each character is unique and feels real. They behave consistently as how you’d expect them to and many of them have good overall arcs.
Everyone in this drama was amazing, from the lead actors to the supporting characters, there are some hidden gems and rising actors in the drama who I expect to see more of in the future.
Lee Sang Yeob was especially fun to watch, he plays an annoying character and it suits him so well. Without spoiling much, he truly delivered a great performance that you will remember if you choose to watch this drama.
Should I Watch This Drama
This is an underrated gem, a drama about work-life and how it can influence and affect your personal life. It could be considered boring for some people because it’s not flashy and over-the-top, its pace is moderate as well, it’s more of a slice-of-life type of kdrama.
Also, “On The Verge Of Insanity” doesn’t feature many cliches that some kdrama fans like. It also doesn’t have a hot hot male and female leads, the lead actors are on the older side.
To those who like such type of content, this is a must-watch. It’s something that is interesting to watch but doesn’t require much brainpower. I personally binged the drama when it was done so I enjoyed it at my own pace, I wouldn’t know if it would be worth waiting weekly for it but this isn’t something you won’t have to do anyways.