Agent K (Park Hae Jin) is a man with many identities. He is a ghost agent who operates under deep cover. Yeo Woon Gwang (Park Sung Woong) is a famous action star who is now in need of a bodyguard and Agent K is the suggested man for the job. He has a dedicated crew who works for him. One of them being his manager Cha Do Ha (Kim Min Jung). She is suspicious of the new bodyguard and keeps a close eye on him. Suddenly, the two men start to get along better than anyone expected.
Well, Man to Man had a strong start. It achieved the highest first episode ratings for any JTBC drama and will be the first Korean drama that’ll be shown exclusively through Netflix internationally. Not a small feat. Still, after the first episodes its ratings drop, but, who really looks at them. What’s important is the story and Park Hae Jin.
“I’m ghost agent K. A shadow without a name or reputation. My duty is a nameless battle to protect freedom and order.”
Agent K’s life is about action. He doesn’t really seem to care about rules and always keeps a cold head while working. It doesn’t matter whether he is faking his own death, seducing a woman or building a bomb: his expression doesn’t flinch. To him the most important thing is to succeed in his mission.
Agent K is an expert in reading people. He can get along with anyone and no one is immune to his charms. To him, everything is about work. He changes cities and names so often he doesn’t bother making any connections. He leaves behind only solved cases and broken hearts.
Yeo Woon Gwang is a dedicated actions star who does his own stunts. In front of the screen he is a perfect gentleman and hard-working. In reality he is conceited and selfish. He cares only about himself and money.
Initially he was dead set against the idea of having a bodyguard and he especially hated the idea of the man being someone like Agent K. But like I said, no one can resist Park Hae Jin, I mean Agent K. Yeo Woon Gwang was quickly won over and Agent K is on his way to complete his mission.
The point of this drama seems to be the bromance between Yeo Woon Gwang and Agent K. The two spent almost all their time together and needless to say, this results in many funny scenes.
Now, just like I would say,
“There is always a woman behind every case.”
In this case the woman seems to be Cha Do Ha. She used to be Yeo Woon Gwang’s fan girl before becoming his manager and to put it mildly, it shows. She adores him. She calls him oppa and follows him around with hearts shooting from her eyes.
Still even putting that aside, it doesn’t seem that she has a usual manager-actor relationship with Yeo Woon Gwang. He seems to have a real soft spot for her too. He gives her piggy back rides, she pats his cheeks, is in his bedroom and controls his dating. He listens to her and enjoys whole heartedly her compliments and praises about himself.
What I found really disturbing was Man to Man’s portrayal about Cha Do Ha’s fangirl side, if I could even call it that. In the above scene, she seemed to be more like a sasaeng fan. She told Yeo Woon Gwang that she would kill him and herself if she found him meeting a woman on his free time and actually lifted his car on air with him on. The scariest part is that Yeo Woon Gwang wasn’t sure whether she would drop the car or not. She was out of control and I think that we can all agree on this: way out of line. This is was disturbing.
So why did Agent K become Yeo Woon Gwang bodyguard despite his craziness and his obsessive manager you ask? His mission is to retrieve three wood carvings that were stolen from their owner. Now, Chairman Victor (whoever that is) has the first one and he happens to be Yeo Woon Gwang’s fan. He is going to travel to attend his birthday party and that is his in to get the wood carving. Something tells me that everything is not going to go according to the plan though…
If you ask me what was the impression Man to Man left me with its premiere I could sum it up easily.
Firstly, Park Hae Jin. Amazing. Hot. Gorgeous. Nothing to complain about here. Love him in this.
Secondly, Cha Do Ha’s hairstyle is horrible. I’m wondering if someone in the production team is her antifan… I never complain about these things but I have to mention this: it was that bad. On some scenes her character is forced and over the top. Hopefully that’ll change as the drama progresses.
And lastly, meh. After only two episodes it is understandable that the story is not yet at its peak. For Park Hae Jin, my belief in this drama and in it getting better I’m not really worried.
I feel free now that I have these things off my chest.
The first episode had lots of Descendants of the Sun references and even a guest appearance by David McInnis who we all remember as David Agus from DOTS. I don’t understand why other dramas even bother trying to imitate DOTS, yes, it was popular and succesful but not everyone was crazy about it or liked it. For example me. Besides that we had action and secret agent’s daily mission life which was actually really fun to watch. I hope that as the story deepens in Man to Man we will get to see the bromance the drama has promised us.