Feels Good to Die Review
Synopsis. Feels Good to Die is a 16 (32 split) episode kdrama about a demanding, unkind boss and a team member that is trapped in a time loop every time someone wishes him dead. That is a frequent occurrence with this jerk of a boss. Think Groundhog Day in an office setting. To end the time loops, she must find a way to stop others from wishing her boss dead. As the series progresses the boss sees his faults too. As you can imagine, the time loop ripple effects touch all the characters. This series is based on a webtoon of the same name by writer whose moniker is Gold Kiwi Bird (1st chapter link).
What I liked.
Superior Story. This is the best office drama I’ve watched. While the time loop was a crucial component to the series, is wasn’t the only one. Work place issues you’ve seen and maybe experienced – how management treats employees, contract workers rights, and office ethics – were effectively woven into the detailed storylines. EVERY character mattered from the leads to the support to the minor. Writer Im Seo Ra morphed and massaged the webtoon story into an intricate story that connected ALL the dots from start to finish, a feat with the number of characters and time loops. Lest you think this was a heavy drama, the series was often humorous providing laugh out loud moments. I sampled the webtoon episodes and found the series followed the storyline often but the ending is different. The webtoon ending would have worked well too.
Lee Roo Da (Baek Jin Hee). Roo Da was driver for the entire series. Once in the time loop, she had to reason why it was happening, then how to end the time loop. During the process she was forced to acknowledge her own short comings as she struggled to encourage her jerk boss to change. This wasn’t a simple “change then everything is okay” solution. You saw the ripple effects of her choices and actions. Roo Da was the kind of coworker we’d all want. Though initially subdued, she was smart and compassionate. She learned to tackle issues (poor treatment by managers, contract workers rights, etc.) instead of passively watching. She learned her actions mattered. She allowed her herself to step out of her comfort zone and grow.
Team Lead Baek Jin Sang (Kang Ji Hwan). Demanding jerk bosses abound in kdramas. Kang Ji Hwan didn’t sugar coat Team Lead Baek’s ability to use his razor-sharp understanding of faults and high-performance bar to harshly interact with his team. He went for it in scene after scene. It was obvious why so many wished this boss dead. But then he became aware of his actions and the effects on others. He struggled to change. It wasn’t easy. He didn’t have a cadre of friends supporting him, he was a loner. He managed to evolve from a harsh boss to a boss that saw the worth of others, though he always had high expectations.
Section Chief Kang Jun Ho (Gong Myung). There couldn’t be a more likeable character than Jun Ho. He hid that he was the nephew of the chairman of the company. His uncle was the president and more interested in his gains than his worker’s welfare. Jun Ho didn’t want to take on the hard job of improving the company. But through his interactions with Roo Da, he realized he had to step up and make a difference. The charm of this character was perfectly portrayed by Gong Myung.
What I didn’t like.
Final Time Loop Changed the Pace. Most of the time loops were seamless and enhanced the energy and flow of the series. But the final time loop slowed down the momentum a bit though the show found its legs again.
Would I recommend Feels Good to Die? Definitely! This series delivered a terrific story, faceted characters, and explored issues you will recognize. The mix of time loops, character growth, office politics and humor struck the right balance in this series.
OST. This drama’s OST had six vocal tracks (listen). The full album’s track list can be found at dramawiki (link). My favorite track was For You sung by Lucia (link). The trailer below provides a taste of the series and features the theme from 9 to 5, an American film focused on the office: