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Will 'Awl' Be The New 'Misaeng?'

BY Julie Jones | Oct 22, 2015 10:55 AM EDT

Lee Hyun Woo and Ahn Nae Sang
(Photo : Awl)

A drama about surviving in a cruel and difficult workplace did not seem a likely bet at gaining viewer attention but last year's cable drama "Misaeng" won both praise, ratings and awards. The drama about a temporary worker doing everything he could to attain a permanent position caught on with young workers who knew what it was like to struggle to get ahead. Can such k-drama success happen again?

The producers of the upcoming drama "Awl" are hoping that this drama will see similar success in highlighting the daily struggles of workers in a large retail market.

The JTBC drama stars Ji Hyun Woo as Lee Soo In. Lee is the manager at Prumi, a large market. He's not good at relating to his employees but he does have a strong sense of right and wrong. One day his boss asks him to fire the store's temporary employees. Lee decides that the proposed dismissal is unfair and refuses to fire them. He also joins a labor union.

Like "Misaeng," "Awl" is based on a web comic.. "Awl" is based on the Naver web comic "Song Got." But "Song Got" was based on a true story. The real life incident took place in 2007 when the firing of temporary cashiers at E-Land Group caused a sit-in protest that lasted 21 days. The workers fought their dismissal for a total of 510 days. The 2014 film "Cart," which stars Yum Jung Ah, Moon Jung Hee, Kim Young Ae and EXO's D.O., was also inspired by the same incident.

Awl also stars, Ahn Nae Sang who plays Goo Go Sin, the man who counsels the employees. The cast includes Hyun Woo, Super Junior's Yesung, Park Si Hwan and Kim Ga Eun.

It's unusual for a drama without a romantic plot line to attract big ratings but "Misaeng" managed it and the producers of "Awl" are hoping for a similar success. The director Kim Suk Yoon and writers Lee Nam Gyu and Kim Soo Jin have worked together before. They collaborated on the 2004-2005 drama "Old Miss Diary."

Ji Hyun Woo was last seen in the drama 'Angry Mom" with co-stars Kim Hee Sun and Kim Yoo Jung.

"Awl" begins its run on October 24. Will you tune in?

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