Misaeng: Incomplete Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Misaeng (TV series))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Misaeng: Incomplete Life
Promotional poster
Also known asAn Incomplete Life
Based onMisaeng
by Yoon Tae-ho
Developed byJinnie Choi and Park Ji-young for tvN
Written byJung Yoon-jung
Directed byKim Won-seok
StarringIm Si-wan
Lee Sung-min
Kang So-ra
Kang Ha-neul
Byun Yo-han
Kim Dae-myung
Shin Eun-jung
Park Hae-joon
ComposersKim Jun-seok
Park Seong-il
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes20
Executive producersKim Mi-na
Lee Chan-ho
ProducersLee Jae-moon
Ham Seung-hoon
Production locationsKorea, Jordan
CinematographyChoi Sang-mook
EditorKim Na-young
Running time65 minutes
Fridays and Saturdays at 20:30 (KST)
Production companyNumber 3 Pictures
Original networktvN
Picture format1080i
Audio formatDolby Digital 2.0
Original releaseOctober 17 (2014-10-17) –
December 20, 2014 (2014-12-20)
External links

Misaeng: Incomplete Life[1] (Korean미생 - 아직 살아 있지 못한 자; RRMisaeng - Ajik Sara Itji Mothan Ja) is a 2014 South Korean television series based on the webtoon series of the same title by Yoon Tae-ho. It aired on tvN from October 17 to December 20, 2014, on Fridays and Saturdays at 20:30 (KST) for 20 episodes.[2][3][4][5][6]

The title translates to Go terminology meaning "an incomplete life" (literally "not yet" (미) "birth" (생), meaning "not yet alive"). Misaeng: Incomplete Life was the first Korean drama to film on location in Jordan, where actors Im Si-wan and Lee Sung-min shot the series's prologue in Amman, Petra, and Wadi Rum.[7] Yim reprised his role as the protagonist, which he played in an earlier film adaptation, Incomplete Life: Prequel (2013).[8][9][10]

The series became a cultural phenomenon and recorded high viewership ratings for a cable network program in Korea. tvN is known for its record breaking dramas.[11][12][13][14][15][16] [17]


Since he was a child, the board game baduk has been everything to Jang Geu-rae.[18] But when he fails at achieving his dream of becoming a professional baduk player, Geu-rae must leave his isolated existence and enter the real world armed with nothing but a high school equivalency exam on his resume. Through an acquaintance's recommendation, he gets hired as an intern at One International, a large trading company.

There, Geu-rae meets his boss, manager Oh Sang-shik, who's a workaholic and has a warm personality; fellow intern Ahn Young-yi, who attracts her colleagues' ire because of her impressive educational credentials and by being extremely competent at any task; and Jang Baek-gi, a geeky co-worker whose anxious nature masks his inner ambition. Geu-rae learns to navigate and adapt to corporate culture, with baduk as his guide.[19]



  • Im Si-wan as Jang Geu-rae.[20][21] He formerly aspired to be a professional baduk player, to which he had devoted his life since childhood, but, unable to achieve this goal, he joins One International, although he has no formal skills or training. He joins Sales Team 3 as two-year contract employee at One International.
  • Kang So-ra as Ahn Young-yi.[22] She joins Resource Team as permanent employee at One International.
  • Kang Ha-neul as Jang Baek-gi.[23] He joins Steel Team as permanent employee at One International.
  • Byun Yo-han as Han Seok-yool. He joins Textile Team as permanent employee at One International.


One International Sales Teams[edit]

Team 3 (to which Geu-rae is assigned)[edit]
Team 1[edit]
  • Shin Eun-jung as Sun Ji-young
  • Kim Sang-won as Mr. Um
  • Shin Dong-hoon as Cha Soo-jin
Team 2[edit]
  • Ryu Tae-ho as Go Dong-ho
  • Park Jin-soo as Assistant Manager Hwang
  • Kim Ga-young as Jang Mi-ra


  • Yoon Jong-hoon as Lee Sang-hyun
  • Yeo Eui-joo as Jang Ki-seok
  • Kim Jong-soo as Kim Boo-ryun
  • Shin Eun-jung as Sun Ji-young
  • Kim Kyung-ryong as Lee Shin-tae
  • Nam Kyung-eup as CEO of One International
  • Lee Geung-young as Choi Young-hoo
  • Son Jong-hak as Ma Bok-ryul
  • Jung Hee-tae as Jung Hee-seok
  • -- as Cha Jung-ho
  • Jang Hyuk-jin as Moon Sang-pil
  • Choi Gwi-hwa as Park Yong-gu
  • Shin Jae-hoon as Yoo Hyung-ki
  • Jeon Seok-ho as Ha Sung-joon
  • Oh Min-suk as Kang Hae-joon
  • Tae In-ho as Song Jeon-shik
  • Park Jin-seo as Shin Da-in
  • Hwang Seok-jeong as Kim Sun-joo
  • Jo Hyun-sik as Kim Seok-ho
  • Kim Jung-hak as Lee Seok-joong
  • Kwak In-joon as Audit team leader
  • Han Kap-soo as One International Jordan branch manager
  • Choi Jae-woong as One International Jordan branch employee
  • Sung Byung-sook as Geu-rae's mother
  • Nam Myung-ryul as Geu-rae's baduk teacher
  • Lee Si-won as Ha Jung-yeon
  • -- as Senior colleague Kim
  • Oh Yoon-hong as Oh Sang-shik's wife
  • Lee Seung-joon as Shin Woo-hyun

Cameo appearances[edit]


In this table, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.

Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
AGB Nielsen
Average rating Peak rating
1 October 17, 2014 1.6% 2.8%
2 October 18, 2014 2.35% 3.1%
3 October 24, 2014 3.11% 4.6%
4 October 25, 2014 3.49% 4.9%
5 October 31, 2014 4.55% 6.0%
6 November 1, 2014 3.70% 5.4%
7 November 7, 2014 5.15% 6.4%
8 November 8, 2014 4.67% 6.6%
9 November 14, 2014 5.06% 6.7%
10 November 15, 2014 5.49% 7.0%
11 November 21, 2014 5.95% 7.1%
12 November 22, 2014 6.13% 7.8%
13 November 28, 2014 5.80% 7.9%
14 November 29, 2014 5.81% 7.9%
15 December 5, 2014 7.02% 9.4%
16 December 6, 2014 7.03% 8.6%
17 December 12, 2014 7.37% 9.7%
18 December 13, 2014 7.90% 9.5%
19 December 19, 2014 7.24% 9.3%
20 December 20, 2014 8.24% 10.3%
Average 5.38% 7.1%
  • This drama airs on a cable channel/pay TV which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
9th Cable TV Broadcasting Awards[25]
Grand Prize (Daesang) Misaeng: Incomplete Life Won
Star Award - Best Actor Yim Si-wan Won
Kang Ha-neul Won
51st Baeksang Arts Awards[26]
Best Drama Misaeng: Incomplete Life Nominated
Best Director (TV) Kim Won-seok Won
Best Actor (TV) Lee Sung-min Won
Best New Actor (TV) Yim Si-wan Won
Kim Dae-myung Nominated
10th Seoul International Drama Awards
Best Miniseries Misaeng: Incomplete Life Won
Best Director Kim Won-seok Nominated
8th Korea Drama Awards
Best Drama Misaeng: Incomplete Life Won
Best Production Director Kim Won-seok Nominated
Best Screenplay Jung Yoon-jung Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor Yim Si-wan Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor Kim Dae-myung Won
Special Jury Prize Yim Si-wan Won
4th APAN Star Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Lee Sung-min Won
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Yim Si-wan Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Kang So-ra Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Kim Dae-myung Nominated
Lee Geung-young Won
Best New Actor Byun Yo-han Won
Kang Ha-neul Nominated
tvN10 Awards
Best Actor Lee Sung-min Won
Best Content Award, Drama Misaeng: Incomplete Life Won
Made in tvN, Actor in Drama Yim Si-wan Nominated
Made in tvN, Actress in Drama Kang So-ra Nominated
Scene-Stealer Award, Actor Byun Yo-han Nominated
Kang Ha-neul Nominated

Source material[edit]

With his webtoon, author Yoon Tae-ho drew an analogy between life in modern society and the game of baduk, a chess-like strategy board game. He also wrote vivid descriptions of the everyday life and struggles of Korean corporate culture as his flawed characters deal with the fierce competition for survival, interpersonal work relationships and office politics. Misaeng: Incomplete Life gained immense popularity among Korean white-collar workers in their twenties and thirties largely because its realism resonated with their experiences. It drew 1 billion hits when it was published on online portal Daum from September 2012 to October 2013, and the nine-volume paperback version sold 900,000 copies. It is now considered a must-read comic in the country.[27][28]


  • Between July 17 and September 18, 2016, Misaeng: Incomplete Life will have a Japanese drama remake titled HOPE〜期待ゼロの新入社員〜.
  • In June 2018, it was announced that Misaeng: Incomplete Life will have a Chinese drama remake titled Ordinary Glory; starring Bai Jingting, Mark Chao and Qiao Xin.[29]


  1. ^ "Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014)". CJ ENM. CJ ENM. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  2. ^ An, So-hyoun (1 September 2014). "ZE:A's Im Si Wan, Kang Ha Neul, Kang Sora and More Gather for Misaeng Scripts Reading". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  3. ^ Lee, Sun-young; Chung, Joo-won; Ahn, Sung-mi (16 September 2014). "New TV dramas to look out for". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  4. ^ "Misaeng Teasers Revealed; Im Si Wan, Kang So Ra, Kang Ha Neul Pose For Cosmopolitan". KDramaStars. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  5. ^ "Office grunts clock in at Misaeng's press conference". Dramabeans. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  6. ^ Baek, Byung-yeul (12 October 2014). "Cartoon-inspired TV dramas on the way". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  7. ^ "Misaeng teases realistic portrayal of salaryman's life". Dramabeans. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  8. ^ Chung, Ah-young (5 June 2013). "Webtoon give inspiration to films". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  9. ^ "Incomplete life: Prequel". PiFan. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  10. ^ Sung, So-young (17 November 2014). "K-pop stars find success on screen". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  11. ^ "New Soap Becomes Instant Hit Among Salarymen". The Chosun Ilbo. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
  12. ^ Baek, Byung-yeul (11 November 2014). "Misaeng soars in ratings: Webtoon-based TV drama gains explosive response from office workers". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  13. ^ Ahn, Sung-mi (12 November 2014). "Misaeng syndrome grips the nation". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  14. ^ Park, Hye-min; Kim, Hyung-eun (19 November 2014). "Office drama strikes a chord with workers". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  15. ^ "Im Si-wan, Kang So-ra to Promote Trade". The Chosun Ilbo. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
  16. ^ Ahn, Sung-mi (16 January 2015). "Weekender: Office theme prevails on TV". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2015-01-17.
  17. ^ "Who Won the Grand Prize at the Korea Drama Awards?". 2015-10-09.
  18. ^ Geu-rae could either mean 그렇다 ("yes"), or 그래 of 그래도 ("nevertheless" or "however").
  19. ^ Hwang, Hye-jin (7 August 2014). "ZE:A's Im Si Wan, Kang Ha Neul, Kang Sora and More Confirmed for Misaeng". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  20. ^ "Yim Shi-wan: "I had to take Misaeng"". Dramabeans. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-06.
  21. ^ Park, Hyun-taek; Sung, So-young (5 January 2015). "Misaeng star stays modest amid hype". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-05.
  22. ^ "Kang So-ra Gets a Taste of Salaried Workers' Life". The Chosun Ilbo. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  23. ^ Park, Ji-ryun (27 December 2014). "Interview: Misaeng Kang Ha Neul Expresses His Love for ZE:A's Im Si Wan, Kang Sora and Byun Yo Han". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-27.
  24. ^ "Kim Hee-won Comes Out of Obscurity with Villainous Characters". The Chosun Ilbo. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
  25. ^ "Cable TV Awards: Incomplete Life and producer Na Young-seok sweep awards". Hancinema. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  26. ^ Lee, Hoo-nam; Kim, Hyung-eun (28 May 2015). "Baeksang honors new, veteran stars". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  27. ^ Lee, Claire (28 March 2014). "Telling stories of 'incomplete lives'". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  28. ^ Ki, Sun-min (19 February 2013). "Misaeng creator makes art from company malaise". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  29. ^ 《平凡的荣耀》曝海报 赵又廷白敬亭联手进阶职场. Sina (in Chinese). June 12, 2018.

External links[edit]