“Business Proposal” is a charming, delightful, and hilarious Netflix original K-drama based on a webtoon. Despite having several cliches in the 12-episode series, it shines as the most popular K-drama on Netflix so far in 2022. The appreciation of the series can be attributed to the beautiful chemistry between the four protagonists, the spot-on comic timing, and the admirable acting, especially by Kim Sejeong.
‘Business Proposal’ Plot Summary
Kang Tae Moo is the young, workaholic CEO of GoFood, who has a devoted (and attractive) secretary named Sung Hoon. Tae Moo’s grandfather is the chairman of the company, and he keeps pressuring Tae Moo to enjoy life and start dating. He sets a blind date for Tae Moo with Marine Group’s Jin Yeong Seo, to which he reluctantly agrees. Yeong Seo’s father encourages her blind date with Tae Moo so that their companies can merge and profit from both. However, she wants to marry for love and not for economic reasons. Hence, Jin Yeong Seo requests her best friend Ha Ri to go on a blind date disguised as her and scare the date away. Shin Ha Ri is a hardworking food researcher at GoFood who also helps at her family’s chicken restaurant. She reluctantly agrees to help Yeong Seo, as she could use some extra money, and shows up for the blind date. To her surprise, Ha Ri finds out that Tae Moo is her company’s CEO but decides to continue her act.
Major Spoilers Ahead
The Fake Relationship
Despite all her efforts to do otherwise, Ha Ri ends up impressing Tae Moo, who decides to marry her right away! Trying to persuade her, Tae Moo encounters the real Yeong Seo and finds out that his date was fake. To handle the situation and save her job, Ha Ri tells him that her name is Shin Geum Hui.
Tae Moo asks her to repay him for lying to him by pretending to be his girlfriend in front of his grandfather. Unable to flee the situation, she starts living with a dual identity as Shin Ha Ri at work and Shin Geum Hui outside of work. She makes a great first impression on Chairman Kang, and their fake relationship works smoothly. In the course of being a fake couple, Ha Ri discovers Tae Moo’s fear of rain due to his childhood trauma. The two get to know each other and get closer. In the meantime, Ha Ri’s product suggestion of White Kimchi Ravioli succeeds, and the company’s sales spike. When Tae Moo goes through her database to review Ha Ri’s performance, he learns about her true identity!
On the other hand, Yeong Seo moves out of her father’s house and finds her own apartment next to Sung Hoon’s. She keeps trying to flirt with Sung Hoon, but he resists as their closeness would bother Tae Moo. One day, Sung Hoon saves Yeong Seo from a creep who was trying to film her and Ha Ri at her apartment. When Tae Moo finds out about the situation, he rushes to the police precinct with Ha Ri. In doing so, Ha Ri realizes that Tae Moo is aware of her true identity. But she is overjoyed that Tae Moo does not fire her but instead asks her to work overtime with him. Ha Ri is unaware that Tae Moo is trying to spend more time with her as he has fallen in love with her!
‘Business Proposal’ Ending Explained: Does Love Persist Despite The Odds?
Shin Ha Ri helps her friend Min Woo find a chef’s job at GoFood. She had a seven-year-long crush on Min Woo but tries to get over it as he is dating her friend Yoo Ra. While Ha Ri tries to focus on her job, Tae Moo confesses his feelings for her and asks her out. Considering their social status and positions at the company, Ha Ri rejects Tae Moo. However, while trying to explain herself, she accidentally kisses him! Tae Moo decides to persuade her by asking Ha Ri to repay him for the kiss. Consequently, the two spend some time together without Ha Ri realizing they are actually going on dates! Simultaneously, Yeong Seo confesses her feelings to Sung Hoon, and the two start dating.
One day, Chairman Kang figures out that Tae Moo is not dating Geum Hui anymore and sets up another blind date for him. Having resisted this the whole time, Ha Ri finally confesses her true feelings for Tae Moo. Tae Moo also cancels his blind date and starts a relationship with Ha Ri, keeping it secret. Seeing how judgmental her father is of Sung Hoon, Yeong Seo quits her father’s company and decides to start afresh with her boyfriend. Sung Hoon proposes to Yeong Seo to marry him, and the two get engaged happily.
Jealous of Shin Ha Ri’s happiness, Yoo Ra discloses her relationship with Tae Moo in the comment section of her viral video with Min Woo. While Ha Ri faces embarrassment at work, Chairman Kang asks her to break up with Tae Moo and quit her job- and she boldly refuses! Chairman Kang fakes an illness to gain Tae Moo’s attention. To his surprise, Ha Ri visits him instead and takes good care of him. While she manages to soften his heart, Tae Moo and Ha Ri convince her parents to approve of their relationship as well.
One day, Tae Moo tells Ha Ri that his grandfather’s health has worsened and he must go to the US to get him treated. Hence, he asks her to move to the US with him. To avoid the rumors from worsening and affecting their lives, Ha Ri refuses to join but promises that she will wait for him. After a year of their long-distance relationship, Tae Moo comes back to Korea to visit Ha Ri. He tells her that his grandfather finally approves of their relationship and does not want him to return without proposing to her. Right then, Tae Moo takes out the ring and proposes to Shin Ha Ri. In spite of the odds, the relationship between the two persists and grows deeper.
What makes “Business Proposal” interesting to watch is that the show incorporates elements from the webtoon and uses them as a catalyst for comedy. These elements are hilarious, especially in the visuals of the “archaeopteryx phone calls”! Though the show includes many cliches of a typical K-drama, the relationships of the four protagonists are far from toxic and delightful to watch. The makers have done a fine job of not stretching the series to 16 episodes and ending it while it was still entertaining. “Business Proposal” is a refreshing romantic comedy that takes fans back to when K-dramas were not experimenting with sensational genres for global recognition. The Netflix-original series is sweet, simple, and a relaxing one-time watch!