There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Don't Get Me Wrong, Boss!.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to excessive drinking, bullying, overwork, suicidal ideation (presented in a joking manner), harassment, obsession, homomisia (use of f-slur), violence, assault, blood, dubcon/noncon, gossiping, and slut-shaming, as it appears in the manhwa.
Lim Iro has no drive or intention of getting a “real” job. As an erotic BL writer, Iro has the flexibility to live the way he likes, with no one telling him what he can and can't do. He's also pretty successful at it. But the arts are inconsistent, and his career is no exception. Money is tight, and there are times when Iro would love the stability of a conventional career. But that's not enough to push him into applying for one. What is enough is his parents' neverending insistence that he look for a job. While he's planning on applying, he has no intention of putting in much effort. Just enough to get his parents off his back.
Unbeknownst to Iro, he mistakenly attaches an excerpt of his latest work to his application for Beus, a drink company. One would assume this would knock him out of the running, which wouldn't be a massive loss to Iro. But despite his best efforts at lack of effort, Iro gets a call to come in for an interview. Shocked, he does show up, but in casual clothes among many suited-up applicants. Ho-ryung, the CEO, through the group interview, seems to toy with Iro, dropping hints regarding the excerpt, but all Iro cares about is getting out of there and going back home.
Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, Iro gets the job. The reason Iro got the job was because his application, and subsequently his BL novel, got into the hands of CEO Baek Ho-ryung. Ho-ryung would probably never have hired Iro despite his laissez-faire attitude. But upon seeing the love letter, not realizing it's fiction, he assumes it's Iro's love letter, bemoaning a breakup between Iro and his lover. Ho-ryung is curious about how someone could love like that and is determined to meet this romantic up close and personal.
This art style is giving me The Devil's Temptation vibes, which is both really good and really bad. It's really good in that I love The Devil's Temptation, so being reminded of it is great. It's bad, though, because one of the worst parts about The Devil's Temptation is the art. I already wasn't too keen on reading this because of the cover art. Something about Iro's face looks a bit weird, and Ho-ryung's eyes seem too wide and narrow to me. But I went for it, and while I am happy I did because of the story, the art really isn't that great. It's not as bad as I initially suspected, but it's not the most beautiful thing in the world. I'd say it's way better than The Devil's Temptation, which is a win, but when I'm also reading some of the most gorgeous works of art I've ever seen at the same time, this just can't compare. I'm picky, though, so if you're at all interested, don't let me dissuade you. This is cute!
As a writer of BL myself, this is quite possibly my worst nightmare (… or greatest fantasy?). It's, of course, a completely nonsensical premise, at least from my perspective, but I'm not reading BL for its logic. It's a fun setup, and I can imagine a CEO calling someone who did this for an interview to meet them just out of curiosity. I would definitely bring someone in for an interview if I got their BL excerpt, but maybe that's just me. I do wish the novel had been more of an essential element. It definitely persists, and even when Iro gets the job, he continues working on his novel, which I loved, but it definitely takes a backseat to the adult job at the drink company, which is unfortunate. It does make a fun comeback with Ho-ryung reading Iro's work and masturbating to it, which is really fun. I still wish we had gotten more writing time through the main story. I appreciate Jaewoo moving Iro into a writing position to make use of his talents, but it's just not the same as him being a BL writer.
What's even more unfortunate is the lack of Hujiwara, the yakuza client with whom Iro ends up being fast friends despite the language barrier. This, for me, is the best portion of the entire story. It's hilarious and wholesome and really shows how capable Iro is beyond being a BL writer. So much of Iro's personality comes out in the scene, and I inadvertently fell in love with Hujiwara. Unfortunately, this is the only time we get to see him. I would've loved to have seen more of him. Lowkey, I kind of feel like Hujiwara and Iro had more chemistry than Iro and Ho-ryung. Hujiwara and Iro will forever be my OTP (same with Ho-ryung and Jaewoo).
The most important thing I have to mention about this series is the humor. I would not say it's anywhere near as funny as The Devil's Temptation, which, for me, is peak manhwa comedy, but this is still very cute and lighthearted. Iro is the primary source of the comedy with his reactions and expressions. I can totally understand why Ho-ryung spends so much time torturing and teasing him at work because he does make some funny faces. Jaewoo is also pretty amusing, too, particularly with his obsession with Iro's work. It's the love, dedication, and obsession I simultaneously hope and don't hope my own readers have. This isn't the funniest thing in the world, but it made me giggle, and that's great.
I liked this. I hate that I waited so long to read this because of my weird art preferences. The art is perfectly serviceable and cute, the humor is nice, and the story is good and smutty. Is it revolutionary? No. But it's a really good time. I will definitely be re-reading this to brighten up my day, and I think you should, too.
Have you read Don't Get Me Wrong, Boss!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!