This is going to be quite a lengthy review of Feel Good To Die.
Workplace dramas aren’t strangers to difficult bosses. Feel Good To Die ups the ante by serving us a confident, cocky evil boss who doesn’t know the difference between honesty and brutal honesty. Whether what he has to say is truthful or not, he lacks basic respect for his peers and will bulldoze over them in a moment’s notice. Even though he’s in a position of management, he lacks compassion and has zero idea of how to effectively work with his team.
Out of the gate, it’s hard to imagine how such a cruel, wicked person could possibly ever change. Who would want to cheer on Baek Jin Sang who treats himself as superior to everyone around him?
Yet, this is Baek Jin Sang’s redemption story. Before you continue this review of Feel Good To Die, that is the biggest point I want to drive home. Baek Jin Sang is granted a rare second chance at life. How many of us make a mistake and wish we could turn back the clock?
Baek Jin Sang is disliked, even hated, by his employees in the management department. His lack of filter and compassion for anyone causes Lee Roo Da to despise him to the point of death. Sadly, she’s not the only one that has wished for Baek Jin Sang’s demise. Even employees from the other departments want his head on the chopping block.
Jin Sang is given the chance to right his wrongs and be a better person. Will he cease the opportunity before it’s too late?
One day, after a company dinner where Baek Jin Sang is completely intoxicated, Lee Roo Da’s instructed by upper management to take care of her boss. Baek Jin Sang is down for the count. With the help of Deputy Kang, Lee Roo Da is able to drag Baek Jin Sang along. What I’ll never figure out is why they didn’t call for a taxi. Unless he lived that close to the office?
Either way, while walking, Baek Jin Sang suddenly pukes all over Lee Roo Da . Gross! Deputy Kang is looking a little green around the collar. He runs off to buy wipes and Roo Da is stuck babysitting her drunken boss.
He wanders out into oncoming traffic without a care in the world. By this point, I was almost expecting the classic k-drama truck of doom. I knew it was going to happen. Jin Sang becomes road kill and Roo Da wakes up the next morning. Or so she thinks.
And cue the Groundhog Day shenanigans.
Roo Da keeps living the same day over and over again. It’s comical as she tries to find all these ways to save Jin Sang, but he dies a different way every time. At this point, Jin Sang is oblivious to the time loop and Roo Da is trying her hardest not to wish his death. Jin Sang never makes it easy with his bad personality and self-centered attitude.
Meanwhile, there are all kinds of workplace situations cropping up. The President does not have the employees nor the company’s best interests at heart. He’s simply doing whatever he wants. Feel Good To Die is chock full of workplace problems such as salary’s being frozen, unfair treatment, contract worker contracts expiring, and so much more.
Not only is Lee Roo Da trying to stop reliving the same day over and over again, she’s also trying to make their workplace better. She is someone that doesn’t tolerate injustice and will stand up for her co-workers when they are being treated badly.
Enter Yoo Shi Baek, a woman famous for reforming corporations in the US. The president uses her to whip the company in shape — no over time, lights shut off right at quitting, cutting costs, and more. He’s not opposed to using her as his puppet, and luckily she’s not completely oblivious to what the president is up to.
She has bad blood with Baek Jin Sang as they worked together in the past briefly. Hostility is in the air whenever they meet. This is a recipe for disaster and the two clash a lot. It was hard to tell what side Yoo Shi Baek was on most of the time, but it’s clear by the end of the series.
While Roo Da and Jin Sang don’t exactly know why the time loop began initially, she is determined not to repeat any more days. But once Jin Sang becomes a part of the time loop like Roo Da is, the story takes a big turn. At one point, just to piss off Roo Da, he keeps dying so the same day keeps repeating over and over again.
The worst part is this is the episode where Deputy Kang is confessing and Roo Da is trying to let him down easy. Yikes!
Let’s not forget where the president tries to get back at Jin Sang by demoting him as manager of the MW Chicken store in Garabong, which happens to be the store with the lowest sales. At this point, Roo Da is dedicated to helping Jin Sang, so she follows him to the store. Of course Deputy Kang likes Roo Da, so he follows her to to the store as well.
The Garabong store is where we witness some of the biggest changes in Jin Sang. He makes a deal with the president/Yoo Shi Baek that if he can’t bring up sales in a week, then he’ll quit his job. This MW Chicken store is a hot mess and Jin Sang causes the employees there to hate him early on, but with Roo Da’s tutelage, he actually pulls it together and is a pretty great boss.
When one of the female employees is being sexually harassed by a cruel customer, he takes matters into his own hands and protects her. He almost loses his job when the customer tries to sue him, but good fortune is on Jin Sang’s side. Another customer had filmed the whole thing and exposed the customer for the piece of garbage he truly is.
And then the most shocking thing happens: Jin Sang becomes the spokesperson/model for MW Chicken. He’s on all kinds of advertisements throughout Seoul and the scheming president is not happy.
He also realizes he likes Deputy Lee and awkwardly pulls her into a hug. D’awww. Poor Roo Da is a little horrified by her boss’s affection, but look at that proud smile on Jin Sang’s face.
An unexpected death?
When Roo Da falls to her death while saving Jin Sang, the story takes a turn. Poor Jin Sang is out of his mind with grief and tries to bring the time loop back. He’s trying to kill himself and begging others to kill him; he ends up locked up in jail and is hysterical trying to die before midnight so that the same day can repeat. His attempts are futile. At that moment, you see how much Jin Sang loved Deputy Lee.
It’s when Jin Sang takes a step back that he finds a solution. He needs to track down the former deputy of his department: Hyun Jung. Baek Jin Sang treated her horribly while she worked at MW Chicken. She became very stressed and depressed from work. When her building apartment caught on fire, she just kept on writing in her journal and didn’t even care. Yes, she was rescued, but is comatose and not in the best condition. While her father was scheming and planning retribution for his daughter, he is the reason that Roo Da falls to her death while protecting Jin Sang.
Thankfully, after much begging with Hyun Jung’s father, Jin Sang is finally allowed to see her and apologize. He sincerely apologizes for the way that he treated her and begs that if he can go back in time to help save Roo Da that it would feel good to die. Yes, the time loop began because of Hyun Jung and Jin Sang is given the rare opportunity to go back in time before the disastrous chain of events happened.
When he’s sent back in time, he first seeks out Hyun Jung and ends up saving her from the apartment building. This time, it’s not too late and Hyun Jung isn’t seriously injured. Phew. I really wasn’t sure if Hyun Jung would ever forgive him, but it shows she has a big heart because she was willing to grant him a second chance. Also, her father gets a second chance and is not in jail for murder. Things are looking up!
One of my favorite parts of the drama is when Baek Jin Sang steps out of his mourning phase and begins his plan to thwart the president. He’s pretty awesome when he takes matters into his own hands. Yes, Jin Sang acts like a real boss and actually cares about more than himself and Roo Da. He’s learning to care about others and doesn’t want his co-workers to be stomped on by the president.
It’s slightly bittersweet that while Jin Sang has managed to go back in time and fix the corrupt MW chicken. (And boy, does he ever fix it. He has meticulously planned with little margin for error.) Yes, Roo Da is alive but she doesn’t remember anything they went through together in the time loop.
Poor Jin Sang tries tirelessly to jog her memory by having her experience deja vu by going through things that happened to her in the time loop. Also, the rest of the team and company is completely flabbergasted and confused by this nice version of Jin Sang. It’s not easy but he’s not ready to give up. He also takes a backseat in pursuing Roo Da, but she’s not really into Deputy Kang like Jin Sang believes. This selfless version of Jin Sang is always tear-inducing. We’ve been through so much with this character and he finally makes excellent headway and character growth.
It’s so satisfying to watch the company issues get resolved once and for all. Everyone has suffered at President Kang’s hands, but you know what’s brilliant? Jin Sang finds a way to get the Kang family back on track. No matter how many misunderstandings or fights there were, I loved seeing the Kang’s eating together at the end and actually smiling. They were one dysfunctional family that are finally on the road to recovery.
And let’s not forget Jin Sang and Roo Da. She finally regains her memories from the time loop. The memories rush to her in a flurry. Once the dust has been settled and the issue with President Kang has been resolved, Roo Da and Jin Sang finally get their moment together. We forward to them at the office and Jin Sang is being a bit cruel ordering his co-workers. Behind closed doors, Roo Da scolds him for his behavior and it’s the cutest thing ever. Seeing their fellow co-workers ship them and support their relationship is the icing on the cake. We’ve come a long way and we’ve finally made it, drama fans. Against all odds, Jin Sang and Roo Da are together.
I knew I was going to watch this drama, but I wasn’t expecting it to have a heartwarming story. Feel Good To Die teaches us the importance of being a good person. Not only that, but there are other great character stories that make this a worthy drama.
Kang Ji Hwan is an excellent actor who really brought multiple layers to his character, Baek Jin Sang. He played a solid jerk who I couldn’t help but hate at times, but Ji Hwan balanced it brilliantly with sincere and gentle moments.
This was one of the better dramas that came out in 2018. (At least, of the few that I was interested in watching.) I promise you, this drama is so much deeper and likable than it appears. The time loop gets so much better when Jin Sang is aware of it. Once he started repeating days, that’s really when the story upped its game.
Sometimes when I fall into a drama slump it’s because I’m too picky or have unreasonable expectations about everything. I’m glad I stayed and finished this drama. The truth is… there is usually the 4 episode rule of judging how good or bad a drama is. I don’t think that’s really enough to gauge this story at it takes a big turn. If you haven’t watched or completed this drama, I urge you to give it a chance. It might not be the drama for you, but it’s worth a try if you’re open to it.
While silly, quirky, and good fun on the surface, Feel Good To Die teaches some great life lessons. While he’s not a completely changed man in the end, Baek Jin Sang has completely turned his life around. Yes, he’s not perfect, but he’s learning and trying. He’s not always succeeding, which was a nice humanizing touch at the end.
I simply enjoyed this drama for everything that it was.
When you give it a chance, Feel Good To Die is a reminder that life is short and it’s important to live your best life every, single day. So, what do you think drama fans? Did you enjoy my Feel Good To Die review? Maybe you didn’t like it or weren’t interested in watching? I always look forward to all of your comments.
If you enjoyed this review and want to give Feel Good To Die a chance, you can watch it on Viki. If you want to tackle another office drama, I always recommend What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim. You can read my 10 Reasons post to see what you think. It is another k-drama that focuses on the boss/secretary relationship.
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