“A Business Proposal” Episode 1 And 2 Review- As Expected, Repetitive And Cliche

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

What you could call one of the most anticipated kdramas of 2022 first-half has to be “A Business Proposal,” the drama has finally premiered two days ago, and here are my thoughts on it.

Note: This is going to be a look over the theme of such types of dramas, so if you don’t want to read anyone criticize it because you love it, this is your sign to exit the article. I’ll do my best to explain my issues with it, but bear in mind, I also understand why this will be immensely popular and loved by fans, and I don’t blame you for it, enjoy watching what you want. Also, this is only a review of the premiere episodes.

Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.

When I first heard the casting news, I was happy, until I read the synopsis, then, my excitement went downhill pretty fast and hasn’t since recovered. “A Business Proposal” idea is extremely repetitive and cliché, its so cliché that its shocking it got made in the first place in the year 2022 especially in the abundance of the amazing kdramas being made at the moment. On top of that, it was made with excellent rising actors, I am disappointed but I kinda get it.

“A Business Proposal” is the quintessential kdrama experience, its probably everything every kdrama fans at one point fell in love with, in terms of every single thing that makes it what it is. And in that part, it ticks every single beat you’d expect from a kdrama premiere of the same basic plot, down to the cringy-ness and over-complication of simple happenings.

I’ve been watching kdramas for a decade, so I’ve seen a plot like “A Business Proposal” about 20 times already, at first, I was smitten with the concept and the cliché Cinderella-like story, but as time went by, I began to see it for what it is, at best, a story contrived of any effort to make something remotely different or attempt to tell an actual story, at worst, a terrible idea of romance that kids shouldn’t buy into.

The story of an arrogant insufferable CEO who uses his influence and guilt-trips an innocent hardworking woman into dating him with marriage in mind simply because he wants not to be bothered with it. In reality, if a man does this, he’s probably a creep and someone you should be wary of, but here, its played for laughs and ‘romance.’ The fact that he continues to insist she ‘fixes’ her mistakes when she did her friend a favor and making it seem like its her fault when he’s already made up his mind to just marry whoever because he doesn’t want to be bothered, it just… it doesn’t feel right.

What annoys me, even more, is that he’s actually offering her cash and whats saddening is how she’s considering it because of her financial situation. Ha Ri is stuck between two rich people who don’t care to see beyond what serves them. I know eventually, he’ll fall for her or he might already have because of the cliché terrible repetitive plotline of ‘she treated him differently,’ but if thats the case [which I assume it is], its a terrible message about how a man should behave towards a woman whom he likes. Just throw cash at her and guilt-trip her into dating him? Bruh!

I know teenagers will fangirl over the CEO and call him ‘hot,’ but nothing about his behavior and lack of common sense makes him hot, and whats sad is this will become sort of what young impressionable women think romance is. While you might not be influenced by it, don’t expect the same for everyone else and this is based on the premiere alone.

If this was a teenage drama, I wouldn’t be writing this, it would be for teenagers, but its a drama acted by adults [mid to late 20s] that feels like it was made for children. Thank goodness Sejeong is so talented that the over-acting of the character doesn’t come off awfully cartoonish, she’s doing her best with the material she’s given. I swear to god, this could’ve been 10 times worse in the hands of the wrong actress, with such a type of character, you either end up enriching or ruining the drama, there is no in-between.

For a premiere, “A Business Proposal” was slow and fast-paced at the same time, its a weird combination to be honest with you. The first episode was bad but things picked up in the second one. The only thing that slightly surprised me was how Young Seo actually came clean in the second episode, but I guess, it would have been insufferable in the next episodes if she didn’t.

There are a couple of scenes in the premiere episodes that felt too stretched for the points it wanted to make, I get it, its based on a web novel but I expected it to be a bit less cringy in that aspect…. And that terrible terrible fall-onto-your-lap-and-kiss scene, when will it ever stop? I cringed so hard.

M opinion is probably of the minority, I think most kdrama fans will enjoy “A Business Proposal,” and as long as you don’t take it too seriously; not that its trying to take itself seriously either; I don’t see a huge issue. I just find it sad that such types of plots are continuously made with little effort to make it even remotely different, its a rehash of the same idea and concept over and over gain. It feels lazy.

A Business Proposal is going to be only 12 episodes long according to DramaWiki, so there is that… its good that they realize this particular type of plot is rather limited in just how many stories it can tackle.

I know some of you will tell me this is only the premiere and I shouldn’t judge the entire drama by two episodes but this is a review of the premiere only. Also, this is a look over the overall summary of the story too, I don’t have the biggest hope that it will be any different from what I’ve seen. If I turn out to have been wrong, I have no problem admitting to that and changing my opinion, in fact, I’d love to be proven wrong because its always nice when a kdrama surprises you in a good way.

“A Business Proposal” could be called a guilty-pleasure type of kdrama, its a kdrama you shut your brain off before you watch.

So these are my thoughts on “A Business Proposal”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I am with you 100% on this review. I literally was like ehhh it’s gonna be one of those dramas. Honestly they should have made it for teenyboppers because the magic poof I’m in a new outfit and stuff. Lawd help me. I don’t know if I’ll continue watching or just skim through it when it’s done.

  2. I agree with your view, there could have been another way for the romance to develop,lets wait to see if there would be a cliffhanger

    1. Duh I don’t know about your article. Of course this drama is an adaptation from the famous webtoon. So people are expecting a lot. What do you think would the plot would be? There might be some changes and it’s still repetitive and cliche but that’s the story all about. And if you could just watch their press con like Sejeong said it’s childish but they want viewers to enjoy and just feel the energy and fun while they filmed this drama. I don’t why people waste their time.. if you don’t like this kind of drama then ignore it. Very simple!!!

      1. Agree with u % idk why people needs everytime something heavy deeper that u need ur brain cells be activated ..we just want to enjoy have fun and be entertained ..no need to increase your heart rate and blood pressure or analysis ..its an overused plot but injected with some ideas , which made the viewers love and appreciates the drama
        kim sejeong ur great !!!

  3. I understand where you are coming from but, as someone you read the webtoon this hits different. Compared to other webtoon to kdrama like so I married an anti-fan, just two episodes in this is pretty good. I hope it continues to get a better by the episode so I’m not disappointed because I know how the original is.

    1. Thank you for reading. I get your point of view, granted you’ll definitely have a different perspective since you know the original material. Let us see how the drama progresses

  4. Havent started on this one yet as im currently booked for 39, 25-21 and forecasting love n weather which are all good btw… will wait for your final review on a business proposal before i give it a go

  5. Tbh yes its a guilty pleasure of mine. I love to watch weird and “just shut your mind and watch” romcom but with good and interesting screenplay. Its loved because its based on the webtoon. This drama has to be the way webtoon was ( clingy and cheesy
    romance )…or makers should have never made it at the first place. As its a very popluar webtoon…makers can’t make it any less than whatever it was in webtoon or else webtoon fans will get disappointed. Fans will love it…as they are getting drama adaptation of their fav webtoon. Also i think viewers are not going to get an idea on how romance works by watching this…because its too unrealistic to relate or to expect such romance in future. Such drama will never go out of fashion because sometimes you need such dramas to just laugh and enjoy

    1. that’s an interesting way to look at it. But I do disagree with the second half of your comment as I feel that teenagers and younger audiences will grow up to think this was romantic. I am not saying everyone will, but such dramas are made to romanticize such ideas so even if its unrealistic, you still picture yourself in the lead’s shoes and think what he’s doing is ‘romantic.’ of course, many others will also see it for what it is, just a drama to laugh with and enjoy.

  6. I like the it very much! Is it predictable , yes, but so funny at the same time! When I see a K Drama or any movie, I don’t want to be thinking how to resolve anything, I just want to be entertained. The acting is good and leaves me wanting to see more. So depending what’s your reason on watching a Kdrama, you will like this, it’s light, not too complicated and refreshing!

  7. I don’t have any issues on this drama cause you know it was a fictional drama and I love how they portray each of their roles that is similar to the webtoon… I didn’t deny the fact that adults kdrama fans find it childish…but I think if you are a fan of romcom drama you’ll love it!

  8. I loved the webtoon. I hate the drama. I don’t know who these men are masquerading as Taemu Kang and Secretary Cha, but they are not the characters we all know and love. Also, the plot is so far off the original plot, it’s not even worth watching.

  9. It is for sure a guilty pleasure and a perfect way to escape into something feel-good during these, how to say, worrying times the world experiencing right now. It is a webtoon, extremely cliché – based plot but if you want to relax in front of a tv and switch your brain off – this one is for you. Even though I still believe that the J-dramas are doing better manga-based arranged marriage stuff. Because they can go to the very levels of absurdity which makes it fun if this is what you are after. The kdrama, taking itself more seriously, would still try to make it look realistic, but trying to sit on two chairs confuses the audience. So the poor audience develops a cognitive dissonance and goes like “OMG, this is so cliché, so unrealistic….yeah….but this is a webtoon, right? so it is expected…yes, but oh boy this is so cliché, shall I watch or not?”…
    But I have a bigger problem. It is Ahn Hyo Seop.. I couldn’t watch The Lovers of the Red Sky because of him and I couldn’t understand why…But finally I figured it out, when I started watching a Business Proposal. When I was watching The Lovers of the Red Sky I found him boring, emotionless and identical in every scene. So I decided that he was not a good actor. But in a Business Proposal I could put a finger on what was wrong. Actually, every time he speaks, he speak as if he is exhaling, like he is in apnea. So the tone of his voice is always the same, he cannot “play” with his voice. So when for example there is a scene when Ahn Hyo Seop and Kim Min Gue are acting together, you will be more captured by what the character of KMG is saying and not by what the character of AHS is saying. It just goes past my ears. This is of course only my personal view. But I’d imagine if AHS could take some breathing speech classes (and more acting classes as well), he would become a better actor, yep.

  10. I’ve been watching kdramas for about 15 years now and I’ve had my fair share of predictable, over the top series.

    Given the political climate of South Korea at the moment, I’m not surprised that the male lead feels he can push around the heroine at his disposal because he’s too emotionally immature to own his feelings and have the media portray it as “romantic” or dismiss it so casually. I don’t understand how there can be so many commenters saying it’s fine because “they don’t need braincells to watch it” as though it should require reasonable brain function to treat women (especially those in such a skewed relationship dynamic) fairly and reasonably. Perhaps this is my need for western-storytelling bias here, wanting a decent male lead, though I still love the cute-cringey moments that Asian dramas deliver.

    Regardless, in 2022 if you think its reasonable for a male lead to abuse his power and wealth to guilt trip a hardworking woman, then wtf? You can have flawed characters who don’t pull this kinda garbage. I understand it’s a web series too and it’s probably just not translating well into a live action drama but dear god.

  11. I like the k-drama, Business Proposal. This romantic comedy makes me laugh. The two main couples are cute. I did not think Business Proposal was supposed to be 100% believable. We see comedy and romance.

    In the beginning, Tae-mu, the president of Ha-ri’s company, seems arrogant and pushy. In my opinion, his character grows as each episode progresses. When Tae-mu finds out that Young Seo was not the woman on the blind date, he feels that he has been fooled. In the second episode, Ha-ri uses a fake name when she speaks to Tae-mu since she knows that Tae-mu is the President of her company. To make his grandfather happy, he decides to pretend that Geum hui (Ha-ri’s fake name) is his girlfriend. He made her sign a contract and he agreed to pay Ha-ri. She had a choice. Ha-ri could have told Tae-mu that she worked for his company when he found out that she was not Young-seo. Ha-ri chose to continue hiding her true identity. If she had told the truth by the second episode, there would have been no romantic comedy or it would have been a different story.

    By the third episode, we can see that Tae-mu is showing interest in Geum hui. During the end of the fourth episode, Tae-mu finds out that he has been tricked again when he sees Ha-ri’s ID. He is infuriated and wants revenge. In the fifth episode, Tae-mu decides to stop retaliating against Ha-ri and he tells her that she does not have to continue pretending to be his girlfriend. He canceled the contract. However, in the sixth episode, Tae Mu knows that he has feelings for Ha-ri. His character is awkward when he tries to date Ha-ri without telling her that he wants to date her. He pretends that it is business. Tae-mu was tricky, but I did not feel that he had bad intentions when he pursued Ha-ri. I liked when Tae-mu told Ha-ri that he has feelings for her. For me, Business Proposal is a sweet comical love story when Ha-ri realizes that she cares about Tae-mu too.

    The other couple, Seong-hun and Young- seo have comical interactions too. They are a different type of couple. Seong-gun and Young-seo represent the love at first sight couple. There is no pretending with this couple because neither one was pretending to be someone else.

    Business Proposal is meant to be watched for comedy and romance. It is fun. I prefer this type of k-drama to the dramas with love triangles. I hate to see women in hot pursuit of men who do not want them. Those scenarios are in a lot of k-dramas.

  12. By episode 11, the entire thing is just a cringe-fest! Like why would she just run back to the hospital in the rain? . And then the declaration of being worried for tae moo, who is safe indoors and not on the road in the rain. I cannot.

  13. I am so surprised and disappointed by the response. I finished the drama just because I wanted to see how bad it can be, not because I like the drama. I agree with you 100%. It marks a new low for kdrama. (I am even more sad because I spent one year in Korea pursuing Korean studies) Although it’s from a webtoon, it still has to make ‘some’ sense, even cartoon makes more sense than this kdrama. I am Chinese I also read a lot of reviews in our language. About 90% like it because it is fun only, and can watch without a brain. Ok in that sense a lot of people really can watch something without a brain, I just can’t, and I am surprised by how many people cannot see how bad quality this kdrama is written, filmed, incorporated into the big screen of Netflix. (By saying this, I realize Netflix is not guaranteed for quality but by view rates,) The cliche unrealistic romance can bring negative influence to young girls, I know it, I promise it will because I was naive when I am young and loved kdrama and felt in love with it. (Which when I grow up I find Korean culture is not what I expected and regret wasting so much time studying Korean, even lived in such undeveloped place)(Please young girls watching it, wake up!) A review from China said it well ‘Korea never exported its backward culture.’ Of course Korea never stood up in the world order but through drama and netflix, it is brainwashing millions of innocent pure young girls. Not to mention how heavily plastic surgery-made the actors are. Last, I want to mention the successful Korean movie Squid Game. It proved Korea can make high quality production, meaningful and realistic one, with just original Korean-looking faces. But sorry Business Proposal just proved how bad Korean production can be. (Thx for your review Jass)

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