CAST: Lee Bo Young, Son Na Eun, Jo Sung Ha, Han Joo Woo

DIRECTOR: Lee Chang-Min


If you like stories of women surviving politics and the machinations of the modern workplace, look no further. Agency is the story of fierce office politics and intricate relationships surrounding a tough female executive and her rivals at an advertising company.

A part of the vast conglomerate, South Korea’s leading advertising agency, VC Group, has the best accounts in the country as its clients but has never had a female executive in its top management.

Despite her underprivileged background, the group finally appoints Go Ah-in (Lee Bo-young), who has achieved fast promotions with stellar performances as a Chief Creative Officer. With great pomp and show, they advertise her appointment to the world, only to disappoint Ah-in when she realizes she is chosen because her underprivileged background makes her a better PR story.

Go Ah-In was raised in a poor working-class family and graduated from an unknown school. Worse yet, she is a female employee who often has a slim chance of getting promoted to an executive position. Despite all the disadvantages, she manages to shatter the “glass ceiling” and achieve her dream of becoming the firm’s CCO with her excellent work ethic and spirit. However, her promotion is the firm’s scheme to create a better image of the company, and she gets edged out a year later. The real story begins there. Even in the worst situation, she does not give up her dreams and continues to fight her way through to reach a place higher than a contractual executive role

Jo Sung-ha plays the role of Choi Chang-su, a senior executive who strives to become CEO by leveraging his inner circle connection, and idol-turned-actress Son Na-eun stars as the VC Group chair’s daughter who turns from a star influencer into the company’s social media department director.

K-Drama Review: 3 Unusual Things That Thrill Viewers in 'Agency' - ZAPZEE - Premier Korean Entertainment Magazine

The strength of Agency strength lies in its realistic details. The script of the show is meticulous, intelligent, and highly credible.  Despite being super emotional and a mental wreck in the privacy of her home, Ah-in is a tough-as-nail character who ruthlessly pursues success and complicated office politics surrounding the inner circle network and promotions.

The sheer grit and determination of Ah-in as a character are inspirational. Every time she gets beat and faces failure, she tells herself she cannot escape her circumstances and comes back swinging with her strategy moves. The mind games between her and Choi Chang-su are fun, engaging, and superbly played out.

As Ah-in roots out the prejudices against her, her endeavor is all the more meaningful as it reflects the struggle of other female workers and their teamwork to overcome their obstacles.

Eun Jung (Jeon Hye Jin) – a working mom who tries to juggle work and family responsibilities at once ( and her toddler son who refuses to see her as a working mom – piling a lot of working mom guilt onto her)– and Kang Han Na (Son Na Eun) – an ambitious woman from a super-rich family who can’t be the suitable heir to her family fortune – work together for a bigger goal to break the invisible wall. The show effectively tells its story by highlighting the achievements of female office workers, who have played minor roles in traditional male-centered office dramas.

As Ah-in plays her corporate strategy superbly, she meets a few opponents. The audience becomes engaged in her work, and the atmosphere on screen could be any corporate office worldwide. Superbly produced.

Ah-in is unashamed of her ambition. She is unapologetic in striving to be better and reach higher echelons of management. Go Ah-In uses her power to single out people who are loyal to her to change the dynamics of office politics at her work.


Great storytelling, on-point writing, well-etched characters, and magnificent direction.

The pace, story, emotions, and tension are all palpable and real.

A very compelling watch if stories of women surviving the contemporary workplace are your beat.


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