MY MISTER is a Korean 16 part series on Netflix that is deeply human, filled with diverse characters that I cannot get out of my heart or mind’s eye. I truly miss them now that I have finished the series which has lightened me with delight amidst piercing sadness. Despite confusing corporate-culture rankings, despite some overbearing shouting, despite constant drinking, while philosophizing about where lives have gone or are going, there is a kindness and a genuine caring about friends and family that is simply expressed - a sensitivity to others that is rarely seen because it is so silent - facial expressions reveal more than words can. Throughout the series - there is a lingering feeling of sadness and loss conveyed between the two main characters speechlessly, which I found mournfully eloquent with its unpredictability adding to the mystery of communication and the conflicts that we must endure to just move along.
Class hierarchies and societal norms are fascinating to witness - “saving face” is evident at the highest levels of business to the delicate interactions during mealtimes; eating and socializing express one’s fragile connections. From the highest CEO to the lowest paid worker, each individual’s compassion is revealed even if fleetingly.
A man in his 40’s working as a Structural Engineer, aware of slowly dying from desultory despair. despite being considered a success in the eyes of his family and peers, is caught in a maelstrom of intrigue with a poverty stricken, street smart 21-year old waif who finds herself in the midst of a conspiracy that over 16 episodes alters both their lives and those around them.
There is the “romantic” but not “romance.” There is loyalty born out of love and need and nurtured by inner strength, and there are beautiful, poetic views of a neighborhood in Seoul which is close knit and protective of their inhabitants. There is also meanness and violence in the shady underbelly of every community but sometimes there is honor among the most ignominious thieves.